Titans of Sustainability

December 19, 2014

Surviving the Holidays as a Vegetarian/Vegan by Trish Linner

Filed under: Uncategorized — csfuture @ 7:16 pm

Ah the holidays are here, family gatherings, presents and food. Probably a LOT of food. And most likely there are some family members who don’t know you are a vegetarian/vegan. This can cause added stress at a time when you need it the least. But it doesn’t have to. Knowing how to handle your relatives and their endless questions will get you through the holidays until life returns to normal. Here are a few tips to help:

You’re a what?  Some people will not know what you are talking about and will need you to explain. Don’t make them feel stupid. Simply state what a vegetarian/vegan is, what you eat and do not eat and why. This is not the time to launch into a massive political statement. Your personal reasons for choosing this lifestyle can be explained on a basic level in just a few sentences.

Don’t be offended if they are offended. Aunt Betsy may feel she is being personally attacked if you choose not to eat her sausage stuffing or the turkey she has spent hours cooking. You need to remember that people are often uncomfortable with new ideas and changes. People eat meat and when you tell them you don’t, they often feel that you are judging them. Be the bigger person and refrain from getting mad because they don’t understand your choice.

They love you. Keep in mind that the concerned looks you get are not always disapproving. Your family may be concerned about your health. We have been taught that our bodies need meat and dairy products to survive. If they are not familiar with a vegetarian/vegan diet, they may be worried you are not getting proper nutrition. If asked, explain nicely the health benefits of a vegetarian/vegan diet, but, do it without being judgmental.  Point out how much you have learned about nutrition since becoming a vegetarian/vegan.

Don’t make the situation more difficult. You don’t need to point out all the food you can’t eat. This will make everyone feel uncomfortable. Just eat what you can, and if you want to bring a meat alternative, go for it. Just don’t make it a big deal.

The holidays are a great time to connect with family. Enjoy your time together and don’t turn the holiday celebration into a food war. Keep it simple, forget any negativity and relax. Be confident in your decision for you, without worrying about what others think.


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