Family Holiday Meals – Mixing Vegans With Omnivores

| 11/27/2014 | Reply

We have a mixture of meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans of all races, sitting down together to eat a meal on Thanksgiving. I know a lot of vegans have a problem with such a gathering, and refuse to dine with meat eaters no matter who they are. They feel it’s wrong that people eat meat in front of them knowing their stance on animal cruelty, and just don’t want to look at a roasted bird or watch people eat meat.eating

Some get really angry and rather preachy; they rant and rave about how wrong it is and how stupid meat eaters are and proclaim them to be crazed sick and twisted.

They are certainly entitled to their beliefs and to isolate themselves away from the world of meat eaters on holidays. But you know what? I don’t have a problem with it. I believe my choices are mine and mine alone, and I have no desire to push my beliefs or lifestyle choices down the throats of other people, to denigrate them, or preach at them for being different. Totally not my style.

What would I look like anyway jamming someone else up about eating meat, cheese and eggs, when I did the same thing for decades?

No, I consider myself to be a leader, and leaders lead! They don’t tell others what to do, they SHOW them. That means I go first, without question, and I often travel alone. Leaders pave the way for others to follow, proving to them that it can be done, the goal can be achieved, and that the path cleared is now safe to travel on.

13566_acorn_squash_wild_rice_stuffing_600So with that in mind, at my home we will have a meal where everyone is tolerant and accepting of everyone else. The meat eaters will respect the vegans and vegetarians, who will respect the meat eaters in return. We’ll have a mixture of food items on the table and stove, with the emphasis on freshly prepared vegetable side dishes, sauces, and other vegan-friendly cuisine since I’m doing most of the cooking.

And we’ll laugh and joke and talk about how good the food is and how we miss seeing each other. The men will tell corny jokes and lies about their youth, and the women will roll their eyes and smile those knowing smiles.

We’ll take pictures and clown for the camera and create new holiday memories for future enjoyment. That is as it should be. Because in the end when you die, it’s the people who were in your life — those you loved and who loved you — that will make your passage to the next place a peaceful and joyous one.

What is on the menu besides the omnivore’s bird?

  • Roasted brussels sprouts (vegan)
  • Green bean casserole (vegetarian)
  • Acorn squash stuffed with wild rice dressing (vegan)Cranberry-Orange-Relish-it-is-a-keeper-FEAT-207x200
  • Cauliflower mashed potatoes (vegan)
  • Mushroom gravy (vegan)
  • Cranberry and orange relish (vegan)
  • Sweet potato souffle (vegetarian)
  • Lemon cheezecake topped with fresh blueberries (vegan)

In the end, our memories are of those we cared for and the life we shared with them; our memories are what brings a smile to our faces as we get up and get out of here.

To me loving each other is the most important thing in the world. I think more vegans need to allow their loved ones and friends the space to walk their own walk and get to where you are on their own time.

Hope your holiday is filled with love and acceptance as well.

~ Deborrah Cooper

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Category: Veganism and African Americans

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