8 Aggravating Lines Vegans Hear At Thanksgiving Plus How To Respond

Vegans hear all sorts of annoying questions and statements all the time.

However, Thanksgiving and the traditions most people like to follow during such a holiday can be an extra difficult time for a vegan.

While family gatherings and eat-outs may be avoided all year round, there are certain occasions that we just have to somehow overcome the differences and practice compassion and acceptance towards our fellow human beings.

I know from experience some of the comments can be taken very personally by you as a vegan, and if you are new to this – you might not be sure how to behave.

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Here are 8 comments to be prepared for and how to respond:

aggravating lines vegans hear at thanksgiving

1. “It’s Just Not Thanksgiving Without A Turkey”

8 Aggravating Lines Vegans Hear At Thanksgiving Plus How To Respond And Not Feel Distraught!

Remember, this is how THEY feel about Thanksgiving, it is not an attack towards you. Just stay calm and respond:

 “Actually, it is for me. It makes me feel even more grateful that I can both allow animals to live and have enough food to survive. It makes me feel abundant to see how many other options I have.”

4. “So, We’ll Be Eating Tofurky Then?”

Don’t be quick in getting angry about this one. Many people are prejudiced about all sorts of things without ever trying them, and this does not apply to food only.

How To Respond:

“The main Thanksgiving dish will be a surprise, and I promise it will taste amazing. There will be plenty of other options, too, in case any of them is not appetizing enough for you.”

See the Great Meat Meat-Free Guide: 8 Perfect Roasts Reviewed

3. “Don’t You Miss All The Normal Thanksgiving Foods?”




8 Aggravating Lines Vegans Hear At Thanksgiving Plus How To Respond Not Feeling Distraught!

I would miss stuffing and mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie — luckily, there are plenty of awesome thanksgiving vegan recipes for all those foods. So many, in fact, that it can be overwhelming to choose from all the food porn.

How To Respond: 

“All the traditional dishes (now even turkey) have really similar vegan versions that taste really good. And now that I’ve made the connection that the turkey is actually an animal and not just a food, it isn’t appetizing to me anymore.”

4. “But What Will You Eat?!”

8 Aggravating Lines Vegans Hear At Thanksgiving Plus How To Respond Not Feeling Distraught!

You may get this one if you’re the guest of a non-vegan or veggie host — hopefully in advance of the meal planning, but possibly after you’ve already sat down and they realized they failed to note that being vegan meant no milk or cream. This happens a surprising amount.

How To Respond: 

“Actually, there are a ton of delicious things I can eat that everyone will like. Let me send you some recipe and food blog ideas, or even a few specific recipes. If you are willing, I can also bring a dish I have prepared myself.”

Also check out How To Socialize As A Vegan

5. “But What Will We Eat?!”




If you host a vegan Thanksgiving, you will get some variation of this question if you ask people to bring vegan food. People are relatively accepting of vegetarians, but people start getting annoyed with vegans.

How To Respond: 

“There are a ton of things we can eat. Don’t worry, it’ll taste good — plus, you’re probably going to feel better after my meal, even if you eat just as much. If you feel like bringing something, I could even pick a recipe and send it to you. Maybe you can think of it as a fun cooking challenge. If not, wine’s cool.”

6. “You’re going to offend Grandma if you don’t eat her mashed potatoes.”

8 Aggravating Lines Vegans Hear At Thanksgiving Plus How To Respond Not Feeling Distraught!

How to respond:

“It’s not my intention to offend anyone. I was actually planning on bringing over almond milk and vegan butter to show her how to make cruelty-free mashed potatoes. I can’t wait to cook and spend time with her!”

7. “You Must Think I’m A Terrible Person For Eating This”

8 Aggravating Lines Vegans Hear At Thanksgiving Plus How To Respond Not Feeling Distraught!

People might also say, “I bet you think you’re better than me,” or, “You’re a better person than me.” Either way, it’s important to be take a cue from the Buddha in these moments and not take the bait. Maybe even let the comment hang awkwardly in the air for a second before you respond with kindness.

What You Should Say: 

“Why would I think that?”

You can have a conversation from there, but be sure to listen more than you speak — you can offer to send them some articles if they’re interested at the end.

8. “But It’s Tradition!”

How To Respond: 

“Thanksgiving is about feeling grateful and abundant, and appreciative of my life and the lives of others. For me, there’s no better way to do that than to remind myself that I’m so privileged I don’t even need to eat animal products to have a delicious, filling meal. I feel thankful every time I think about it.”

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