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Over the years, I’ve noticed that although veganism and its acceptance are growing at a rapid pace, vegans and non-vegans alike are still not quite sure how to celebrate the holidays together, even among family and friends. I’ve come to a point in my life that when I host Thanksgiving dinner, it is 100% vegan. However, I still go out of my way to make sure that when it comes to traditional holiday food, I get it as close to what my family is accustomed to in terms of taste and looks. That’s because I want us to be able to celebrate together! I may not be able to convince my entire family to go vegan, but on this one day, we are saving animals together as a family.
But what about when you go to your friend’s house and you aren’t the host? Well, 99% of the time, there are still many vegan choices available for me. This is also a time when non-vegans can express their curiosity about veganism – and dabble in vegan dishes – without the pressure they may feel doing so amongst their non-vegan friends. My friends often use me as an excuse to explore veganism and I love it! I’ll let them use me as their excuse time and time again until (fingers crossed) at least one of them (fingers crossed again) becomes vegan! As for drinks, well, I am personally only a wine drinker (no surprise there!). So I ALWAYS bring my wines to any party! My favorite part of the evening is toasting with family and friends, and I always like to say a special toast to moving forward and keeping the door of veganism and acceptance open for possible changes rather than slamming the door shut and holding grudges.
I have been a vegan for many years, and I have expressed and absorbed many feelings of sadness and judgments about my life choices and way of living. I know that sometimes it’s easier said than done to become vegan, and I also know this lifestyle may not be for everyone. But for those of us who are lucky enough to have people in our lives who are vegan or vegan-curious, let’s use these holidays and times of togetherness to toast our vegan pride with them – as little or as big as possible – because every tiny bit counts! Like a ticking clock, together we are making small, incremental changes today for a better tomorrow.