On Thursday, you may find yourself seated at a table next to someone who does not eat meat. Yes, that means, this person, may indeed say "no thank you" as the turkey is passed around the table.
Rest assured, this person, will (in all likelihood) NOT try to keep you from eating your own turkey. In fact, she will probably not say a thing as she hands you the platter of meat despite the fact that she could tell you some really horrifying things about how the turkey ended up on your table.
So extend her the same courtesy and don't try to discuss her food choice.
I live with two vegetarians now. Both have come to this point after much thoughtful consideration and yes they have indeed considered their protein intake and even what the Bible says about eating meat although I don't know of any other time the Bible is consulted about what to eat for most Protestants.
Anyway, I just ask that you try to be courteous on Thursday and not comment on the whole thing. For some reason, this seems to be a fun pastime for some uncles and grandpas and even dads.
So maybe it's time for a quick review on how to eat around a vegetarian....yep, this is last part is a reprint as I am under the weather and have been for some time. But here goes.Let me explain her decision quite simply: she does not eat animals for the same reason you do not cook your dog for dinner.
She kind of has the high ground on this one--there is no moral reason at all that we eat cows and pigs but not cats and dogs. It's just our culture. And I probably don't have to remind you that cows and pigs aren't exactly treated as well as our cats and dogs prior to their slaughter.
So you can see her point, even if you don't want to stop eating meat yourself.
Now I know you don't want to be one of those people who responds in a goofy manner so I will give you a few tips you might use Thursday:
1. Please don't ask why she is a vegetarian: I know, I used to do this all the time too thinking I was making clever conversation--but the fact is most vegetarians have chosen not to eat meat for ethical reasons not health reasons so there's your answer. Additionally, it is just more polite not to require an explanation for the same reason you are not required to explain why you put so much butter on your potatoes. It is tiresome.
2. Don't worry about the protein: People, adults especially, like to tell vegetarians they won't get enough protein if they don't eat meat. This is a big fat myth. The American diet is loaded with protein. If you eat an egg for breakfast, a piece of cheese for lunch, and some beans for dinner you have just had more protein than most of the world has in a week.
3. Don't worry about what to feed a vegetarian: Hostesses often stress over this, "But what does she eat!" Umm, let's review...EVERYTHING but meat. You do not need to make a tofu turkey or anything, she'll eat the veggies and rolls thank you. But what about her protein, you will ask--no worries, she's only eating one meal at your house, she already got her daily protein (see above).
4. Do not say "You don't eat meat? Not even chicken?": Really people, this one is pretty simple--she does not eat animals. Yes, fish and chicken are animals. If you TRULY don't get this one, a basic biology class may be in order.
5. Do not try to convert her back: She will not give YOU a lecture for eating meat (though she could) so do not give her one for abstaining.
Well, there you have it--the basics on how to politely communicate with a vegetarian. She is a friend to all animals, healthier than us, and a better steward of the earth's resources (the quantity of grain and water needed to raise one cow is crazy).
So if you sit next to a vegetarian on Thursday, instead of rolling your eyes or asking "Why?" just smile and say, "Good for you! and HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO US ALL!!"