How We Handle Non-Vegan Guests
Plenty of homes have practices that might seem strange to guests. Some don’t allow shoes inside for cultural or religious reasons or just cleanliness purposes. Some don’t allow a couple who isn’t married to sleep in the same room for traditional purposes. When you visit someone else’s home, you respect these practices. Enforcing a strictly vegan household is becoming more common, but it’s still foreign to many people. Regardless, if your host requests that you not bring animal products inside, you’d respect their wishes the same as you would any other request, right?
When non-vegans come over, we do our best to provide as many options as possible, to replace what they would normally want and so they do not feel deprived. We buy flavored creamer for coffee (that’s of course made from nuts), and we buy snacks and drinks and whatever we can. We have people over for vegan feasts and such so they can see how delicious the alternatives can be! A lot of our guests have been pleasantly surprised at the meat and dairy alternatives we’ve served. We also bought a refrigerator for our garage, and people can put any non-vegan food in it if they wish. We want to be reasonable and respect the choices of others while still keeping a vegan household. We ask that they don’t use the microwave, oven, our flatware, or our dinnerware. We have paper and plastic options for eating. It's not extremely environmentally friendly, but it's what we've chosen to do under the circumstances.
Honestly, most people get it, even if it's a little weird at first. I have certainly been asked the question: "Well, what if people wouldn't let you have vegan food in their house?" While I appreciate the hypothetical, it's completely unrealistic. Just like the "What if you were stranded on a deserted island?" question. It will never happen. Omnivores are not morally opposed to consuming fruits, vegetables, grains, or legumes. We are never going to find ourselves in the "if the roles were reversed" situation. But, let's say we do find ourselves in that situation, for argument's sake. Let's say we're invited over to a place where we're told there will be no fruits or vegetables because "plants feel pain" and the host is morally opposed to consuming them. Weird, sure, but the solution is probably the same solution we've used when we've undoubtedly found ourselves in a situation where there's not going to be anything for us to eat and where we can't bring our own food: eat before or after. That's it. No fighting or fussing. If anything, bitch about it later to a friend. :) The reason this sounds so ridiculous is because it is; this will NEVER happen. And, in reality, an omnivore could eat anything in a vegan home but it does not work the other way. So it's silly. The bottom line is we prepare people in advance and we do our best not to put them out. It's our house and this is how we've decided to run it. Don't be afraid to stick to it!
In my next post, I'll write about what it was like to find out I was 39 and pregnant for the very first time!