No Vegan Friendly Food on the Menu (at the family gathering)

No Vegan Friendly Food on the Menu (at the family gathering)
Raw Stuffed Tomatoes

Raw Stuffed Tomatoes (Photo credit: Evelyn Parham)

I have some family gatherings coming up this year and I know there will be nothing on the menu that I will eat.  Well, except for lettuce, tomatoes, onions and probably pickles.  A girl has to have more than that.

I don’t know what’s on the menu, but I do know that I am probably the only one who does not eat animal-based foods. A part of me doesn’t want to attend, but another part of me can hardly wait to see my relatives.

I don’t think I will let a little menu keep me from seeing my relatives. What do I do?

No matter the situation, I must be prepared. Here it is early in the year and I am thinking about surviving family gatherings that are months away.

I’ll keep this short and sweet, because I’m not going. Just kidding about that.

Make the Best of Situation

The best thing to do, especially if you are coming in from out-of-town is find a vegan restaurant in that city. Order take out and bring that meal to the family gathering.

There is no reason for you to sit and watch others eat, when you can have your own food, just the way you like it. Take this matter in your hands, because if you don’t, no one else will.

Contact the person in charge of the menu and tell them your situation. Most people are willing to accommodate you, but don’t expect too much.

You can always prepare your food in advance and bring it with you. Make sure you store the meals in a cooler so they don’t spoil, especially if you are travelling a few hours away from home.

Don’t get upset when you see there is nothing on the menu that would consider eating. Most people think that everyone eats the same foods, but that’s not always the case.

Make the best of the situation even when you know there is nothing on the menu that you that you will eat.

Be prepared so that you don’t feel like you are at the family function by yourself. Food brings people together, but sometimes it drives people apart.

Don’t let that happen. Bring your own food and enjoy your family.

Attend the Gathering

It is easy to say, “I’m not attending the family gathering.” But if you really want to attend, then don’t let food stand in your way.

It will be a challenge, but that’s when good planning and preparing comes into play.

Always have a plan of action and you will be fine.

Discussion: What would you do in this situation?

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About the Author

Evelyn Parham started this site in 2010. She enjoys writing, reading, and dabbling in photography and video editing. Learn more about her here.

9 Enlightened Replies

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  1. Linda Hall says:

    I have no problem eating at a family gathering. I’ve been vegan since September 2011. I make a fresh fruit dish to take with me and share. If I’m out shopping I usually pack a banana to take with me in case I get hungry. I have a lunch tote that I frequenly use whenever I go. I always have crunchy vegetables and fruits to take with me. The longer you are vegan the less you want the old western diet.

  2. Ifasayo says:

    My family is pretty understanding as I am usually the “weird one” in so many other senses. They don’t comment anymore when I bring coconut water or master cleanse lemonade to dinner rather than eating.
    In the past, however, I simply made something that others were almost guaranteed to want to try. Something kind of common and transitional. I would make enough for them and myself. I think it’s all in how your present it and how your attitude is when you are in the situation. Also have prepared answers for common questions.

    • Hey Lady!

      Good to see you!

      That’s great that you have an understanding family. I’m the “weird one” too, I’m so use to it though. 🙂

      Great suggestions about making something you know they want to try. Desserts are always a good one.

      Yep, be prepared to answer questions, because someone will ask something.

      Take care and thanks for stopping by!

  3. I would bring my own if I suspected the host was not providing a non-meat option. And I would for sure still attend. But then if the family or friends were consistently insensitive, why would I want to hang with them more? Having said that, I do eat meat and can always find something delicious — often non-meat dishes!

  4. It’s a real pickle to be in, Evelyn. On the one hand you don’t want to be “the difficult one” in the family, but on the other hand, you have to eat! One thing my wife has been known to do is to bring an avocado and/or a zip-lock bag of nuts in her purse especially when going out to eat! Then she knows that no matter what is on the menu she can create a quick, satisfying vegan meal with whatever is available.

  5. Carolyn says:

    Evelyn, great article. It’s all about choices and we have the ability to make the right choice about food whether attending a family function or not. I know this article will bless many. Make and take a yummy raw dessert for everyone to enjoy. 😉

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