For many of you (I’ve been one too!) you’ll be the only vegetarian or vegan at your Thanksgiving dinner. This can be super hard, I know, I’ve been there. But, one of the most challenging aspects about being a vegan/vegetarian guest in a non-vegan/non-vegetarian environment are dealing with the ole jokesters and hecklers. But don’t let them define your celebration, have fun, and remember this day is about celebration! Just be prepared, keep calm, and realize this is a time to celebrate family and friends, this is not a time to play vegan/vegetarian preacher. I’m sure at some point in time, in your past, you heard the word vegan or vegetarian and thought “weirdo” so don’t be surprised when those non-vegans/vegetarians around you think you’re crazy and don’t understand. Your friends and family are either just trying to have fun with you or are curious, I mean you gave up cheese and bacon! But always remember they care about you at the end of the day they’re just happy to see you regardless of veganism/vegetarianism. Here’s 3 ways to help you keep your cool at Thanksgiving dinner as a vegan or vegetarian:
Here are just 3 of many tips that I have in my Thanksgiving eCourse for vegans and vegetarians (and everyone else!), so if you’re wondering what exactly to say in these scenarios, download my guide to learn the 7 questions all vegans/vegetarians experience and don’t know how to answer
No matter what, don’t get defensive!
This is the most difficult, but the most important. When your family or friends start in on you asking you a bagillion questions, teasing you, etc, laugh along. DO NOT GET DEFENSIVE. If you get defensive this will make you look like you’re insecure about your decision and make them question your decision. Keep your cool you’ll look like you have everything together and they’ll have less questions.
Thanksgiving dinner is no time to preach veganism/vegetarianism/any kind of ism for that matter
I repeat Thanksgiving dinner is no time to preach veganism/vegetarianism. Sure, we want everyone to go vegan or vegetarian, we know the benefits, we’re happy, and know that it’s best for all, yes I get that, but Thanksgiving dinner is about family and friends, not about lifestyle choices! If you begin preaching the benefits of veganism/vegetarianism and sharing the horrors of factory farming and the dairy industry while everyone around you is about to dig into a bunch of meat and dairy, you’ll put them on edge. The conversation won’t just be about factory farming at this point, the conversation will turn to you accusing them. I know that’s not your intent, but that’s how they’ll see it. Just, as hard as it might seem, keep your reasons to yourself today, unless they ask. Then if your family, friends, host, and fellow guests feel on edge, they’ll blame veganism/vegetarianism and the result will be them resenting it and ultimately rejecting it. Plus trying to convert a whole non-vegan/vegetarian crowd by yourself on a day that the tradition is to eat a whole turkey might not be the wisest choice.
3. Lead by example
So this might seem weird, but if you really want others to know about all the benefits of veganism/vegetarianism, keep that smile on your face, keep positive, and show through how happy and healthy you are and how great you feel that veganism/vegetarianism is a great choice. Show by example. If they see you’re ready to go after your meal while they’re all sleepy from the tryptophan, you’ll feel great and they’ll see that. Lead by example!
I hope these 3 tips can help you overcome some of the challenges you might face this week!
What have your experiences being the only vegan/vegetarian been like? Leave me a comment with your story!