Confessing pescetarianism to a vegan?
July 20, 2010 9:43 AM Subscribe
Should my partner tell her vegan friend that she's started eating fish? If so, how should she break the news?
posted by Beardman to human relations (32 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
For a long time, my partner was vegetarian for ethical reasons. Recently she's developed some health-related dietary restrictions that have placed extreme limits on what kinds of food she can eat. As a result, she's taken up eating fish. She was reluctant, but fish doesn't upset her system and it keeps her full. I'm vegetarian and I don't eat fish myself, but I encouraged her to do this. She's healthier and happier as a result. All the friends who know (vegetarian and carnivore alike) are supportive too.
But she hasn't said anything to our friend, who I'll call Jane, who's a staunch vegan. Jane is not exactly an in-your-face proselytizer, but nor is she the type to say it's just her personal choice and avoid talking about it to the unconverted. One of the things that initially attracted Jane to my partner was finding out that my partner was, at that time, a fellow veg, in an environment where that was uncommon.
Jane has other friends who are big-time carnivores. And she has never said anything about us eating, for example, nachos in front of her when we go out. She is also really caring about my partner's dietary restrictions (making her gluten-free vegan cakes, etc.). But we still think she will take it badly if she finds out, mostly because we're some of Jane's only vegetarian friends in the city. Yesterday she offhandedly told my partner that her (formidable) cooking skills will always be there for her during these tough dietary times, "as long as you don't start eating meat." Now, we both took this to mean "obviously I wouldn't cook meat for you," and that's only reasonable. Still, it made my partner uncomfortable.
My first inclination was that this might be a "what she doesn't know can't hurt her" situation, but my partner thinks Jane is bound to find out sooner or later, whether it's a matter of getting caught with a tuna salad on a table at a restaurant, or (more likely) another friend obliviously saying "You eat fish now, try the salmon!" while Jane's within earshot.
So, because of this and because she feels guilty about lying to Jane by omission, she wants to tell her. Should she? If so (which I suspect is the right answer), is there any way she could break the news that cushions the blow for Jane, without apologizing for making the right choice for herself?