Visiting the boyfriend's large extended family for mother's day lunch tomorrow . . . predominantly meat-eaters. Any tips? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 05-11-2013, 08:22 PM
Winslow's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 35

It's the first time meeting them all, and apparently they can't wait to meet me. My boyfriend doesn't like bringing up my vegetarianism/veganism, so I doubt they know that I don't eat most animal products. He even said to me "unfortunately there won't be many veggie options". I feel like I'm going to be questioned a lot tomorrow when I gratefully (and graciously) decline the meat and desserts, and I know what to say if they ask why I made the choices I did. I even baked some delicious vegan cowboy cookies to bring. I'm not worried about going hungry, but if anyone could tell me stories about how these things go or what they've experience or what they recommend doing (I'm educated in activism first and foremost, so I'm always polite, but I'm not a pushover, either). I won't bring up my viewpoints unless they do first to keep the peace. I'd just like to talk to some people about their experiences -- there will be about 25 heavy meat-eaters there.

Edit: I don't know what's being served, but I'm uncomfortable around chicken wings and the like in particular. It's difficult for me to sit around and watch while people eat that. What would you do? Otherwise, I should be alright.

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#2 Old 05-11-2013, 09:34 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 92

I first met my boyfriend's parents on thanksgiving which could have been a terrible experience, but luckily he told them beforehand that I didn't eat meat and they made sure to have plenty of things for me.


I think you should speak to your boyfriend and ask him to mention what you won't eat before you meet them. He might not like to talk about it, but it makes things so much less awkward for you if he does even if they don't prepare anything special for you.


Bringing cookies is a great idea. Since it sounds like there won't be a lot of veggie options, I would also suggest bringing a salad or something simple just to be on the safe side.


As for the chicken wings.... what I like to do when eating with people is to keep my eyes on my plate as much as possible.

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#3 Old 05-13-2013, 01:21 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,617

Wow, your boyfriend's really throwing everyone a curve ball, isn't he?


His family won't know what you can't eat, you won't know what you can't eat, then everyone gets to feel wildly uncomfortable, at the dinner table....Where you can't hide!


WOOOHOOOOO sounds fun!


Jesting aside, your boyfriend might just not want to tell his family because then he has to field all the vegetarian questions. You're used to it, he might not be and might not want to speak for you. So, it's understandable that he just might think that avoiding the subject is the best way, but I don't think it is.


If you could tell him something along the lines of "I know you respect my choices and I know you'll support me when I meet your family, but they need to know my food requirements. I'd hate for your mum/people who are putting together this meal, to feel blind sided by the fact that I can't eat what they're serving. This isn't just about protecting me, it's about being respectful to your family."


If it were me, and this may be a bit forward for you, I'd email his mum and tell her I was a vegetarian and then offer to bring a veggie side that I can eat, but is for everyone to try. Then I'd lay it on thick with a "Because I know you'll be working hard on the day, I don't want to cause you any extra stress."

Failing all of that, I think you've got a great positive attitude going into this. I hope it goes really well. Keep us updated!

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#4 Old 05-13-2013, 03:12 AM
Not such a Beginner ;)
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 8,394
Hope it went okay, as I see on rereading was a Mother's Day meal.

May I say that your boyfriend is being very rude to you and his mother by not mentioning your vegetarianism. Since he chickened out, so to speak, his mother is going to feel like a bad hostess for having nothing to feed you, and you are likely going to be in the hot seat throughout an uncomfortable meal. Expect 50 million questions about what you "can" eat, and your nutritional status and weight. His mother is probably planning a really nice and expensive meal for you, and his knowing that you don't eat meat and not telling her is ridiculous, imo.

I would tell his family at the beginning of the meal that you wished the bf had told them beforehand, thus turning the attention to his gaffe.
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