14 Things Vegetarians Are Forced To Do On Thanksgiving

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Being a vegetarian is generally pretty easy for those who choose to do so; almost every fruit and vegetable known to mankind are widely available in most grocery stores, and things that were considered weird 30 years ago, like tofu and quinoa, are commonplace today. However, this doesn’t mean that the extended families of vegetarians have to approve of their lifestyle — in fact, they often make it a point not to approve, leading to holidays that are always so much more excruciating than they have to be. In the case of Thanksgiving, where turkey is usually the centerpiece, vegetarians will probably experience many or all of the following all-too-typical encounters.

1. Explain To At Least Eight People That You Are A Vegetarian

“A what?” they’ll say with wide eyes, like you haven’t already discussed this on every holiday for the past four years. “So you’re not eating any meat at all? But what about turkey? You’ll eat turkey, won’t you?”

2. Explain To At Least Five People That You Are Still A Vegetarian


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Every year they expect things to be different, as if being a vegetarian was only a temporary bout of insanity that should have resolved itself after six months.

3. Offer To Make Side Dishes That Can Also Be Main Dishes

You’ve prepared a list of at least 10 things that should please a minimum of 50 percent of the Thanksgiving guests. These will all be summarily rejected when you suggest them.

4. Politely Decline When People Suggest Other Dishes

You cringe in horror when the sentence, “Oh, you don’t have to go to the trouble of making anything special; you can just eat stuffing!” is cheerfully said to you like it’s something you’ll agree to without question. You’d rather chew on a cardboard paper towel tube like a gerbil.

5. Repeatedly Reinforce The Idea That You’re Not Going To Eat Turkey

Between telling people that birds count as meat and that you still haven’t changed your mind about not eating meat, you’ll address the subject of turkey more times in one day than you have cumulatively throughout your entire life so far.

6. Plan Vegetable-Based Dishes That Will Be Delicious

After your first 10 suggestions were rejected, you rally and come up with one or two that are so delicious that no one could refuse them. You’ll show everyone how flawless your cooking skills are, not to mention how it’s possible to enjoy eating vegetables, too.

7. Plan For The Barrage Of Questions And Blatant Insults About Said Dish

Deep down, you don’t have any illusions about the dish you’re going to make. You know that you and maybe two or three other people will eat it and like it; everyone else will make horrified faces when they see it, then talk loudly about how disgusted they are by all the foods you enjoy and say things like, “None of that for me, thanks; I’m easy to please. I don’t need any of those fancy things all the young people eat nowadays.”

8. Attempt To Prepare Dish While At Your Parents’ House

You don’t care if everyone within a 50-mile radius hates what you make; you’re making it anyway. While home for the holidays, you inform every member of the household of your intentions and give them an overly detailed schedule of when you’re going shopping for the ingredients, when you plan to do all the prep work and exactly what time of day you require the oven. You also make sure they all know how many minutes you will need the oven for and what temperature it will be on, just so there’s no confusion about other people needing the oven. You have everything planned down to the last minute.

9. Be Foiled In Every Attempt To Cook

Despite all your careful, obsessive planning, you will wake up on Thanksgiving to discover that your designated oven time has been stolen. When confronted, whatever traitor stole your time slot will look at you with an innocent “Who, me?” expression and say that you should have told them you needed the oven.

10. Make It Even If It Takes Three Hours

You’re damned if you’re giving up on this. You don’t care if you have to wait until after everyone has eaten to make and eat your own food; you’ll eat alone at midnight if that’s what it takes.

11. Sink Into Zombie Mode As Relatives Grill You About Your Eating Habits

“WHY AREN’T YOU EATING ANYTHING?” they’ll ask loudly, despite the fact that your plate is full of food. “Uh-huh,” you’ll mumble as you stare at the wall with glazed eyes, having lost the will to explain that it’s not a requirement to eat every single food item at the table, along with your will to live.

12. Wonder If It Was Worth It

You’re finally victorious: Your dish has been cooked and eaten by you and the expected three other people. You’re happy that you managed not to compromise your standard diet or morals, but you’re physically and emotionally exhausted after your battle for kitchen space. Have you really accomplished anything? Are you healthier? Did you save at least one turkey from death? You don’t know, but at least you can eat every kind of dessert you can lay your hands on.

13. Feel Righteous

You made it through another holiday without giving in to familial pressure. What doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger!

14. Face A Mountain Of Leftovers

No one else will even touch these leftovers, but at least you now have food for the next week — and maybe you’ll even get to keep the Tupperware containers.