Meat-eating family wants to bring meat to my house... - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-20-2014, 06:09 PM
 
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Hi,

 

I have a question about people who want to bring meat over to your house. I am very lucky to have a vegetarian husband. We are raising our children vegetarian as well. My son is 19 months and I have another on the way. We have both decided that we want our house to be meat-free. My problem is that when I invite my dad, mom and siblings over for dinner, my brother insists on bringing meat over. My father also makes clear that he thinks I am being ridiculous to not want them to bring meat. This seems extremely rude to me. Is it really so hard to go one single meal without meat? I have told my brother that I will make him any vegetarian dish he wants, he just cannot bring meat over.

 

My family knows that my choice to be vegetarian is an ethical decision. You would not bring pork to a Jewish person's house because that would be extremely rude! However, my dad and brother think I am rude to not let them eat what they like. Has anyone else had this problem? Also, any advice for dealing with it?

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#2 Old 04-20-2014, 06:50 PM
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What a horrible situation.  Your house, your rules and they should respect that instead of wanting to bring meat into the house.

 

How would they react if you said ''eat veggie or don't come here''?  I know it sounds harsh (you would obviously phrase it in a more subtle way) but perhaps that's what is needed.

 

I've not had to deal with this so I'm not much use :-(

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#3 Old 04-20-2014, 09:05 PM
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I have a no dead animal policy, and I tell people that if I am in a position where other people may bring dead animals into my house.

If someone questions me I tell them if they cannot go without meat, they need not come at all.

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#4 Old 04-20-2014, 10:48 PM
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Personally I wouldn't cook meat but I wouldn't cause much drama if someone wanted insisted on bring meat. But I think the situation is a bit different with kids, in that cause you don't want them to think there is something wrong with how their family eats so in this case I think I would insist on no meat.

But seriously, why do so many people feel compelled to eat meat for every meal? Its so strange....
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#5 Old 04-21-2014, 05:10 AM
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   I wouldn't want that. And it really shouldn't be a big deal for them to accept that, whether they agree or not it isn't a big deal. 

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#6 Old 04-21-2014, 05:54 AM
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 It is your house weather they are family or not. They need to respect you are not come. If I did not do something I would not make exception for anyone. 

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#7 Old 04-21-2014, 06:46 AM
 
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Thanks for the replies. I told them last night that they were not to bring meat. They were planning to bring dead pig (The worst possible meat they could bring. SO GROSS). Well, they threw a big fit, and now we are going to my parents, rather than them coming here. It's so stupid! I really don't understand that someone can't go without meat for one single meal. I think it has more to do with them being angry that they think I am imposing my ethics on them. I don't have this problem with anyone else. My husband's family are big meat eaters too, but I have never had to tell them they can't bring meat. They just assume it is common courtesy not to bring meat to a vegetarian's house.

 

Now it seems any time we want to see my parents, my husband and I will have to truck our children over an hour away instead of them ever coming here. Oh well I guess.....

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#8 Old 04-21-2014, 08:00 AM
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Maybe they'll lighten up in time :/

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#9 Old 04-29-2014, 09:07 AM
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Wow, they sound pretty angry about something in life. I'm sorry they're so unreasonable!
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#10 Old 04-30-2014, 07:18 AM
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I don't know what kind of relationship you have with your brother and parents, but you might try sitting them down and explaining to them why having a vegan house is important to you and that you ask them to respect that. I did something similar recently. I was preparing for a vacation where I knew I would be spending time with my parents and brother. They don't support my being vegan and are heavy meat-eaters. In the past, they have given me hell when we were dining out, so much so that I caved in many times and ate dairy just to get them off my back.

 

Before this trip, I explained to both my brother and my parents how important being vegan is to me (without bringing in arguments about animal kindness and the like, or anything that might put them on the defense). It was kind of a "there are no negotiations here" situation. I made it clear to them that I expected them to honor and respect my food choices as much as I respected theirs. I asked them not to tease me about it or to argue with me about it and in return, I would take care of myself in restaurants (since it was a sure bet that I couldn't rely on them to choose vegan-friendly places).

 

While I did get some initial teasing from my brother on the first day, after that, they were all respectful of my choices and didn't bother me about them.

 

So sometimes just sitting down and being firm with a "no negotiation" attitude but also fair and respectful can help.

 

Djuna

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#11 Old 04-30-2014, 07:37 AM
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Djuna, I love your approach, this is awesome.

 

A discussion such as this might also include the phrase, "No amount of teasing or  harassing is going to make me change my diet - it's a waste of time.  In fact, that behavior will only serve to create tension and ruin the occasion for all of us.  Is that what you want?" 

 

Unfortunately, it sounds like the OP's family are trying *really* hard to control the whole situation in a hardcore way.  I wonder if they might relent a little if they end up seeing their grandchildren a bit less...  I mean, it's an hour drive, and with the cost of gas and everything...  Seems only natural that Mom and Dad would not make that drive too often.  (I'm not advocating being passive aggressive - it really does seem a natural outcome, to me.)

 

It also makes you wonder, if the doctor said the kids had a pork allergy or something, would Grandma and Grandpa *still* try to insist on bringing it into the house?

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#12 Old 05-01-2014, 05:08 PM
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Do not cave in.  If someone brings meat into your house, take the dish outside and set it on the lawn.  Tell them they can pick it up on their way home.  It is your house.  You do not allow dead animal bodies in your house.

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#13 Old 05-07-2014, 10:38 AM
 
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I understand completely.  I am a vegan but my partner is a militant carnist and thinks that a meal is not complete without meat.  His grocery bill for 3 days is the same as mine and my daughter's for a whole week.  I have just accepted the fact that for now I live in a non-vegan world and that meat and animal produce is culturally encouraged and pushed on people` It's going to take years to break the conditioning.  However I can't help but feel that your Father and Brother are doing this just to be difficult.  I know it's easier said than done but you need to stand your ground.  Say it's your house and your rules, and that you don't feel comfortable having meat in the house.  I know it can be extremelu difficult standing up to people we care about, as we want them around regardless and what you do is up to you.

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#14 Old 05-07-2014, 10:59 AM
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It sounds like a simple cut-and-dried question with only one right answer. It has a lot to do with respect. But along the lines of respect it also has to do with your status, the pecking order within your family of origin. If your status is junior to that of another member, you are expected to defer to that person if the two of you disagree. If they are junior to you, they are expected to defer to you. It sounds like a power struggle between you and your brother. As in, maybe he's older but you've reached some milestones in your life that he hasn't, so you're jockeying for position. Or maybe you're older, but he's gaining status by siding with your parents against you in this dispute. Not consciously, necessarily, but maybe in the back of both your minds?

 

Think of the difference in the way you deal with friendships you pursue, versus friendships that pursue you. Like if they are part of your A-list while you are on their B-list but hoping to move up. Or if there's any difference in how you would host a co-worker in your home versus how you would host your boss. If your brother had a vegetarian boss who asked him over to his home for dinner, do you think your brother would bring meat to his boss's home? Of course he wouldn't. You've established your own household, and your own family of procreation, which sometimes raises a person's status within their family of origin. You're taking their meat rebellion as feedback that, no, you're still junior to them all and have to bend to their collective will. Your best recourse is to draw very clear lines on this, as others have suggested. If your family members are bullying you, which it sounds like they are, the feedback they need to get is that they'll be seeing a lot less of you unless they stop it and act like reasonable and respectful human beings.

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#15 Old 05-07-2014, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitty Bauer View Post
 

Thanks for the replies. I told them last night that they were not to bring meat. They were planning to bring dead pig (The worst possible meat they could bring. SO GROSS). Well, they threw a big fit, and now we are going to my parents, rather than them coming here. It's so stupid! I really don't understand that someone can't go without meat for one single meal. I think it has more to do with them being angry that they think I am imposing my ethics on them. I don't have this problem with anyone else. My husband's family are big meat eaters too, but I have never had to tell them they can't bring meat. They just assume it is common courtesy not to bring meat to a vegetarian's house.

 

Now it seems any time we want to see my parents, my husband and I will have to truck our children over an hour away instead of them ever coming here. Oh well I guess.....

You want to see these people?

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#16 Old 05-09-2014, 07:14 PM
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That sounds like a very annoying situation you were in. I really have never understood the whole must eat meat at every meal mentality. A lot of people legit think that a meal is not complete without an animal component. Its very mind baffling. Even when I was a meat eater I did not consume it at every meal. I didn't even eat it everyday. Hopefully your dad and bro cool there jets soon.. They need too stop worrying so much about the food. And embrace the family time.!!
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#17 Old 05-09-2014, 07:26 PM
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 I really have never understood the whole must eat meat at every meal mentality.

And the omnivores never seem to understand why you don't have to.

 

 

Would you go to a restaurant and dictate to an adult family member what they can and cannot eat?

 

I have the freedom to eat meat, and I have the freedom not to. I chose not to. Is it right that I impose my own personal choice on someone else just because they have entered my home? Should I view it as an opportunity to impose my will upon others?

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#18 Old 05-10-2014, 09:09 AM
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So for instance, if somebody wants to turn my house into an abattoir by bringing in a load of animals and slaughtering them, I should just let them?

 

And if somebody wants to come into my house and use my computer to issue racist messages, I should just let them?

 

Or if somebody wants to put up pro-foxhunting posters in my windows, I should just let them?

 

 

When somebody enters your house, they agree to follow your rules. If they choose not to follow your rules, they are also choosing not to enter your house.

 

The same also applies to the rules on VeggieBoards. If new members don't like the rules they've agreed to and, for example, want to disregard them and feel free to abuse other members, then they shouldn't have joined VeggieBoards in the first place.  

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#19 Old 05-10-2014, 09:13 AM
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When somebody enters your house, they agree to follow your rules. If they choose not to follow your rules, they are also choosing not to enter your house.

I totally agree with this.

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#20 Old 05-10-2014, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tree Trunks View Post
 

And the omnivores never seem to understand why you don't have to.

 

 

Would you go to a restaurant and dictate to an adult family member what they can and cannot eat?

 

I have the freedom to eat meat, and I have the freedom not to. I chose not to. Is it right that I impose my own personal choice on someone else just because they have entered my home? Should I view it as an opportunity to impose my will upon others?

 

I don't dictate what anyone eats at a restaurant--however the restaurant does, just as I do in my own home.

It is everyones right to dictate behaviors in their own home. Having ones own home does in fact give you the opportunity to impose your own rules.

My workplace has rules, every where I go I am expected to conform to rules that don't allow certain behaviors. If I don't like the rules, I don't go. 
If someone doesn't like the smell of something I would like to bring for example, I would expect to be told that, and I have no problem abiding by their rule.

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Originally Posted by leedsveg View Post
 

So for instance, if somebody wants to turn my house into an abattoir by bringing in a load of animals and slaughtering them, I should just let them?

 

And if somebody wants to come into my house and use my computer to issue racist messages, I should just let them?

 

Or if somebody wants to put up pro-foxhunting posters in my windows, I should just let them?

 

 

When somebody enters your house, they agree to follow your rules. If they choose not to follow your rules, they are also choosing not to enter your house.

 

The same also applies to the rules on VeggieBoards. If new members don't like the rules they've agreed to and, for example, want to disregard them and feel free to abuse other members, then they shouldn't have joined VeggieBoards in the first place.  

Exactly. 


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