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Anxious About First Vegan Thanksgiving
I am anxious about my first vegan Thanksgiving meal without meat. My children visit from out of state for the holidays and I do not think it is fair to ask them to give up the traditional turkey meal. I still plan to cook and serve turkey and make all side dishes vegan. I do not plan to eat the turkey and I feel comfortable with this decision. I expect this to be a win-win meal for us all.
I can totally understand the anxiety about your first vegan Thanksgiving. I would imagine that most Americans who go vegan worry the most about Thanksgiving because it's such an iconic meal in our culture.
When I gave up turkey, I was 12 and I can barely remember thinking anything different that year, probably because I did everything out of stubbornness at that age. When I went vegan it became a bit more difficult because I wanted to at least be able to eat the same things as everyone else, but then that meant I had to make all the sides myself.
Recently, I hosted Thanksgiving and made all the sides from scratch myself. I allowed my family to buy and bring in a turkey to eat, mainly because I have small nephews whose parents aren't vegan, and I wanted them to come visit. It was a real struggle for me to come to that decision and I'm still not 100% comfortable with it. We simply don't have animal products in our household, and I couldn't stand the idea of supporting the animal industry. It is a very difficult situation.
I know some people would say that you should absolutely refuse to cook them a turkey, but I am not here to judge you in any way. I think everyone has to make the decisions that work best for them, and then you must be comfortable with those decisions. You cannot worry about what other people would think of your actions.
I think making all the sides vegan will work very well, by the way. Everyone adored my sides at our Thanksgiving, and most of them didn't even know I didn't use real butter, milk, or eggs. Mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, biscuits, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and all the rest of the traditional Thanksgiving sides don't need animal products to be delicious.
Make sure to check out my vegan Thanksgiving recipes page for some ideas on sides.