Celebrating the holidays without animal products


Piper Baxley

Vegetarians and vegans have plenty of good holiday food options.

Marta Bourget, Staff Writer

Roast turkey drizzled in gravy made from animal fat and juices. Diced ham and platters of bacon for breakfast. How can someone who doesn’t eat animals celebrate such a meat-centered holiday?
Holiday spreads with tofu and vegetables are more common than one might think, with around 5% of Americans being vegetarian.
Making the switch to a no-meat or no animal products diet isn’t as hard as it seems, even during the holidays.
“[My family] has switched all the sides to things I can eat, it’s just the big bird I cannot,” English teacher Kelsey Wright said. “[They] started making their mashed potatoes with fake butter and oat or almond milk.”
Some people don’t even have to switch at all: many memorable holiday dishes are already vegetarian.
“I ate mashed potatoes, mac and cheese and ate a lot of deserts,” junior Grace Bahr said.
Having a different diet can lead you to appreciate foods more unique than turkey and potatoes as well.
“One thing [my family] typically would make [for the holidays] is a spinach feta burek dish,” senior Téa Ilic said.“It’s like spanakopita which is a Greek dish.”
Beyond Meat, tofu and other substitutions have taken the world by storm, allowing for people who still want to make a diet shift without leaving protein behind to do so. Found in groceries and even gas stations, it’s so easy even non-vegetarians can find simple dishes they can make and enjoy.
“My aunt made fake chicken and noodles and it was really good,” Bahr said.
Trends, diets, workouts and foods fly by but they don’t have to be an all or nothing thing.
“People should not necessarily stick to a label of vegetarian or vegan,” Ilic said. “I think what’s important is making a change in your daily life that’s sustainable to you.”