Take Cover! A Vegan Is Coming Over!

Yes. You’re right. It is rude of me to come into your home and not eat your meat. Silly me. I can just take chemo or something if my cancer starts growing again. Terribly rude.

I read Dana Schuster’s New York Post article, “Your worst nightmare!” yesterday and became irate. The piece is about how inconvenient it is for hosts when they invite guests over who are vegetarians or vegans. “It’s amazing that Kyle Megrath, a strict Upper East Side vegan, gets invited to any dinner parties at all. ‘I don’t eat anything with eggs, dairy, poultry. I don’t eat cheese [or] any meat,’ rattles off Megrath, who is morally opposed to eating animals.”

It’s amazing that he gets invited to dinner parties at all? Are you kidding me? What kind of friends does this poor guy have?

Are people offended when a Jewish person opts to not eat ham? Do they growl if a Hindu doesn’t eat steak? Would they snipe about having Bill Clinton over for dinner because he only eats plant-based foods to save his life?

The anger against people who opt to not eat animal products for their health, their ethics, or both is just plain bizarre to me. Do what you want. Eat what you want. And let me eat what I want (or in my case and Bill Clinton’s case, what we need).

When Tom and I are invited to someone’s home for a meal, the first thing we do is explain our diet. We always offer to bring a dish or even go to a restaurant if it would be more convenient. We’re bringing a dish to our friends’ home for Christmas. They don’t need extra work on our behalf. The point is that we want to be together on the holidays, and custom states that we do so over a meal. The meal is not what is important; our friendship is.

Change is violent, and people are freaking out that friends who have grilled burgers in the past are now grilling portobellos instead. But it’s time to grow up and get over it. So I don’t eat meat. So what? Let’s just enjoy each other’s company and not judge one another for our food choices.

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8 comments

  1. Jan Herrbach says:

    Tracy, I started eating a plant-based diet this summer and this will be the first Christmas that I will have to “deal” with eating something different from everyone else. They don’t want it to be a big deal for me…but they ALWAYS want me to bring creamy scalloped potatoes when we get together, so I will happily make that for THEM. My hubby will also eat that dish. I won’t. I told them not to worry, that I could make up a dish for me and I could just bring it over. They don’t knock what I eat, thank goodness, but I didn’t want them to fret over what they could feed me, so I’m going to get together with them in the next day or so and let them know what I can/can’t eat. This should NOT be a big deal. But, I think that even during the holidays, we need to stick to our guns and eat what we would normally eat on a PBD. I eat a fairly strict vegan diet. So, my plan is to ENJOY Christmas and New Years and we can have two different meals at the same table.

  2. Becky says:

    Reminds me of one Thanksgiving dinner where the hostess was making 2 separate meals, one for the carnivores (at least it was organic and free range) and one for the vegans. I thought making 2 of everything was ridiulous. I got together with the vegans and we make a spice cake and the most delicious mashed potatoes I have ever tasted. It’s not that hard to accomodate a variety of guests

  3. Chris O'Brien says:

    This is very good. But I just want to inject one thing. I am a carnivore from a family with all different types, including Vegans. The reasons range from health to ethics to both. I can cook everything from Fred Flintstone size hunks of meat to veggie lasagna to truly animal-product free vegan main dishes and sides. If I have a mixed crowd the portabello grill never touches the burger grill nor the implements, nor does the vegan pasta sauce spoon go in the meat sauce spot. So once in awhile I get guests who insist on bringing there own, even though I insist on cooking for them. I agree its about the company, but for me, its ALSO about the food. The fact that I judge BBQ contests (seriously) may color their view, or maybe they are just so used to bringing their own they don’t believe me, but some of us can and WANT to cook for them. So, keep an open mind if they say they know what they are doing! They might!

  4. Tracy Krulik says:

    You rock. I guess I wasn’t clear. I love friends who cook for us, and most do– even the ones we’re celebrating Xmas with. But they just had a baby two weeks ago, so it just seemed easier for us to bring a dish.

    I have to say that I LOVE that you even separate the grills — you clearly get it. We also love food (you might notice my veggie to people photo ratio on Facebook), but not so much that we would discriminate against people who eat differently, like the folks in that crappy article do.

  5. Tracy Krulik says:

    In a way I think it’s easier for me to stick to my diet, because I became a vegetarian years ago out of love for animals. I only learned the health benefits of a plant-based diet after I was diagnosed with cancer and discovered that my body was beating the disease without medicine. I simply can’t eat meat, because it goes against my ethics. The health benefits only strengthen my resolve.

    Let me know how the dinner goes! Maybe you could also throw in a delicious, fully plant-based dish as well? Might blow their minds that something so healthy could taste so good.

  6. Kyle Megrath says:

    Hi!

    I am Kyle Megrath and thank you for writing this. I have amazing friends and none of them have every made me feel guilty for my ethical choice to not eat animals. Lucky for the author of the original article I have a tremendous sense of pride and satisfaction with not eating meet.

    I was lead to believe this was an article about vegans, the holidays, and hosting parties. I was, of course upset, when I found out otherwise.

    If you read the feedback to the original article you feel an immediate sense of relief that there are so many people out there who protested the article.

    Kyle

  7. Tracy Krulik says:

    Glad you felt the same way about the article (and that there are many more like us out there!). The healthier I eat, the harder I find it to eat in restaurants or in friends’ homes. Perhaps one day the norm in the U.S. will be to eat healthy, whole, plant-based foods. A girl can dream…

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