spray bottles

It’s no secret that you can be vegan anywhere… even Walmart. I stopped there the other day and found a “value pack” of Gardein Crispy Chick’n Tenders for a decent price. Gardein, at Walmart, folks. Tell me again that being vegan is hard?

Here’s what I find difficult – moving in with a nonvegan. Sure, I lived the first almost-two years of my veganism with my nonvegan roommate, but we didn’t eat together and we shared expenses. I’m now moving in with my mother – and I will be the one supporting us. I’ve already given her a heads up that I won’t be buying animal foods and I buy “hippie” cleaners and whatnot. She says she understands, and I don’t disbelieve her, but I also know that when you aren’t vegan, you are often oblivious to all the things you consume and use that have been created through the use and abuse of animals.

Rewind to Sunday. I head out to buy some vegan-friendly cleaner to clean windows that the painters had splattered the previous day when they painted my new bedroom and the shared office. I warn Mom that I won’t buy Windex – which she is out of – and instead buy a bottle of Method’s all-purpose cleaner (a quick check of the Buycott app tells me they don’t use or test on animals like SE Johnson does). I spend the morning scrubbing a million little dots of green and brown paint from the window… only to be told the next day that Mom had to run out and buy Windex to take off what Method wouldn’t… and it worked.

I should mention that when I suggested using something natural like vinegar to clean the windows, I was met with silence.

Here is what I’ve decided – for my own sanity. I will not compromise my veganism by supporting companies that test on animals, but I will not demand that my mother not spend her own money how she chooses. I do not have to use her bottle of Windex or her beef-tallowed fabric softener. This is where I am drawing my line right now. I’m doing the best I can as the storm that has been the past six months of my life rages on. I know that it’s possible to keep a reasonably clean home (I’m not Donna Reed!) without harsh chemicals and cruelty – I’ve done it for two years. I know it will be hard for Mom to accept this – she’s done it her way for much longer. Add this to the list of adjustments that we’ll be making in a world without my father.

So tell me, folks – if you live with a nonvegan – or if you’re the only vegan in your home – what obstacles do you face? How do you make it work?

Photo credit: Judy via Flickr