As far as holidays go, Thanksgiving is a pretty solid one. There’s all the rejoicing and eating with none of the obligatory gift-giving (or sweater-returning, as the case may be). Plus, it comes at a fantastic time of year when layers are in and everyone looks fabulous in a stunning pea coat. It’s a pretty hard holiday to hate.
Unless you’re a vegetarian. In that case, Thanksgiving is basically your own personal hell. And without wanting to get too whiny-vegetarian on anyone, here’s why:
We’ve got to start with the turkey on this one, if only because the entire point of the holiday is ritualized animal sacrifice (and giving thanks, but who’s really doing that these days?). And because it’s not bad enough that we’re celebrating a plant-based harvest with the widespread culling of the world’s ugliest bird, vegetarians also get to sit through each household’s personalized re-enactment, as though shearing flesh were an art form.
…and the Tofurky
Yeah, we know we were just complaining about the meat and should be happy someone thought up a fun-sounding replacement for us. Because nothing gets your appetite going like a ground-up slab of grain and tofu held together with the euphemistically designated “casing” for that all-natural, perfectly cylindrical shape. Does this look like food to you?
By right, Thanksgiving should be a veritable smorgasbord of yummy sides for us herbivores. Roasted potatoes buttered to perfection, whipped yams heaped into crested peaks atop our trays and the guilty pleasure that is boxed stuffing. What’s that? You’ve put the stuffing up the turkey’s hind side, roasted the potatoes in with the meat juice and topped those yams with gelatin-filled marshmallows? We’ll just be over here nibbling on this rosemary, thanks…
It’s amazing that while vegetarians don’t eat meat year-round, it really only puzzles people over the holidays. Don’t get us wrong, we’re incredibly grateful (see what we did there?) that we can meet for dinner and drinks in July and just talk about our lives instead of our protein intake. Let’s try that in October sometime, too.
Any decent vegetarian is well aware that having to meet someone else’s strange dietary requirements can be a pain (do you know how many vegan friends we have to deal with in this clique?). We can also reach that conclusion without the entire table loudly weeping over that one dish that wasn’t soaked in turkey juice “just for us.” If we get the wine going, I’m sure we can get through this together.
We’re really just trying to help by bringing a side: You don’t have to figure out what we can eat, and we can … you know, eat. But i gets a bit awkward when no one else touches it because we didn’t actually want an entire squash casserole to ourselves. Honest, we made enough for everyone, and it tastes just fine without the turkey. Promise.
The post-dinner drowsiness
Thanks to the fact that we haven’t been overloading on tryptophan (or anything really, as per above), we are wide awake at the end of the meal, waiting to finally get to the stage of the festivities we can enjoy with wild abandon: pie. But first, it’s time for everyone else to not-so-subtly lean back in their chairs, let their heads hang and drift off into the pleasant slumber of a pack of recently satiated carnivores. We’re willing to bet the smart phone was invented by a hungry, bored vegetarian.
Actually, if you’re all going to sleep we’ll just curl up over here…near all the pie.