Advice: A vegan at a meat eaters Thanksgiving table
So, Thanksgiving is a rough time of the year for me. I love to cook and be in the kitchen with my family, but the meal itself is never very enjoyable.
I am vegan, but I am not a ... try to make everyone think and eat just like me kind of vegan. I cook meat for my loved ones because A) I love to cook, B) sharing food is how I show people I care, and C) if meat is what they enjoy eating, that is what I want o give to them. Of course, I try to sneak in a veggie meal or two hear and there (like indian type meals and falafel - things they still enjoy). I don't judge or bother people about how they eat, and I would hope I would be extended the same courtesy.
This is the usual drill for me:
I spend all day long helping prepare that traditional meal, and some small meal for myself (usually a bean and veggie stew or something). When it comes time to sit down with everyone, I am always barraged with comments like "why do you have your own meal", "why can't you eat what everyone else is eating", "your mother worked hard to prepare this food, you are being disrespectful". And when I explain, for the hundredth time "I don't eat animal products" I am always met with comments like "give me a break, yes you do" and "Here just eat a little piece of the turkey then". This goes on throughout the entire meal. Needless to say, this isn't my favorite holiday. I always feel really singled out and like I am some kind of weirdo for not wanting to eat traditionally. I don't understand why it seems to bother everyone SO MUCH how I choose to eat. I go out of my way to make sure it doesn't interfere with anyone else's plans. I never want to put any out over my dietary choices. I really don't feel like it effects them ...
Any insights from other meat-eaters? I just want to understand why it might offend people.