It’s the holiday season and you want to spend some quality time with your family. This can either be a Global Peace Summit or WW3, depending on what kind of family you have!
Even if you have exceptionally stubborn blood relations, there are things that you can do to make the holidays easier. Here is a vegan survival guide to help you navigate the holidays with a non-vegan family.
Tip #1: Vegan in a Non-Vegan Family? Always Try to Coordinate with the Family Chef
Talk to the family chef or chefs to tell them you’re vegan and see what’s on the menu for any big family meals you might be having. Talk to them about your diet respectfully, don’t assume they have to make anything vegan for you, and show gratitude if they say they are willing to prepare some vegan dishes.
If the family chefs can’t or won’t make anything vegan for you, go on to Tip #2 to prepare your own meals. If you don’t know how to cook, now is the time to learn!
Even if you have super nice cooks in your family who are willing to go all out for you, it’s very easy for non-vegans to make mistakes. It’s best if you help out in the kitchen to not only keep an eye on your vegan meals, but to also lend an extra hand since you’re creating extra work for the family chefs.
Tip #2: Plan Your Meals in Advance and Pack Vegan Staples
Not everyone is lucky enough to have been raised in a city that is listed as one of the best places in the world to be a vegan. If your hometown keeps making the “Top 10 WORST Places to be a VEGAN!” list, then you need to pack some supplies. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck eating spaghetti and peanut butter sandwiches the entire holiday season.
Thankfully, you can do a lot with beans, fresh veggies, rice, potatoes, and noodles. As long as your hometown market has those staples, all you need to pack are your favorite vegan seasonings like miso paste, soy sauce/coconut amino sauce, Sriracha sauce, and nutritional yeast.
Tip #3: Introduce Your Lifestyle in a Friendly and Non-Confrontational Way
The best way to be a good vegan ambassador is to lead by example. Don’t criticize your family for not being vegan, instead, show them why you decided to make that important switch. Stick to talking about your feelings and opinions rather than telling others what to do.
Tip #4: Prepare Some Counter Arguments or Just Play Earthling Ed’s Ted Talk
If you’re not familiar with the “Defensive Vegan Bingo Card” then this is a good time to look it over because it’s a comprehensive list of the most common and tired arguments that non-vegans will make against veganism.
As a vegan, you should be able to respond to these arguments since you will hear them a lot, but if you’re sick of talking, or just want to eat your vegan mashed potatoes in peace, you can play Earthling Ed’s, “Every Argument Against Veganism.”
Tip #5: As Soon as Things Start Getting Heated, Change the Subject or Walk Away
Sometimes it’s just better to walk away if the argument gets too heated and is going nowhere fast. You can either switch topics to something lighter or physically remove yourself from the situation and get some fresh air.
Hopefully, with these tips, the only drama you’ll experience during the holidays is regifting some snowman socks to the aunt who gave you those socks last year.