People always bring up the subject of Christmas when they first find out that I’m vegan. “But what will you do for your Christmas dinner?” they ask, often in horror!
But I find the question easy to answer, because what makes Christmas special is the sense of occasion, rituals, traditions, food, drink, presents and good company – and being vegan doesn’t change any of that.
Yes, I make efforts to ensure that my family’s Christmas hasn’t required the death, suffering or exploitation of any animals. I don’t let my ethical beliefs stop the trimmings and traditions though.
At the Vegan Vox household this year there’ll be mince pies, wine, Christmas dinner, cold buffets, decorations, gifts, stockings, mistletoe, carols, cards and cocktails – the works!
There’ll be vegan wine and a cold buffet of mock meats, vegan cheese board, crackers, pickles, sandwiches, cakes and treats in the evening."
When December 25 comes around and it’s time to sit down to eat, we’ll have a feast in front of us. There’ll be a cranberry and nut roast (you could have mock turkey or mock duck if you want to keep it more traditional), sage and onion stuffing, roast potatoes, sprouts, parsnips, carrots, vegan ‘pigs’-in-blankets, cranberry sauce and gravy.
Veganism doesn’t rule out a three-course meal, you know! We’ll have a winter vegetable soup or a stuffed mushroom for a starter and mince pies with soya custard or cream for dessert.
There’ll be vegan wine and a cold buffet of mock meats, vegan cheese board, crackers, pickles, sandwiches, cakes and treats in the evening. This doesn’t sound too different from a traditional Christmas so far, does it?
While being vegan means not taking anything from an animal – no meat, fish, dairy, eggs, honey, wool, silk, leather, feathers, animal by-products, certain food additives and not buying products which are tested on animals – we can have dark chocolates on the tree, a vegan chocolate advent calendar on the wall and the obligatory socks and smellies, only the socks will be made from man-made fibres and the smellies will be Cruelty Free-certified and will not contain any animal by-products.
Ultimately, there’s nothing stopping anyone enjoying a completely cruelty-free super special Christmas, as traditional as you like, without a stuffed bird in sight."
It’s often at deeply ingrained traditional times of year, like Christmas, that people we end up celebrating with think it will be difficult to ‘veganise’ the occasion without feeling as though traditions are being lost and the mood sobered.
But I believe that each new family creates their own Christmas traditions and holds on to some from their own childhoods.
Ultimately, there’s nothing stopping anyone enjoying a completely cruelty-free super special Christmas, as traditional as you like, without a stuffed bird in sight – unless you include me at about 10pm on Boxing Day!
Have a fabulously festive vegan Christmas – I know I will!
Vegan Vox is a food and lifestyle blogger and is busy whipping up vegan Christmas recipes to keep her husband full until the end of January.
This article is the opinion of Vegan Vox and not necessarily that of BT.