For people who don’t eat animal products, the holidays can be tricky. We’re surrounded by food we don’t eat and our family may not always cater to our lifestyle.
“So what do you do on Thanksgiving?” is a question I get often this time of year. If you’re wondering how vegans handle Thanksgiving, I’ve saved you the trouble and answered your questions.
Yea, we don’t eat the turkey.
Holidays aren’t free passes to eat animals. True vegans made a lifelong commitment to avoid all animal exploitation, which actually goes past just food and extends into fashion (we don’t buy things like leather and wool), entertainment (no zoos or aquariums), and cosmetics (nothing that’s been tested on animals).
If you know a vegan who eats animals on special occasions, that person isn’t representative of veganism.
No, we don’t get hungry.
There are plenty of things we can eat. They may not be the most popular things on the table, but lots of Thanksgiving staples are either already vegan or easily modified.
Not everything needs animal products to taste good. If we get the vegetables before they’re doused in butter and wrapped in bacon, they’re perfectly fine for us to eat.
Actually, we can’t just eat around it.
Things that have been cooked in animal products are inherently non-vegan. If you’d like to cook with us in mind, make sure there are no animal products anywhere in the dish. Just because you barely taste it doesn’t make it vegan.
Some of us don’t mind that you’re eating meat…
Many vegans aren’t bothered by the sight of meat. They treat their veganism as a personal choice and either don’t care what decisions you make or are subtle and patient in their conversion tactics.
…but a lot of us do
We love our families, but the holidays can be uncomfortable. Watching those we love consume other beings we love can weigh on many animal activists. Some will refuse to sit at the table while others use Thanksgiving to point out the hypocrisy of killing turkeys but loving kittens.
If you love us, listen. The statements we make are to get you to think. Try giving our point of view some thought before shooting it down.
We dream of hosting our own dinner.
Skipping the family time and having a veg-only Thanksgiving is the dream. We all want to participate in the feast, but the stench of meat takes the fun out of things.
Cities like New York and LA are known for having lots of vegans who live far from their families, so plant-based “friendsgivings” are always nice.
You should try the food we bring.
Most of us will have to bring a dish or two of our own. Instead of turning your nose, add a bit to your plate. You’ll realize vegan food is delicious and you may even consider joining us next year.