Is he brain-washing me with his cooking?

I’m 22, a photographer, and a vegetarian. I started on a veggie diet about five years ago, and haven’t looked back.

I’m not a strict veggie as I still eat fish, and I’m certainly not a vegan. I don’t know how I’d exist without cheese!

I chose to go the veggie route on a matter of principle. I really don’t think we should slaughter and eat animals. Eating veal is something that particularly sickens me. But, in the last six months I’ve met a carnivore, and fallen head over heels in love with him.

He stinks of meat and sometimes I find it unbearable. But he’s a great, funny guy and our sex life is amazing. So are the meals he cooks for me, but I can see what he’s doing.

He’s a chef, with a rosette, and he’s trying now to get me to eat whatever he cooks. At the beginning, he was really trying hard to please me, and cooked the most wonderful vegetarian meals, like I’d never tasted before. I felt healthier and happier on his diet, as he knows how to make vegetables sing. He’s also brilliant with fish, and loves to eat it himself.

Recently, though, as we get closer, I’m finding it harder and harder to back up my arguments for a vegetarian diet. He just knows everything, and says it with a smile. When I gave him a huge rant about veal, he just held my hand and asked: “So what do we do with the little boys bred in a milk-producing farm? Do we let them grow up into bulls? Wouldn’t that be a bit of a relationship problem?”

Like me, he’s against the worst excesses of factory farming, but says that humankind has always farmed animals. He asked me: “What do you want us to do? Do you want us to set the farm animals free? Where would they go? Could you cope with sheep and cows, dying of starvation on the M25?”

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He’s so cool about all this, and gentle, and I have no reply to his arguments. They sound reasonable. And when he was cooking up breakfast for us the other day, he turned to me and said: “Don’t you just love bacon?”

And you know, that’s one of the flavours I’ve missed. He didn’t push, just put all the breakfast items on a serving dish, and I tried a bit of bacon because I just couldn’t resist. It went down a treat.

All my veggie friends said I’ve been off meat for so long that I’d vomit if I ate any. It didn’t happen. So, what now? Listening to my beautiful guy, it sounds like “don’t shut the door on anything”, which has been the secret of our magical sex life. But should I give up my principles for a man who may be brain-washing me?

Barbara says: Oh, love, you’re a bit confused. If you like bacon, and enjoyed it, is that OK? The thought of pigs let loose to haunt the M25 scares me more than your b/f’s examples. He’s being so gentle. And here’s the crunch. You can end this relationship any time you want. If you feel you’re being brainwashed, stand up for what you believe. Get it? Meanwhile if you want to listen to and accommodate his views into yours, please do. If you don’t – you have the choice.