A vegetarian group has produced a thorough guide on how meat-eaters should act around vegans during the festive season in order to avoid offending them or ruining the mood.
As the New Zealand Vegetarian Society suggested, their ‘Give the Gift of Understanding’ guide can help people understand plant-eaters’ needs and make sure they feel inclusive during the Christmas dinner.
Among other points of interest, the group addressed placing meat products on the table and pointed out that “seeing meat can bring back memories of animal abuse they’ve witnessed, such as slaughterhouse footage that convinced them to change their lifestyle.”
As the guide reads, “these intrusive thoughts can be upsetting, and can make their experience of Christmas much different to that of the meat-eaters sitting at the table with them.”
In order to prevent situations like these, the guide encourages organizers of Christmas dinners to reach out to their vegan family members ahead of time and consult them on the topic.
“If you talk to them beforehand and ask them how you can accommodate them, you’ll probably find that they arrive more relaxed. If you want to prepare food that everyone can eat, your loved one will likely have some suggestions, and know some good recipes,” the guide continues.
On top of putting vegans first during the dinner, the guide also suggests you praise their decision by saying things like “I admire your commitment to the environment” or “I really like that vegan chocolate you brought!”
In addition, vegans should be served first to ensure they get what they can eat and that the meat-free food doesn’t get cross-contaminated with meat by mistake.
“If possible, make sure that they get served first.
They probably won’t jump to the front of the queue – so why not do it for them? You can say, ‘I know Sarah can’t eat everything here, so I just want to make sure she doesn’t miss out.’ Ask them what they’d like to eat, and make sure you give them generous portions,” the guide adds.
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