Ask Erika: Meat-Loving Mother-in-Law


Dear Erika,

I have a mother-in-law who brings a meat dish to our Sunday get-together dinners. I find this quite offensive since she knows that we are all vegan. Should I ask her to stop?

—Taylor, Ann Arbor, MI

Dear Taylor,

This has been a tough one for me to answer on a vegan family website. I think that my answer should be to tell the mom that you are vegan family, and you are offended that she would even consider undermining your core beliefs by bringing a dead animal into your home. However, with that being said, I think it depends on the person and the family. Since you already stated that it offends you, you should definitely tell her how you feel and find the most polite way of asking her to stop. For example, maybe you could let her know that you appreciate her bringing more food to the dinner, but you really want her to be a guest in your home, and you would prefer for her to sit back, relax, and enjoy not having to cook. Or, depending on how comfortable you feel with your mother-in-law, you and your husband (don’t take all the heat my friend!), could take it as an opportunity to let her know that you are an animal-loving home, and if she has any questions about your beliefs, you’d love to discuss why it’s so important to you.

When someone asks me if they can bring a meat dish, I usually let them. If I were invited to a party that served only meat or dairy, I would certainly ask if I could bring my own food. So, I try to be objective and understand that not everyone has my same beliefs. However, when someone brings a meat dish, I take that opportunity to ensure that it is out-shined by the other vegan options. Many times people are willing to eat more cruelty-free only due to taste. Maybe focus your energy on making your food so out of this world that your mother-in-law will forget about bringing meat next time!

I wish you all the best and hope that if your mother-in-law is allowed to continue bringing meat dishes to your home, you can at least use it as an opportunity to have an honest open discussion about your ethics.



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Disclaimer: Erika Krebs is not a nutritionist, registered dietitian, nor medical doctor. The information on is based on each columnist’s own training, research through reading and talking with other like-minded individuals, and personal experiences eating plant-based, vegan, and raw foods. The material appearing on is provided for informational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any or all changes to your diet and lifestyle should always first be discussed with your professional healthcare providers. assumes no responsibility or liability for any consequences resulting directly or indirectly from any action or inaction you take based on the information found on or material linked to on this website.

Posted in Advice Columns, Ask Erika

Erika is a best-selling cookbook author, food writer, lifestyle columnist, and a mom of three. She is the author of “Fresh Start: Farm to Table Plant Based Baby Recipes.” Erika is working on a new cookbook that focuses on fun, healthy, plant-based, toddler meals. Find out more about her work at Send Erika your questions at