You don't need to alter Thanksgiving meal to appease 2 vegans
Dear Abby: Last year for Thanksgiving, I made a special effort to get the entire family together for the traditional meal. All 13 of us met at my mother's home, and everyone was to bring a dish or two to share.
One of my brothers has two college-age daughters. Both are vegan, and he insisted that all the dishes we brought be vegan. I did it, but I resented it because I felt that two out of 13 people should not decide the menu. If they wanted vegan dishes, they should bring something for themselves, while the rest of us brought what we wanted.
My brother and nieces are now asking what we're doing this year for Thanksgiving. Frankly, I don't want to go through that again. Am I wrong in thinking everyone should not bend over backward for the vegan meal? I don't mind some of the menu accommodating them, but I don't think the whole dinner should be altered.
Turkey Eater in Texas
Dear Turkey Eater: Neither do I. And the response you should give your brother (and his daughters) is that you'll be serving a traditional Thanksgiving dinner this year, so they can either bring something they will enjoy or make other plans.
I understand that being encouraged to bring our own vegan dishes is already much better than many of us vegans enjoy during Thanksgiving with family. Nonetheless, I absolutely disagree with Dear Abby and Turkey Eater in their conclusions.
The vegan daughters have a serious ethical reason for making their demands. It isn't about simply having the foods they prefer to them, but about being able to comfortably enjoy a meal with family without having to be plagued by the cruelty and suffering in every bite around them. They may be trying to throw their weight around a bit in order to save a couple extra turkey lives, and I absolutely support them in this.
Turkey Eater on the other hand is merely whining that he didn't get to enjoy the foods he preferred. He is correct that everyone should get their fair votes toward what foods they want, but food preferences are not something worth breaking up a family get together over. Serious ethical dilemmas are justified reason for the daughters to raise a concern, and I think Turkey Eater has gone much too far by choosing to cut off a part of his family because he is not willing to enjoy a perfectly fine meal with them if it cannot include his choice of flesh.
I encourage you to write Dear Abby and let her know how you felt about today's column. I am not going to write something for you to tell her, but you are welcome to take any ideas or quotes from the above in what you choose to send in.