How do vegans in western “christian” countries celebrate christmas / Christmas, a celebration so typically centred around meat products.
In different parts of the world the focus of the meal might be roast goose, turkey, pork, ham, in warmer climates it might be sea-animals (“seafood”) or barbecue. With creamy, buttery, bacony extras. A few vegetables thrown in for colour.
I have been vegan or vegetarian for over half my life, and my family still seem unable to cope with that.
A recent discussion with family members on plans for this year, I was told in no uncertain terms that I always ruin Christmas for everybody because I think I am “too good” to eat meat. (If the success or failure of Your christmas depends on forcing the vegan to eat meat or they will be excluded, it would probably be a failure even if you did convince them to eat meat).
How about I have a vegan christmas, a couple of days earlier, where I can make all the foods I enjoy and share them with my family? I suggested.
Nooooo! That would be me dictating to everyone what they can have for christmas, that would be me making christmas all about me, that would be me thinking I’m too good to celebrate christmas with the rest of my loved ones, that would be me spoiling christmas – again.
My sibling conspired with my mother on a whole range of foods that could be prepared (the same sibling who puts feta cheese in the vegan salad, on the basis that it is white, it must be vegan cheese).
But I don’t want anyone to go to any trouble. That would make me ungrateful, when my sibling is being so generous, that would be ruining christmas – again.
So, if I understand my family – my sibling making sort-of vegan food for the vegan is generous and a refusal is being ungrateful. But a vegan making a vegan meal is being selfish.
So what? What would it take to make you happy, what do I need to do to prove that I don’t think I’m “too good” to join in, do you actually want me to eat meat? Would that be not ruining christmas?
The answer, YES.
This was not an idle comment, this was a serious response from my loved one, Eating Meat is their idea of me not ruining christmas for them.
There is no words, this is something verging on impossible to comprehend. How can your family think the best way for you to celebrate christmas is for you to turn your back on almost a lifetime of belief, abandon the very core of who you are and how you choose to interact with the world.
Apparently, the ONLY WAY to not ruin christmas for everybody (it seems I’m not an everybody) is to eat meat.
To prove that I’m part of the family, I have to abandon who I am.
By abandoning who I am, my loved ones might accept me.
If I don’t show up, I’m ruining christmas.
If I show up and don’t join in the meal, I’m ruining christmas.
If I make my own food, I’m ungrateful and ruining christmas.
If I show up and don’t eat the non-vegan vegan food, I’m ungrateful and ruining christmas.
If I show up and eat meat, then, christmas – for everybody – is a success.
(And apparently I’m the one who makes every christmas All About Me!)
image of turkey from wikipedia, used without permission
This is a no win situation.
I lose myself or I lose my family.
Merry Christmas from Red Glitter (editor of VALA)