In the past two weeks, I had to change countries amidst a Pandemic, travel alone internationally (25 hours of travel time), give up my beautiful kittens, and stay away from my partner with no end in sight.
I expected this part of my life to be the worst yet, but the world was waiting to surprise me.
I had to move back to my parent’s place in my Home country, and all the while, I had one thing in my mind- How will I manage to remain a Vegan in a completely Non-Vegan household?
I went Vegan almost two years back and hadn’t visited my family in the past three years (primarily due to the Pandemic). This was the first time I would eat a meal with the family in 3 years, except this time, I couldn’t eat more than half the dishes that my Mom loved to cook for me as a child.
How was I going to manage everything alone?
I didn’t have the emotional capacity to explain to my Family why it was vital for me to continue my Vegan journey. I was prepared to spend many painful conversations trying to convince them that I no longer wanted to eat Meat, Seafood, Milk, or Eggs.
But a day before my travel date from the US to India, I got a text from my Mom- “Don’t worry at all about your Vegan food. I have planned different types of Vegan dishes for you. I have also ordered Soy milk powder and some Tofu so that you get your proteins.”
As I read the text, I felt like breaking down. This was the sweetest text I had received in a very long time. Amidst all the chaos, this was my ray of hope.
I felt seen and accepted.
Once I landed, my Mom received me with an open heart and a table full of Vegan dishes. She had ordered a few more Almond milk cartons online “just in case I didn’t like the Soy milk.”
Not once did she force me into eating meat, fish, milk, or eggs again. She and my father respectfully consumed their Non-Vegan food while providing me with my separate Vegan food.
As I called other family members and planned a visit to their homes during my stay in India, they requested me to send them online links of Oat or Almond milk brands so that I wouldn’t face any issues while visiting their place.
Additionally, my father gave me a ride to nearby local Organic shops that carried many Vegan brands (including fake meat and Vegan ice cream, although I’m not too fond of either of them).
I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Although they didn’t fully understand the concept of Veganism or why I was so strict with what I consumed, they went to many lengths to make me feel comfortable and loved.
Veganism, as I have said before, has changed my life in many ways.
But today, it helped me further deepen my relationship with my family.
I know that not everyone is lucky enough to have a supportive family who accepts them for their individual life choices. I do not take this privilege for granted.
And to my family- I just hope that I can be as open-minded and accepting as you all are. Thank you for making my life easier.
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