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What it’s REALLY Like to Be a Vegetarian on Thanksgiving

Recently, Buzzfeed wrote a countdown post on what it’s like to be a vegetarian on Thanksgiving. While this post was entertaining, and most of it was spot on, I thought I could give you a first hand account on what it’s really like to be the only person at the Thanksgiving table that does not eat meat. 

I get asked the typical “so what DO you eat?” questions on a daily basis, but these questions seem to multiply around the holiday season. People will say things like “but Thanksgiving is all about the turkey,” or “well you probably eat a tofurkey.” Although these questions can be bothersome, I just smile and shrug them off. I honestly never was a big fan of turkey even when I ate meat.

On Thanksgiving, I will usually bring my own food to whomever’s house we are going to, (and by my own, I mean something my Mom cooked up for me), whether it’s a plate of pasta, or a fake meat patty. This act might seem rude to some, but we do this so that whomever is hosting us does not have to be burdened to cook something extra especially for me to eat.

On top of this, there are the side dishes. I will pile a bunch of different side dishes on my plate. Of course, I’ll wait for everyone else to have a helping before I go for seconds. Honestly, the side dishes are probably the most delicious things about Thanksgiving! Who doesn’t love stuffing their mouth with mashed potatoes and string beans.

Sometimes, I am the butt of a few jokes. I’ve been asked “are you sure you want to eat that cake? I heard there’s chicken in it.” My parents will note how my eating choices can be a burden on them sometimes. This all comes with the territory of being a vegetarian.

Thankfully, I’ve never gotten into a heated argument about my diet choices. I don’t push anyone to adopt my eating habits, and I don’t expect people to do the same to me.

Thanksgiving is still a great holiday for me, even though it requires a little more meal prep on my Mom’s part (sorry!), and I have to hear some awkward comments. I am thankful that I am able to enjoy a nice home cooked meal, surrounded with family that I love.

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