When Family Asks a Vegan Dieter to give Up Being a Vegan Just For the Trip
2015 Vegan statistics show that 6 percent of US population is vegan. This means about 19.3 million people are vegan according to 2014 US population data. What happens when these people go on the road and make interstate trips? This creates issues in some families who sometimes ask their family members to give up being a vegan just for the trip.
"I am going out of town with my family next week to Iowa, but as we were planning things together food became a bit of a battle. My family (parents especially) are begging me to "give up" being a vegan just for the trip. They don't seem to see the ethical reasons for my being vegan even though I've attempted to educated them on numerous occasion.If you were in this position what would you say to your family? How would you help them see that being vegan is a lifestyle choice not a 'phase' or 'trend.' Also, what would you do for food (besides snacks and things that will fit in a cooler of course) This will be my first time traveling as a vegan and any tips or insight would be extremely appreciated," asked one of my vegan friends in a Facebook group The Veganist.
What to do and how to eat as a vegan on the road
"Salads, spuds. There's all kinds of food to eat and I wouldn't get into an argument on a family vacation. Eat what you eat not animals and wait until you get back to make your point," responded a user named Joe.
A group member, named Daniel, advises patience. "They will come around in the end. This trip is really going to be part of the beginning of the process. Show them it is easy, dont talk about the food options and cheerfully eat what you can, even if it is beans out of a can. Any jokes they have do your best to take in stride, it is all part of the process in the beginning. Patience wins out in the end, especially if you keep a good sense of humor and keep in good spirits."
"If I go to a restaurant with no vegan options, just pick through the menu and ask them to make you a plate. They usually will. Like a mix of veg & potato, salad, rice, beans, check what toppings come on other meat dishes like mushrooms & add that. Just remember to ask about butter or broth or things like that," writes another user named Erin.
Another user, named JL suggests to take the easy route when it comes to meals while traveling. "Peanut butter & jelly, soups, pasta and sauce, bananas, apples: things that don't seem weird to your family. Steer them towards Indian and Asian restaurants to give yourself more options. Its an opportunity to make the travel easy on you and show your family that its not all that weird. I'd prefer to have more whole foods in my regular diet, but sometimes making our choices more accessible to those who don't 'get it' is worth the trade off," JL writes.
Others suggest fruits, dried or fresh. Bananas and dried apricots and mango, nuts, seeds. Crisps. Anything you see on your trip you can eat. Some subtractions to salads and appetizers would help! Main courses and desserts are always tricky.
"I am a trucker and although a bit of a pain some times, there's options everywhere," writes a user named Danilo. He shares a pic from Deny's and writes that at iHope in Iowa he hash browns w/greenpeps and onion mushrooms. All, for about 4$.
What else you can do to prepare for the trip
"Grocery stores, fruit stands are the real fast foods. Pack sandwiches and wraps that do not require refrigeration. I find quinoa keeps and does not require reheating like rice. Fruits and veggies, do not require a cooler. Loaf of bread, pita bread. Possibilities are endless, you can do it," suggest a vegan group user, named Castillo.
Another person, named Amy suggests that Larabars make an excellent snack. "Rice & lentils can be light to carry, but very filling when cooked. At restaurants, salad bars can work (Ruby Tuesday's French dressing is vegan!); Thai has a lot of good options - just ask for no eggs, fish sauce; Chinese - ask for no chicken broth, beef broth or egg; Italian - no egg pasta; Tofu stir-fry easy to whip up at home or in a restaurant. Don't forget about nuts & seeds as protein sources - they can make delicious sauces," Amy writes.
Are you a vegan? Do you make special dietary preparations when going on a trip? How do you prepare your trip? Feel free to share your expertise with eMaxHealth readers in comments.