How to handle meals with non-vegan friends and family
Bring delicious vegan side dishes that everyone can enjoy and experience. It’s a great way to show how delicious plant-based food is. By contributing food for all, you’ll feel less isolated and deprived.
Want more than a plate full of side dishes? Bring your own vegan turkey or meat alternative (see suggestions above).
If dining with non-vegan family members or friends is very uncomfortable for you, politely and positively decline the invitation and celebrate with vegans. You can attend or start your own Thanksgiving potluck, for example. If family or friends express disappointment, explain how excited you are about the vegan meal, invite them to attend or offer to join them before or after they eat.
Are your friends or family open to a vegan Thanksgiving? Great! Offer to take charge of the food prep and get them involved if they’re up for it. Or, go to a plant-based restaurant to make it easy.
If this is your first Thanksgiving eating plant-based, keep in mind that it may feel a little different. For example, don’t expect turkey alternatives to have the same taste and texture as turkey.
Good news: your taste buds will change and new vegan options come out frequently. On my first vegan Thanksgiving in 2003 I couldn’t stand the taste of Tofurky, and now I enjoy it. Plus, many more plant-based turkey options are available now.
Remember, Thanksgiving celebrations are about more than food. They’re about unity, tradition, and gratitude.This is not the time to argue or complain about what other people choose to eat. Find elements of the tradition that have nothing to do with animal products Focus on what you love about them and save any tough conversations for another time.
Get More Tips on Eco-Vegan Living
Receive a free ebook plus weekly guidance on the plant-based diet and living eco-friendly in Whitney's weekly newsletter.