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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know a lot of people don't take part in family functions, but for me to even consider this is pretty significant. I am very close to my extended family, and holidays are always big celebrations. This is the first time in four years I'll be around to attend Easter dinner and it's a big deal to my parents. If I call them up and tell them I'm not showing up, they are NOT going to be happy and they're not going to understand.

It's not like there will be nothing for me to eat, since my parents are hosting and my Mom is very considerate and will make sure all the veggies are vegan and such. Unfortunately, there will also be an enormous ham as the main dish, not to mention all the eggs. Eggs eggs, everywhere. Ever since I read that article about the chickens being put into the wood chipper that's all I can think about when I see an egg.

I love my family and I love spending time with them, but I'm just not feeling like I can deal with the "buffet of death" this time around. Maybe it's just PMS making me hypersensitive, the though of sitting around with the people I love most and watching them eat a dead pig just makes me want to cry.
 

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That makes a lot of sense. Do you think you could try explaining it to your parents that way? Also, there are lots of vegan approaches to Easter. We're getting a vegan ham for our Easter feast...its so yummy. But I guess if you're not the one organizing it, the menu may not be up to you. Good luck!
 

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It's up to you, but why avoid Easter dinner over what other people are eating?

Easter is a family time. Food is just one of the things that brings family together. I know it's not always comfortable to watch everybody else chow down on dead animal, but if you focus on that, you miss out on seeing and visiting with your loved ones.

It sounds like your mom is more than willing to go out of her way and make sure you have food to eat. That's a plus. A lot of us fellow veggies have to make and bring our own food to family/friend gatherings.

Go to Easter dinner. Enjoy your family (and the free vegan food). Don't worry about what the others are eating. You can't make other people's decisions for them. If you don't go, you might really offend some people in your family. Life's too short to hurt the people you love.
 

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I relate to your idea of "buffet of death." I see the family barbeques the same way. I don't go much any more either. When I did go they did not consider that I don't eat meat and provide anything else. I feel they consider me ridiculous but they don't come out and say it. However I consider their gnawing at animal flesh the same way. I don't go very much. What gets me is that people take their own eating meat for granted and do not really think much about that animal that could have had a life. It seems like an eerie thing to me now. It's like they are in a trance and are not aware of what they are really doing: Eating an animal corpse like it's normal. I know I've gotten pretty graphic but I feel I can do this here. It's just how I feel. I don't enjoy seeing others eating meat either is what I'm trying to say.
 

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i understand your feelings, and it makes me sick too seeing my loved ones gorge on animal flesh - but i also agree with tearhsong. if you can, try not to focus on that aspect of the occasion (i'm sure your family has redeeming qualities that could be focused on instead
). i just think it would be too bad if you only focused on the negative - there are only so many times a year when families get together to celebrate a special occasion, and since your family is obviously important to you, it would be a shame to miss out on their company.

however, if you are really not up to dealing with the "buffet o' death", then you probably shouldn't go - it's better than flipping out and becoming a conversation piece for years to come (after all, they probably already love discussing your "strange" eating habits (mine do!))

well, i've probably been no help at all - but i hope you don't have too hard a time deciding what to do...you know what is best and you'll make the right decision - don't worry so much about pleasing others, just do what's best for YOU.
 

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Go and bring a really great vegan dessert, and then the focus will be draw to the dessert, away from you, and away from them.
 

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Family is more important than what's being eaten. I agree 100%. Whenever I read something like this, the 'bigger person' speech comes to my mind. This is something I actually learned from my current significant other when we first got together. He would always tell me that sometimes you have to be the bigger person and do something that you're not totally comfortable with in order to help the other person grow.

In this case, you are uncomfortable with the eggs and pig; watching people eat it and being around it. If you go and don't partake in those items, but stick to your veg*n foods you send a louder unspoken message. And, if you are having a good time on top of it, you show that yeah you can have fun and enjoy yourself without ever having to chow down on gross animal stuff. If you keep in mind someone may be watching your reactions not to condemn you, but maybe they are secretly considering becoming veg*n. Seeing you have fun at a holiday takes away that excuse they may have of 'I won't have fun or be a part of the holiday if I don't eat whatever everyone else is having'. Plus, this is a big chance for you to gain more respect for your beliefs if you handle it in a level-headed, non-condescending manner.

I'm sure there will be more invitations and events that you'll be invited to that have flesh as one of the items on the menu. Maybe this can be used as an opportunity for your to learn more of yourself and how you should deal with these situations. You can't very well avoid all of them...that would make you look unsociable and negative. On the other hand, there are going to be things you will absolutely put your foot down that you won't go to. I won't go to pig roasts at all. Period. I don't care who's there. I can not do it.
 

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Can you just come after the dinner? I'm assuming that your Easter celebration is comprised of more than just sitting down and eating.

Besides, I think it would be very inconsiderate of you to skip the WHOLE Easter celebration, when it sounds like your family is willing to go out of their way to make you comfortable by providing an alternative meal. Why can't you extend the same courtesy and accept that eating meat is their choice?
 

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Ruthie,

I sure agree with you on the pig roasts. Some family friends invite my family and me to an annual pig roast, and I always find some excuse not to go. That's all well and good- they live 45 minutes away.

It's less avoidable when it's my otherwise-nice neighbors having a pig-roast bash with 200 people. They invited my family, and I walked over for a few minutes to see if anyone I knew was there. I meandered around a little bit, and then I went to go see their cows. (I like cows, and if I can make their lives a little nicer before going to slaughter, so be it.) I never made it to the cows. There were two reeking, picked apart pig carcasses set up on a folding table. I turned and ran back to my house, hoping that I wouldn't throw up on the way.

Funny... when I was 12 I held a real cow's heart and had no problem with it.
 

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Blood is thicker than water. Stick with your family.

BUT. . . get your own buffet. . a buffet of glorious life. Set up a small table next to the main buffet table where you would have at least 3 veg dishes. . and invite people from your family to sample the veg food. You don't need to ask your mom to make the veg dishes. . you could just make it yourself or get it from outside or have someone else make it for you.

Point is, create your own veg world at the family dinner and invite your family into that world for a day. If the food is considered delicious by your family (which I'm sure it will be), everyone may look at you in new light and you'll get a lot of props for making the Easter interesting.

Maybe next Easter, everyone will look forward to sampling more of Jess's famous veg dishes. . . . . who knows?
 

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That doesn't make sense veganinohio. Christmas is when Jesus was born (thus baby Jesus). He was a grown man when they murdered him at Easter and he rose from the dead. So, if anyone wants to avoid making baby Jesus cry they shouldn't avoid Christmas.
 

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Some good ideas I read, like going after the eating is done or making some of your own things to bring. I've done both. Sometimes, though, there are other family issues too to consider. All in all I avoided going there because much of the time they did not know I was alive especially when I went through very rough times.

I wouldn't worry about being thought of as antisocial ever for not wanting to do something appalling to me or wanting to be alone at times. I spend much time to myself with my birds and quite enjoy it. I hope to find more people I want to be around who are genuinely thoughtful and vegetarian. Or who respecit my veg*nism and me.

I usually consider many things, those things that matter to me most and then do what I feel is best for me. Everyone else does what they want mostly anway.

Not sure what I'm going to do or even if there will be an Easter celebration this year. I find that I can be with family members anytime when we are not eating, too, by getting on the phone or emailing. My relationship with my family is not real good so I often don't go to these gatherings. Everyone is different in that regard, though.

I won't tell you what to do because I don't believe in doing that. Just saying how I feel about what I do and my life. Good luck with it. I know this is a tough one. I may go to a movie.
 

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I agree with many above posts- go to Easter. I am also grossed out by seeing people eating meat, but I try to ignore it. Plus, as I have found, it really does good things for PR when I show that I am a normal person eating yummy food, just animal-free food. If you freak out and/or skip Easter, it only reinforces the "wierd" label I know you are already tired of (as we all are!)....
 

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You know, until yesterday I forgot Easter was this weekend. But, then, I'm an atheist whose entire family lives East of the Rockies.
 

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I wouldn't worry about being labeled strange or weird because the only people that put negative labels like that on us are those who are into labeling people in general. And I don't personally care to associate with those who negatively label all the time. They are being judgemental and since they are so negatively labeling, who cares what they think? I don't even care to be around people who do that for I find them to be acting shallow and boring. They label everyone for any reason and the heck with that. I am beyond caring about being labeled anything. I have been labeled much in my life and stay away from those who make hurtful assumptions. I know I am a bit different but different is good, too.

There are many who will not judge us but rather ask us later what happened or say they missed us if we don't show up.

I don't feel I am responsible for making others vegetarian through my example. I took that huge bolder off my shoulders long ago. I feel that others become or don't become of their own experiences in life and it's not up to me. What a relief not to carry that anvil!!

We are not responsible for what others think, say and do. No one knows either what really reinforces what and what does not reinforce what. Unless you want to get into doing a scientific study on the matter that is the only way to find out what is reinforcing something. Then that does not always work either. That is what I learned while getting my psychology degrees.

In my family, regardless whether they eat meat or not, most of us take breaks from the get togethers when we feel we need to. We accept each others' right to do what we feel.

We don't call each other names over it either. We don't have bad opinions of each other for not going and we don't put "weird" or "antisocial" labels on each other for taking a break for any reason. I think that's pretty mature and cool. My family has it's problems for sure but not that one.

Not sure what I'm doing Easter...might go to a family event and might not.

Hope your day goes well on Easter whatever you choose. It's your life and you are free.

Happy Easter, too, to all of you.
 

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I am very strong willed when it comes to knowing what i think is right and what is wrong and such. For Christmas my family came up from kamloops 8 hour drive. and I did not eat christmas dinner with them becuase they had a huge as turkey on the table. infact i dont eat with them at all becuase of the fact they ar always saying stuff like " isnt this chicken juicy " " hows your steak ? tender ? " just hearing disgusting stuff like that makes me want to hurl. I cant be around it.

for the most part i dont celebrate holidays in the sence i make a big deal. most of them are just a huge way for companies to make more money i find so i dont really support christmas and easter and all those other dates in time. also im so antichristian (faith not peple) that it doesnt make sense to celebrate those holidays.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I did decide I was being hyper-sensitive and that spending the day with my family was much more important than what they were eating.

I'm so very glad I decided to attend, because I was reminded again what an awesome family I have. One of my aunts made vegan brownies and the other made her bean dish vegan. They both called me yesterday to double check ingredients to make sure they were ok. The majority of the food was vegan and the ham was cooked and sliced outside, so I didn't have to deal with it at all.

It was an all around great day.
 

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Nice to hear you enjoyed your day. I stayed home and had an okay day, too. I got a concerned email from a relative and that was nice. Much of my family did not go to the get together I learned.

And you are welcome.
 
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