It’s difficult enough being vegan in a world where factory farming and slit animal throats have become so normalized, but it’s even more difficult when you have to be surrounded by a bunch of people who are oblivious to the realities of factory farming. I don’t think that you can get a bigger group of nonvegans together, other than when a vegan posts something vegan on social media, and you see all of the carnivores come and throw in their two cents, than during the holidays.
So shouldn’t we have books and video tutorials on this subject by now? How do we vegans survive Thanksgiving, family get-togethers, and Christmas parties surrounded by people with different views? (p.s. We do have books and tutorials on this, they’re called vegan cookbooks and YouTube!) There are so many great videos and recipes out there already, but I want to share a few of my own tips. Hopefully you can find some kind of vegan value in them. (And if you do, then yes, you have come to the right place!)
Tip #1: Teach People
Though sometimes it may not seem like it, people are more willing to learn than you might think. If someone asks about your veganism, share what you know! That brings us to the next tip.
Tip #2: Share your Knowledge & Feelings
We’re bound to get the oh so famous questions, “Why are you vegan?” and “What do you eat?” Probably with the latter question being asked more so than the other. So with that, share your knowledge! Tell them why, and if they’re mature enough about it, they’ll respect you for your choice in it. If not, you’re more than likely going to get a sarcastic comment or joke, and if you do, share your feelings about being vegan. People can be more receptive to how you feel, than to the facts and reasons behind veganism and why it’s better for one’s health and the world. So don’t debate, and offer up your feelings instead!
Tip #3: Offer to Help or Host
Thanksgiving dinner almost always surrounds a turkey carcass and nonvegan dishes, so why not offer to bring a vegan dish or two! That way you have something to eat, and it’s also less for the host to cook. Or take it a step further, and host at your house for the holidays. That way you know what you can eat, and you’re sure to get some happy faces for doing all of the work!
Tip #4: Be Prepared
If you host for the holidays, be prepared! Do what you can, and if you have to, plan ahead of time if you need to so that you have everything you need and you’re not running around day of. On the other hand, if you’re going to someone else’s house these holidays, be prepared for the questions, and know that everyone is usually curious about the vegan lifestyle and diet. Lastly, a good tip is to bring over dishes you know that you can eat. If you know there might not be vegan options, ask the host, or prepare meals in advance and you can warm them up when you get there.
Tip #5: Be Positive, Stay Positive
Not every vegan has a bad experience during the holidays, but if you happen to run into a situation, just stay positive! Know that not everyone is open to veganism yet, so keep a good attitude because everyone has different beliefs and morals, and that’s okay! Agree to disagree if you have to, and eventually with time, hopefully sooner rather than later, the world will be more knowledgeable about how damaging a nonvegan lifestyle can be.
Tip #6: Last Resort
And if all else fails, put on some Christmas music, grab some vegan pumpkin pie, and turn on abc family’s 25 days of Christmas!