Ethical Consumption – the act of purchasing items in as kind a way as possible – has been a topic of hot debate over the last few years.
Particularly in our food industries.
We have talked about how to deal with big business, how to find out about where our food comes from, and why these are important things.
What happens, though, when your view conflicts with not some corporate interest, but with your significant other?
This was the question that faced Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Darth_lil when she brought her concerns to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subreddit for judgment.
“AITA for refusing to buy meat for my boyfriend as a vegetarian?”
OP began with the basics.
“Basically, I am a vegetarian for 2 years now, and when it is my turn to do food shopping, I don’t mind buying my bf ham once in a while.”
Before setting up the real issue.
“But now, he is buying tons of frozen meat for his work lunches with my money and it bothers me.”
She tried discussing the issue with him.
I brought this up, explaining that it’s not about the price (maybe a little too, considering the meats are always the most expensive items on the receipt).”
The monetary cost was a factor but…
“But rather something I am not comfortable doing from a moral standpoint.”.
…The ethical cost was the real issue here.
“We got into a huge fight about that, and I keep asking myself: am I the a**hole? Any other vegetarians dealing with the same issue?”
She asked the question but still decided to clear up a few details.
“Just to clarify (because I did not think so many people would respond ahaha) – The food shopping split is never 50/50 as I work a lot and rarely eat at home.”
Sometimes it’s hard to be even.
“I do not expect him to buy my vegetarian food, so I don’t think it’s fair for him to expect me buying the meat for him. Still torn on this one too, because I understand his point of view.”
Understanding does not mean agreement.
“However, I just wish he’d understand, I do not want to fill pockets of corporations in the meat industry. If he does, that is fine, I just don’t feel comfortable giving them my money.”
She wasn’t quite finished.
“Since so many people accused me of forcing my moral standpoint and diet on my partner – I do not care if he eats meat.”
“I do not care how much meat he eats.”
“That is his and his choice only. I just do not feel comfortable buying it, as I don’t want my money to go into pockets of corporations that treat animals like crap.”
“However, he (and other meat-eaters) can buy and consume how much meat they want.”
Not sure how to proceed, OP came to Reddit for their assistance.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: YTA
Some pointed to her own post.
“YTA. According to your comments, your mutually agreed setup is that you rotate grocery duties.”
“So it’s not really fair to say that he’s making you buy food with your money, because you also ‘make him’ buy you food with his money every time it’s his turn.”
“It sounds like you are no longer willing to hold up your end of agreed chore split, so if you’re that adamant about not buying meat you need to find a new arrangement where he does all of the grocery shopping and you pick up another chore to make up for it.”~EstherandThyme
“YTA I do kind of get your viewpoint, but if you take turns paying for shopping then you need to get and pay for everything the same as he presumably does.”
“If you won’t do that then you need to rearrange how you work grocery shopping, for example, each doing your own shopping.”~BazTheBaptist
There was a concern for the relationship.
“Gentle YTA. I’m a vegetarian too daring an omnivore. If it’s not a big enough moral issue for you that you’ll date someone who eats meat, you shouldn’t draw a line in the sand at buying it for him (given that you split the grocery bill, it would be different if it was your own money). If you choose this as a hill to die on you might wind up just pushing him away.”~PolitickedOff2
Others tried to be logical.
“Just both pay for your own grocery and split the items you guys are sharing. Easy peasy.”~Actual-Toe-9872
People just weren’t having it.
“Y T A”
“Just because you’re vegetarian doesn’t mean your boyfriend has to be. When you agreed to buy groceries so many times per month, you agreed to buy his needs to which happen to be meat. He doesn’t complain when he buys your foods, does he?”
“Maybe you all should just split the bill and he buys his stuff and you buy yours. Don’t force him to be something that you’ve decided was best for you. It’s not disrespectful that he eats meat and you have to hold up to your end of the deal of buying groceries so many times per month. You’re the one being disrespectful towards him.”~concernedreader1982
OP had one final thought to share.
It seemed Reddit’s advice was helpful in the end.
“Thanks to all of your comments, I had a sophisticated conversation with my boyfriend, and we came to an agreement. As someone suggested – we will have a main shopping list to follow, but then he’ll buy meat with his money, and I’ll buy meat alternatives with mine.”
We began with Ethical Consumption but really this is about the give and take of relationships.
How each member in a relationship can influence the others toward one decision or another.
Sometimes, it really is just as simple as having an outside perspective, to remind you of compromise and rational solutions.
Perhaps this is a lesson we can all ethically support.