Veggie Tales

My first Christmas off meat was actually pretty successful. I’m fortunate in that my family was willing to compromise on a few things, like mushroom gravy instead of beef gravy and a quiche without bacon, and I’m glad I have parents who will trek to the hippie grocery store a town over to find my Christmas dinner (thanks Dad!) and find me a veggie burger at a butcher shop (thanks Mom!).

I think the hardest thing so far hasn’t been missing meat – I feel really good about my decision to cut it out of my diet – but the fact that “vegetarian” sometimes feels like “pain-in-the-ass picky eater.” And I don’t care how nice and gracious I am, to some extent, it feels like I’m telling people their food isn’t good enough for me. My favorite thing about food has always been its capacity to bring people together to share a common meal, and while I am perfectly happy with the food I’m eating, it definitely feels a bit like I’m missing out on being part of the communal bread breaking. I come from a family with a deep appreciation for meals (my grandfather was notorious for planning dinner during lunch, and cultivated a taste for everything from frogs legs at a five-star restaurant to IHOP) and it stings just a bit to know that sometimes I won’t be sharing that with them like I used to.

But all in all, I’d say my first veggie Christmas was great – at the end of the day, we still all sat down at the dinner table, had some amazing wine and ate far more than we needed to. And now I’m going to have to make some lame resolution about getting my thighs under control.

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