How to Deal with Differences of Opinion


Both my partner and I are spiritual, but he is not vegetarian. He said he would not have a problem to go hunting, since it would be hypocritical of him not to if he eats meat. And he would try other meats, such as dog or whale, as it would be no different from eating cattle. I strongly opposed his reasoning and insisted that he does not comply.

Is it wrong of me to impose my opinions on him? Is he right in thinking that hunting or eating unusual animals is OK, if he chooses to eat meat anyway?

—T—, UK


It’s rarely a good thing to impose one’s opinions on others; it usually doesn’t result in a good outcome.

Perhaps a more important question is whether the two of you feel compatible and comfortable with each other knowing that you have such strong differences in regards to hunting animals and eating meat. These are important issues.

For many devotees there is often a natural evolution, as one grows spiritually, of choosing a vegetarian diet as well as abstaining from activities such as hunting animals. This is what Paramhansa Yogananda recommended in order to develop a more refined spiritual focus. But he also didn’t make a dogma of diet; he emphasized rather the principles of right diet (which he called “Proper-eatarianism”).

You might want to have further discussions with your partner to explore if this is an issue that you can both find a comfort zone with in your relationship. Sometimes we simply need to take some steps in the right direction; if this can happen for you and your partner then such differences have a chance of being resolved.