Friday, April 2, 2010

Dealing with Non-Vegan Family at Easter

Well, it's another holiday weekend. Another mass animal sacrifice disguised as a religious event. Sunday will bring to me, as it will to many vegans around the 'christian' world, a family 'feast' based upon dead animals.

"You still off the meat?"

"Anyone bring a head of lettuce for Tom?"

"How does he do it?" (said from one to another as if I wasn't even there) "I'd like to eat healthier, but... Jeez... That's a little extreme!"

I tend to be a little of a smart ass but when it comes to these questions and comments, I try to be an ambassador of the vegan lifestyle. It's hard, but I give short, to the point answers and then change the topic as fast as possible.

I just want to throw it out there to anyone that comes across this post (vegan and non-vegan). Do you find it hard at family gatherings? Are people supportive of your dietary choices? Do people know of your dietary choices (do you fake that you are a meat-eater and pretend to have an upset stomach or something)?

Non-vegans with vegan family members - why are non-vegans so defensive about vegans? It's just a diet! I always sense a little underlying anger - like the allies vs. the nazis; Leafs vs. Canadiens; Christians vs. Muslims; Michigan vs. Michigan State - you get the picture.

Anywho - enjoy your holiday weekend! In Southern Ontario, where the temps have gone up to 20 degrees celcius above normal - for the first time in three years we have to worry about heat exhaustion and it's only the start of April! It makes for a very nice outdoor long weekend.


  1. I definitely know what you mean. My husband's family are all "meat and potato" types and rarely a meal goes by when someone doesn't make a comment on my food choices or the lack of meat on my plate. I guess it comes with the territory!

  2. It doesn't help that my parents are in their 80's, getting forgetful and I have to go through the whole process every time I visit! It's like the movie Groundhog's Day...

  3. Hey Tom,

    I have found my family to be rather unsupportive. They try sometimes, especially my father when I am back for a visit; fortunately, for the most part, they don`t make jokes about it. They are kind of awkward though.

    I think it is fairly common for families and even friends to be unsupportive. They just don`t understand.

    I will have to disagree with you to some extent about what you said at the end, however. Being vegan is about much more than diet. It is founded on a reconsideration of the relationship of other animals to our approach to the world, one that at least begins to take their interests into consideration. Diet is only part of it, if you ask me.

    Thanks for the post man. People make fun for many different reasons, but it is often fueled by ignorance, not to mention an inability to see the obvious.