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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
...and I'm the only vegetarian. The most obvious problem is the holiday get-together, as the family insists on cooking a Thanksgiving turkey and an Easter ham. There are always vegetarian entrees available during holiday meals, though, so it's somewhat possible to make myself forget that there's a carcass in the kitchen.

What really aggravates me is the multitude of summer barbeques. Chicken, hamburgers, bratwurst, hotdogs -- they're the focal point of the gathering. And the grilling itself turns into an event because there are always multiple people working on it. My boyfriend and I are the only ones who eat veggie burgers, and the last three times my family has held a barbeque this summer, whoever was in charge of the grilling forgot about our veg-friendly food, so I had to gently remind them about it. And sometimes our food ends up in a stack of chicken or beef. Not to mention, almost every word said to me is some wisecrack about how great meat is.


I know that many of them just don't understand how important my lifestyle is to me, especially because I haven't always been a vegetarian. But I really hate being treated like it's a silly phase or something. And honestly, I'd rather just not be around all of that meat. I don't want to skip out on the family gatherings, but barbeques make me really uncomfortable.

How do you guys and gals deal with the double discomfort of (1) having to see animal flesh everywhere you look and (2) being so outnumbered by omnivorous family members who you love and still want to spend time with, despite the culinary consequences?
 

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Maybe you're influencing them in ways you don't know. They may be mocking you now, but maybe one day they'll take an intrest and give veg*nism a try. I'd start bringing my own mini grill to cook my own food, though, so it doesn't get mixed in with their stuff.
 

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I usually bring something for myself that I had made before hand (that would need microwaving and its good to go or something cold that doesn't need reheating) and something for everyone else to enjoy.

You could make a bean salad or something along those lines that would generally be at a bbq, but it is just veggie/vegan, and it is something that you can eat too.
That usually works out really well because you can show people that vegetarian food is good and they just don't know it/have closed their minds to the possibility of it being tasty.

In terms of the animal flesh stuff, I've been a vegetarian long enough that I just don't let it bother me anymore. They've all decided to eat meat, and I've decided to be vegetarian so there isn't much that can be done and just let them enjoy their food... we will all live longer anyways. :p
 

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I am sorry your feeling bummed about your family get together and I agree bringing your mini grill will probley do the trick, get some veggies like cherry tomatos, mushrooms, peppers, pineapples, ETC and soak little sqaures of tofu in bbq sauce, put them on screwers like traditional shish kaboobs and make veggie shish kaboobs in the summer.
With that way when another cook out they see you and your boyfriend cooking these they want to find out more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I really appreciate all of your thoughts and suggestions! The mini-grill is a fantastic idea, and it would be SO much fun to bring homemade veg*n food to the barbeques for everyone to try. The bean salad and kabobs sound yummy. Ooh, and maybe I could bring a dessert... so many possibilities!

Maybe the best thing to do in these situations is to focus on the positive, rather than dwelling on how I wish things could be. Ever since I became a vegetarian, I have found it to be one of the most uplifting and self-inspiring choices I've ever made. Even if no one in my family ever comes around, at least I can feel good about myself and my ethical lifestyle choice. Even though I've been veg for quite a while now, maybe it'll just take more time than I thought to get over the discomfort of being around so much meat...especially since it still smells good. Argh. Stupid omnivorous tendencies.


But yes, I really appreciate your help. Also, does anyone know where to find a decent mini-grill that's rather inexpensive? I avoid Wal-mart like the plague, so I guess I should probably look around online for prices. Oh, and I'm not sure I can ever look at another George Foreman grill without thinking of Michael Scott from The Office (U.S. adaptation). Miiiight have to go with a different brand.
 

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You might be able to get a hibatchi at Fred Meyer's*, or hardware store, or Asian store.

*I live near a Fred Meyer's, so that's what I put. You might have a Kroger's, or Ralph's instead. It is August, and most places are getting out their Christmas stuff now
, but some might have a few in stock before summer's out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Purp View Post

You might be able to get a hibatchi at Fred Meyer's*, or hardware store, or Asian store.

*I live near a Fred Meyer's, so that's what I put. You might have a Kroger's, or Ralph's instead. It is August, and most places are getting out their Christmas stuff now
, but some might have a few in stock before summer's out.
Oooh that's a fun idea -- I'll check it out. Thanks Purp!
 

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i can imagine how hard your situation is. maybe you can just politely decline the meat dishes. i also think that if they love and respect you, they would understand, they may even prepare a vegetarian dish just for you.
 

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Even though my mom and my sister are veg, I encountered this situation will all my extended family. As a kid I just ate around the meat. I ate the beans, potatoes, etc. I never brought up the topic for discussion and I tried to just avoid talking about it unless directly confronted.

But as an adult I try to be more pro-active about it. If I'm not feeling up to being around dead animal then I just decline the event invite and suggest an alternative less gross activity (like going for coffee or taking a walk). If I feel emotionally strong enough, then I come and eat my food enthusiastically and answer any questions they have. I also try to carry veg educational leaflets in my purse so I can give them to anyone who seems interested.

If it ever gets too nasty (for example, the jokes and comments about a dead chicken get so out of hand that even other omnis are repulsed) then I just excuse myself and go cry privately whilst composing a blog post in my mind
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Oops! I apologize for abandoning my thread for a while. And I really appreciate everyone's thoughts.

Unfortunately, no one in my family who has asked me questions is remotely interested in contemplating my lifestyle. They always say that they couldn't imagine life without steak, or that the thought of giving up meat forever is too depressing to consider. But I guess you never know -- miracles have been known to happen


My boyfriend's family is SO understanding and accommodating that they actually go out of their way to make sure we are at ease -- there are ALWAYS veg*n alternatives when they invite us over for dinner, and they usually make them from scratch. Also, we all went canoeing recently, and I overheard my boyfriend's stepfather say that he wasn't going to cook and eat any fish he might catch out there because he didn't want to make me uncomfortable.


Certain family members of mine do try to be understanding, but over time they have started to become impatient with me and complain about how it would be so much easier if I'd just eat meat once in a while. I do have vegetarian friends at work and at school, but the people I'm closest to don't share my philosophy. Although my bf very rarely eats meat, and he makes sure that the meat he does eat is from small, local farms, he hasn't decided to go veg completely. He is completely supportive of my beliefs and choices -- more supportive than anyone. But all the same, I still tend to feel alone when it comes to this very important aspect of my life.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SadieP View Post

Oops! I apologize for abandoning my thread for a while. And I really appreciate everyone's thoughts.

Unfortunately, no one in my family who has asked me questions is remotely interested in contemplating my lifestyle. They always say that they couldn't imagine life without steak, or that the thought of giving up meat forever is too depressing to consider. But I guess you never know -- miracles have been known to happen


My boyfriend's family is SO understanding and accommodating that they actually go out of their way to make sure we are at ease -- there are ALWAYS veg*n alternatives when they invite us over for dinner, and they usually make them from scratch. Also, we all went canoeing recently, and I overheard my boyfriend's stepfather say that he wasn't going to cook and eat any fish he might catch out there because he didn't want to make me uncomfortable.


Certain family members of mine do try to be understanding, but over time they have started to become impatient with me and complain about how it would be so much easier if I'd just eat meat once in a while. I do have vegetarian friends at work and at school, but the people I'm closest to don't share my philosophy. Although my bf very rarely eats meat, and he makes sure that the meat he does eat is from small, local farms, he hasn't decided to go veg completely. He is completely supportive of my beliefs and choices -- more supportive than anyone. But all the same, I still tend to feel alone when it comes to this very important aspect of my life.
When it comes to big holiday get togethers (Thanksgiving and Christmas* are coming up, just bring a big dish of something good and veggie to share with everyone. When they realize how good it is (read:when you go home with an empty dish) of something, you'll just have to tell them.

*I apologize for putting Christmas in here, it's a big holiday. I'm not sure if your family celebrates Christmas or not. Didn't want to offend if you didn't.
 
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