Plant-based diets are for life, not just for Christmas. (Well, sort of.)
Don’t: be preachy. Yes, I know this contradicts everything you’ve been taught in vegan training camp. However, no one wants to tuck into their Christmas roast while listening to you explain about how unethical it is. It won’t win you any approval, and it won’t actually make anyone change their mind either. All you’ll get is a kick under the table and some disgruntled looks.
Do: shop for alternatives well in advance, because they sell out. Personally, a plate of roast potatoes is my dream Christmas dinner, but if you’re someone who loves meat alternatives, you better hit up Holland & Bazza ASAP Rocky.
Don’t: get defensive. Even when Uncle Nigel starts claiming that vegans are single-handedly destroying the planet with their avocados and soya beans. Even when someone jokes about feeding you meat. You know the stats, you believe what you’re doing is right, so keep your cool and simply nod and smile. (Top tip: this is much easier to do if you’ve had quite a large drink of any alcohol).
Do: speak informatively but ONLY when asked about why you’re vegan. It’s so easy to be defensive when the world is somehow full of people whose boyfriend’s niece’s ex-fiancé went vegan and then ended up on life support, but most people are just interested. Have one or two handy vegan facts you can regurgitate when asked, e.g. “cattle farming is the largest cause of deforestation in the rainforest” or “not eating meat and dairy products can reduce a person’s carbon footprint by up to 73%”. But only use them when prompted! Randomly expelling plant-based statistics isn’t necessary.
Don’t: listen to the vegan police. “OMG I can’t believe you didn’t check the labels at Franny’s new year bash and accidentally had a sip of prosecco that may have been made in a country that has historically used animals!! How dare you?!”. See also: “You mean you let non-vegans eat DAIRY chocolate at your house?” and “I’m shocked that you washed up a pan that had roasted potatoes in goose fat!”. Piss. Off. Hun.
Do: pick the outing restaurants yourself. Christmas is a time for endless drinking, festive gatherings and seeing people you don’t normally get the chance to. With this in mind, planning Christmas outings yourself is the only way you’ll make sure you don’t end up with chips and a side salad as a meal while your friends tuck into a three-course dinner.
Merry Christmas darlings! Xoxo WBR