Nowadays, it’s rare to find a group of people who have no dietary restrictions. Whether it’s gluten, peanuts, soy, dairy, eggs, meat, or animal products altogether, someone will be avoiding something. So we can’t be expected to accommodate everyone all the time. But according to one woman, we should. Below, you’ll find a story that was recently shared on Reddit detailing how this vegan woman decided to throw a fit at an engagement party because there were no plant-based options on the menu.
This woman planned her engagement dinner to accommodate her family members’ dietary preferences
Image credits: Prostock-studio (not the actual photo)
But when her brother brought his vegan girlfriend along, not everyone was satisfied with the options available
Image credits: BGStock72 (not the actual photo)
Image credits: noveganoptions
Accommodating everyone’s dietary preferences at the same time can be a challenging task to navigate
Adopting a plant-based diet is becoming more and more popular all the time, but vegans are still a small minority. It is estimated that less than one percent of the global population is vegan, according to Redefine Meat. So while it would be lovely to have veggie burgers, falafel and vegan pasta options on every menu around the world, we’re just not there yet. There are plenty of valid reasons for adopting a vegan lifestyle, such as minimizing your carbon footprint, choosing more sustainable food options, concerns about animal welfare, and lowering your risk of high cholesterol and heart disease.
But the fact is that going vegan is a personal choice. It would be wonderful if every restaurant would accommodate vegans, especially because preparing plant-based food is much easier than many realize, but unfortunately, with the way our world is set-up right now, meat, dairy and eggs are default ingredients used in many products and restaurants. So vegans have to understand that they are going against the grain, and they cannot force everyone else around them to adjust their own habits to fit a vegan’s views and ethics.
Image credits: RossHelen (not the actual photo)
So it’s always wise for individuals with dietary restrictions to ask ahead of time if there will be options for them
I have been vegan for six years, so I certainly understand the struggle of going out to restaurants or attending events that have no vegan options. But the thing about those situations is that you can usually anticipate them. If I’m attending a wedding where neither the bride or groom is vegan, I do not expect them to automatically have an option for me. There is always a chance that no one else attending will be vegan, so it might be easier for me to eat ahead of time or pack snacks than it would be for the caterers to prepare one special meal. When choosing to be vegan, one has to bear the responsibility of ensuring they’re well-fed all the time. That cannot become everyone else’s burden.
When going to a new restaurant, it’s always wise to call ahead and ask if they have any vegan options. When attending an event, such as this engagement party, don’t be scared to check with the host and ask if there will be any plant-based options on the menu. Being in a situation when you’re hungry and nothing is available is extremely uncomfortable, but it’s much worse to make everyone else uncomfortable by throwing a fit or causing a scene. That doesn’t do any good for veganism as a whole if everyone assumes that vegans are whiny and entitled. Being vegan is a wonderful thing, but we must remember that not everyone is on the same journey.
Especially in this particular situation on Reddit, the vegan woman was a last-minute addition to the event, so there was no way she could have been considered when choosing the menu and restaurant. But this was also an engagement party. The couple getting married got to choose a place that they enjoy, and the whole evening should have been about the two of them. Even if there were not sufficient vegan options, the most important thing is that this engagement dinner was enjoyed by the happy couple who were being celebrated. Anyone else unhappy with the event could bite their tongue until it was over.
Vegans know that they are still in the minority, so they cannot make it everyone else’s responsibility to ensure that they are well-fed
But when it comes to how vegans can have an easier time in situations where they are in the minority, we consulted a piece that Draga Neskovic wrote for Holy Peas about How To ‘Survive’ Family and Social Events as a Vegan. Along with recommendations to bring your own food along or to suggest somewhere with vegan options to hold events, Neskovic notes that patience is a virtue for those with dietary restrictions. People will likely ask questions about your diet and choices, make jokes about it and perhaps even make fun of what you’re eating, especially when the options are small salads or sides of vegetables and potatoes. This is just part of the territory of being vegan; you can’t let these things get to you.
“Let’s try not to judge other people,” Neskovic notes. “All (or at least a vast majority of) vegans were once non-vegans. Most people don’t know about the benefits of a plant-based diet, the horrors of the meat, dairy, fur, and leather industry, and the devastating impact they have on our environment. That’s why you should be patient and willing to educate them on the matter if they are interested. Wouldn’t it be a great feeling if someone changed their lifestyle because you were a positive example?”
We would love to hear your thoughts on this situation in the comments below, pandas. Have you ever had a hard time navigating the complex world of dietary restrictions when planning or attending an event? How would you have reacted if you were in this engaged woman’s shoes? Let us know what you think, and then if you’re interested in reading another Bored Panda article featuring drama surrounding different diet choices, look no further than right here.
Image credits: Prostock-studio (not the actual photo)
Readers have assured the engaged woman that she did nothing wrong, noting that her brother’s girlfriend was acting rude and entitled