The peta2 Advice Blog: Surviving the Dinner Table

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Posted November 25, 2008 by Marta Holmberg

Dreading sitting down to the dinner table with your not-too-vegetarian-friendly family? Check this out!

I’ve been vegetarian for a few months now, and I love it! However, I’m really worried about the holidays. I know my entire family will give me a hard time about not eating meat. I don’t want to cause a blow-out at the dinner table, but what can I do? – Worried About the Holidays

Just because our dinner table is free of flesh doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a fantastic meal and share our culinary creations with our families. This Thanksgiving, I am bringing a Tofurky Roast and vegan stuffing to Thanksgiving dinner at my Uncle’s house. I find that delicious food is a way to anyone’s heart, and bringing your own animal-free dishes is a great way for your family to try new things. Once they try your version of a Thanksgiving meal, they’ll be sure to stop giving you a hard time! – Shan

Family dinners can be tough—luckily my parents were very tolerant towards my even more ‘fussy eating habits’ when I decided to become vegetarian. You should definitely be open to a friendly discussion about your food choices, as being vegetarian is a normal everyday thing for you, and hopefully your family will see that it needn’t be a big deal. If you’ve already talked about it and are getting fed up with going around in circles, then it’s probably a good idea to set some limits. Point out that there may be other topics more interesting than what you eat if you want to avoid getting further into an argument. Shan’s right about offering some of your food to them too—how could they resist!! – Sar

One thing that I have learned (the hard way) is to not start a debate about vegetarianism at the dinner table. Telling your family that eating meat is gross and nasty and mean at the Thanksgiving dinner table definitely will not win anyone over to vegetarianism. Instead, talk up how delicious the vegan options are, and ask your family to give it a try. The way to ones heart is definitely through their stomach! – Lara

Have a question (that relates to animal rights, of course!) that you’re dying for us to answer? E-mail with the subject line “Help me peta2! I need advice!” and your question just may be answered by us in our next advice blog!

Comment with your own advice for Worried About the Holidays! And to read past installments of the advice blog, click here.



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  • 2465 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]


    James: You can buy Quorn roasts from most UK supermarkets (although they’re vegetarian they’re not vegan). You can also buy Cheatin’ Roasts (made by Redwood Foods) and they’re normally found in health food shops like Holland & Barrett.

  • 2465 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]


    Where could I buy a fake turkey roast from in the uk, liverpool

  • 2466 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]


    Once again, brilliant advice from the Peta2 staff :o)
    I totally agree with them: share a yummy veg*n dish with your whole family and don’t start a heated discussion about animal rights/veg*nism at the table.
    If your family have provided you with a veg*n alternative make sure you let them know how grateful you are and how tasty it is! (And even if you don’t like it, pretend you do or they might not try again next year!!)
    If they’re interested and do ask questions while everyone is eating, say that you’llbe happy to talk about it with them later and offer to show them some leaflets/websites with more information. Think of alternative topics of conversation so you’re ready to change the subject easily.
    Have a lovely Thanksgiving!

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