If any holiday was ever the antithesis to anything vegan, it would be Thanksgiving. It's a whole day that revolves around a dead bird, so that's fun.
The holidays are always weird. Heck, most family gatherings are weird as it is, sans my diet being thrown into the mix. There's that whole "I have boyfriends" thing, I look weird, and I believe in women's rights. Don't forget that I hate organized religion and I'm critical about the use of drones in the Middle East. I am the proverbial black sheep of my family.
I don't expect people to bend over backwards for me during the holidays. I get that I am the odd man out. That being said, it is rather nice when my mom has some random side dishes that she lovingly kept all the animal products out of for me. Bless her heart. It's the gesture more than anything that I appreciate. Yay mom!
Anyway, if you are traveling to a land full of meats and animal by-products this Thanksgiving, here are a few things to keep in mind.
- If you're going to someone else's house, don't be "that vegan" that decides to take everyone to church and PREACH
I get it. I get that you want to yell from the rooftops all of the ills of factory farming. If you are going to someone else's place, please respect their choices and stay off your soap box for the evening. There is a time and a place for everything. Just wait till after you leave to be angry on Twitter/Facebook.
- Prepare yourself for all the questions EVER, all at once
You're going to have to get over people asking you questions like "What do you eat?" and "But don't plants have feelings?" real quick. Other fun questions you're going to hear until FOREVER are things like "Where do you get protein/calcium/etc. from?" Unless someone is trying to be an assbutt, they're just being curious. Educate yourself before you try to educate others.
You're also going to get the "BUT WHY THO?" a lot as well. I tend to try and use non judgey answers and try to make things that blatantly make my being vegan a choice that I made. Saying "Oh because health" or other non politically charged things usually work.
Unless you want to eat sad side dishes from the buffet of gross, you should probably bring some chow that you can heat up quickly and consume in a shame corner. People are always curious about the stuff that I bring and no, I don't share because that's the only food I have.
Me when someone asks if they can try my food. Really? That ENTIRE table isn't enough for you?
Try and make sure that you have a place to prepare your stuff, lest you be forced to share space and get meat particles all over your vegan/veggie food. People that I've shared kitchen space with usually don't mind sharing and cooking with others is a lot of fun!
Hopefully your Thanksgiving isn't a bummer. May you be able to get along with all the people that you feast with on this most glorious of food coma inducing days. Thanksgiving is a time for family, good times, and pie. Mmm pie.
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below or you if you have any Turkey Day horror stories.