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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Vegan meeting non-vegan for the Holidays




Today's blog post is inspired by a friend of mine... she suggested, as we get close to the Holiday, that I come up with suggestions on how vegan and non-vegan can share Holidays without any weird feeling on any side...  And this is a great idea indeed as it may not always been easy.  As a hint, I am also preparing something similar for minimalists versus non-minimalists...

Now, all vegans are not created equal and there are many "levels" of veganism so to speak... therefore I would suggest that you figure out who you are dealing with as a first steps....

Let me explain...  I know some vegan who still cook meat for their family... and have it in their homes...  I know vegan who will tolerate meat around them but not in their home and will not, in any circumstances touch it or cook...  I also know vegan who will refuse any meat around them period. And there are some grey zones in between that... Therefore your best bet is ASK!

For example, I will tolerate people to eat meat around me in a restaurant or in their homes (even though I am becoming more and more sensitive to it)...  but meat is NOT coming into my home... nor is dairy, eggs, yogurt or cheese... Or anything made with the latter... 

Now, first mentioned category is quite easy...  your home, their home...  Holiday meal can be as normal as usual with a few exceptions for the vegan person...  In which case, if she is not hosting, I would suggest a potluck type thing where she can bring things over to make sure she can eat....  Or do not hesitate to ask for ideas and recipes... most vegans I know love to talk about food and share recipes for non-vegans to try out!

In the case of people like me, you either have them over... or expect to have a different Holiday experience... I will not have any or the regular stuff on my table on Christmas but I can definitely veganised some standard recipe... the only thing is that non-vegan who are not use to the different taste/texture may not like it...  Then again, do not hesitate to ask your guest to bring something over or share a recipe...

In the case of more strict vegan well then...  you're up to a very different experience if they are included in your Holidays...  and  you may want to have them host the party or select where to go have it...  Stay open minded and keep in mind that you can always have your regular Holiday meal the next day...

Now I write this and I realise that it is asking a lot of flexibility on the part of non-vegans...  and I am not quite sure how it ends up like that... but being vegan, as I experience it, is a wonderful experience, and once you really get into it, it becomes more and more difficult to cook, be close to, smell or even see meat... When you get really into it, all you can see is no longer food but a dead animal cooked and ready to eat...  you can see the suffering... you know the bad effect it has on every one's health and on the environment...  It is then difficult to ask us to "tolerate" it for the Holidays...

It is similar situation to smokers and non-smokers... would you go into a non-smoker home and light up a cigarette? Or light up a cigarette in their face without asking if they mind?
Would you go into a recovering alcoholic home and bring wine as a hostess present? Or if they are at your home serve wine to everyone or would you find an alternative non-alcoholic beverage?
Well expecting vegan to be around meat is similar...  some will and some won't...  because we believe in what we are doing and it is hard for us to accommodate people in such a way that we feel is detrimental to them! Especially loved ones!

I know this may sounds strict for non-vegans... and they may feel they have to give in... or not be respected... but it really is not the case!  We respect and love you (I never forced anyone to become vegan)... and this is why we wish you'd become vegan too... and we hope that being in our presence will make you try new things and discover all the amazing food we eat... and maybe give a chance to veganism...

We are so strict because meat really upset us...  and makes us feel nauseated... it is not just to be particular or different or annoying...

As a summary:

1) When vegan are hosts, be open to new food....  or ask if it's OK if you bring something that may not be vegan
2) When non vegans are hosts, ask if you're vegan friend will accept to be around meat...  and perhaps ask for some recipes
3) Try potluck types meal... there's something for everyone in that situation...
4) Ask for recipes to be shared

Talk, ask, be honnest... before hand... makes everything go smoother on the Day...

Hope this answer my friend's question... and that of many more of you who may have such a question...

p.s. and you know what?  I cannot talk for everyone, but personnaly, I'd rather not be invited if it's going to make things complicated and uncomfortable for everyone....  We can meet one one one at some other times... when there is no need to impress non-vegan guests as well!

love&peace,
nath
xox

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2 comments:

  1. You are certainly committed to your values. I'm curious how you reconcile working at Starbucks with all the milk/dairy products and meat/ breakfast sandwiches? Is this something you don't account for since it's a job?
    It would seem since you are so passionate about your vegan principles, that this would be a contradiction.
    I agree though, if it's too uncomfortable for you to be around the smell of meat or dairy ,it's best to avoid. Starbucks, though???

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    Replies
    1. Christina I understand what you are saying... and in a way I agree... however, vegan or not I need to earn a living... I chose Starbucks because you cannot find 100% vegan places where I live... and I love Starbucks (the lifestyle promoted and the philosophy)! I was a good customer for years... they are working on improving their menu and including vegan options. They already have vegetarian options for sandwiches and they offer soy milk. They are starting to include almond milk slowly... and coming up with vegan treats too! I am giving them a chance! They really do listen to their customers and are doing great things for the community where they buy their grains AND where they have stores... to me this is a MUCH better cie then many others. It'S a personnal choice... and I can live with it now...

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