Living with a Vegan Roommate

Living with a Vegan Roommate

First, let it be said that it’s completely possible for a vegan and a carnivore to be able to live together in perfect roommate harmony. These diet-discordant roommate couples have found work-arounds to make amends with their clashing lifestyles and remain great roommates. That being said, many vegans prefer to live exclusively with other vegans or vegetarians in an accepting environment that supports their vegan lifestyle without having to worry about double checking the ingredients of every product.

What Exactly is Vegan?

Although veganism is already pretty mainstream, to the uninitiated, the term vegan may be a little confusing. Just so all the curious carnivores are clear on what it is to be vegan, Wikipedia defines veganism as:

Veganism/ˈvɡənɪzəm/ is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, as well as following an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of sentient animals. A follower of veganism is known as a vegan

Basically, if it comes from an animal, you shouldn’t eat it. This includes all meats, dairy products, and many vegans even reject eating honey.

What Do Vegans Eat?

Vegan Food

Contrary to what many carnivores think about vegans, it’s not all about eating french fries and salad. Vegans have a rich variety of dishes that they can eat without worrying about animal products. In many cases, simple vegan-friendly replacements exist for every day items. Certain ethnic foods, such as Indian cuisine, feature a wide variety of dishes that are completely meat free.

Vegan Milk Alternatives

Instead of cow milk, vegans opt for soy milk, almond milk, and other vegan non-dairy milks. Many carnivores, especially people who are lactose intolerant, also find that this is easier on the stomach and leaves them less bloated. Soy milk is high in protein, lactose free, and after getting used to the taste, many soy-milk drinkers never go back to dairy milk.

Vegan cheeses, many coming from tapioca, are great for slipping in a sandwich or topping your perfect vegan pizza. The cheeses even come in different vegan varieties like cheddar, mozzarella and pepperjack.

Vegan Meat Alternatives

From vegan burgers to vegan chopped meat and everything in between, there is a clever alternative to eating meat. These plant-based meat replacements are high in protein and taste great. The interwebs are bursting with delicious recipes on how to make succulent and satisfying meat-free dishes with vegan heavy-hitters like tofu, seitan, umami and shitake mushrooms, beans, legumes, lentils and more.

Vegan Honey Alternatives

Carnivores and even some vegetarians may be surprised at this one, but many vegans abstain from eating honey. Among vegans there is even a vegan honey debate whether or not it’s ok to consume the bee-byproduct sweetener. If your vegan roommate avoids honey, aside from plain old sugar and artificial sweeteners, there are mouth-watering alternatives for sweetening your tea. Popular in Israel and parts of the Middle East, Silan, also called “date honey,” is made completely from dates and has a similar consistency and sweetness to honey.

Should I Live with a Vegan Roommate?

Roommates Cooking

Many vegans prefer to live exclusively with other vegans and vegetarians. Tomer Versano from New York, a self-described ethical vegan for about ten years and vegetarian for almost twenty, lives with a vegan roommate. For him, living with a vegan is a more natural and comfortable situation. In Tomer’s words:

After living most of my life with non-veg people I found that living with a vegan roommate in an all vegan household (vegan food, clothing, cosmetics) is the perfect situation for me and I don’t see myself ever turning back. The fact that I can consume and use each and every product in my house without double checking the ingredients has changed my life tremendously. We have a vegan cat and a vegan dog that are both healthy and happy.

Vegans like Tomer feel strongly about their choice to be vegan and would not want to have any animal-derived foods in the home. As an extension of their lifestyle, they may even keep their pets on a vegan diet. Vegans like Tomer will feel most comfortable sharing a home and a kitchen with another vegan or at least a vegetarian.

Regardless of your choice to live with a vegan roommate, either as a meat-eater or another vegan, your living arrangement should be built on honesty and expectations up front. Before moving in together, it’s important to be honest about dietary expectations and which food items each roommate would be most comfortable with.

Making a Vegan Non-Vegan Roommate Relationship Work

There are lots of situations where vegans end up shacking up with carnivores. Sometimes one roommate decides to go vegan and the other one doesn’t, but after already having built a healthy roommate relationship, they decide to continue living together. Diet-conflicted roommates may not exclusively define their personality as being vegan and can be like-minded in other ways such as musicians, programmers, or unicorn hunters.

Seperate Vegan Dishes and Cookware

This following question about Vegan Roommates on Quora gives a taste of what vegan-carnivore roommates should consider: “If my vegetarian/vegan roommate doesn’t want to use kitchen supplies with which meat is prepared and made, who should pay for the new stuff?”

Venkatesh Rao answers:

As a vegetarian, and near-vegan who has been in this situation, I’d expect to be the one buying/maintaining veggie-exclusive equipment. That’s what I’ve done. Where possible vegetarians/vegans try their best to live with others with the same diet. I lived in a vegan co-op for 2 years. It’s for the best.

I am not anal about it, but if I know cookware has been used with meat, I generally won’t use it. At restaurants or in others homes, I generally am able to suspend my meat-dar.

It has nothing to do with logic or the physics of food stickiness. If you’ve grown up that way, you have a visceral psychological aversion to mixed kitchens. It isn’t religious either. It’s the reaction meat-eaters have to the gross-out eating challenges on reality shows like Fear Factor, but more sensitive.

Many of my older relatives won’t even eat in restaurants that maintain separate veg/non-veg sides of the sort Jonas mentions. They’ll only eat food out of pure vegetarian kitchens.

People who go vegetarian/vegan later in life for consciously processed reasons tend not to have this deep aversion we born-vegetarian people do.

If in the middle of living together, one roommate decides that they would like to change their dietary lifestyle, each roommate should try and accommodate in their best way. In most cases the burden falls on the roommate who changes from the initial expectations when you went into being roommates together.

Urble is all about finding like-minded roommates for better living, and vegans can easily find other vegans and vegetarian roommates who are in tune with a vegan lifestyle. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian who would prefer to live with other’s that follow the same diet, make sure to tag yourself “vegan” and search for “vegans” under “diet” in the Urble advanced search box.

How to Lose a Roommate

How to Lose a Roommate

At Urble we’re all about finding the perfect roommate, but sometimes you need to shake your old roommate first. Just like in any relationship break up, it takes a degree of finesse and persuasion to convince your roommate that it’s time to split ways. Jimmy Tatro from LifeAccordingtoJimmy gives a hilarious take on how to get your roommate to pack up their bags and never look back.

Funny Video on How to Make Your Roommate Bounce

Guinea Pig Pet for Apartment

Top 10 Cutest Pets for Your Apartment

Of course you want a cute pet for your apartment! Why wouldn’t you want an adorable little friend to bring some life into your pad? Research over the past 25 years has even proven that having a pet can improve your health. And just because you live with a roommate in an apartment doesn’t mean you’ll have to forego these pieces of adorableness!

On this top 10 list of the cutest pets for apartments (in no particular order), we’ll skip past the cats and dogs (we’ll save them for their own dedicated top 10 lists!) and go straight to the most cutest little bundles of joy that will work in your apartment. For bonus points, consider adopting one from a local animal shelter.

1. Guinea Pigs

Guinea Pigs Running

These guys are so cute, how could you resist? Their small size makes them ideal for an apartment and they’re lovable and playful. Guinea Pigs come in a few different colors, can have long or short hair, and weigh around 3lbs (1.36kg). You’ll need to keep their litter clean and groom them regularly. Guinea Pigs are balls of energy and need regular exercise and play time and you should let them out of their cage every day to explore the apartment and get some sweet loving in your lap. They’re perfect TV partners.

2. Parrots

Parrot Singing on Piano

Talented, adorable and clever, parrots are a lively and affectionate friend for life. With more than 350 different types of parrots, both large and small, ranging in color from green and red to reserved black and grey, there is a perfect parrot for everyone. These feathered friends need a large enough cage to fly short distances and need exercise and loving attention. And the best part is that the parrot rumors are true! Parrots really do have an uncanny skill to mimic voices and other sounds. Even your ringtone.

3. Chinchillas

Chinchilla Eating Cheerios

Chinchillas are so adorable and soft that you’ll never want to put this satin sensation down. The chinchilla’s super soft coat comes in white and charcoal grey. Chinchillas have small little front legs, bigger back legs, a bushy tail and live for up to 20 years. They’re super charming and love being held. Completely odorless, and needing only commercial pellets and fresh water, the Chinchilla is an ideal low-maintenance pet.

Find a Like-Minded Roommate

4. Siamese Fighting Fish

Siamese Fighting Fish

This vibrantly colored beauty is a best bet for your apartment when you live with a roommate who isn’t too keen on having a pet. These shimmering Siamese Fighting Fish or “Bettas” like to swim solo and will fight each other. Make sure you keep the water clean, never removing more than a third of the water each time.

5. Bunny Rabbits

Baby Bunny Rabbit

We can’t even get into how achingly adorable bunny rabbits would be hopping around your apartment. Just looking at pictures of them bunny rabbiting around makes us want to grab them and hold them and love them forever! There’s even a rabbit island in Japan! Rabbits can be trained to come when called, use a litter box like a cat, and exercise on a leash! It’s like the amazing cuddly mix of a cat and a dog. With more than 60 breeds of rabbits, you can choose a small breed (some are even just 2lbs of awwww-inducing love) that you and your roommate can agree on. Rabbits need lots of exercise and shouldn’t be kept in a cage all day. You can train rabbits to hop around on a leash outside.

This guy even built a rabbit cart and trained his bunny to bring him beer!

 6. Hermit Crabs

Hermit Crabs

Hermit Crabs, like fish, are adorable low maintenance pets for your apartment that won’t ruffle your roommates feathers. These active little guys are social and very active. Hermit Crabs love crawling on top of rocks, burrowing in the sand, and playing with their Hermit Crab friends. They’re nice to look at and add life to any dull apartment. You can feed them commercial food, fresh or salt water and even splurge on the occasional piece of fruit.

 7. Clownfish

Clownfish "Nemo"

For Nemo fans everywhere, having your own Clownfish can bring life and joy into your apartment. Not for the beginner aquarium enthusiast, caring for a Clownfish is a big responsibility and will set you back a few hundred dollars in setting up an appropriate salt-water environment. After setup, Clownfish are easy to take care of and both you and your roommate will love to keep this little guy swimming happily.

8.  Degus

Degus

Like Chinchillas, when we saw these smile-inducing bundles of joy we wanted to get one right away! Degus are very social little friends and become tame if handled from an early age. In addition to you and your roommate, Degus thrive best when kept with other Degus and are playful and curious. You’ll need a fairly large cage for them so they can get enough exercise.

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9. Ferrets

Ferret

Curious, loving and easy to potty train, Ferrets make great pets for small apartments. They’re more high-maintenance than other furry friends on this list, but they definitely have edge. Ferrets love to explore, so your roommate definitely needs to be on board or have to keep their door permanently closed.

10. Cactus

Cactus with Googly Eyes

Let’s be real. We all may want to have an exotic unbelievably adorable pet in our apartment, but for many of us a cactus may be the best bet. Your roommate won’t have any gripes about this one and you’ll definitely be able to take care of it. Look on the bright side, you can always pin on some googly eyes and give it a name!

Hack to Steal Your Roommate’s Pizza

Of course we believe that trust and honesty are the pillars of building every great roommate relationship. That said, there are times when you may have a case of the munchies for some reason or another and feel compelled to steal your roommate’s pizza. For this reason, we share with you the geometry magic that this video brings you on the ultimate pizza theft.

Getting caught could result in roommate armageddon and must be done like a ninja. This video will teach you a clever roommate hack that’ll let you have your pizza and eat it too! Ok, that was cheesy. Ba-dum-tssshh!

How to Steal a Pizza without Getting Caught

First, take one fresh unsliced pizza. Frozen ones that just came out of the oven will work best. Then cut two strips across the diameter (end to end of the circle in case you forgot from math class) of the pizza. Put the pieces back together and slice like normal. No one will know the difference… unless you get a little too greedy with the slicing. Good luck, ninja.

Amazing Small Apartment Design

Amazing Small Apartment Design

I never expected that so much can be done in such a small apartment.

For almost his entire life, Gary Chang has lived in the same 32-square meter (344 square feet) apartment. He moved into the shoe box apartment about 40 years ago with his parents and 3 younger sisters. They even rented out a room to a tenant.

The compact space was originally divided into a kitchen, bathroom and 3 bedrooms. Gary would sleep on the couch. In 1998, after his family left the apartment for a larger space, Gary paid $45,000 to have the space all to himself. This began his experimentation in small space design.

“It’s a small area,” says Gary. “But for us, small area means efficiency and user-friendliness.”

After Gary’s ingenious renovations, the cramped apartment of his childhood now resembles a modern open studio.  The studio apartment is “magically” transformed by pulling on handles on sliding walls that glide across steel tracks. Various room modes include a “maximum kitchen”, a guest bedroom, a library, dining room, laundry-room and even a spa complete with an extra-large Duravit bathtub. The home is hosts a wall-sized movie screen and  a massage area that doubles as a steam room.