Holiday events can be stressful if your lifestyle differs significantly from other partygoers. Here are some handy tips that will help you get through the holiday season.
Inform the Host That You’re Vegan
Give the person who is hosting the event a courteous heads up that you have dietary restrictions. The host will greatly appreciate the forewarning and will plan accordingly. They might even provide some vegan options for you so that you don’t have to worry about what to eat. Reaching out will also prevent any confusion or tension that might arise when you don’t eat the same food as everyone else.
Avoid Getting Into Heated Discussions About Food
The holidays are a great time for family and friends to gather. Unfortunately, such occasions can also bring about negative experiences. For a vegan, this may come in the form of unsolicited commentary about dietary and lifestyle choices from other guests. These comments can range from microaggressions to personal attacks.
Try your best not to take the bait if you are targeted for mockery. Instead, remain respectful but make it clear that you will not tolerate being disrespected. Then try to steer the conversation in a more productive direction. If this doesn’t work, it is also perfectly acceptable to disengage or to walk away from the situation. It is not your fault or your problem if people do not wish to understand you.
Don’t Be Shy When People Are Genuinely Curious
While some guests may want to get under your skin, others might be interested in what you have to say. Don’t be afraid to talk about veganism with those who want to know more. Vegans like Gale Tobin have articles and other online resources that you can direct people to for in-depth information. Communication and patience are crucial when it comes to helping people understand concepts that are unfamiliar to them, and veganism is no exception.
Bring Vegan Dishes
Bring some food that will fill you up in case your options are limited. That way, your appetite won’t have to suffer. You can even bring a dish with the intention of contributing it to the meal. If you want to share, you should make sure that the cuisine is flavorful and palatable for non-vegans. Showcasing how appetizing vegan food can be might open up some avenues of respectful conversation surrounding plant-based living.
While your holiday gathering may not be entirely stress-free, using these tips will help to keep things relatively light. And who knows, you may help other people become invested in your way of life.