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Vegan / Vegetarian Discussion - All Things Veg*n Forum

Hello everyone. This Thanksgiving will be my first as a new vegan,and I will be surrounded by my meat-eating family. Any advice on how to get through it?

Responses (8)

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    Posted by gruesomebones at 11/22/14 19:38:36

    If your family is anything like my family, you're going to get a lot of questions, "where do you get your protein", "how can you resist meat", "do you miss cheese", stuff like that. Remember to stay calm, tell them you're happy about your decision and even try to teach them a few things, like vegans don't only eat vegetables. You almost might get a few "jokers" that will try to shove meat into your face and/or plate but again stay calm, tell them you don't want any of that and push comes to shove sit farthest away from those people. Hope everything goes well, and have a nice Thanksgiving!

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    Posted by happycowgirl at 11/22/14 20:38:14

    Awesome advice, gruesomebones.

    SexyVeganDiva, you left out a lot of key details like who is hosting Thanksgiving? I find it's always better to get the non-vegans on my turf. If someone else is hosting, the key is to communicate and prepare in advance.

    For those who are vegetarian (not vegan), it's usually not that big a deal bc other than the turkey you can stuff yourself silly on side dishes. When you're vegan it's almost always best to let your host know of your dietary needs well in advance. Have the conversation. You can decide how that conversation goes based on what you're comfortable with. Most ppl will check in & find out what the host is going to make that's vegan ahead of time, offer to bring a vegan dish(es) to share or do what I always do and just say hey, I'm here for the company not your food, I'm bringing my own meal - then order a pre-cooked Thanksgiving vegan meal from a restaurant or Whole Foods.

    This is just me, but there is no way in hell I'm sitting at someone else's table for Thanksgiving and not eating crazy delicious vegan food. Besides, you want you're meat eating family to see you happily stuffing your face with delicious vegan delights not cringing as you begrudgingly have to pick the meat out of some un-thoughtfully prepared dish. If they see you with nothing on your plate and picking things over to find something you can eat, it reinforces their belief that a vegan diet is one of deprivation and "what do you eat??" That's why I walk in with a kick ass vegan meal all my own. I love when all eyes are on what I'm eating bc instead of the conversation being about what I DON'T eat, it usually shifts to "whats that?" And I get to explain, " oh that's couscous, or this is a wheat meat". Then I can start talking about tempeh and Daiya cheese and other things they've probably never heard of before.

    Long story short, try to talk about it ahead of time with the host bc this allows them to ask you any questions they may have and it gets any awkwardness out of the way.

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    Posted by Veginsane at 11/23/14 07:18:43

    There are a lot of great responses here! I have been vegetarian for 7 years. The last step for eating vegan was to give up dairy, which I have done for the past few months and I've Never been happier. In addition to the above great ideas, I want to share something I have done. I usually work on Thanksgiving and always surrounded by narrow minded critical carnivores. I find it fun to make an awesome dish and get it on the table with the other food without anyone realizing I brought it. At the end of the meal or after dessert if my dish was a dessert, when the dish is ALWAYS all gone, I tell everyone about the dish. I always get the "you are lying", "no way that was meat free", "but that was so delicious" comments as people are surprised my food actually tastes good. I find it a good way to have fun and share. This will be my first vegan Thanksgiving and I'm not working, but actually cooking vegan for my family who has agreed to adopt 7 turkeys and forgo eating turkey for Thanksgiving. Good luck and stay strong!!

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    Posted by KayleeSmith at 11/23/14 20:22:39

    I am a vegetarian by understanding benefits of vegan diet. Scientific researches have proved that eating veg provides same vitamins, proteins and carbohydrates as generated by eating non-veg. Eating meat is certainly out of my protocol. By eating a planned veg diet, i have been able to maintain my health. Thankfully, i have never fallen ill since last 8 months. My hairs, skin and glow have increased in a natural manner without using any special diet chart. Superfoods available at online health food store makes me fit. I prefer purchasing a wide gamut of products from online health groceries, which serve the exact nutritive eatable i look for. Apart from healthy food items, the online health store in Australia serve a wide collection of naturally prepared beauty products that are highly beneficial. As new year is coming, i will continue with my resolution of being healthy, being green and maintain greenery around me. A trust vegan for lifetime.

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    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 11/24/14 03:57:21


    A few good rules to follow:

    1) Don't discuss vegetarian issues with people while they are eating. This may force them into a defensive posture, and may promote conflict rather than dialog.

    2) Don't try to answer a question unless you feel very confident in your answer. If you don't have a good answer, refer the person to a good book or the Internet.

    3) Gain rapport by admitting right from the start that you were once a meat-eater, or a hunter, fisher, pro-vivisection, or whatever. Explain that your views changed because of personal experience, or reading a book, or whatever.

    4) Try to never use the word "should" when suggesting a diet or other change. Better to simply tell your own story or quote from another authority - "I found that when I stopped eating animal products..." or "Dr. Barnard says that..." or simply "some people believe that..."

    5) Be careful what you say to children, especially those not accompanied by a parent; they may misunderstand and relay inaccurate information to their parents.

    See next post for more.

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    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 11/24/14 04:52:50

    Common questions:

    Q: What about protein, calcium and vitamin B12?
    A: While not easy under some circumstances, all nutritional needs can be met on a vegan diet.

    Q: Aren't all vegetarians skinny and weak?
    A: No, there are even vegan body builders and athletes.

    Q: Haven't humans always been hunters?
    A: Our ancestors were primarily foragers and scavengers before evolving into hunter/gatherers and eventually hunter/herdsmen/warriors.

    Q: Isn't milk the "perfect food"?
    A: Only if you believe everything you see on TV. Mother's milk is the perfect food for that mother's baby. All mammals wean their babies after infancy, because milk is no longer the best food. Only humans refuse to be weaned, and steal milk from cows and their calves. And let's not forget that dairy cows and their male calves also end up at a slaughterhouse.

    I, and many others have addressed these issues in depth in books.

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    Posted by SorshaMorava at 11/25/14 09:18:38

    I made a video for all the vegans and vegetarians
    out there this Thanksgiving!

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    Posted by happycowgirl at 11/25/14 15:50:23

    Fantastic video, Sorsha. I hope there are many more to come! Please share the next one with us too. : )

    p.s. excellent point in the video about the stuffing!

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