Most of the time, vegans are characterized as having a sense of superiority over non-vegans. This isn’t entirely true, but some of us vegans are just begging to be labeled. Certainly, we have an obligation to steer other people onto our path, but we don’t need to be condescending.
We should talk to them over dinner, lunch, breakfast, or some coffee (milk-free), not solely about our movement but also for the normal socializing us humans ought to do. The problem comes here, come holidays and even family events, especially Thanksgiving, and the Christmas season.
Here are some simple guidelines to follow in order to survive a non-vegetarian holiday event.
Remind the People
If you are the guest, remind the host that you are indeed a vegan or vegetarian, if he / she has forgotten about it so he / she could prepare for you. If you are expecting guests, then remind your guests that you can only prepare vegan dishes. In this manner, both parties could decide how to make compromises.
This is not a surprise, most people aren’t familiar with the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan. And if by chance, you are a non-veg reading this article for some advice over your incoming vegan / vegetarian guest or guests, here is the simplest explanation:
- Vegans adhere to a philosophy that excludes them from consuming any products made from animals, including dairy and eggs.
- Vegetarians practice a diet that excludes meat, be it pork, chicken, beef or sea animals. However, there are certain types of vegetarianism that includes consuming of dairy and egg products.
Reminder: Gelatin is an animal product; it’s made of bones, sometimes hides, skin and even fish by-products. Your Jello is not a veg-friendly dessert!
Don’t Ruin the Holiday
Do not discuss over dinner the disadvantages of eating meat, its ethical issues, and its effects on the planet. This is a holiday, not a debate class.
Try to get feedback if your prepared vegan dishes are delicious – talk about its nutritional values, how it is prepared, and other related topics. Do not ruin the dinner with an argument.
If you are the host, prepare non-vegetarian and vegetarian-friendly food. Make sure at least one-half of the total dishes are foods that can be eaten by both sides of the fence. Do not discriminate people in the holidays; they can be your loved ones.
Also, non-veg people are not used to eating solely plant-based food and might not be satiated after the meal. Prepare some meat dishes for them to make sure they feel welcome. After this, ask them to taste your vegan food and they will surely give it a shot.
You can also ask the guests to bring their own dishes. With this, they already have food that they can eat, and allows the table to have several dishes that the guests know they will want to eat.
As a host, you might find it unnerving to provide non-vegetarian friends with meat products. You can always opt to dine out in a restaurant that you know that does serve both non-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes for you and your friends to enjoy over the holidays.
This article was originally published in April, 2013