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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
my wife and i share a house with another couple (i'll call them lulu and penelope) we are vegan they are not.<br><br><br><br>
our veganism is kind of how we met (lulu works for us at our vegan business) and it has not been an issue until about a month after we moved in. lulu and penelope have their own kitchen in their space downstairs, but they eat more meat than they said they did in our original negotiations... so odor became an issue as our bedroom is right above their kitchen and our common stairwell opens up directly into our living space. my wife and i solved this by purchasing a large ionizer, moving its location throughout the day and by burning sage and by boiling cinnamon sticks.<br><br><br><br>
we thought everything was pretty much ok until a few days later when lulu and penelope came upstairs upset, wanting to talk about their meat cooking... they felt self conscious... we tried to explain that we weren't judging their choices... we just didn't want to smell the result of them. i thought the conversation went well, that things were ok.<br><br><br><br>
until, a couple of weeks ago... when at work at our vegan business lulu started bashing veganism, because stephen brynes says its unhealthy and bad for the enviornment and because soy is bad and because chinese medicine says you should eat meat and a million other reasons.. i felt really attacked and hurt but tried to stay calm because we were at work and there was another person present so i smoothed things over as well as i could. later that night i wrote lulu a note telling her that i was upset, and what i thought of our conversation....and her information i told her that while i respect her right to eat meat, i don't agree with her information. at all.<br><br><br><br>
so, we have a long emotional phone conversation the next day, we're both pissed off, hurt and sad. we try to listen to eachother (i think) a lot is said, we still disagree, but we tone it down and try to move on.<br><br><br><br>
things around the house are weird for a bit, and are still a tiny bit funky but are improving. we're all behaving. we resume talking about our new years party, the one we decided to throw before any of this mess hit.<br><br><br><br>
we get to talking about food... lulu says shes fine with everythingbeing vegetarian (the party will take place upstairs in our space) we say that cheese and egg containing stuff is ok as long as its precooked and not too pungent. no problem, all is well...<br><br><br><br>
until penelope mentions to my wife that a friend is very disapointed that she can't bring her shrimp something or other that she always brings... she was thinking of telling her friend to bring it but to leave it downstairs ... my wife (remembering thanksgiving when everone got all weird and kept sneaking downstairs to eat cheese because they thought they couldn't do it upstairs) said it was ok to bring the shrimp something or other..... she didn't want to add to the rift, didn't want the party to get funky energy..<br><br><br><br>
i think my wife said the right thing for the situation, but i'm worried about future interactions and how to honestly communicate with these friends without further alienating them.<br><br><br><br>
overall, these are good people.. i think our similairities overpower our differences, they generally have good nrgy and are ethical, intelligent and sensetive. we like them and respect them very much in general, but we don't want to smell meat cooking constantly, don't want to get bashed with disinformation. we didn't know that they plan their meals from the sally fallon cookbook before moving in... but to their credit they do buy the "most healthy and ethical" meat and meatproducts possible.... i think our veganism kicks up any doubt they have about their decisions... i feel for their conflict, but i don't want anymore drama.<br><br><br><br>
does anyone have any advice about how we can create a mutually respectful dialogue around this topic (ongoing negotiations will probably be necessary as entertaining is sometimes mutually done and this spring cooking out on our deck will probably be an issue)<br><br><br><br>
sorry about the epic post, thanks for reading it!<br><br><br><br>
m
 

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I don't think you can dictate how other people eat unless they are living in your house and you are supporting them (i.e. your children, a couch surfing friend). While I agree that I do not like meat around and don't like having to smell it etc... the people who rent the other apartment in our house (we don't own the house, we rent half, they rent half) cook meat, and sometimes our house smells like their dinners, and it's just part of not having your own space. If they are paying for their living space, I don't think it is fair to tell them what they can and cannot eat in their own home. How would you feel if they did not like the smell of onions and garlic and so they said you need to stop cooking it? From the tone that you've expressed that is currently in your relationship with these people, it is probably in your best interest to find separate living situations or you are going to end up not being friends anymore. If you cannot afford to maintain separate homes, then you just need to grin and bear it, or install exhaust fans or something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for your reply rabid child, but i think you misunderstood my post.. i don't think i have the right to tell my housemates what to eat (or not eat) i was looking for advice about how to negotiate our mutual space... trying to trouble shoot the realities of a shared household...<br><br><br><br>
anyway, happy holidays everyone!<br><br><br><br>
m
 

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hey there, m.<br><br><br><br>
i just only have a minute, but wanted to quickly reply. i think that until the next time 'comes', try not to worry. this situation has ironed itself out (assuming the party goes well), and the confrontation was pleasant enough.<br><br>
you describe them as good people, among other positive adjectives, and from that, i cannot imagine this erupting into anything.<br><br>
not saying it's you, but sometimes people forget that, for example, being a vegetarian or vegan in a non-strictly-veg place is irritating, but they might feel as though they are walking on eggshells, because they don't want to 'offend' you... outbursts might be a result of that, because they are weary of being so careful.<br><br>
next time it comes up, just see what happens - you might both be pleasantly surprised.<br><br>
sorry i'm not much help. have a great holiday!
 

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renting to an employee is like dating her-- I think that being her boss is really a problem. She told you she eats meat-- it should not matter how much. If you want to rent to vegans-- then do that-- you have rented to a meat eater, and as a renter she has rights-- once you accepted she was a meat eater-- it dosent matter how much-- you took the whole package. This would be like me a non-smoker renting to someone who says they smoke "occasionally." When that occasionally becomes "all the time" you still let the vampire in. As an employer, you really are overstepping your bounds in this bid to control her behavior.<br><br><br><br>
How to negotiate is to let them occasionaly stink up your house. Negotiations do not always go to your side. If they are "occasionally" smelling your place up, that is all you can ask. You might try to invest in a massive fume hood for their stove if you own the place. I'm sure they know the place smells like pork chops they just dont see it as a bad smell.
 

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It sounds like an awkward situation all around. I imagine renting space with an employee is potentially difficult in and of itself (and not something I would ever advise doing!) Then add the different food issues and that further complicates things.<br><br><br><br>
I imagine you've concluded that you would only live with vegetarians in the future? Is there some way to end the renting situation and still keep them as employees and friends? Explaining to them that the fumes are just not a tolerable situation - ya know nothing personal, but....? Are you able to move?
 
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