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

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  • ron
    November 26, 2023 at 4:05 pm #1126842

    Forgot to add: don’t be surprised if your son also deviates from your rules and philosophy the minute he moves out.

    And, you should know that there is scientific evidence that vegetables don’t taste the same to all of us. Based upon differing genetic makeup, even between siblings, some will taste most vegetables as objectionably bitter, while other sibs will not taste bitter and see the same vegetables as just fine.

    Btw, I’ll add that I do eat meat but am trying to give up, and have majorly cut back, eating mammals. I am also willing to pay more for eggs and meat from more humanely raised chickens.

    I also recognize that, outside of basically India, cows would not exist, apart from zoos, if humans didn’t raise them for milk and meat. If a law was passed tomorrow requiring every American to be vegan, then farmers and ranchers would stop raising farm animals. So, unless you feel that farm animals are so exploited and suffer so much that they would be better off if they never existed, you aren’t doing them any favors.

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    Anonymousse
    November 26, 2023 at 5:54 pm #1126843

    I also think you’ll have this issue with your son, if you don’t already. You’re creating an environment where you don’t respect choices that deviate from yours, and your family knows it. It’s a great environment to produce a culture of secrecy and lying. That’s how strict and unpleasant you’ve become or always been.

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    Avatar photo
    November 26, 2023 at 8:14 pm #1126845

    Dude, this is so weird. A grown adult child does not owe a parent full transparency regarding any area of their life — dietary preferences, religious affiliation, finances, career, dating/relationships, you name it. You seem to want a very enmeshed relationship with her.

    She told you she was waiting until she felt comfortable to tell you about her dietary changes, but you completely dismiss this because you wanted that information on your terms and timing, not hers. And then decide you’re the real victim here. It’s nice in theory that you want her to feel comfortable talking to you about important things, but you’re going about it all wrong. Instead of offering her support or telling her you’re proud of her for making the decisions that work best for her, you’re judging her for her dietary preferences, for choosing not to tell you, for what she said when she did tell you. Why would she share anything with you when you act like that?

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    Anonymousse
    November 26, 2023 at 11:25 pm #1126846

    I have a feeling she’ll be sick for the Christmas zoom.

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    Avatar photo
    November 27, 2023 at 11:03 am #1126850

    The anecdote about the side business is also bizarre. You and your wife are the business owners, which means you are supposed to say something if your employee or independent contractor — daughter or not — is taking too long to finish her work. And staffing projects when you ramp up again is your responsibility. If you are “scrambling” to find someone to do the work, it means you as the business owner messed up.

    You seem to really enjoy feeling superior to her and making her feel bad for things that aren’t her fault.

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    ron
    November 27, 2023 at 2:52 pm #1126859

    True, Copa. And this also read strange: “we paid her for her work, as much as we could afford.”
    You either paid a reasonable rate, or you didn’t. I guess you got the ‘living at home, under parents’ thumbs’ discount before she moved out, just as she didn’t fight your position on veganism when she was a dependent living under your roof. She’s now an independent adult, living on her own, paying her own bills, and making her own decisions. That changes everything. She did finish her project, even if you weren’t happy with the timing. Earning her own way in life and running her own household give her less spare time to support your hobby business.

    And, one final thing. Your daughter did not lie to you. She didn’t tell you that she was no longer vegan, but apparently never told you she still was, when she wasn’t. She simply chose not to share that with you. Considering how you reacted, that seems to have been a wise decision.

    I doubt all that happened is that you calmly asked her questions. If that were the case, your posts here would be calm. They weren’t. Nor does it seem like ‘calmly’ questioning her slaked you anger, and yes you write as if it truly is anger rather than disappointment, even a little bit.

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    LisforLeslie
    November 27, 2023 at 3:32 pm #1126860

    I’ve tried multiple times to thoughtfully respond but honestly, daddy dearest sounds exhausting. And I’m while I want to care about his hurt feelings – I just can’t simply because the absolute lack of grace and consideration for others combined with the absolute lack of self awareness.

    I bet you’re one of those people who make rules because they seem “right” by your worldview and you sit in judgement of anyone who doesn’t live by your code. You want to be a “live and let live” kind of guy, but you’ve got certain “ideals” that you think make the world a better place so you think those closest to you should have learned that and taken that on as their own world view. And that they have to tell you when they’ve made other decisions. Did you sit your parents down and tell them when you stopped eating meat? Or did you think about it, determine it was the right course for you and then let them know at a later time? Did they shame you or try to make you feel guilty for not eating meat? Did they make life more difficult for you? Then why the fuck would you do that to your daughter?

    Kids make choices that their parents don’t agree with all the time; how you choose to accept them as they are versus how you expected them to be… is all on you.

    Also, because you seem like you’re one of those people who claim some high moral ground with your veganism: You just give that shit up. Everything you consume comes with a moral price tag and unless you’re living off the grid (which you aren’t because you put a letter on a website) then you’re doing damage simply by existing. If you have bought any clothing in the past few years – probably made with near-slave labor. Not made of “organic” fibers, probably made in large energy consuming, area polluting factory. Wear non-leather shoes? Those will still be lumps of plastic thousands of years from now. Drive a car? Oh, it’s a hybrid? That super cool battery is made by stripping the land and using toxic processes for manufacturing. Who’s picking your vegetables? Who’s making your tofu? Get off your moral high horse because it is a stinking crock of shit dude. You don’t want to eat another creature – that’s fine, but the creatures you abuse without even realizing it is a stunning hypocrisy.

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    Anonymousse
    November 27, 2023 at 5:37 pm #1126865

    But it’s never been proven true that I’m not easy to talk to! That was the most illuminating line for me. Unless you accept that something is true, you dismiss it lightningrod. You dismiss her feelings and experiences of you…which is why she turns away. You minimize you bad behavior and accuse her of victimizing you. You are telling her what she feels is a lie and that her view of you is not true, which is so completely and utterly disrespectful to her. This is how you don’t even try to understand her. She’s being remarkably candid for this, in my opinion.

    You are at once demonizing and demanding attention from your daughter. You’re saying she is a liar, that’s not how you treat her, but please spend time with me and trust me!

    Why would she??? You’re dismissing her and ignoring what she needs from you. Step, it up, Dad.

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    That kind of daughter
    December 3, 2023 at 11:36 am #1126919

    I was like your daughter. I was exactly who my mother wanted me to be. I was seemingly very close with her. But the truth was, that through emotional control, I wasn’t allowed to develop my own identity.

    Growing distant from your parents is normal in the teen years. There’s a reason for the silent treatments and slammed doors. It allows the teen to develop their own identity. When it doesn’t happen, that is concerning.

    In my case, it couldn’t happen until I was out of her house and on my own. It wasn’t safe for me to do anything but exactly what she wanted. And even then, it took a lot of therapy and I still don’t have my own full identity. I fight against codependency all the time- and the depression and anxiety that goes with it.

    I have been no contact with my mother for over a decade. I first tried to set boundaries, but she would see them as a threat to our relationship and not respect them. Eventually everything got to a head and I had to cut off all contact.

    I understand you aren’t trying to do this. I understand that you want a good relationship with her, but you are insisting this relationship be “good” based on what that looks like to you.

    If its not too late, the thing you could do is to apologize if you have overstepped about the veganism and the books. Tell her you are proud of her for navigating her independence this year, and tell her you are still learning how to have an adult daughter. Tell her you are learning that her adult choices aren’t your business, and learning that she only needs to tell you what she wants on her terms. Tell her that is an adjustment for you, but you want to do better. Tell her you love her and are proud of her.

    Then do the work (therapy, whatever you need) to really be ok with having a grown child and your new role. If you are lucky, she will want to be a little closer with you, but remember – she’s a busy adult! I often go weeks without a phone call from my best friend who lives across the country from me. We love each other dearly, but we are both very busy with our own lives. So even if you are emotionally closer, you still may not hear from her as often as you want.

    Being close with family isn’t just about how often you call or text. It’s more about feeling safe and comfortable with each other. It’s about sharing things because you want to and not because they feel they are owed “transparency”. Try to be the people she wants to share things with. Because you understand and respect her values, even when they are different from yours. (My best friend and I have different religions, but when we advise each other, we keep that in mind.) And because you are happy for what makes her happy, not what makes you happy. You are allowed to be disappointed with her choices- your feelings are your own and are valid! But it is when you place that disappointment on her that you hurt your relationship.

    I think being a parent is hard- even more so as they are an adult in some ways. You have this new role that is very unique. You have to respect them as an individual. If you are lucky, you will be their confidant, but you have to keep a respectful distance of an equal. At the same time, you were still the person who ran their life for their first 2 decades, so you have to be careful not to give unsolicited advice, or to lean on them in inappropriate ways.

    But I have also seen it done beautifully and I hope you can reach that new place with your daughter.

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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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