American Thanksgiving is approaching. In Canada we celebrate in October, so the feast has come and gone, turkey leftovers long since used up. In my family I am the only vegan. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law will eat anything, my own mother might try a dish I've made, depending on how unusual it looks and the guys, my son, husband and father never eat anything that I bring to the meal if it is identified as vegan.
Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinner are almost identical in our traditional selections with perhaps more selections available at Christmas. Years ago I stopped eating the turkey, now I only eat what I bring myself or perhaps the vegetables. My mother tends to put butter on them, but recently at a family dinner she used margarine instead, just for me. I couldn't tell her that most margarines are not even vegan because they contain whey. My mother thinks I am quite extreme. I am 42 years old and only just becoming immune to any maternal disapproval. I was raised to value politeness over just about anything else. At all costs one must be polite, so it horrifies my mother to see me refuse food other people have offered. "Don't be silly. It's perfectly good and there are people in the world who envy your privileged life, where you can pick and choose what you will eat and turn away good nutritious food.
She misses my point. I am privileged. I have choice and abundance. Because of that I can say no to food sources that are immoral. With access to a variety of foods that provide all of the nutrition we need, we don't need to eat tortured and murdered animals to survive. I'm not advocating that the whole world become vegan because I have yet to see proof that it would be a manageable and sustainable system. Still we aren't feeding everyone a nutritiously balanced and calorically adequate omnivorous diet either. We who are wealthy and privileged compared with most of the world's population have no excuse for eating and using other creatures against their will.