I'm spending Thanksgiving with my folks this year, and while my mom's spread is always amazing, I started having a few reservations about the turkey. After going vegetarian for almost a month, I've been extremely picky about the meat I eat. I've given myself a meat budget, and I'm only eating free-range, organic meat that is raised without antibiotics and hormones.
This is all good for me, but I don't want to take the fun out of Thanksgiving by preaching my ethics to my family or insisting that they spend more on a bird because of me. Instead, I'm having a heritage turkey delivered to my mom's house. My mom is excited that she's getting a "special bird" this year, and I get to eat the kind of meat I prefer without making a big fuss about it.
I've been to plenty of dinner parties where this isn't the case. Guests will insist that the host work around their dietary restrictions, which can often end up being costly and stressful for the people throwing the dinner. If you have a special diet, think about bringing a few dishes with you or ordering a food gift to the house as I did. And because many supermarkets sell organic turkeys, you won't get stuck with the large delivery fee that my boyfriend and I had to pay. Note: it's a good thing to check with your hosts first, but chances are that they'll be excited to try out some new foods.