Until going vegan two years ago, I never considered the lives of the animals I ate. I think this is how it is for most of us who grow up eating meat. It’s what we learned to do and we don’t question it.
That’s why when I first went vegan I questioned other people about why they ate meat. This didn’t go well. So now I simply feed people great vegan food and let them ask me about my lifestyle if they wish. No guilt, no pressure, just yummy food. This doesn’t always get people interested in veganism either, but it’s more successful than challenging others.
A problem with this approach, however; is that people fear vegan food. They assume it’s bland and are afraid to try it. That’s why I was excited that some of my omnivore friends and family agreed to come to my vegan Thanksgiving. I could show them just how delicious vegan food can be.
After Thanksgiving, I asked my husband’s buddy, Kevin, to share his thoughts on his first vegan holiday. I expected a sentence or two, but Kevin’s a writer, so he wrote a story instead. Vegans be warned, this is NOT something a vegan would write!
If you like Kevin’s writing, check out his comedy short story blog. Be sure to read his hilarious Sept. 19 post, When the Giant Chickens Came. Kevin may not realize it, but with the genetic engineering and hormones we’re feeding chickens his story may not be fiction for long!
One last note – I did not serve Tofurky for Thanksgiving nor have I ever even tried the stuff. I just picked the title because it was fun.
Don’t Fear the Tofurky! by Kevin Michael West
I attended the vegan Thanksgiving with great trepidation. Even a single day without meat seemed beyond comprehension, like someone enjoying Robin Williams’ new sitcom. I guess my meat-eating is a response to my caveman ancestry. I often feel like a caveman, and have been known to paint on walls. (My boorish landlord calls it “vandalism.”)
The drive down to Paul and Celeste’s was a long one and the notion of a meat free Thanksgiving began to weigh on me with each passing mile. “Meat Free Thanksgiving” felt like a contradiction in terms, an oxymoron like “plastic silverware” or “jumbo shrimp” or “compassionate conservative.” Man, I really like shrimp, I thought to myself, fish being meat and all.
So consumed was I with my desire for meat that I found myself scanning the freeway in the hopes that some small woodland creature might cross my path, that I might run it over and feast upon its flesh. In my fevered state, I imagined myself standing by my parked car on the side of the freeway, hood up, cooking the fresh roadkill on my hot engine block. Alas, no such animals came into view and I arrived at Paul and Celeste’s with an empty stomach and a clean conscience. I probably wouldn’t have run over any animals anyway, as the car had been recently washed, and with the Prius hybrid engine a sorry substitute for an oven.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover the vegan food was quite good. I dug in with my plastic silverware and found the experience to be quite delicious. The tofu chocolate cake was sublime, as was the company. Afterwards, we watched a film I made (starring Celeste’s husband Paul). Then we all enjoyed a raucous game of “Balderdash,” reveling in the humorously incongruous conceptual juxtapositions and ribald double entendres.
On the way home, I decided to cancel my plans to visit the McDonalds drive-thru. It was getting late anyway.
The photo above is courtesy of the Cadry’s Kitchen post, 12 Tips for Surviving your First Vegan Thanksgiving. I recommend checking this post out. The tips are great for helping vegans manage not just Thanksgiving, but any non-vegan gathering.