I asked my daughter on Thanksgiving why she didn’t tell me she’s no longer vegan

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  • Lightningrod5
    November 24, 2023 at 12:06 pm #1126765

    My wife, son and I celebrated Thanksgiving together yesterday; my daughter celebrated alone at her place but Zoomed with us. (Long story why, but to keep things brief…)

    My wife and I have been vegan since our late 30s. We raised our children vegan.

    My daughter moved out a year+ ago.
    Back then, apparently my daughter had told my wife she was considering not being vegan anymore. And one time we visited her apartment, and my wife went to check her refrigerator to see if she had meat. (An intrusive action that she apologized for yesterday on FaceTime.) She did, and my daughter begged her not to tell me, said she would she tell me eventually. I learned all this recently.

    A month ago, I mentioned to my wife that I hoped my daughter was still vegan. My wife didn’t want to lie to me, so she ripped the bandaid off and told me herself.

    I am disappointed, but more so disappointed that my daughter wasn’t transparent and kept it a secret for a year.

    So, for the past month, my daughter has known all of us know she’s no longer vegan. Today, on FaceTime, she mentioned something about roasted chicken, and I took the opportunity to ask her why she wasn’t transparent about telling me. If it’s a matter of not being proud about her decision, she should learn to be strong and tell people her decisions anyway.

    She stumbled through a response, but ultimately said, “Sometimes, you are not an easy person to talk to, and I was going to tell you about not being vegan when I was ready and willing.” (A YEAR, though? Come on. And turning it on me – “not easy to talk to” – is unfair when I’m only calmly asking questions.)

    I agree my daughter can make any decisions she chooses. Yes, I have my personal disappointments with her no longer being vegan, but I told her at our conversation that wasn’t my point with her yesterday. The lack of transparency around not telling me is what was stuck in my crawl. 

    My daughter likes to say, “You wouldn’t understand!/You would overreact!”, but that has never been proven true, and if she told me sooner instead of hiding it for a year, all would have happened is what happened today: me calmly asking her questions about it. 

    Things were a tense and awkward the rest of the night. How do I get through to her about how the lack of transparency is not the best decision?

    November 24, 2023 at 1:05 pm #1126767

    As an adult who lives on her own and buys her own food, your daughter can eat whatever she wants and it is literally none of your business. She doesn’t owe you an explanation. She doesn’t owe anyone an explanation about what she eats. Please leave her alone and stop demanding information about her diet.

    November 24, 2023 at 4:07 pm #1126769

    Kate is correct. And I say this to you as a vegetarian. There was no lack of transparency and you absolutely should not try to “get through to her” about why she, an independent adult living on her own, owes you an explanation of what she digests, ever. Scolding her for not giving you information you had absolutely no right to would absolutely count as you being difficult to talk to. Also, precious few adult children enjoy being asked questions about their dietary choices, calmly posed or not. Apologize, back off, and tell her you’re going to do better in the future.

    November 24, 2023 at 7:23 pm #1126773

    “My daughter likes to say, “You wouldn’t understand!/You would overreact!”, but that has never been proven true”


    November 24, 2023 at 9:57 pm #1126775

    “If it’s a matter of not being proud about her decision, she should learn to be strong and tell people her decisions anyway.“

    You are BULLYING your daughter. That’s not just calmly asking questions about her choice. You’re being a jerk on purpose and being mean to her to teach her a lesson. Well, let me tell you, if you keep treating your children like this, you’ll be the one to learn a lesson. She didn’t want to tell you because you’re mean and behave this way. You totally and completely have overreacted. You are not easy to talk to, as we can all clearly see! The lesson you will learn is your children will take even more and more space until there is no connection at all if you keep picking apart their adult choices and demeaning them. You shamed her in front of your family and you call that calmly asking questions. Do you also treat your wife and son this way? Stop being a controlling asshole, you can start by apologizing for your heinous behavior.


    November 24, 2023 at 9:59 pm #1126776

    Your daughter is her own person but you’re treating her like she is your possession who is supposed to behave the way you want. It’s sick. You should be preparing her for the world and building her confidence, not tearing it down.

    Avatar photo
    November 25, 2023 at 8:40 am #1126779

    She literally doesn’t owe you anything. She doesn’t owe you her time, her truth, her energy, or an explanation of what’s in her fridge and why. The fact that your daughter is wary of telling you personal things is all on you and rather than look inward and ask yourself how you can be a better support system to her so that she might CHOOSE to share things with you, you are turning it around, making this an issue with HER, a deficit she has – she’s not proud of her decision, she’s not strong. No, she didn’t tell you because she knew you’d make it about yourself, get your feelings hurt, not know how to handle your hurt feelings, and so channel those hurt feelings into anger and judgment at your daughter, which is exactly what you did.

    Keep behaving this way and your daughter won’t even want to FaceTime with you anymore.

    November 25, 2023 at 9:03 am #1126781

    I think there are some misunderstandings here. I will try to explain.

    My family and I went vegan for more than health reasons. We feel very strongly about the ethics side of it, too. My daughter, until now, has never eaten meat. She used to strongly proclaim – and we believed her – that she would be vegan for her entire life. It’s a matter we feel very strongly about and is close to my heart. My wife and I always hoped our children would stay vegan.

    But even putting all that aside, yes I’m not thrilled about her choice, but my primary concern is elsewhere. My daughter’s lack of honesty with me seems to be a running problem. If we have poor communication, I want to correct it because I value our relationship and it hurts to see my daughter doesn’t want to talk to me. My main point to her yesterday was that, “You can come to me with anything; there’s no need to hide from me.” My line that said, “maybe you didn’t feel proud about your decision” was me trying to guess as to why she wouldn’t tell me – I said as much.

    November 25, 2023 at 9:14 am #1126782

    I can give another example. My wife and I have a little hobby business where we write books, sell merchandise, do event visits, etc. (The topic is unrelated to veganism.) My daughter often helped in these projects, which again, not only did we deeply appreciate but my daughter showed repeated enthusiasm for, verbally and with her participation. Yes, we paid her for her work, as much as we could afford.

    When she moved out a year ago, we finished up the last project, but it took my daughter much longer to complete her work than usual (about 1.5 months longer). I had the feeling she didn’t want to do this anymore, but I am of the mindset that I shouldn’t have to chase down an adult and pull words out of them. They should be able to tell me what they feel. Neither did I want to put words in her mouth, so I waited. She never brought it up, so almost a year later when we’re ready to start our next project, I noted how long it took her next time and asked her if we should find someone else for her role. She said yes.

    That’s fine, but again, why the lack of transparency? I strongly feel my daughter has not wanted to do this for a long time, but kept that to herself. But now, we are scrambling to find someone to take her place when she could have given us a heads-up long ago. I also brought this up on Thanksgiving.

    Her answer was that a year ago, she was busy after moving out (which I get, but my daughter also updated us on her schedule and it was not that busy-sounding) and accidentally took longer on the project. Afterwards, she simply stopped thinking about the books (which is another thing; it’s always been “us” and now it’s flippantly not on her mind for months. Again that tells me she didn’t want to admit she wasn’t interested anymore).

    And I said this on the call: There are things you are clearly feeling and not communicating with me. You won’t admit it now, but your actions told the truth. I don’t say this to browbeat her, but again, honesty is the foundation to any relationship. And she was mostly silent when I said this, avoiding my glance in FaceTime, which tells me I’m on the right track and she won’t admit something to me.

    Does that give more context?

    November 25, 2023 at 9:23 am #1126784

    I want the best for our relationship.

    Part-time Lurker
    November 25, 2023 at 9:34 am #1126785

    Here’s what you don’t seem to understand, this isn’t a “lack of transparency”. Your daughter is a grown woman not a charity that you’re donating to. She doesn’t owe you an explanation for ANYTHING. She doesn’t need to tell you about how she spends her time, what she eats, what she wears, or any other choice she makes. She gets to live her life and make her decisions and share what she wants when she wants. You are in fact judging her for her decisions. So much so in fact that you wrote to an online advice forum hoping to receive justification for your actions. Yes, she could have told you last year that she was no longer interested in helping with your projects but she didn’t because your reactions obviously make her feel uncomfortable and judged. Everyone on this forum is a total stranger and WE can see and feel your judgement and low-key manipulative behavior. If we can see and feel it from one brief letter – carefully crafted to present your stance in the best possible light – how intense must it be in real life?

    November 25, 2023 at 10:52 am #1126786

    I don’t think we misunderstood anything. The communication is bad here because of how you behave. You are not in the right here and this is going to drive your daughter away completely.

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I asked my daughter on Thanksgiving why she didn’t tell me she’s no longer vegan

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