Do people have a hard time with your vegetarian choices?

Do people have a hard time with your vegetarian choices?

Thanksgiving, in all its feast-ly glory, is in the rear-view mirror this week, as we finish the leftovers and put away the good silverware. I hope that you, dear reader, are one of the people who has a completely stress-free time with your family. For many of your fellow citizens, that is not necessarily the case.

Because the holidays are often so focused on eating, and a central meal, they can be a minefield for anyone who doesn’t want to eat the traditional fare. For vegetarians, there is an age-old conflict that often rears its unpleasant head at the holidays.

Maybe your family is completely over it, and happily meshes their traditions with yours. But for many of the non-meat community, the Thanksgiving meal is a tricky business. Overt and covert hostility may erupt at any time.

It’s a shame, really. It’s supposed to be about thankfulness.

So, while this week is still fresh in your mind, you may want to participate in a study being done by a graduate student at the University of Colorado. His name is Michael Briscoe, and he is studying sociology.

The study isn’t focused on the holidays, it takes a broader look at the experience of vegetarians all year long.

I asked him to weigh in on why he was interested in the issue, but he said that he didn’t want to cause any bias in the results, and replied thusly:

” I have personally been interested in vegetarian issues for a long time, although this is my first study conducted on the issue. In looking at and speaking with members of the vegetarian community, I noticed that vegetarians sometimes have hostile encounters with others, and decided it would be worthwhile to discover how frequently this encounters occur and what factors contribute to them.”

Take the survey here

I would hope, in this day and age, that everybody has gotten used to having vegans and vegetarians in the mix. What was once a rarity has become far more commonplace. If anything, it’s the gluten-free and allergy diet people who are getting the brunt of the hostility these days. Restaurateurs and caterers, and hosts from coast to coast love to vent about how hard it is to provide for special diets.

But if you have some stories to tell, take a minute to participate in the survey.