I think for you personally it is different. I mean you have alot of family that is vegetarian or vegan. You also have been vegan for over 20 years, me only about 5 and I used to be one of them not too long ago. I on the other hand have a whole slew of family who would rather drop dead than eat a flipping vegetable!!!! Seriously. So it isnt just about veg/vegan and cheating for me with a lack of respect, I think they would do this to anyone and they probably do if they are exposed to others who eat veg.
Mmmm. Not really. Keep in mind that 25 years ago when I went veg, and 22 years ago when I went vegan, no one in my family was EITHER. So I went through what you guys are going through--I just went through it a while ago, and I'm telling you my experience, from which you can learn.
In my case, perhaps b/c everyone in my family is pretty highly educated, eventually many of them sort of came along with me. But they sure weren't at the beginning, and if they never had come along w/ me, they'd still let me be me--at least in part b/c I don't let people tell me who to be!
You just have to stand up for yourself. Spending time w/ people should NOT be about the food. PERIOD. If others are making it about the food, that's their problem, not yours. Don't get in fights about it--just don't reinforce them. Bring your own items and enjoy your own cooking. If they bug you, say, "You know, I'm here for the company, not the food. Let's just enjoy spending time together." That works GREAT b/c what are they gonna say?
So then my next question/observation to you is, your family never saw you cheat, thats what you wrote. Did they not see you go from being a fat vegan to a slim McDougaller back to a fat vegan and now a slim McDougaller? If yes then they saw you cheat. Unless you did it in secret. ^shrug^ Just saying.
Cheat on being vegan is what I mean.
I honestly don't make much of a big deal about McDougalling, since everyone already knows I'm vegan. I bring 1-2 items to every get-together, eat 90% my own stuff and a few bites of VEGAN items that my vegan chef SIL makes, and no one comments. <shrug> And actually, my vegan chef SIL, although thin already, seems interested in reducing added fat and we've chatted about that a few times.
The fact is that the biggest issues for most "outsiders" are meat and dairy. THAT'S what your relatives are freaking out about. There's no need to worry about added fat b/c nothing they serve is even vegan to start with. I.e., it's the vegan thing that's hard for them--and again, I went through that w/ my family years ago and survived. My stepmother is still very strange about it (despite both myself and my step-bro's family being vegan). She always has to make a big deal out of deigning to serve vegan items, etc. But she DOES serve them--which she did NOT 20 years ago. It takes time, Grasshopper!