Being Vegan In A Non-Vegan Home

{Thanksgiving Vegan Dinner 2015}
Being Vegan in a non-Vegan home can be challenging and I'm not going to lie to you. The people/person you live with will most likely not see eye to eye with you, when it comes to your cruelty-free lifestyle. They might even act like they understand and agree with your choice and then later on offer you everything under the sun that doesn't fit with your beliefs... I know the struggle and the pain it can be to just get the people you live with to accept/respect your lifestyle change, even if they don't understand/agree.

I am in your shoes right now, being a Vegan in a non-Vegan household... Here is my story!

I decided to go back to the non meat lifestyle back in October 2015, when one day after cooking/eating dinner... Chicken, rice and broccoli to be exact, I didn't feel the same. Months prior to this I remember always telling myself, I really need to cut out meat again. I think it was really my body giving me signs and thought that I didn't need it. So with this meal in October and eating my chicken I remember telling my boyfriend who was also at the table with me eating, that this chicken didn't taste the same and I'm not liking it and I just can't eat it. He must of thought I was getting sick or just plane out crazy because he thought it was great. This was the time I new my run with eating meat had come to an end... again, because out of all of the animal meats chicken was my favorite and since that day I haven't had any animal meat. Your probably thinking this sounds like a vegetarian lifestyle and not a vegan one. Well that's because dairy is something I already didn't consume (unless I cheated myself). I'm lactose intolerant and dairy makes me feel like shit physically and emotionally and it starts up my eczema. Ever since being really true to myself and not agreeing to accept the consequences of having dairy has my eczema been under control and I haven't broken out. I really think that tells a lot! 

So that's my transformation into veganism again and let's get into my living situation.

As of right now I live with my boyfriend and his dad and it has been like that for 4 years now. When it comes to food, eating and cooking, comes down to either pops or myself that's making meals for the house. Since turning vegan, none of that has changed. I was very upfront from the beginning and told everyone I was now vegan. I of course had to explain what it was, since a lot of people don't know what it is and only really know Vegetarianism. I was okay with that but the one part that really alarmed me was when people asked, "so what do you eat then". Like there was nothing left to eat if you cut out animal meat and dairy. This is a really big awakening, for me and our society because if a person is only seeing meat and dairy as food, those same people are not getting fruits, vegetables, grains and nut in their everyday diets or at the least not enough... Thank about that! 

Shopping: I do a lot of the grocery shopping as it is, so I can buy anything I want to eat. In my area of living they don't really cater to Vegans (I live next to some farmers) Probably one of the reasons I really miss San Francisco. But the plus side to that is I don't consumer so much processed vegan foods. So my tip is by your basics and look up creative simple recipes to make. You can get a huge bag of rice for $9 that will last you months and beans are also very cheap. Remember veganism is suppose to be simple, so don't over complicate it with buying expensive products and over thinking.

Cooking: If you don't know how to cook, now is your time to learn. Because vegan cooking is basic cooking and there is no excuse if you can't boil water. When I cook I make two separate meals, one for my meat eating family and a Vegan version for myself. It can get overwhelming but that's my way of supporting there lifestyle even though I know longer believe it. They give like 30%  when it comes to cooking vegan for me. So I just will eat the rice and vegetables. PS: Meat smells so nasty to me now

Bullying: I don't force or preach veganism to anyone because I wouldn't want the same thing done to me. But it doesn't workout that way! I still get offered meat products and meals even though I said 1,000+ times I'm vegan or even get joked at when I'm having my vegetables based meals. I just brush everything off and remind myself of people's ignorance. But it can really hurt when it's someone your close to and love and their just not fully getting it. But never give up, in this society and culture people really stand behind there meats and thinking your just going through a faze.

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- Cortney