- Make as many vegan dishes as you can beforehand and take them with you. This will make your life so much easier when you have chained your parents to the downstairs toilet radiator with the intention of force-feeding them cauliflower wellington. They will cry and beseech you for mercy - a sign that you are winning them round to the cause. Have no pity! Remember, these are the monsters who gorge on the blood and organs of slaughtered creatures, and who birthed you unblinkingly into a life of murder, which you have managed to escape. Fist the dairy-free morsels of floret and duxelle into their gaping mouths and clamp their jaws shut, then read them a carefully selected article about the environment and release them. Remember: this Christmas is all about war, and you are in the right.
- At breakfast time, if your sister should perchance splodge a dollop of creamy oats into your porringer 'pon sitting down at the family table, cut off her hands and roast them in the oven for 45 minutes until crisp around the knuckles, while screaming imprecations against the Stockholm syndrome ordure who remain, zombie-like, in a cult of violence and bloodthirst. (Aga times may vary)
- Canapes! Smoked salmon, oysters, foie gras, even blinis, are all off the cards for you this Christmas and forever since you have chosen to live an enlightened life free of all cruelty. To this end, prevent anybody else from eating canapes by destroying your family fridge-freezer in the middle of the night with a chainsaw or a pick-axe. Wake up any sleeping children to watch you slice through the ice-tray with your vrooming blade or dent its top with a few crazed hacks from your glinting garden tool. This delighted my nephews last Christmas and can create memories to last a lifetime. Don't forget to capture these moments for social media and append the relevant hashtags! Always be thinking about the reach of your political actions.
- You now have no access to fresh produce for the rest of the holiday, which is just as well. You and yours can subsist on vegetables and nuts perfectly easily, and you will save on electricity. Make everybody a turmeric soy latte to dispel any residual tension. Your object is war, as stated earlier, but it's important to manufacture little stages where you can pause and take a break, and these treats will lull your enemies into a false sense of hope that their ordeal is at an end.
- Don't base all of your battle tactics around food: think big and unsettle your family by changing the time on their alarm clocks, making insane remarks about a beloved national treasure (such as Victoria Wood), shouting 'vegan latex!' for no reason, or doing headstands at any time of the day. The aim is to wear them down and remove any enjoyment from these few days of rest. Unplug the television and make them watch a three hour finger-puppet show about methane that you have helpfully written beforehand.
- The rapacious devourers of beast who ushered you onto this disgusting planet will start to grow dejected, but they may also become determined and rebellious once the hunger kicks in, and you might have to fend off a revolt with some makeshift weapons. Throw scraps of raw turkey that you have torn off the carcass at them while crouching behind a fireguard. Molotov cocktails can come in handy here too. You may find that you are able to coax some children over to your side to help you in your attack, by bribing them with sultanas or making lurid threats against them.
- Dinner time. This is the big one. By now the homestead should resemble Verdun, and the heaps of animal flesh that your twisted progenitors bought for the holiday season, such as congealed hog blood bags or the arse of a sheep child, will be rotting all around you, attracting flies and developing a layer of mould. Get the family to help you make a fully vegan meal, at gunpoint - it's so much more fun to eat vegan if there's more than one of you! Potatoes, carrots, peas, all the vegetables are vegan. Still with your vintage Luger cocked at your siblings' heads, make them bash out a delicious pastry by adding some ground nuts to flour and using margarine instead of solidified cow-tit juice, and fill your baked casing with whatever harmless vegetables you like, along with a garlicky tomato reduction. As you cook, recite facts about the amount of water needed to make a hamburger versus the amount of water needed to grow a watermelon. Don't forget to have fun!
- Presents! Why not buy your parents the wonderful film Phantom Thread by Paul Thomas Anderson, on DVD - it's a classic for the ages, with the bonus that you can watch it together while shrieking any time you see Reynolds Woodcock eat a hen foetus or a slice of pig or stir animal lactose into his porridge. Make sure to have a little chat at the end of the film about the movie's treatise on cruelty, toxic masculinity and the prison of coupledom: draw parallels between these and the flesh and dairy on display in the film, explaining your plans to implement a queer meat-free utopia based around the sharing of gender-free sexual relations, starting on Boxing Day.
- Sleeping arrangements can be tricky, as you may arrive to find that your mother has infuriatingly laid out a warm goose-down duvet in a freshly laundered cover from your childhood on your old brass bed, with a soft mohair throw folded gently on the edge of it, on which nestles a sweet-scented bar of soap derived from saponified tallow. Lose your utter shit, obviously, but bring with you several sheets of cheery red tarpaulin that you can staple-gun your family members under at night after you have set fire to all their bedding.
- At the end of your visit, invite your family to come stay with you in the city, so that they can see how to improve their lives. By this stage, you should have won the war - and they will be glad to see you go, which is only natural and should not be held against them. In your absence they will certainly reflect on their evil barbarism, and will perhaps even consider that it might do them good to escape the no man's land that you have turned their dwelling into, for the chance of a delicious cup of vegan miso soup with you, their dearest progeny.
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
It can be hard to be a vegan, and never more so than at Christmas, when returning to your family and partaking in centuries-long customs that have been passed down through generations. I have so many friends who tell me that they're perfectly happy and at ease with their vegan lifestyle in London, but when they get home they feel immense pressure from parents to relent and eat a bit of cheese, or potatoes that have been roasted in animal fats. Understandably this can lead to tense times, which everybody would rather avoid, and can spoil the present-giving and cheer. With this in mind, here are ten helpful tips for vegans this Christmas, to make your life easier. You can do it!