Not eating meat at Thanksgiving dinner is surprisingly weirder and more difficult than not smoking at almost all other times.
My family made that much easier, though, by making a bunch of salmon for me (a sort of sacrifice, since mom hates even the smell of fish). Yes, fish is really a form of meat if meat = dead animal flesh, but I haven’t yet put that habit aside. Eating salmon next to the parents’ turkey is still weird. Like smoking, eating turkey is a thing I enjoy. And don’t even get me started on bacon – hey, I know people who are vegan except for bacon – and there’s no moral, health or other exemption you can plausibly talk yourself into for eating industrially farmed diner bacon. I’ve taken to calling bacon a gateway drug.
I haven’t talked much about quitting smoking. It’s just a thing I did, and continue on because I’m ornery and irritated at the tobacco industry (which, come to think of it, is close to the reason I quit eating land animals). Opting out of these things transforms that “irritation” or righteous anger into a small act of peace, in the lighter footprint I leave, even if it does nothing to help those two industries behave more gently.
If I mention the smoking thing out in public, though, I’m afraid self-righteous non-smokers will start congratulating me in ways that make me more irritated in their direction than at Big Tobacco. I’m not sure how to transform that – maybe there’s some constructive way I could help quit-smoking campaigns be more positive and less patronizing. Their intentions are good. And their tactics do work some of the time.