How to Remain Vegan at Thanksgiving

Being a vegan can get tricky any time of year when eating out in a mainstream restaurant or eating over at the home of friends who are not vegan or vegetarian. It can be a nightmare if you are invited to a last minute Thanksgiving feast. While you don't want to offend others, you want to maintain your dedication to being a vegan and stay true to your morals and heart. Here's how you can do it, no matter where you celebrate this day of thanks.


Step 1

Let your host know well in advance that you are vegan. If you are invited somewhere for Thanksgiving weeks in advance, let the host know as soon as you receive the invitation. You can say it politely, and let them know that you are accepting of how everybody else plans to eat. It's just that you have this pattern and you have to stick to the diet.

Step 2

Reiterate that you do not want the host to go to special trouble for you, and offer to bring several dishes that everybody can enjoy.

Step 3

Make a variety of dishes for a Thanksgiving meal. Bring a vegan meat substitute (Tofurky and other imitation turkey products are always popular), a vegan side dish of vegetables or potatoes, and dessert. Vegan desserts are especially popular, and you'll be glad you have something delectable when everybody is pigging out on dairy-full pumpkin pie.

Step 4

Be vocal about sharing your dishes with others. You don't want to waste food, and many people will be hesitant to try the unfamiliar without encouragement. Just because vegans cannot consume the food of carnivores, there is nothing that says carnivores cannot dig into delicious vegan fare.

Step 5

Make up a medical reason if you know you will offend others in the group. A little white lie about lactose intolerance sometimes works for a vegan in a bind.

Step 6

Express your gratitude for discovering the vegan diet. It is good for the body, heart and soul. You are making a bold choice to abstain from animal cruelty while contributing to your own health in the process. It should not be looked down upon or scoffed around the Thanksgiving dinner table. It should be celebrated.

Tips and Warnings

Keep a positive attitude about your vegan commitment. If people give you a hard time, state your reasons in an upbeat manner. Instead of dissing someone for not agreeing with you, speak of the positive things that being a vegan has brought to your life. Don't get preachy. You'll encourage people to explore vegetarianism and veganism by how you live. Setting an example with your life does greater good than preaching to them about their dietary habits. Don't freak out if the food served at a Thanksgiving meal offers no vegan alternatives. Hopefully you'll have been able to navigate those waters in advance. If not, duck out of a tricky situation where it is easy to offend the host by saying you ate previously or have a tummy ache. Be kind, accept beverages and talk about your dietary concerns if you know the person well enough. While you shouldn't hide your veganism, you don't want to make an entire group uneasy or guilty on their special holiday!

About this Author

Robin Raven was first published in 1998 and has written for "The Malibu Times," "Vegetarian Times," "Hungry! Travel Guides," Official Avatar Blog,, AOL, the official Melissa Gilbert Website, Made Man and OliviaNewton-John.Info. She specializes in travel, health, beauty, culture, vegan living, arts and entertainment. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in writing from the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | How to Remain Vegan at Thanksgiving