Managing Pressure To Serve Animal Products
Many of us have been there, your wedding day or baby shower comes up and suddenly the pressure to serve animal products begins. It’s one thing to keep your own kitchen and your own family completely plant based, but what about when you have omnivore guests attending? Do you cater to their preferences and forego your own judgement?
When an exciting milestone happens in your life, it is natural to want to celebrate with family and friends! I think it’s safe to say that many of our loved ones are not vegan, and so as the meal planning begins for your big event (example: daughter’s first birthday), you will most likely receive many generous offers from others willing to bring food. While this is incredibly sweet and usually done from the heart, it is absolutely okay to say something along the lines of, “no thank you, we have all of the food covered. I appreciate you offering though!” Of course, if it is someone that you trust to bring a completely vegan dish, then it is at your discretion to let them contribute.
The argument often comes up that vegans should cater to omnivores, especially if those omnivores have catered to you, as vegans. To that I would say that there is a big difference between the omnivores offering a leafy green salad and fruit platter for the vegans, and expecting the vegans to purchase a carcass or cow breast milk for the omnivores. For one, salad and fruit is something that (I think) omnivores would purchase and eat for themselves anyway. It is unlikely that buying lettuce and strawberries would be abnormal for omnivores, or cause them any sort of ethical battle within. If your non-vegan friends and family members understood the reason that you are vegan, it would be disrespectful of them to expect you to purchase animal products and have them at your family’s celebration, simply for their own selfish pleasure.
If your loved ones will listen, showing or explaining to them why you and your family are vegan will hopefully help them to respect your decisions and take your lifestyle seriously. I think often veganism gets mistaken for one of the many ‘diet fads’ that come and go, and result in ‘cheat days’. While this may be true for some people, the majority of us couldn’t imagine going back to our old meat-eating ways. At the end of the day, if the party is in your home and/or celebrating yourself of your child, you are under zero obligation or pressure to serve animal products. I encourage you to provide an abundance of fresh, delicious vegan food, in order to help show how fantastic living plant based can be. Hopefully your guests will leave the party physically feeling much better than they would have, had they had a steak and a big bowl of ice cream, thus giving them food for thought. Serving a dead animal at your vegan daughters first birthday party does not seem like a great way to celebrate your fantastic little plant based person, it’s important to be a role model for your children by not giving into peer pressure and sticking to what you believe in.
Stick to your guns and remember that preaching to people is not always the best method, sometimes you have to simply lead by example and show how happy and healthy your family is living plant based! Letting go of what others might think of you is the first step to ignoring the pressure to serve animal products. You do you!
Tags: animal products, factory farming, non-vegan party, peer pressure, pressure to serve animal products, raising vegan kids, vegan children, vegan party