Going vegan is a great lifestyle choice. However, not everyone has adopted the diet, and it can make things tricky when you have meals with a large group of people. During the holidays, which for this case includes Thanksgiving and Christmas, you may go back home to spend time with your family. When you are vegan but everyone else enjoys steak, it can be tough to figure out what to do where you do not compromise your values. You also do not want to inconvenience others. Fortunately, there are plenty of tips for having a great, healthy meal with loved ones.
Be Clear About What You Can Eat
Many people do not fully understand what being vegan is. They assume it means you cannot eat meat and dairy products, but it is slightly more nuanced than that. Before the meal, communicate to whomever the cook will be about what you cannot eat. This helps the person prepare items you definitely can enjoy. Additionally, during the holiday, it is helpful to offer to cook. That way you can be 100 percent positive you maintain a vegan lifestyle.
Bring a Tasty Vegan Dish
Even if the event is not a potluck, people will enjoy it if you bring something. There are plenty of great recipes, including vegan chocolate peanut butter protein pudding or vegan pumpkin pie, which tastes just like the regular thing. By showing what vegan food really tastes like, you may even convert people over to your side.
Keep Vegan Talk at the Table to a Minimum
Some people are vegan due to the inhumane conditions animals are exposed to on farms. Other people are vegan due to the effect deforestation has on the planet. Talking about dead animals and politics should be avoided at all costs when around family. If someone asks you why you went vegan, then you could simply say you are happy to go over it after the meal.
Prepare for Questions
When you are with family, particularly those you have not seen in a while, you should prepare for them to ask you plenty of questions about being a vegan. It is natural, and while you do not have to prepare a lecture beforehand, you should be ready to talk about where you get your protein and calcium. If you do not feel like talking that much, then point people toward a book or documentary you saw that helped you develop your position.
Above all else, remember that the holidays are a time for people to come together and enjoy one another’s company. You should not worry about trying to convert people to veganism or people trying to get you to eat meat. The meal itself is only one aspect of the occasion. Have fun, and you will have a great time.
Your family loves you, and as long as you tell people about your diet, they will surely accommodate. There is no need to feel guilty or compelled to eat meat, so you do not hurt someone’s feelings. Being vegan is much more mainstream these days, so many families probably have someone at the table who is just like you.