Finding Harmony in Mixed Households
Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, 30 Day Vegan Challenge
Other people! Especially the ones you choose to live with!
Day 25 is the one issue I find the hardest. I hate the sight of it in my fridge. I hate the smell of it cooking in my house. I hate spending our money on it. To be honest, in 20 years of being together I have never faced a situation like this.
We are both fairly independently minded people and have always had a ‘you do your thing and I’ll do my thing’ approach to the relationship. Most of our key values line up. There were a few things we have each had to adjust to, but for the really important stuff we have always been on the same page … until now.
“You know I am never going to go vegan, right?”
“You don’t know that.”
But in the following silence I can hear her thoughts. It is too big an ask. Getting a Scott to ever contemplate a vegetable as relevant to civilisation is mission impossible.
For many, many years we have taken care of our own food. It was a culinary necessity unless I wanted to live on Shepard’s pie and macaroni and cheese for the rest of my life. When we have people I do most of the cooking and menu planning. This has worked fine for us because our food choices were based on a system of personal preferences. Suddenly, this system is no longer working for me. I have finally woken up to the fact that the food on my plate is not about me; there are victims and every time we spend our money and bring it into our home we are complicit in a system of exploitation and selfishness so horrible words could never do it justice. I am so ashamed of myself for all the years I resisted looking at the situation.
As Colleen points out in Day 25, I want to draw the line at my front door, yet I don’t control that line without cooperation. The only line I have is myself. Yet, it’s my home too. I feel stuck in a no win situation. Colleen’s husband may have been able to let it go that easily, but the issues I face are more deep rooted in needs I understand and have always been able to accommodate because it cost me nothing important … until now.
At the beginning of this project last June, I gave myself a year, but I already know the answer. I am vegan. I will live vegan for the rest of my life. Yet, in terms of the issue for Day 25 I plan to honour the original timetable because come June we are going to have to have a difficult conversation, perhaps one of the toughest in our 20 year relationship.