VWPA Advice 033: Setting Boundaries in a Vegan Home

How do I set boundaries for maintaining a vegan household?

I live on my own and make sure everything in my home is vegan. I have a family member visiting, who is a carnist but extremely supportive and understanding of my veganism. He enjoys vegan food and eats my cooking happily but often brings dairy products and eggs into my home to make for himself. Is it reasonable to be a little bothered by that and not want them in my home?

How should I deal with things like this?

– Morgan

Nichole

It’s totally reasonable to be bothered by someone bringing animal products into your home. I’m wondering if he even asked you first? Regardless, it’s ok for your boundaries around your veganism to change, and it’s ok for you to have some firm limits when it comes to your personal space.

I recommend having a clear and simple chat with him, let him know that you love when he visits and you appreciate what a good ally he is, but that you’ve been bothered by having animal products in your home and you’d appreciate if he didn’t bring them in anymore while he’s visiting.

A good analogy you can draw here is either smoking, or being kosher. Most people don’t just light up in someone’s home without asking, and people usually respect those who keep kosher homes. You can draw a comparison to either (or both!) examples, and then let him know that you think animal products are gross (i.e., smoking) and they go against your beliefs (i.e., Judaism). I haven’t talked to many people who aren’t understanding after hearing those two analogies, even if they still don’t like it, they feel like they can understand and respect it.

In the future, before your guests arrive, lay the grounds rules while they are planning their visit so you don’t have to have an awkward talk once they are already in the house. Make sure to cover your policy for takeout and restaurant leftovers, as well as groceries.

Good luck!

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