Thursday, February 14, 2008

Lips that touch _____ will never touch mine

Mixed marriage
She's a vegan; he's an omnivore. Dynise Balcavage and John Gatti make it work.

It's Valentine's Day, and Agricultural Law wishes that all its readers can be lucky in love. But for couples with incompatible diets, reports The New York Times' Kate Murphy in I Love You, But You Love Meat, divergent views of food can be a deal-breaker:
Sharing meals has always been an important courtship ritual and a metaphor for love. But in an age when many people define themselves by what they will eat and what they won’t, dietary differences can put a strain on a romantic relationship. The culinary camps have become so balkanized that some factions consider interdietary dating taboo.

No-holds-barred carnivores, for example, may share the view of Anthony Bourdain, who wrote in his book Kitchen Confidential that “vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter faction, the vegans . . . are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit.”

Returning the compliment, many vegetarians say they cannot date anyone who eats meat. Vegans, who avoid eating not just animals but animal-derived products, take it further, shivering at the thought of kissing someone who has even sipped honey-sweetened tea.
In the spirit of the holiday, Ms. Murphy offers some concrete advice. According to postings at food sites such as and, people seem more forgiving of would-be dates who restrict their diet for health or religion rather than mere dislike:
  • “Medical and religious issues I can work around as long as the person is sincere and consistent, but flaky, picky cheaters — no way.”
  • “Picky eaters are remarkably unsexy.”