(What not to say on Thanksgiving.)

It’s mid April and while everyone else is thinking about taxes, you, the weirdo vegan is STILL obsessing about Thanksgiving and what’s going to happen in November.

OK, Thanksgiving is tough. What other holiday centers around a dead animal? When people are trying to be endearing or cute, they’ll even call Thanksgiving, “Turkey Day.”

In kindergarten, I remember making turkeys out of apples, toothpicks, marsh mallows, raisins and construction paper for Thanksgiving. Somehow we all got the idea that the turkey was happy. How could a creature with a marsh mallow head be miserable?

No one is ever invited to think deeply about animals raised for food ever, but especially not on Thanksgiving Day. You, the vegan, however, are thinking deeply and it’s painful.

You have to just sit there and watch somebody dismember a turkey right in front of your face. You have to smell it. You have to watch others, people you care about, eat it. You have to see the bones, the skin, the little dots on the skin where the feathers used to be. You have to hear stories about some overweight guy who got thin by eating Subway turkey sandwiches every day. You have to do all this while remembering the sweet turkey Rosie, you met at the Farm Sanctuary two weeks ago — the one who let you pet her head.

Vegan etiquette dictates that on Thanksgiving you sit there in calm silence and politely say, “No thanks,” when they ask if you’d like some flesh or some bloody gravy.

Of course, you don’t have to do anything. You don’t have to be polite. You could jump up and down and call everyone murderers and cannibals or you could not go to Thanksgiving dinner, explaining to your family and friends that you can’t stand to witness their barbarous animal food consumption and that it makes you sick.

But again, talking about cannibalism and your sense of revulsion tends to be quite alienating to people. It burns a lot more bridges than it builds.

Just about anything you say about veganism and animals, veganism and the environment and veganism and health gives people the idea that you want them to do something.

How do you usually feel when someone wants you to do something? Especially when that something they want you to do is something you think is impossible, no fun, odd, maybe dangerous and might even make you fat.


Here’s another approach to Thanksgiving. Go and have a good time. Don’t stare at the turkey or the gravy or anything else.

When someone calls you a traitor to the family and the country, you can say, “You know, Grandpa, I’ve been thinking a lot about what you said about Obama the last time we were together and now I think you’re right; deep down he is a socialist and he does want to take everyone’s gun away.

Or if somebody mentions cooking turkey at four in the morning, it might not be a bad idea to express gratitude for all they do to bring the family together. You do that, people might start to think of you as wise, instead of a weirdo lunatic. And if people start thinking of you as wise, that’s a point for the animals, a point for the environment and a point for public health. And if they start thinking of you as sensible, who knows what might happen?

— A Vicious Vegan blog post —

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