Vegan Houseguest Tips

The Vegan House Guest: Surviving a Stay in a Non-Vegan House

The holidays are coming up! Okay, okay, Thanksgiving is still two months away. But it’s my favorite holiday and I’m already planning. I can’t wait for sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, Black Friday shopping, and some serious cuddle time with my favorite pup. But with Thanksgiving comes travel and a stay with my non-vegan parents.

I’ve put together a few tips for vegans and non-vegans to gather harmoniously around the same table and live under the same roof… at least for a few days :)

John and I actually just returned from a weekend at my parents’ house. We visited the Bloomsburg Fair, binge watched The League on Netflix, and fought over which of us Cash loves more.

Vegan Houseguest 9.30.14

I win, obviously. Proof here, here, and here.

It was such a relaxing weekend and now I can’t wait for next weekend when Bianca and Joe come to visit! We will be staying at my parents’ since she is practically a member of the family anyway and Pittsburgh is a very long way from Rhode Island. My mom and dad live right in the middle! Plus, that beautiful guy above is there, so… what more could you want, really?

If you read my last post, you know that I don’t eat a vegan diet all the time, so staying in a non-vegan house is a little easier for me. But there are still a few things that I did while I was there (and plan to do next weekend and over the holidays) that kept all hell from breaking loose.

  • Tell your hosts that you are a vegan. If you aren’t extremely close, you’ve recently started a vegan diet, or you just don’t advertise it, you may need to at least mention it in passing!
  • Make sure your hosts know what vegan means. My mom wasn’t totally sure, and asked me if eggs were vegan. She was confusing vegetarian and vegan. No big deal! If your hosts don’t know anyone who is a vegan or never thought of becoming vegan themselves, they may not know.
  • Don’t expect everything to be provided for you. It’s rude to expect a non-vegan host to purchase different foods specifically for you! If they offer, suggest a few easy things they would already be buying like fruits and veggies, but ask to go to the grocery store with them and buy your favorite staples yourself. Spend some time in the kitchen, too! Suggest that you be put in charge of the side dishes or desserts and make some of your favorite recipes.
  • Pack some snacks. There’s nothing worse than a growling stomach in the middle of the night and no vegan snacks in your host’s house. Bring along some apples, granola bars, whatever you like. Stash them in your suitcase in case you need a quick fix.
  • Be prepared for the questions. You’ll probably be asked “why are you a vegan?” at every opportunity. Some people will be nice, some will be… not so nice. Have your reason ready, whether it’s health, the environment, or animal welfare, but always answer in a friendly tone. If the conversation continues, you can use this as a chance to educate (“Yes, vegans do get enough protein.”), but don’t be judgmental or rude about it.
  • Don’t judge. When your host is cooking up eggs and bacon for breakfast, don’t go on a rant about how terrible they are! Chug your smoothie and be nice, or you’re sure to never be invited back again.

How do you handle a stay in a non-vegan house? Share your tips below! xo Sara

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8 thoughts on “The Vegan House Guest: Surviving a Stay in a Non-Vegan House

    • Yep, so important to be prepared! It took me a while to realize that not everyone understand what “vegan” or even “vegetarian” mean. Sometimes people are just being rude, but a lot of times they just aren’t sure!

  1. I found this helpful not as a vegan myself, but as someone who hosts vegan guests and guests with strict dietary restrictions. I always want them to feel welcome and of course, to have enough to eat. Thanks for this post!

    • Thanks, Kate! My mom is the same way. She has asked me a million times what to have in the house next weekend when Bianca & Joe come to visit :) What a sweetheart.

  2. Great post. I have a few trips coming up, my family lives off beef and dairy, per their dairy farm. Always a struggle, but prep is so necessary!

  3. Pingback: Vegan Life Magazine Vol. 2 Review: ZOMBIES & Veganuary | The Friendly Fig

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