neighbors' meat cooking smells invading my apartment - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-16-2005, 11:36 PM
 
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I'm hoping someone here can help me with a situation that's upsetting me. Every night this week (and off and on for a while before) I've come home and found my whole apartment permeated with the smell of cooking meat. I live alone and obviously am not cooking meat myself, but it is a small apartment in a poorly ventilated building, and people's cooking odors tend to drift into the hallways and the other apartments. I tell myself not to get upset about it, but it has a visceral effect on me, and I start feeling nauseated, claustrophobic and panicky when I walk in and notice the odor yet again.

Has anyone had this problem and figured out a good solution? The only way I've found to get rid of the smell is to open windows and turn on a fan, but this is a huge waste of heat energy during the winter. I've also been burning scented candles and spraying Febreze and even bathroom cleaner (only in the bathroom!) just to distract my nose and from the offending stimulus.



I'm sorry for this long, hysterical post. I was feeling upset and needed to vent. thank you.
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#2 Old 11-17-2005, 12:04 AM
 
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So move.
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#3 Old 11-17-2005, 12:07 AM
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Don't use Febreeze. It's nothing more then overpriced, animal-tested chemicals from the spawn of Satan.



To get rid of the smell - any smell - use 1 cup of white vinegar and spray it around the house. Try to get some peppermint essential oil and add 20 drops or so to the vinegar. It will smell weird for about 20 minutes, but then your place will just smell like peppermint; it's quite nice (although, I tend to crave candy canes afterwards). You can also place a few small jars of the mix around the house for ongoing smell absorption.
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#4 Old 11-17-2005, 12:07 AM
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#5 Old 11-17-2005, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by munchymkr View Post

So move.



Move where? A vegetarian commune? It's kinda hard to get away from your neighbours cooking meat.
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#6 Old 11-17-2005, 12:16 AM
 
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So move.



That is silly. I would have to be on some island to get away from this!
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#7 Old 11-17-2005, 12:24 AM
 
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Thank you for the responses. I'm not sure if I said something wrong, because some of them seem sort of hostile? I am planning to move, actually, for the reason above and others, but that doesn't happen instantaneously.



Freshtart, thank you for the advice about Febreze. I didn't know that it was animal-tested when I bought it, but that's no excuse - shame on me for not doing my homework.
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#8 Old 11-17-2005, 12:42 AM
 
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For what it's worth, I know how you feel, ursa. I dealt with it in my old place, and I still deal with it now. My roomie is an omni to boot, even though he doesn't cook meat here. We live in a duplex. Our old neighbor was apparently a bacon fiend (though I think there was more to the story, but that's a long story for another thread) and apparently the new tenants are also big-time meat cookers. Our place usually smells of bacon, fried chicken or beef.

My only sanctuary is my bedroom. I burn a lot of incense, and it sort of helps. I feel your pain, though. Hope you find a way to cope until you can get out of the situation.
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#9 Old 11-17-2005, 12:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ursa View Post

Thank you for the responses. I'm not sure if I said something wrong, because some of them seem sort of hostile? I am planning to move, actually, for the reason above and others, but that doesn't happen instantaneously.



Freshtart, thank you for the advice about Febreze. I didn't know that it was animal-tested when I bought it, but that's no excuse - shame on me for not doing my homework.



Paragraph 1 -- don't worry about it. We're always cranky.



Paragrahp 2 -- don't worry about it. None of us are perfect Use the FeBreeze until you get yourself a spray bottle and some white vinegar. Try it out, see if it works better, and (if it does) give the remaining febreeze to someone. If you don't like the vinegar and peppermint, you can console yourself that tried
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#10 Old 11-17-2005, 01:03 AM
 
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I agree FeBreeze



The hallway is always offensive smelling here but it never gets into my actual appartment. Roomate cooks meat, but never anything very offensive (like fish). Before I worked at a hospital kitchen I would seriously vomit if I smelled fish, but having to deal with the smell every Friday at the hospital I learned to stop letting it bother me so much.
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#11 Old 11-17-2005, 06:14 AM
 
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I have to cook dinner for my parents (who eat meat pretty much everyday) and yeah, it makes me sick sometimes, but I find it to work sometimes it to remember what good you're doing instead of focusing on the bad. Like say you walk into your apartment and the smell makes you sick, just remember you do not have that in your body, and you do not eat animals. It's all about what you can do, you can't control other people or make them stop controlling you (lol at my case) but you do have control over what YOU eat and what YOU cook ( since you're in your own apartment ) , so just remember that.

Also, there are these candles I love because my room is downstairs by the kithen and they are called Mainstay (brand) and whoa they really do the job at making it smell alot better. They come in a bunch of different scents, my favorite though is vanilla.
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#12 Old 11-17-2005, 06:36 AM
 
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I'd say it's time for a big ol' pot of cabbage soup!



Any other veggies that put out strong aromas when cooking?
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#13 Old 11-17-2005, 07:03 AM
 
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I know there is a homemade recipe somewhere online for a natural citrus spray. I'll post when I find it.
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#14 Old 11-17-2005, 07:41 AM
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Oi Vey,



It seems like everyone's missing the boat on this one.



You don't have to be reticent about confronting your neighbors, or your landlord about improving the situation in your apartment. You have every right, and a reasonable expectation of satisfactory living in any tenement. This includes proper ventilation.



I think you'll feel better if you do something about it, or at least try. If you do so, just realize that you may have limited results. But I think you'll feel better if you try.



I once had a noise situation in my apartment. Some vatos would go to pick up their daughter at their grandmother's apartment which was next to mine. They would never get out of their car and ring the doorbell like normal people, but would sit outside and honk the horn low-rider style for her to come out. (They would lean on the horn the whole time.) It was bad enough when they had a broken horn, but it became intollerable when they installed a brand new horn that was VERY LOUD!



So at first I went outside, and politely asked them to stop. They found this very amusing. I did it again, staying polite, and got some eye-rolling. I did it a third time, and realizing that I was going to always pester them about it the mother got out of the car and started cussing me out Hispanic style saying the F-word, every other sentence. ....Now I knew I was getting somewhere. Next time when they honked the horn, I called the police. The police got there pronto and heard this ridiculous woman pitching a fit over a simple request to not honk her horn. The officer calmed her down, and gave her a warning. He also told me about two ordinances making it a finable offense to honk ones horn in that manner. One was a $60 fine, for unwarranted noise. The other one was a more hefty $200 moving violation, for failing to use the horn as a safety device, which is by law the only thing it was intended for. He explained that she had been warned, and that if the problem continued, I should file a complaint.



...Ok, so this worked for a while. The crazy lady stopped honking her horn and started going to the door like a normal human being. It was all good. Until her retarded brain forgot, and then she started doing it again.



So when I went outside to resume our little "negotiations". It took all of my self control to not go ballistic. I gave the mother a "what's the deal" sign with my hands, to see if she'd forgotten our unspoken agreement. With her daughter in the car, she looked away without saying a word and drove off.



I realized that I was probably going to have to take her to court. I really had better things to do. But that's life. So before doing so, I did one last thing to ensure the Police would know that I was being totally reasonable. I went down to Radio Shack and bought a little remote doorbell chime that worked up to a 100 meters. The next time she came up, with her gazillion other kids in the car, I pranced out in the street like a little homo to propose my solution. I bent my knees down so that I was at eye level and politely said "Hey, I got this solution to show you." She was a little suspicious, but listened while I pulled the remote door buzzer out. I politely offered it to her, and explained that now she could notify her Daughter/Mother that she was there without getting out of the car, and at the same time not disturb the neighbors. ...She laughed, and so did her kids. But it was more of a polite laugh. She said, "You're crazy!", but not necessarily in a bad way, and I smiled back. But she then had the chutzpah to tell me that this solution was no good, because she had more than one car, and might not have it in the other car. She loaded her daughter in the car, and drove off.



Alright. I went down to the Police Station to file a complaint. I brought my little door buzzer, and explained how I had tried politely to improve the situation every way that I knew possible. I explained how an officer had warned her, and told me about the two ordinances, and that since the problem was continuing, I'd like to file a complaint. The cops were beside themselves. They were knee-slapping laughing in hysterics when I showed them the remote door buzzer. They started trying it out, and one of the officers when upstairs to the far side of the building while the other one rang it, curious to see if it would really work. ...It did. They had rarely seen anyone be so reasonable, and were used to breaking up fights over noise. They gladly helped me file the complaint, and I was on my way letting them deal with it.



The story doesn't end there. Suffice it to say, I had to show up in court to explain to the judge my side of the story. And the lady didn't show up, but her ancient father did, since the car was registered in his name. The judge had to get the daughters information from the father, and issued another warrant. I was told I'd have to appear in court one more time when the proper defendant was there, but accepted it as part of the process.



Magically, about two weeks later, the honking stopped. I never had to appear in court a second time. The lady chose to pay the fine, and modify her behavior. I slept the good sleep of the victorious and greatly enjoyed the outcome. I think the whole thing took about 2-3 months from the time I decided to do something about it.



My point is this. When she honked her horn, and I wasn't pursuing a solution, I felt like throwing a brick down onto the windshield of her car. My blood pressure spiked. But as soon as I started to do something, I felt better, and it was just a matter of time, and pursuing a solution that was reasonable.



I was always persistant, and always respectful. I didn't want her thinking I was trying to establish dominance or a pecking order. I was just looking to a solution to a problem. And I left it up to the authorities to make the final judgement in deciding what was the reasonable solution.



Anyways, I think you should GO talk to your townhall. That's what they're there for. Most have a department or office to handle Landlord/Tenant issues. They'll have helpful free advice, and tell you what the law will or won't do. There really might be some ordinance already that might help. Environmental Indoor Air Quality assessments run around $1500-$3000. The town may require "unknown odors" to have such a test, so the landlord should really want to do everything possible to resolve the situation and treat the problem seriously. (Don't tell them you're veg*n. They hate us. We want to give terrorists hugs. Instead tell them you're having a ventillation problem.)



I guess you're moving, but such problems are common everywhere, and I would encourage you to do it for the experience. Everyone should know how to use the system to resolve disputes. ...It may not work, but then still at least you tried.
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#15 Old 11-17-2005, 01:50 PM
 
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So move.





I don't think it's silly at all. The original post clearly said that it has something to do with the building being old having poor ventilation, and the smell lingering.



Moving into a space that has good ventilation would solve the problem of the long lingering odor.



I am not being hostile at all, just offering a good solution to the problem stated. Yikes.
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#16 Old 11-17-2005, 01:57 PM
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veganforhealth -- I think it's a bit unreasonable to ask people to stop cooking
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#17 Old 11-17-2005, 02:20 PM
 
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You can always ask your neighbor to go raw. j/k - = )
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#18 Old 11-17-2005, 02:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreshTart View Post

veganforhealth -- I think it's a bit unreasonable to ask people to stop cooking

I think veganforhealth was suggesting asking the landlord to fix the ventilation problems.





Quote:
Originally Posted by kentauros View Post


Any other veggies that put out strong aromas when cooking?

Onions, but not in a good way.
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#19 Old 11-17-2005, 04:28 PM
 
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It is not the neighbor's fault! It is not unreasonable (and dare I say expected?) that a person may cooks his or her meals. In most parts of the world, that would include meat. If you approach the neighbor about this, you will appear to be a raving nutcase. Heck, I'm vegan, and I'm going to support the neighbor's right to cook food in his own apartment.



If you want to complain to someone, complain to the landlord. Check the code as well, it may not be legal for apartments to share ventilation.
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#20 Old 11-17-2005, 09:39 PM
 
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Well, I don't know how to get rid of it, so no help there. But I do know how you feel. I had to stay in a hotel one night with my debate team where the grilling restraunt inside the hotel was grilling steak. I had a really hard time enjoying myself that night. And the bad part was that it was my sweet 16 birthday.



We also cooked steak in culinary arts today. the smell made me so sick, I really thought that I was going to throw up. Even after that class ended, I considered going home early, because I was still feeling sick. To help the sick feeling, however, I excused myself to go outside. I sat out on the loading deck for about 30 minutes, untill I had to go back inside. I still felt a little bit sick, but for the most part, I felt much better.
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#21 Old 11-17-2005, 10:31 PM
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veganforhealth -- I think it's a bit unreasonable to ask people to stop cooking



Har har har. ...I was kind of hoping she could get the landlord to break out the spackle and start patching holes. S/he could put an apron on the door so smell wouldn't come in that way.
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#22 Old 11-17-2005, 10:34 PM
 
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Das_nut, I don't think anyone's suggesting that people shouldn't be allowed to cook food, or suggesting that Ursa complain to the neighbor. All I saw was a suggestion that ursa talk to the landlord about fixing the ventilation. If the smells are really that strong, I think the ventilation ought to be fixed. I get an occasional whiff of meat cooking from my next-door neighbor and I ignore it, but if it were more than that, I'd sure as heck be in the landlord's office demanding a fix. You shouldn't have to smell your neighbor's stink all the time, no matter what it is.
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#23 Old 11-19-2005, 01:49 PM
 
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Thank you everyone; there are a lot of very helpful suggestions here. Although I'm sorry other people have had similar problems, it makes me feel better that I'm not alone (and not crazy or unreasonable for being bothered by it).



Freshtart, I'm going to try your method with the vinegar spray. I actually like the smell of vinegar (yes, I am weird) although I wouldn't ever have thought to combine it with peppermint. I will look for the candles and sprays others suggested as well - Thank you!



As far as complaining to someone about the situation, I will try to discuss it with my landlord. The building was actually converted to apartments relatively recently, maybe five or six years ago, so it is probably in compliance with health codes, but it would be worth trying to find out if there's something screwy about the ventilation beyond the thin walls and the fact that the units are just small and close together. I agree with Tesseract and others that it's not fair to ask the neighbors to stop cooking! Although I wish that everyone would eschew meat just because I do, at some level I still believe others have a right to cook and eat what they want.
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#24 Old 11-22-2005, 10:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeganForHealth View Post

Magically, about two weeks later, the honking stopped. I never had to appear in court a second time. The lady chose to pay the fine, and modify her behavior. I slept the good sleep of the victorious and greatly enjoyed the outcome. I think the whole thing took about 2-3 months from the time I decided to do something about it.



Heh, that's an awesome story. I'm sure she didn't know what hit her when she had to pay those fines. If she could have just been a little more courteous she would have avoided it. Some people have to learn the hard way. She'll probably think of you every time she honks that obnoxious horn, that is if she uses it at all anymore.
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#25 Old 11-22-2005, 11:27 PM
 
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People have the "right" to cook what they want.... but what if people wanted to cook dog right next door? (god the thought it almost too abhorrent to type).. it's interesting how people (omnis) find that thought so appalling (and i'm sure people would tyet don't flinch when it comes to cooking other dead carcasses. But anyway, I'm just kind of thinking outloud here... but then basically it just comes down to the concept of the law (since I think it's illegal to cook dogs in the US.. I sure hope so..).. but to me, I don't agree with a lot of government-determined laws, and don't necessarily follow everything to a T .. but basically it just seems like it's more than just what someone's right is, and I agree that it's pretty crappy that we have to smell other people's meat cooking... see, it should just be illegal
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#26 Old 11-23-2005, 01:14 AM
 
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I live in an apartment building where there are people cooking...various things.......... at all times.

My husband eats meat, so he cooks in here all the time. Which really doesn't bother me, whatever.... as long as I'm not eating it! Fish is the only thing that I find really offensive, and he never cooks it.

I would much prefer to not have to listen to the screaming baby, and the mother screaming at the screaming baby next door every morning......
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#27 Old 11-23-2005, 09:44 AM
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I have the same problem ursa. I don't know what to do about it. I do want to move to a vegan commune, well, not really a commune but a more ordinary community, and live with an extended family of vegans.



So, if there are any young vegans with young children who need a vegan "grandpa" to move in with them and help with the kids -- I am going to be 58 soon and I am in pretty good health and I would could easily see living out the rest of my years with a family, helping care for children and working part time. I'd love to live on a farm, or have a veganic garden, and I know veganic gardening and have lots of mechanical skills. http://materials.addr.com/nutcracker. One thing tho, I am allergic to animal dander and don't like living with pet mammals or pet birds. I'd love to help feed kids -- do a little of everything.
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#28 Old 11-23-2005, 10:30 AM
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Good time to Practace tolerance of others belifes and lifestyles.
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#29 Old 11-23-2005, 10:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreshTart View Post

Don't use Febreeze. It's nothing more then overpriced, animal-tested chemicals from the spawn of Satan.



To get rid of the smell - any smell - use 1 cup of white vinegar and spray it around the house. Try to get some peppermint essential oil and add 20 drops or so to the vinegar. It will smell weird for about 20 minutes, but then your place will just smell like peppermint; it's quite nice (although, I tend to crave candy canes afterwards). You can also place a few small jars of the mix around the house for ongoing smell absorption.



Yeah febreeeeze sucks, $5 a bottle christ crap! Take some nasty dog terds you find on a sidewalk, put it ina oven bag that wont burn, warm that sucker up. ... SEALED,... and then open it up near their doorstep
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#30 Old 11-23-2005, 10:58 AM
 
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Good time to Practace tolerance of others belifes and lifestyles.



I dont know how BAD this situation is, is it just the hallway? I know how it is, i would get ticked off if it was consistantly every day. Its hard to just say MOVE and own your own home etc, not all of us can do that. If its making YOUR apartment smell, i would complain to the management for the complex, just tell them your apt. smells smokey b/c of people cooking next door or something, if you tell them it smells like burn ham or beef, it would drive me nuts and all but "mangement" of those places may not care then. See what happens.
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