When my (now) hubby and I got together, we were both ethical vegans and shared many common interests about the issue. Recently, he decided he was "going back" to meat and has done so to an extreme.
Over the years we've had countless heartfelt discussions about why we don't eat animals -- the cruelty of factory farming and the moral imperatives -- and now I feel duped.
One final issue: He is not working, so it's "my" money going to purchase a product I find truly abhorrent. How can someone I love not see the cruelty that was once so obvious to both of us -- and still is to me? Do principles trump love? -- Anonymous
The "Dear Abby" type columnist had some good lines for this bride:
I can't tell you what he's thinking, nor can I decide for you where you need to stand.
I can point out, though, that for all your reverence for animals, you're not showing much respect for the mammal you married. I'm going to give your words back to you: "How can someone I love not see the cruelty?" Does your love determine how someone else thinks?
I appreciate your passion and sympathize with your predicament -- dramatic change in a spouse is difficult, no matter what form it takes -- but you need to take a couple of rhetorical steps back to your side of the personal responsibility line. He is entitled to his own principles, which include the right to revisit, revise or reject them.
You say you've had "countless heartfelt discussions," but when you agree on the topic of those discussions, it's easy to trust and respect the other person. Your job now is to see whether you're willing to do the hard work and look for ways you can trust and respect someone who differs with you, and whether he's willing to do the same.
Before you go in, I suggest you think carefully about "mine" vs. "ours" when it comes to money, because you could have a whole other, even more painful argument on your hands if you misspeak on that topic.
And, also consider whether there's any room for compromise in your views -- say, for kosher meat or nonfactory-farmed products. Pose the issue as the following question, to yourself first, and then to your husband: "Is 'ethical omnivore' an oxymoron?" After all, we're equipped with those pointy teeth.