Thanksgiving was my first major holiday since I started eating a vegan diet.
Thanksgiving is basically a holiday that revolves around a dead bird; dairy-laden mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, creamed onions, buttery stuffing, and creamy pies; and a fictitious tale of goodwill between colonists and natives. A great backdrop, to be sure, against which to highlight dietary changes.
I knew going into this that I was THE vegan. Nobody else. Not even a vegetarian in the crowd. Everybody else would eat whatever they normally ate -- which is to say, the stereotypical all-American thanksgiving feast, complete with debate over whether or not to cook a turducken next year.
The best I could do was bring a few dishes of my own (to share, of course) and pray that I didn't get a lot of flack from the relatives. I didn't want the holiday to turn into a "weird Elaine" conversation, nor did I want to turn it into a lesson for everybody else. I just wanted to eat and celebrate abundance. Lessons can happen at other times.
I was a little on edge, anticipating a whole lot of drama. After all, what's a holiday without a little family drama, I ask you?
Well...I actually have nothing -- NOTHING -- to complain about. I am floored to be writing this, as I could easily regale you with tales of holidays past when arguments about things far less important than diet or animal welfare or the environment went from lively to heated within minutes (topics like kids' bedtimes or ages at when kids SHOULD KNOW TO TIE SHOES, for instance).
Nobody gave me a bad time. Nobody tried to trick me into eating something that wasn't vegan. Several people tried my dishes and proclaimed them tasty (leek-mushroom pie, a tofurkey roast and a sweet potato dish). I happily ate my dishes, salad and a roll. Though I ate less than everybody else, I TOTALLY had enough, and was spared the 'oh-my-god-I-ate-too-much-and-I'm-going-to-die' feeling.
I titled this post "vegan(ish)" because I did succumb to a teeny slice of pumpkin pie, which I'm pretty darn sure had some dairy in it somewhere.
Next year, I'll bring a vegan pie, too. :)
- My interests include veganism and vegetarianism, health, ethics, politics and culture, media, and the environment. I have three kids; I teach college part-time, study piano and attempt to garden. I knit. I blog on just about anything, but many posts are related to my somewhat pathetic quest to eat better, be more mindful of the environment, and be a more responsible news consumer. Sometimes I write about parenting, but, like so many Mommy bloggers, my kids have recently told me not to. :) Thanks for reading.