It's that time again.
"Oh no, thank you Aunt Marsha, but I can't have any of your famous roasted chicken this year. I don't eat meat anymore.
Yeah, I guess it's hard sometimes.
No, I don't cheat.
I'm sorry, I'm sure it's delicious. If you have any pumpkin bread, I'll gladly be all over it."
These encounters are by nature pretty strange, and your older relatives may take personal offense to your decisions, but at the end of the day you know that avoiding turkey is for the best. Just keep reminding Aunt Jenny that it isn't her cooking that's the problem, and you don't mean to be a bother.
I came home really nervous about this celebrated dinner because it's my first big holiday being a vegetarian, and I wasn't sure how my family would react. My main concern was that it would be a huge burden on my mother who aims to please everyone with her famed Thanksgiving feast. As if I could just simply ask her to take out the sausage from her stuffing-- it's an integral part of her recipe. I was even willing to cheat, something I have never done, if it meant not altering our family tradition or upsetting anyone. That would be incredibly emotional for me and I was hoping to not have to, but if it made my mom happy, I decided it was worth it. Luckily, I have the most amazing mom ever who went above and beyond preparing me tofurkey and vegetable broth-based everything. She was actually really excited to expand on our tradition and add a few more dishes. A bonus perk was that most members of my family were really excited to try my fake meat. Though everyone's positive reactions were way more than I could've ever asked for, I can't say I'm surprised. Thanksgiving to me is all about family love, that which I have overflowing amounts of.
Now I realize I was very lucky, not all families would be so inclusive. My sister, for example, is of the mind that "it's only one piece of chicken, that's not even a big deal". If she was the cook, Thanksgiving for me would've gone a lot differently. But don't fear! If your family isn't willing to accommodate to your dietary restrictions, there are plenty of things you can still eat! Mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, green bean casserole, and if you're lucky, some stuffing. You know the sides are the best part anyways.
If you're going to cheat, at least save it for something better than turkey.