By Published On: 3 September 2013475 words2.4 min read

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

By Published On: 3 September 2013475 words2.4 min read

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

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  1. Crista September 30, 2013 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    I agree with you and do pretty much the same. My husband is not only not vegan but he’s quite certain that I’m being unhealthy and irrational by not consuming animal products. However we were both this way when we met and the whole time we’ve been together. We don’t attack each others beliefs. I don’t buy things that don’t resonate with what I believe – but I don’t stop him from getting what he considers important. Perhaps this will need to be revisited when we begin to raise children. but in my opinion peace doesn’t come from perfection and change comes from the direction your moving. So I consume as few animal products in whatever form that comes as I can but I don’t battle or put down. I just don’t eat his burgers or use his cleaning products most of the time. there are times that I’ll use what he’s using if I have to and I don’t make a fuss – just as he’ll use my soymilk if we’re out of what he drinks. progress not perfection is what I think is most important. I hope things are calming down and you’re finding some peace

  2. Daria Zeoli September 16, 2013 at 7:38 pm - Reply

    Hope you are keeping your sanity, Phil :) Now that the move is finished I’m looking forward to getting out again and back into some vegan-related environments. Feels like home that way!

  3. Phil September 5, 2013 at 4:16 am - Reply

    Hey
    Best of luck with all this. I do really empathise and feel for your situation. I guess if you have a good relation with your Mum then it should be possible to make compromises. I feel it’s always good to be able to share your Veganism e.g. making food for her and you and explaining about your choices. It could be difficult at points if it’s her home and sometimes she buys a certain cleaner etc. I guess you can find your line and say you won’t use it etc or maybe you could just roll with it while you’re there knowing you will move out at some stage.

    I think that keeping in good contact with your Veganhood e.g. going out with your Vegan groups, exploring any feelings through facebook forums and obviously your blog to help you keep your sanity. I was worried about going back home for a month as a Vegan in a non Vegan house which was why I started my blog, purely to keep my sanity and as it was it worked fine.

    Look after yourself and keep us updated about how it all goes.
    Take care
    Phil :)