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Being a Vegetarian on Thanksgiving

Updated on November 7, 2011

Even though I've been a vegetarian for almost 10 years, it never fails, the flood of questions that I get from meat eaters, concerning what it is I eat for Thanksgiving:

What do you even eat for Thanksgiving?

Do you just not celebrate Thanksgiving?

I don't know how you can get through Thanksgiving; do you eat meat on Thanksgiving?

Do you eat that tofu stuff on Thanksgiving?

Now, I know my friends and family mean well. My own father asks me every year if I'm going to eat turkey for Thanksgiving. It could be because he's old but, I think it's more of a disconnect, a disbelief, that anyone could give up meat.

The truth is, I love being a vegetarian. It started out as just something to do, just to see if it would improve my health. I was told to just try it for a few weeks. The challenge sounded simple enough and, truth be told, I had every intention of going back to eating meat. I never did.

I can only really speak for myself but, I think most vegetarians feel the same way when they go to another family's home for the holidays. We don't need anyone to fuss over us. Unless we are vegan (which I am not because, I still love cheese), there's no reason to worry about anything. We will tell you if we need something or, we will just bring our own food. Otherwise, we can simply eat the side dishes that are being served.

Yes, I do celebrate Thanksgiving. It's an all-American holiday but, you don't have to have turkey to celebrate this day. Surprisingly enough, you can be thankful without eating turkey.

I have not eaten any meat on Thanksgiving since becoming a vegetarian. I did try to eat a small amount of meat after being a vegetarian for about a year. It made me very ill so, at this point, I do not take any risks. I avoid it altogether, even for holidays or special occasions.

I have tried Tofurkey. It's great. I usually do not have it for Thanksgiving but, it is actually quite tasty. This Thanksgiving, I will be having Pierogies. This is a Polish dish. It's usually mashed potatoes and cheese, onion, butter, wrapped into a dough and boiled.There are many variations of Pierogies.

So, even though food is of great importance around holidays, especially Thanksgiving, it certainly isn't the only thing. Spending time with friends and family is much more important and priceless. I, myself, nor any other vegetarian I know, became vegetarian to be divisive or, to make people feel uncomfortable. It's just a personal choice.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


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