How to Eat With Your Family on Thanksgiving!

So, it’s that time of the year again. It’s a very sad time for vegans and even more so for the poor turkey’s. 😦 I believe there are 45 million turkeys killed each year for Thanksgiving in the United States alone. It is just mind boggling! I can not wrap my head around that number. I still can’t believe that I was ever part of having turkey’s killed for my palate pleasure or because of tradition. It makes me sick thinking about it!

Vegans all over the country have conflicts with their non-vegan families and friends around the holidays. It is very difficult to sit at a dinner table and seeing the people you love munch on a dead animal that you also love. What are we supposed to do?

This is what my boyfriend and I are doing: We asked the family politely if we can bring our own Thanksgiving meal. We made it clear to them that we are not just there to visit for the food. We are there to visit with them. We were lucky that they were ok with that. However, the first couple of years after going vegan we made exceptions eating just a little bit of the food that they had such as butter, cheese or eggs in them, because there was nothing else for us to eat. After all, we had to drive 5 hours to see them. What were we supposed to do? Then I though about what the animals are going through. Is it really so difficult to bring our own food? After that we sent the host an e-mail asking to bring our own food. It was easy. She agreed right away. Not a problem at all!

Now I don’t know how your family will react to that. Will they feel weird you sitting there not eating what they are eating? I don’t know. You just have to ask, I guess. So, since then this is what we do. We make an entire Thanksgiving or Christmas meal including dessert and we drive it about 5 hours to see the family. We always make more food, so we can offer some to them and of course everything has to be delicious and looking great! The only people who will try some of our food are my boyfriends grown kids (they’re not vegan, but one is vegetarian) and his brother and sister in-law. That’s it! There must be close to 20 people and nobody but them will taste it! I have to tell you, it really is insulting to me, but what else can we do?

We only see them once or twice a year and they are very nice people. It’s really a shame, because some of them have health problems and we are worried about them. There is nothing we can do, but talk to them about it every so often and with some of them we can’t even do that.

Every year they see that we don’t just eat carrot sticks, even if they don’t eat our food. It is visually very appealing. At least we think so. 😉

I know, what you are going to say…. It’s a lot of work to make all of that and then bring it there, heat it up and end up having to start eating last, because they occupy the kitchen and there is no room for our food until they take it into the dining room. Yes, it’s a hassle, and yes it upsets me that they provide nothing for us to eat whatsoever, but believe me, it is all worth it! Just think about what the animals are going through. After all they are dead on their plates! Right? Do it for them!

Yes, you can just stay away and say that you can not stomach looking and smelling the dead animals, but then they won’t get to see the great food you are eating. Just think about it! You are showing them how delicious vegan food can be and that you are not missing out on anything. Maybe they will actually consider trying some of it (I keep trying) or at least take notice and try some recipes some other time. I know, it must make them feel a little uncomfortable, but that is their problem. Not yours.

So, go and have Thanksgiving with your loved ones! You don’t won’t to alienate them. You want them to change for the animals! Just try to pretend that there is no turkey on the table. I know it is very difficult, but do it for the turkeys! They are counting on you!

This year we’re having Thanksgiving with a vegan group, but we will see the family for Christmas. I was contemplating not to go, because it bothers me to see the dead animals right on our table, but I changed my mind. I will do it for the animals! I will make some great vegan food and I’ll share it with them. Maybe one day they will try it. 🙂

By the way…there is a great gift you can give to your family! Give them Dr. Michael Greger’s new book called “How not to die”. Maybe that will wake them up!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones! Inspire them to change this evil tradition!



This is a must see video!  Thanksgiving, a time when billions of turkey’s lose their lives for our palate pleasure. Please listen to Gary Yourofsky speaking the truth about a subject people don’t want to talk or hear about. If you love animals, you must watch this video! There is not much graphic footage at all. 99 percent is just Gary talking.