Using deceptive tactics to alter someone’s habits is never okay, even (or perhaps especially) if they’re your spouse. Unfortunately, this Redditor appears to have learned that lesson the hard way.
User @Wise_Art_6643 took to the infamous /AmITheAsshole Subreddit for some unbiased insight into a sticky situation with her husband. The couple is beefing because she “tricked” her hubby into eating a vegan meal after he’d expressed resistance to trying plant-based foods. Her rationale? She withheld the truth “for the sake of his health.”
@Wise_Art_6643 has been eating a vegan diet for about a year. Meanwhile, her husband is a “meat-and-potatoes kind of person” who “generally isn’t too interested” in trying her plant-based meals. But his boundaries around food haven’t stopped her from fretting over his diet and exercise habits.
“I get worried for him sometimes because he is very fat, and his BMI is also quite high,” @Wise_Art_6643 wrote. “I’ve been trying to cook healthy meals for him, encouraging him to exercise, and getting creative with the dishes I make, but my partner just doesn’t seem interested.” Perhaps it’s because shaming people into changing their habits doesn’t work, especially when you’re hung up on somewhat arbitrary measures of health like BMI? But I digress.
The couple’s conflict came to a head last Saturday night, when @Wise_Art_6643 decided to take matters into her own hands: “I made a delicious vegan lasagna for dinner, not mentioning to my partner that it was completely plant-based. To my surprise, my partner loved the lasagna and even asked for seconds. It wasn’t until after dinner that I let it slip that the dish was vegan, and my partner was less than pleased.” So, she effectively lied to her husband.
“I defended my decision by telling them that I’ve been worried for their health and want them to get skinnier and be better, but my partner said it was very immature of me and I could have talked to him directly,” she continued. “AITA?”
Newsflash to OP: Tricking people into eating things they don’t want to eat isn’t cool! If it were truly a matter of concern over her husband’s health, @Wise_Art_6643 should have discussed it with him directly in a calm, collected manner — and preferably without citing his body size or BMI. Despite what diet culture tells us, gauging an individual’s health requires looking at a number of factors. It’s not as cut-and-dry as height, weight, or BMI.
“YTA,” one Redditor wrote in the comments. “Not for ‘tricking’ him into eating a vegan meal. Non-vegans don’t need meat/dairy at EVERY meal, and it’s weird and immature to be offended by the idea of eating and enjoying a vegan lasagna. YTA for your approach to his weight and health. Eating vegan food won’t make him thinner or healthier, necessarily. And you can’t trick or force anyone into getting thinner or healthier. He’s an adult, and he’s right — you should have talked to him directly.”
“I’m not going to say that wanting your partner to eat healthy is the worst thing in the world, but it’s definitely not okay to act like you’re doing them a favor when what you’re really doing is taking that choice away from them,” another commenter opined.
Many users also pointed out that all vegan foods are not created equal. Although eating a plant-based diet is associated with certain health benefits, the kinds of vegan foods you consume matter. For example, processed vegan snacks are still processed snacks.
“Just because something is vegan it doesn’t make it healthier than non-vegan options,” one commenter added. “Oreos are vegan. I fail to see how tricking him into eating something vegan is supposed to improve his health.”
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