My family is having a vegan Thanksgiving. I’m over the moon, but I’m also in a mild state of shock. I never thought I would see the day.
It's great to see how far my family has come. When I went vegetarian over ten years ago (too cowardly to go vegan at the time), my mother started fretting over how she was going to feed me, but she rolled with the punches and adjusted. I also started cooking for myself a lot more, realizing how shamefully lazy it was that I was still expecting my parents to feed me like a small child.
A little later, I got in the habit of suggesting vegetarian or entirely vegan restaurants when I would go out to eat with them. They were skeptical at first, but I could usually coax them into it and find at least one thing on the menu that passed for their taste buds.
A few years ago, my parents stopped eating beef altogether. My dad was having issues with his cholesterol and blood pressure, and my mom fell in love with a few different brands of plant-based "meat" like Impossible Burgers. They started using all the same seasonings they used to put on meat dishes, and, surprise, surprise, they didn't notice a difference. My mom said she lost about ten to fifteen pounds by cutting out meat. My dad said his blood pressure dropped thanks to a combination of no red meat and new medication. (My brother is the only one who hasn't made much change in his eating habits, but he just recently stopped drinking, so we are happy for that victory.)
While we have been trending this way for years, I was still gobsmacked when my mother told me I didn't need to bring my own dish to eat while they all have turkey. No, my parents decided to buck tradition and skip the turkey altogether. No butter or milk or eggs in the kitchen this year either. No, we are going to do a taco buffet with fake meat instead of dead animals. Just go down the line and make your own meal with all the toppings lined out like a Subway. I am 100% excited for my family's first ever vegan Thanksgiving.