I Want to Kick My In-Laws... - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-18-2016, 10:58 AM
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I Want to Kick My In-Laws...

...but that wouldn't be very kind of me so I won't. But the entire situation from yesterday was frustrating. Let me explain.

My "mother in law" on Deyna's side (as opposed to Steve's mom, who is bloody awesome) is coming to stay with us next Monday. She's bringing her daughter here, they normally live in Maryland. Apparently, her daughter (who is 20) is a super picky eater who probably won't like anything I cook that has whole vegetables in it, which is most of what I cook, and they're demanding that I allow them to buy dairy milk and kraft mac n' cheese boxes and bring them into my home in case they don't like my cooking. I have a severe dairy allergy, as lack of exposure to dairy seems to have made it worse than it was when I was trying to eat it all the time, and even mild cross contamination can give me terrible cramps. My husband has celiac's, and even mild cross contamination of gluten debris on the pots can make him sick. These products are a nightmare for 2/3 people in the house.

When we explained this to them, they said we were being overly sensitive, and that we were full of it when we talk about contamination. I don't want it in my house at all as a vegan anyhow, no matter who's money is paying for it. I somewhat settled on a compromise that if they bought the microwave containers and plastic silverware that I would grudgingly allow it, but then they insisted that if we decided to treat them out to eat that we would have to let them get meat, even on our dime.

This is extremely frustrating and I don't know what to do. When I said they'd have to pay for meat themselves, they said I was forcing my ideals on them and that if I treat I should pay for anything.

Any suggestions?
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#2 Old 04-18-2016, 11:35 AM
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What do the other two people in the house have to say about this visit? Have you as a group made any agreements on how such visits should be managed or what the ground rules are?

How is Denya managing with communicating the house's collective issues with her family visit? Did s/he invite them and did s/he ensure that there were some ground rules laid down in the first instance with them, that were compatible with the whole house's needs/wishes?

Is there a way you could address these kinds of matters before they present themselves in future. Sorry if I'm asking too many questions, just trying to get an idea of how your house runs.
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#3 Old 04-18-2016, 11:37 AM
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Thats ridiculous! Im sorry you have to deal with that! Its your house, you totally have a say in what you want in there and if you or your husband have a chance of getting sick because of their selfishness, thats not ok! Im sorry they cant understand that! Sorry if this isnt very helpful lol but im frustrated for you.

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#4 Old 04-18-2016, 11:39 AM
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What do the other two people in the house have to say about this visit? Have you as a group made any agreements on how such visits should be managed or what the ground rules are?

How is Denya managing with communicating the house's collective issues with her family visit? Did s/he invite them and did s/he ensure that there were some ground rules laid down in the first instance with them, that were compatible with the whole house's needs/wishes?

Is there a way you could address these kinds of matters before they present themselves in future. Sorry if I'm asking too many questions, just trying to get an idea of how your house runs.
He did talk to us a bit about them coming out here, they brought up the food issue at the last minute. We've had other omnivores over and none of them have objected to our rules and dietary limitations quite like his mother and sister. We told them no meat, dairy, eggs, or honey was allowed in our house and at first they agreed, and then yesterday all the drama flared up because I guess his sister expressed concern and his mother went off the deep end.

The omnivorous food is meant to be a safety blanket because they're afraid they'll hate our food. They knew about my allergy and don't believe it's as severe as we make it out, and they don't believe celiac's exists at all as far as i can tell. Basically their position is that we're being too extreme.
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#5 Old 04-18-2016, 11:48 AM
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He did talk to us a bit about them coming out here, they brought up the food issue at the last minute. ... Basically their position is that we're being too extreme.
What's his position? Who's he supporting in this matter? You and your husband or his mother and his sister?

Ultimately as it's his family visit, I'd consider it up to him to manage the situation. If I were at risk of becoming ill, then I'd expect anyone who might have visitors to inform them that they cannot bring allergens into the house. They get to choose whether to come to your house on your terms or not.

I'm unsure of the nature of your relationship, is Deyna a mutual partner in a threesome relationship, or is he a lodger? What's the power balance?

I simply don't allow anything in my home that I don't want. I guess it gets more complicated the more people involved.
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#6 Old 04-18-2016, 11:53 AM
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What's his position? Who's he supporting in this matter? You and your husband or his mother and his sister?

Ultimately as it's his family visit, I'd consider it up to him to manage the situation. If I were at risk of becoming ill, then I'd expect anyone who might have visitors to inform them that they cannot bring allergens into the house. They get to choose whether to come to your house on your terms or not.

I'm unsure of the nature of your relationship, is Deyna a mutual partner in a threesome relationship, or is he a lodger? What's the power balance?

I simply don't allow anything in my home that I don't want. I guess it gets more complicated the more people involved.
Deyna is a mutual partner in a polyamorous threesome, yes. That's one of the reason I referred to his mother and sister as in-laws, thank you for picking up on that. I'm usually relatively quiet about my lifestyle because all the judgement in the world, you know?

He's vegan also, just not an ethical vegan. He had issues with it but felt divided between his girl and his mother. He really wanted to see her and the stubbornness caused him a great deal of stress. I want to meet her too and it's their first time ever meeting me, my husband, or seeing our house. They made it into a make or break situation at the last minute, making the tensions even higher. The microwave compromise settles the allergen issue, but doesn't necessarily help the refusal to go to a veg-vegan restaurant and the insistence that if we treat them to food we have to pay for meat and just accept that.
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#7 Old 04-18-2016, 12:28 PM
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Yeh, as a mutual partner you would indeed want to befriend his family if at all possible.

I wonder what his mum is trying to achieve in making these demands that you buy them meat? Does she know that Deyna isn't an ethical vegan (and as such would have no ethical reason to not buy them meat), but that you and your other guy are?

It's odd that this all kicked off at the last minute. People can be emotionally weird. If I were in your shoes, I'd be wondering if this were really some kind of psychological tug of war thing being played out. But that's me :-> I'd be careful of her.

If there were tensions and conflicts of interest arising, I'd also be seeking affirmative words and actions from my partner to indicate that his primary commitments were to my relationship with him. I could be open to polyamory, but not with a man's mother.

For now I'd allow Deyna to call the shots with his family. I'd step back from it, particularly as according to the in-laws you and your husband have already been cast as the problem makers with your weird fake allergies and illnesses.

If Deyna's OK with buying his mother and sister meat during this visit, then I'd let him make the decision do that and accept his decision as a group - this time (do you have any separate funds?).

Then you could discuss the situation afterwards, set down some ground rules about how these things should be approached and present a united front in the future. That'd be my approach anyway.
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#8 Old 04-18-2016, 04:52 PM
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If the daughter is 20 and not two, this is tremendous bull****, and that's all I have to say about that.
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#9 Old 04-18-2016, 04:54 PM
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Cancel the visit. Skype or FaceTime if you absolutely must, but you sure don't need these people in your house compromising your health and your house rules. I'm all for family harmony and unity, but when behavior is this appalling, then it's hardly worth going through what you must to have visitors only to have them ungrateful complainers. Seriously, some adults really need to grow up.
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#10 Old 04-18-2016, 05:32 PM
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I'm not into patronizing any family.
They're ADULTS for crying out loud, has no one explained that vegans go through not having things they like to eat all the time when they're visiting, or dining? That we often have to eat before restaurants, weddings, showers, holidays? How often bringing our own food so we CAN have something to eat as opposed to not liking what is offered brings ridicule?
How anyone be so rude when invited to anothers home is beyond my comprehension.
I'd have to say no, it's not alright, and I'm sure they'd feel more comfortable in a hotel
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#11 Old 04-18-2016, 05:38 PM
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What really gets me is that even if they bring things like those individual cups of mac and cheese where you just add water and microwave, do you really believe they're not going to complain? Yeah, I'd bet money they'll still complain and talk about how inhospitable you are- I don't see you getting the upper hand in this situation. they're both adults, not a child whose easier appeased than deal tantrums
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#12 Old 04-18-2016, 05:45 PM
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I'm not into patronizing any family.
They're ADULTS for crying out loud, has no one explained that vegans go through not having things they like to eat all the time when they're visiting, or dining? That we often have to eat before restaurants, weddings, showers, holidays? How often bringing our own food so we CAN have something to eat as opposed to not liking what is offered brings ridicule?
How anyone be so rude when invited to anothers home is beyond my comprehension.
I'd have to say no, it's not alright, and I'm sure they'd feel more comfortable in a hotel
The funny thing about that is that their excuse is the typical "your life choices are the reason you need to do these things, if you just sucked it up and ate the food when someone else was paying for it you wouldn't need to suffer. Your life choices shouldn't affect my diet."

They have the "we're the guests accommodate us, we'd accommodate you" bs going too...

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What really gets me is that even if they bring things like those individual cups of mac and cheese where you just add water and microwave, do you really believe they're not going to complain? Yeah, I'd bet money they'll still complain and talk about how inhospitable you are- I don't see you getting the upper hand in this situation. they're both adults, not a child whose easier appeased than deal tantrums
I don't know. His mother talks a lot of crap about us to his brother behind our backs, just like she talks crap about him to us. I don't know what to do. They certainly are acting like children. I hope to the gods they like the clone food menu I set up for the week...
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#13 Old 04-18-2016, 06:01 PM
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The funny thing about that is that their excuse is the typical "your life choices are the reason you need to do these things, if you just sucked it up and ate the food when someone else was paying for it you wouldn't need to suffer. Your life choices shouldn't affect my diet."

They have the "we're the guests accommodate us, we'd accommodate you" bs going too...



I don't know. His mother talks a lot of crap about us to his brother behind our backs, just like she talks crap about him to us. I don't know what to do. They certainly are acting like children. I hope to the gods they like the clone food menu I set up for the week...
I suspect the issues run deeper than the food. The mother in law is bringing her 20 year old to visit a polyamorous family, and that may be making her anxious.

That said, her son has to deal with this food situation. I would tell them to buy their own meal when you go out to eat if they insist on eating meat. (When I am a guest at someone's home, I treat them to a meal out, since they are doing so much by hosting me. Why do they expect you to buy their restaurant food, too, anyway?)

Personally, I would not put up with meat or milk in my kitchen, but I'm old and cranky and couldn't care less what people think for the most part.
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#14 Old 04-19-2016, 12:06 PM
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What if they just bring sandwiches would you guys allow that, might not be worth the fight.

If it is tell them they can eat out if they don't want to eat you food. It is awfully rude of them though. I personally would tell them they can stay at a hotel
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#15 Old 04-19-2016, 01:39 PM
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Sorry to hear about your problems , i agree with Poppy , to cancel the visit and get to know them via the net maybe later down the road things will change and they are willing to try Vegan friendly meals.
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#16 Old 04-19-2016, 03:34 PM
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What would @Aliakai suggest if this were someone else's dilemma?
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#17 Old 04-19-2016, 04:30 PM
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"If you don't like the food I am graciously providing and the rules of my home I am opening to you, then stay in a hotel and eat out on your own dime". Or better yet "My house, my money, my rules. Don't like it? Don't come!".
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#18 Old 04-20-2016, 02:04 AM
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I agree with some previous posters that this sounds like it's about more than the food. However the important thing to hang on to here is that at heart you probably all want Deyna to be happy - and it sounds like veganism (what a terribly awkward lifestyle choice! how do you live? how do you survive? etc etc) is what she's choosing to focus on as a 'problem'.

This is the first time you're all meeting so it's odd (and rude) that she would choose to be so combatative early on. She's constructed a (precarious) pedestal for herself and is meting out judgement and testing the limits and strengths of your relationship with Deyna.

I honestly hope that when she gets to know you and sees that Deyna is loved and happy that a lot of this will fall away.

As for the 20 year old picky eater - that sounds suspiciously like a red herring. Unless her daughter has some other issues around food (eating disorder, physical ailment, any condition that might make change difficult for her ...) I think most 20yr olds would simply chose to go to the local MacDonalds or similar and get a burger if they don't like the food on offer. If she were 10 years younger I'd have more sympathy (for her and mum) but at 20 ... really? You're really not able to cobble together something yourself? You're really not able to nip out and get something to eat?
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#19 Old 04-22-2016, 10:34 PM
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Meet them half way between Maryland and Washington in Omaha, at the restaurant Modern Love. That'll teach them.
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#20 Old 04-23-2016, 03:43 AM
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I feel your frustration!

I see this as a power play and the thin edge of the wedge. If this lady can push you around at the start, just wait - there are more surprises waiting in the wings.

Being agreeable to this bizarre demand is unlikely to change how she perceives you or your lifestyle. The other folks who pointed out that this really isn't about the food are correct. Chances are that she's going to go home and trash you and the other partner in the relationship as bad people who have tempted her fair headed boy into a life she disapproves of - and you can't control that either.

She's already shown you how she talks about others behind their backs and there's no reason to expect anything else where you are concerned. I'm sad to point out that you're living an unconventional lifestyle, and that comes with the disapproval of almost everyone, especially in-laws and other friends and family of you and your partners, unless you are very very lucky.

What you can control is what they bring into your home. You CAN object to meat and dairy and eggs, especially if you find plenty of local places where they can go and eat while they sulk and pout about your mean old vegan ways. Since you're providing healthy and good food at home, if they choose to go out to eat, that's on their dime too.

I was raised to eat almost anything to be polite. Now that I'm a vegan I bring my own food everywhere I go, so as to not place demands on hosts. (No reasonable host objects to vegetables. And if they did I'd either decline the invite, or find other places to eat in the neighborhood. Every trip involves an intensive research session before I go, just in case.)

I suggest laying out the ground rules and then refusing to discuss them beyond "but I'm providing perfectly good food here and I do not use my money to pay for animal products. This would be against my ethical standards. If you choose to go elsewhere because you are so rudely refusing the good food I have cooked for you, it's up to you to pay for it. Why? Because I'm neither a fool nor a weakling you can push around."

If you want to soften it you can add that you wanted so much to meet her and be friends, because you love her son and are so sure you'll love her too, once you get past this food thing. But it will do no good to entertain debates on the subject. Believe me, the more it gets talked about the worse the situation will become, and you CAN say "I'm simply not willing to discuss this food issue any further. We have found plenty of local resources for you if you will not break bread with us here at home, I've put a great deal of effort into this but beyond this we cannot go."

And you can quote me on that!!!

The thing is, there's nothing you can do to make this lady like you aside from being your own lovable self, and if you stand up firmly for yourself she may actually find herself respecting you for it. But if you let her force you to abandon your values, that would just give her more ammunition in the future.
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#21 Old 04-23-2016, 03:24 PM
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...but that wouldn't be very kind of me so I won't. But the entire situation from yesterday was frustrating. Let me explain.

My "mother in law" on Deyna's side (as opposed to Steve's mom, who is bloody awesome) is coming to stay with us next Monday. She's bringing her daughter here, they normally live in Maryland. Apparently, her daughter (who is 20) is a super picky eater who probably won't like anything I cook that has whole vegetables in it, which is most of what I cook, and they're demanding that I allow them to buy dairy milk and kraft mac n' cheese boxes and bring them into my home in case they don't like my cooking. I have a severe dairy allergy, as lack of exposure to dairy seems to have made it worse than it was when I was trying to eat it all the time, and even mild cross contamination can give me terrible cramps. My husband has celiac's, and even mild cross contamination of gluten debris on the pots can make him sick. These products are a nightmare for 2/3 people in the house.

When we explained this to them, they said we were being overly sensitive, and that we were full of it when we talk about contamination. I don't want it in my house at all as a vegan anyhow, no matter who's money is paying for it. I somewhat settled on a compromise that if they bought the microwave containers and plastic silverware that I would grudgingly allow it, but then they insisted that if we decided to treat them out to eat that we would have to let them get meat, even on our dime.

This is extremely frustrating and I don't know what to do. When I said they'd have to pay for meat themselves, they said I was forcing my ideals on them and that if I treat I should pay for anything.

Any suggestions?
It's your house....you are in charge.

What if they wanted to smoke in your house, and you didn't want them to?

Never compromise your principles.....you'll regret it.

THEY need to adjust to YOU. They should RESPECT you and your choices.

When we stopped eating meat, people that came over KNEW that they were not getting a meat or seafood dish. BBQ tofu sticks replaced BBQ chicken wings, etc. Nobody said anything, because we did not compromise and they had no other option. If they wanted a burger...get in your car and go get one. Hummus dip and veggies became normal, along with other "weird" veggie food.

Our whole extended family became veg*n / vegan, and my granddaughter LOVES all veggies and fruits. Her Mom says she'll never eat meat.

You only get one life....embrace it to the fullest, and don't violate your core principles.

All animals should be respected & should have the ability to lead a natural & enjoyable life. This means not eating them, or abusing them in any way.

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#22 Old 04-30-2016, 06:55 PM
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For everyone wondering how the trip went, she was demanding and rude almost the entire time, though I thought we had the food situation ironed out after the first day. I wrote a blog post about it, hopefully you guys can let me know what you think, but in the end she was entitled and I don't really want a relationship with her.

She left her purse at our house after she went to go stay with his brother and demanded we come home immediately to return it, even though we were almost 45 minutes away in the city running errands at a shop that closed shortly. They squatted in front of my house for several hours trying to guilt trip Deyna and I into coming home early, even after we had offered to let them know when we got home and possibly return the purse to her personally. All in all, she decided to disown him and I guess I'll never have to deal with her again.

At least I kept dairy from coming into my house.
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#23 Old 05-01-2016, 05:42 AM
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Aliakai - I'm so sorry to hear the visit didn't go well. It sounds like she'd already made up her mind to be difficult and wasn't going to make any effort to get along. There's really no helping a situation like that but I hope that you and Deyna are ok.
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#24 Old 05-01-2016, 08:59 AM
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For everyone wondering how the trip went, she was demanding and rude almost the entire time, though I thought we had the food situation ironed out after the first day. I wrote a blog post about it, hopefully you guys can let me know what you think, but in the end she was entitled and I don't really want a relationship with her.
Thank you for the update! I had no advice to give you, but I was following this conversation because we will all encounter disrespectful omnivores at some point. Your blog post has some great tips, it is informative, thanks for that work! Also, I am sorry to hear that it didn't go well no matter what you did or didn't do. I am glad that you stood strong with your principles, you should be proud, that was not an easy situation.
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#25 Old 05-01-2016, 11:26 PM
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Yeah I get that too... Non vegans complaining when vegans won't buy them animal products. Go figure.

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#26 Old 05-02-2016, 09:41 AM
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I guess I will be the one that everybody thinks is a trouble maker. ; ) If being around dairy literally makes you sick then I 100% agree with you. If you are allergic to cats you will not let someone bring one into your home. If you get sick from consuming dairy then I say deal with it for the short time they are there. As much as you don't like dairy and meet they probably feel the same way about your tastes. I know that travelling is really hard for me because I can't find food I like at an airport. Just because you live a certain way does not mean they should not be able to enjoy what they normally enjoy. I know I am going to get grief for this and I definitely sympathize with your situation but just trying to see the other side. How would you feel if you visited them and they would not allow you to buy veggie foods?
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#27 Old 05-02-2016, 09:51 AM
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I guess I will be the one that everybody thinks is a trouble maker. ; ) If being around dairy literally makes you sick then I 100% agree with you. If you are allergic to cats you will not let someone bring one into your home. If you get sick from consuming dairy then I say deal with it for the short time they are there. As much as you don't like dairy and meet they probably feel the same way about your tastes. I know that travelling is really hard for me because I can't find food I like at an airport. Just because you live a certain way does not mean they should not be able to enjoy what they normally enjoy. I know I am going to get grief for this and I definitely sympathize with your situation but just trying to see the other side. How would you feel if you visited them and they would not allow you to buy veggie foods?
I see what you are saying, but refusing meat in the house is different than an omni refusing veggie food (which makes no sense anyway, unless they are eating only meat, dairy, and eggs with no fruits, veggies, or grains.) They eat veggie food all the time, we do not eat animal parts or secretions.

I have a vegan kitchen, none of us are allergic to milk or eggs or meat or honey, but that doesn't mean I would allow people to bring that stuff in. They can eat my food as my guests, or go drive through McDonalds and eat it in their car.
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#28 Old 05-02-2016, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by ocrob37 View Post
I guess I will be the one that everybody thinks is a trouble maker. ; ) If being around dairy literally makes you sick then I 100% agree with you. If you are allergic to cats you will not let someone bring one into your home. If you get sick from consuming dairy then I say deal with it for the short time they are there. As much as you don't like dairy and meet they probably feel the same way about your tastes. I know that travelling is really hard for me because I can't find food I like at an airport. Just because you live a certain way does not mean they should not be able to enjoy what they normally enjoy. I know I am going to get grief for this and I definitely sympathize with your situation but just trying to see the other side. How would you feel if you visited them and they would not allow you to buy veggie foods?
There would be no reason for them not to allow me to buy veggie foods. If they had allergies and I was staying with them, I wouldn't bring allergens into their homes either, and if I felt I must consume them, would take a cab if need be and eat them outside of the house. What happened was disrespectful to me AND my husband on health (we both have allergies), moral (we're both vegan), and religious grounds (we're both pagan and believe harm none extends to animals). Even after explaining that, they continued to insist on their way. It was abusive, plain and simple. We offered to let them get a hotel and they wanted to stay with us, even knowing our rules WELL ahead of time, they just tried to change them and we were having none of it.

I shouldn't have to tolerate that kind of BS in my space.
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#29 Old 05-02-2016, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocrob37 View Post
I guess I will be the one that everybody thinks is a trouble maker. ; ) If being around dairy literally makes you sick then I 100% agree with you. If you are allergic to cats you will not let someone bring one into your home. If you get sick from consuming dairy then I say deal with it for the short time they are there. As much as you don't like dairy and meet they probably feel the same way about your tastes. I know that travelling is really hard for me because I can't find food I like at an airport. Just because you live a certain way does not mean they should not be able to enjoy what they normally enjoy. I know I am going to get grief for this and I definitely sympathize with your situation but just trying to see the other side. How would you feel if you visited them and they would not allow you to buy veggie foods?
Curious if you'd have the same opinion if her mate were kosher or Muslim, and the visitors insisted on bringing pork, or asking for it to be paid for if eaten out?
The only way I could the reverse being a comparison would be if the refrigerator were to be filled with raw veggies. Or even in a paleo house demanding to bring seitan. In all my time here I've only known vegans to talk about bringing tupperware containers to heat, maybe requesting that butter not be used. I've never known a true carnivore
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#30 Old 05-02-2016, 05:08 PM
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Aliakai, how is Deyna holding up? What a miserable experience that had to be, and I'm thinking pretty much devastating for him. At least people who are upfront mean, in a way you can see coming for miles, you know where you stand and what you need to do.
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Last edited by Joan Kennedy; 05-02-2016 at 05:19 PM.
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