Mixed (Diet) Relationships: Can They Work?
Love has no rhyme or reason or even a calendar, but there's something magical about falling in love during spring. In his 1928 composition "Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love," Cole Porter argues that falling in love is all part of Mother Nature's plan.
When the little bluebird
Who has never said a word
Starts to sing Spring
When the little bluebell
At the bottom of the dell
Starts to ring Ding dong Ding dong
When the little blue clerk
In the middle of his work
Starts a tune to the moon up above
It is nature that is all
Simply telling us to fall in love
But unlike the "Cold Cape Cod clams, 'gainst their wish" who do it, we human creatures have dating/mating checklists and criteria that go beyond the force of nature. For many, religion is the deal breaker; for others, it may be income, education, ethnicity or politics. But what about diet and eating habits? Can a vegetarian and a T-bone enthusiast live in harmony? Can a raw foodist and a drive-thru addict make it on love alone? Where do we draw the line between our love for another and what we choose to fuel our own bodies?
Over the years, I've heard an increasing number of What's Cooking readers in mixed-diet relationships who struggle with preparing meals that satisfy each person's dietary preferences. Statistics for vegetarians are hard to come by, but we do know that more people are either kicking meat or eating less of it. Flexitarian, a word to describe a person who eats meat less than 50 percent of the time, entered our vernacular only within the past five years.
But when it comes to dating, love and marriage, does the word "flexible" factor into our selection process? Can we, and should we, put up with differences in our beloved's diet? I got to thinking about all this when I recently discovered a handful of online dating sites for people who don't eat meat.
Looking for vegetarian, vegan or raw food love? Check out Veggie Love, Veggie Fishing, Vegetarian Passions and Veggie Date for potential meatless matches. The site Green Friends has invited eco-types to the vegetarian dating mash as well.
According to a survey conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, "some 11% of all internet users and 37% of those who are single and looking say they have gone to dating Web sites."
And some are narrowing their scope when shopping for love, too. As Jewish singles are doing it (jdate.com, jsingles.com), as are African-Americans (soulsingles.com, blacksingles.com), Latinos (latinmixers.com, latinamericancupid.com) and Christians (christianmingle.com), will the meatless community follow?
But is diet a deal breaker when it comes to love? We all know how love works in mysterious ways and can flip us upside our heads despite those internal checklists and criteria. Does love conquer all -- or does it get second shrift at the dinner table? Tell me how you've managed in a mixed diet relationship or if it makes no difference whatsoever.
While you ponder, listen to Ella belt out her version of "Let's Do It":
Today's Eco Bite: Curious about composting? Get the dirt here.
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