I share an apartment with a woman whom I met through friends. We don’t spend a ton of time together, but in the past year things went completely fine and we got along great. Until she turned vegan. Now, she thinks everyone should be a vegan, and I can’t eat a sandwich without her commenting on the way they treat turkeys on farms. I will never be a vegan and I have expressed this to her on several occasions.
I think now she is crossing the line. Last week I brought home some leftovers from a delicious steak dinner, and when I went to get them from the refrigerator they were gone. I asked her about it and she claimed to have never seen them, but I am pretty sure she threw them away. You can lecture me all you want, but you can’t throw away my lunch! What should I do?
I’m going to preface my answer by formally announcing my position on vegans in order to stem the tide of angry emails from vegans the world over: they’re great. Being a vegan or a vegetarian is totally awesome and I have nothing but respect for people who are trying to live the best life they can, and are taking care of their bodies.
That said…your roommate is an asshole.
She’s allowed to eat pinto beans and figs for lunch every day without you standing behind her, making gag noises and loud comments about how you hope she’s as opposed to air pollution from certain digestive issues as she is to eating meat. Just as you’re allowed to eat a sandwich without her lecturing you about how the turkey once lived in a deep dark hole and ate nothing but other turkeys until they killed it with a machete.
Being a good roommate isn’t about being a vegan or a carnivore or a Britney Spears fan or a Metallica devotee or a night owl or the kind of gal who likes to wake up at the crack. It’s about being nice and respectful of another person’s space and belongings. I suggest you tell her very clearly that you’d appreciate it if she could leave your food alone, and that you hope that despite your differences you can continue to live together without conflict. Then I’d put foie gras in her toothpaste tube.
Just kidding. But I would think about getting a new roommate when your lease is up. It doesn’t sound like this issue is going to go away.