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Vegan Tips for Attending Omnivore Barbecues
It may not seem likely that a vegan would be invited to a barbecue. After all, these events go against everything vegans stand for. Problem is, vegans have meat-eater friends. What do we do at their barbecues? How do we cope? What do we eat?
It may not seem likely that a vegan would be invited to a barbecue. After all, these events go against everything vegans stand for. Problem is, vegans have meat-eater friends. What's worse? We have meat-eating relatives. So there are some barbecues that we are somewhat obligated to attend. What's the etiquette for vegans attending meat-eater barbecues? How do we handle the twenty questions sessions? What do we eat? How do we get through the sight of our fellow animals being roasted on the grill? Well, it's not easy, but it can be done.
Avoiding the horrors:
I've only just started transitioning to veganism. I've been a vegetarian for years. When I attend barbecues, I pretty much stay away from the grill. I grill my own stuff on a different grill, so if I busy myself with that, I can avoid the meat grill altogether. Of course, I still have to watch my fellow creatures being ripped apart at the dinner table. No offense intended, but to me, it's pretty gross. So, I just try to focus on the yummy veggies on my plate. It's not a cure all, but it helps.
Fielding questions about veganism:
Let's face it, there will be questions. People generally notice you have no meat on your plate at conventional barbecues. The subject will come up. How do you address the questions? I just tell them I have political, humanitarian, environmental and nutritional reasons for going vegan. I mention that I'm here to enjoy myself and that I prefer not to get into it. I then tell them that if they're interested in going vegan, they can give me a call and I'll answer any questions they have. I tell them I don't want to turn a celebration into a debate over eating habits. This strategy makes for a much more peaceful day.
What do vegans eat at barbecues?
To show consideration, I usually bring a couple dishes. That way the person throwing the barbecue doesn't have to worry about my diet. I make a killer guacamole. My salads are anything but typical. And, of course, there is always the watermelon. That's something omnivores and vegans can agree on. I might grill up a portabella, a bean burger or some seasoned tofu. Basically, I don't make a big deal out of the food when I've been invited to a barbecue. I just eat what I bring and whatever else is on the menu that suits my diet. It's hard to keep my mouth shut at times, but I do it for the sake of friendship.