Most young people – and some older ones too – often have to live with roommates. Now, as a vegan roommate, this can pose some problems for you since there is a good chance that your cotenants are omnivores.
So, shared living space can get a little awkward if you aren’t careful.
Fortunately, there is a way for you and your non-vegan roommates to cohabit peacefully.
In fact, with a little help, you may be able to show your fellow lodgers the high points of being vegan as well.
So, if you are ready to do this, here is what you should consider.
Try and Find Vegan Roommates
As you can imagine, living with non-vegans will be a little easier if you aren’t alone.
This is why you should try to find at least one vegan – or vegetarian – roommate if possible.
Not only will you have an ally, but you can also be sure that your housemates will have been eased into a plant-based, cruelty-free lifestyle.
So, how can you find such a roommate? Well, social media is a great place to start.
In particular, check out some local vegan Facebook groups. Ask the members if they are aware of any vegans who are looking for roommates.
You can also ask friends, colleagues, or anyone else that you may know.
With a little bit of luck, you may not be the only vegan in their life.
At the very least, these individuals can spread the word, and you may just happen to find a vegan roommate this way.
Set Some Ground Rules
It is a good idea to tackle the topic of your diet and lifestyle right away.
People will then find it easier to accommodate you to a certain degree.
After all, there is no point in settling in and then telling your roommates about the concessions that you would like them to make.
Now, before you figure out what rules to set, it is essential to understand that you will have to compromise.
The other individuals in the house are paying for rent and utilities the same way that you are.
Due to this, you don’t really have the authority to dictate what they can and can’t do. So, make sure that you are being reasonable.
While you can still coexist with your omnivore roommates without any issues at all, you should always create a few boundaries at the same time.
Perhaps the first thing that you should do is to buy yourself some new pots, pans, and utensils.
Label these and explain to your roommates that they are not meant for meat, eggs, or anything that isn’t considered vegan.
However, invite them to use it for pasta, rice, and other items so that you don’t sound too harsh.
You may also ask for a particular part of the fridge or freezer.
This way, you can keep your vegan food items separate from the meat items.
If you feel like your roommates will comply, you can also ask them to wrap up their meat in a particular way so that it is locked uptight.
Come Up With a Schedule
Let’s face it, you are probably not going to want to be in the kitchen while your housemates are cooking meat.
So, to avoid any unpleasantness, it is best to come up with a cooking schedule.
This way, you will not have to come into contact with any meat items by accident.
If the smell of cooking meat upsets you, try and take a walk during this time each day.
Make sure to close your room door so that everything that you own doesn’t smell like this food too!
At least this will be some motivation for some additional exercise.
Step Up in Certain Areas
As mentioned, it can be challenging to lay down the law when you don’t own the house that everyone is living in.
This means that in certain instances, you have to take the lead here. If you are lucky, your roommates may follow it.
In case they don’t, it is essential to remember that you still have your own values to uphold.
One such instance is when it comes to household cleaning supplies.
You can inform your roommates that you will be stocking the various supplies since you would like the house to be cleaned with vegan products.
This way, you can have peace of mind that you are living in a space where you haven’t contributed to animal cruelty.
Now, there is a chance that your roommates may decide to adopt your policies and start buying such products for the house in general.
If they don’t, however, simply go ahead and keep buying them. As mentioned, this is something that you will need to do for yourself.
Discuss Humane Pest Control
It is quite possible that at some point or another, you will have pests. This is especially true if you live in a major city.
Then, infestations of cockroaches and mice may suddenly descend upon your home.
Since this is a possibility, it is something that you should discuss upfront.
Most people will not think twice about swatting a fly, killing ants, or setting mousetraps.
As an ethical vegan, though, this is an appalling idea. The good news for you is that there are humane ways of getting rid of pests.
Talk about these options with your roommates and take the initiative to implement them ahead of time.
If you can bear the idea, you can announce yourself as the unofficial spider catcher of the apartment or house.
This way, your housemates will call you to gently get rid of the insect rather than squashing them instinctively.
Who knows, you may just end up teaching your roommates a couple of good habits along the way!
Try to Make an Impact
Obviously, you are going to find it rather difficult to convince your housemates to give up meat, let alone dairy or eggs.
Most people have to find veganism for themselves, or they find it rather challenging to make the transition.
This doesn’t mean that you have to stand idly by.
Now, your roommates shouldn’t have to listen to a lecture from you about veganism.
As mentioned, this is their home, too, and they should feel comfortable in it.
Luckily for you, though, is that there are more subtle ways to make an impact.
To start with, you can suggest that your roommates try a meatless Monday tradition.
To make this idea more appealing, promise to cook for everyone on this particular day.
Since some people may be hesitant to eat vegan food, guarantee them that you will not cook anything that they are uncomfortable with.
Instead, stick with fruits and veggies that people are already familiar with.
Help towards cruelty-free Wardrobe
There are plenty of other options as well. For instance, if one of your roommates mentions that they need a new pair of shoes or a winter coat, offer to help them out.
Show them some vegan items, and they just may end up purchasing some!
You may also want to give people vegan gifts for special occasions.
Here, you should focus on things that most people would associate with a vegan lifestyle.
This could be a beautiful pair of shoes, a bag, or anything else that may substitute traditional animal-based items.
You will be able to then subtly show people that there are plenty of cruelty-free ways to live.
Work to Normalize Veganism
As you are well aware, many people can think of veganism in rather extreme terms.
Quite a few individuals imagine vegans to be loud and angry. You, however, are in the perfect position to change their minds.
Your presence and general demeanor can go a long way to showing people that their stereotypes are wrong.
So, make sure to keep your opinions to yourself unless someone asks about your lifestyle.
Even when you do talk about veganism or animal cruelty, avoid being preachy.
Instead, work to educate your roommates rather than causing them to feel guilty or defensive about their own lifestyles.
It is also a good idea to make vegan treats every now and then – desserts especially.
This will prove to your housemates that vegan food isn’t just delicious, but it isn’t too different from what they are used to eating.
With a little encouragement, you may find that they start buying vegan milk, snacks, and other food items.
There is no denying that living with vegan roommates can be a little tricky.
After all, there are numerous factors to consider when coexisting.
Nevertheless, it can also be an exciting life experience for all.
It may end up showing you how to get through to people who don’t see the benefits of veganism just yet.
Or, you may end up teaching your roommates how to be more tolerant or the importance of broadening your horizons.
So, it may be in your best interest to make your living situation work for you in the long run.
With the tips mentioned here, you should know just how to do this!
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