Posted by: conradvisionquest | September 12, 2010

A Cook Without a Kitchen

We are in a transitional stage in our lives right now.  We are unemployed and looking for work.  We are technically homeless and living with my parents.  Our situation provides unique challenges, especially with our diets.

I really miss having my own kitchen.  Really.  I mean it.  Knowing where everything is.  Having a space all my own and stocked with things I use on a regular basis.  No dead animals lying around.  No explaining to do.  Just me and the food, prepared just the way I like it.

But now our vegetarian diets (struggling with being 100% vegan given our situation) are challenged on a regular basis by my meat-eating parents.  “It goes against everything I was taught,” my mother said to me over dinner the other night.  Now, I have not said a thing about their meat eating since we came here about a month ago.  Even though meal time can be very emotional as I watch them carve into their chickens and sear up some pork loin.  My mother is an artist when it comes to subtle digs, but I know her heart is in the right place.

“I’m just concerned about your iron.  You know how you are slightly anemic.”  I finally had had enough.  “You know, I always find it interesting when meat eaters are concerned about MY diet.  I’m concerned about your cholesterol and all the chemicals you are putting in your body by eating anitbiotic-laden dead animals!”  It wasn’t an argument we were having, just a discussion.  Being from the generation she is, unfortunately I don’t think my mother will ever understand.  Then there’s my father.  “Don’t you want a hamburger or something?”  He thinks he is being funny, but it’s not really that funny to me.

I remain as tight lipped as I can be, and happily make my mock tuna sandwich out of chick peas, and know that I am eating a diet that is as free from suffering as I can make it.

If you have a nagging mother who is concerned about your iron intake, check out this article on care2.  Who knew watermelons had iron?



  1. Good to see a new post from you dear! So funny and truthful – I hope that you’re able to find the work you need, and I think you handled your mama just fine. 🙂

    • thanks, lindsay! i think i contained myself pretty well, but i could feel my skin catching on fire i was getting so passionate! i really had to bite my tongue.

  2. I wish I could tell you it gets easier dealing with unsupportive parents, but it hasn’t for me. My parents have had very small, intermittent moments of support for my vegan lifestyle – but that didn’t even happen for about 20 years. And get this – my father is a nutritionist, AND he and I have hypertriglyceredemia.

    My parents and I have agreed to disagree, and I just lead by example – no preaching or propaganda [anymore]. My mum grew up on a dairy farm for Pete’s sake, so it isn’t like she doesn’t know where dairy comes from and what happens to male calves. She just doesn’t care (her words, not mine). My father has definitely changed his eating habits over the years and thanks me for it – but he doesn’t want to talk, or think, about anything other than the health benefits of a veg diet.

    My sister, who has two young daughters, recently told me that she is going vegan for 8 weeks on a “trial run” to see how she feels, and she’s modifying what she feeds her husband and girls during that time, too. She thanked me for always setting a good example for her and for letting her watch Food, Inc. and figure things out for herself without added guilt or tension.

    Hang in there, and hopefully things will get easier for you at home. And I hope you have your own kitchen again, soon!!

    • thanks alot for sharing your experiences. at least i have my online buddies for support!!

  3. My husband and I lived with my parents for about six months last year, so I can certainly empathize with your situation. We never preached or tried to “convert” them, but they always felt the need to comment on our eating habits. It was very frustrating.

    But like windycityvegan said, hang in there!! I hope the living/work situation works out soon!

    • and thank you for sharing your experience as well. it’s nice to know that others have gone through or are going through this as well. it’s not that bad. actually, it could be alot worse. my mom is very careful about what she makes for dinner, so she is supportive in that way. it’s just a totally new concept for both of them, so it takes come getting used to for them. ~w

  4. I’m sorry your parents are not being supportive. I lived with my parents for 2 years in a transitional stage of my life. Okay, no I was fully employed, just stock piling my savings! 🙂 Thank you Mom and Dad.

    Anyways, I would make my own food and t hey would look on in amazement.

    Live and let live was my (and theirs, I think) motto.

    Funny, my parents eat like crap. My dad just got diagnosed with diabetes. He called me and said, “I’m going Vegan!”

    • thanks for the comment, carolyn. that’s so awesome that your dad is going vegan!

  5. Having just came out of an almost identical scenario, I completely relate to how you’re feeling. Keep focusing on how marvelous it will be when you do get your own kitchen back…it helped me get through seven very. long. months…I just daydreamed about how wonderful it would be to eat kale without hearing my mother-in-law scoff and make disgusted faces at me! Ha!

    It will get better!

    • ugh, 7 months? it’s only been 6 weeks here and i am struggling to get through this time. it’s been difficult not only from an eating standpoint, but on so many other levels as well. i’m trying to keep my eye on the ball, however, and focus on getting us back on track. thanks for sharing, keeryah! ~w

  6. I totally understand. My entire family is composed of meat-eaters, and my mother too is always taking digs at me. She likes to go into great detail about all of the meat and cheese she eats and her latest animal-laden recipes, and just doesn’t get that an animal-based diet seriously disgusts me.

    She thinks I miss it and that I am denying myself some kind of pleasure without even thinking that I have a vegan diet because I do not want to contribute to the suffering of animals.

    Our parents’ generation can be pretty rigid considering they’re like the Woodstock generation, eh? “That’s what I was taught.” – meh. But learning is a life-long process and you can always undo what you were taught, even if most of society doesn’t support it.

    Stick to your guns and shrug off the comments. 😀

    • thanks for the support, Robyn! ~w

  7. make the best choices you can in your situation. that’s all you can do. let them see how happy you are to eat healthy, how great it makes you feel. your example will say more than any argument can. good luck!

    • thanks! update: we are now in our own (rented) house with a huge kitchen! hopefully i will have time to start experimenting again and blogging about it. thanks for the comment!

  8. […] was saddened to read a post from one of my favorite vegan bloggers. Seems she’s temporarily living at home with mom and dad, and really misses having her own […]

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