Author Topic: Unsure vegetarian  (Read 3519 times)

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Snooks

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Unsure vegetarian
« on: May 18, 2012, 05:00:58 AM »
I'm going to an informal gathering tomorrow night where dinner will be provided.  As one of eight the guests is vegetarian the host has planned a vegetarian meal.  The vegetarian's partner emailed today to say she might make it but he wasn't sure.  To my mind this is incredibly rude as the host would not have prepared a vegetarian meal if the vegetarian has RSVPed no straight away.  As it is the vegetarian probably won't decide if she wants to come until her partner leaves the house so the host will have to make the meal vegetarian regardless.

QueenofAllThings

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Re: Unsure vegetarian
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2012, 07:09:14 AM »
What's rude here is not the vegetarian aspect, as the vegetarian did not insist on the hostess making a vegetarian meal for all. What's rude is not deciding if you will attend until the last minute. It's a dinner for 8 people, not a cocktail party for 200.

As an aside, there's nothing wrong with serving omnivores a vegetarian meal. I do it all the time.

Snooks

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Re: Unsure vegetarian
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2012, 07:15:13 AM »
I quite like vegetarian food but I know that this host normally does amazing meat dishes when hosting*, so cooking vegetarian for omnivores is not the norm.  I agree that the will she/won't she is rude but I felt it was adding insult to injury when the whole meal was being specifically catered for her.  I know in the host's position if one person out of eight was vegetarian I'd just do a whole veggie meal for ease.  The meal isn't the focus of the gathering, it's more of a "Come over and basket weave, I'll do dinner for us all so we can get started quickly".

*I'll admit I am a little bit upset that I won't be getting one of these  ;)

O'Dell

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Re: Unsure vegetarian
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2012, 07:43:25 AM »
Suppose the vegetarian were on a low-carb diet and the host planned a meat meal. Would you feel the same?

If I were the hostess, I'd judge rudeness based on how urgent the reason for cancelling is, and to a lesser extent did the guest know that I based the menu on her/him.

If I were you, I wouldn't let on what I thought of the guest or menu, unless the host asks for an opinion. I'd be uncomfortable with one guest judging another over *my* decision, and I'd especially not like someone assuming that I would have made another menu that would have suited them better if I'd known. I'm well-known for my homemade hummus. It would be one thing for someone to hope that I had served some, but another thing for someone to let on that they expected it in the way that you expect a meat dish from your host.
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wx4caster

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Re: Unsure vegetarian
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2012, 08:28:16 AM »
Has the vegetarian changed her mind about attending or has something else occurred that interferes with the original plans (illness, family emergency and wanting to stay near the phone, etc.).

If she's just changed her mind, she's rude.  If it's the later, life happens. As QueenofAllThings said, the menu is irrelevant.
The days are long but the years are short.

Snooks

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Re: Unsure vegetarian
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2012, 09:00:51 AM »
Suppose the vegetarian were on a low-carb diet and the host planned a meat meal. Would you feel the same?

If I were the hostess, I'd judge rudeness based on how urgent the reason for cancelling is, and to a lesser extent did the guest know that I based the menu on her/him.

If I were you, I wouldn't let on what I thought of the guest or menu, unless the host asks for an opinion. I'd be uncomfortable with one guest judging another over *my* decision, and I'd especially not like someone assuming that I would have made another menu that would have suited them better if I'd known. I'm well-known for my homemade hummus. It would be one thing for someone to hope that I had served some, but another thing for someone to let on that they expected it in the way that you expect a meat dish from your host.

I think I would probably feel the same about anyone with a "special" dietary requirement declaring the day before an event where the menu had been catered for them that they might not come.  There's no life happens reason for the semi cancellation, just that they might decide they don't want to go.

The bit I've italicised above, I just want to point out that I have no intention of saying anything to either the host or the vegetarian's partner.  I would never dream of criticising the food someone is offering me.  This isn't particularly about my tastes, I was trying to be light hearted but that obviously didn't come across.

ShadesOfGrey

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Re: Unsure vegetarian
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2012, 09:28:41 AM »
I dont think this is any ruder than any other guest who changes their mind. That said, it is obviously rude to do so.

The host didnt have to cook an entirely vegetarian meal - she chose to. She could have just had vegetarian options, so, in my mind, the *disappointment* (or hurt?) might be greater, but the rudeness is the same. It may be a technicality, but it's how I see it.

But if I were the host I would not be going to such great lengths again for this person...

Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning. - Maya Angelou

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Lynn2000

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Re: Unsure vegetarian
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2012, 10:16:50 AM »
POD to ShadesOfGrey. The hostess chose the make the meal all-vegetarian to accommodate one person out of eight. I presume the vegetarian didn't insist upon the hostess doing this, and that the vegetarian isn't some kind of guest of honor (though of course I could be wrong).

The hostess could have chosen to make an omnivore meal with hearty vegetarian sides instead, but she didn't. If there's any disappointment at not being able to eat a delicious meat dish the hostess is known for, it should be aimed at the hostess, not the vegetarian guest. (Though it wouldn't be polite to express that disappointment, of course.)

I don't think the hostess's choice to make an all-vegetarian meal affects the "rudeness level" of the vegetarian canceling out.
~Lynn2000

Mikayla

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Re: Unsure vegetarian
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2012, 12:37:51 PM »
I agree with Shades and Lynn, maybe even putting it a little stronger.  I recently started eating meat after 20 years of being a veggie, and during that time, my favorite place to eat was high-end steak houses, because the side dishes and salads were so yummy.  It's not good hosting if the menu makes one person happy and 7 feel deprived. 

OP mentioned she's known for her yummy meat dishes, so I have to say I don't get why she'd reconfigure the menu that much to begin with.


Zilla

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Re: Unsure vegetarian
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2012, 01:01:25 PM »
Who knows?  Maybe this vegetarian meal will change your mind and she makes even better veggie dishes than her meat dishes. 


 ;D


But I agree with others, it isn't the vegetarian guest being rude, it's the hostess deciding to change her menu to suit one out of 8.  (and who knows, maybe she always planned on this menu)  And no i am not a vegan trying to convert people.  I still love my meats.

Snooks

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Re: Unsure vegetarian
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2012, 01:32:08 PM »
Well dinner was yummy and the vegetarian did show up.  This girl has a reputation for being a little bit "special" which is why I think the host went out of her way to cater for her.  Turns out that deciding at the last minute whether to attend a gathering isn't the only rude behaviour this girl partakes in, it was an interesting evening witnessing what some people think is OK when at someone else's house, or maybe I'm just over sensitive.

O'Dell

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Re: Unsure vegetarian
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2012, 01:34:42 PM »
Did the hostess serve an adequate meal? Yes? Then she was not rude. She's not obligated to serve a meat dish or any other signature dish. It's her choice to do so or not.

In the interests of full disclosure, I am a vegetarian. But what I find rude about the attitude that the hostess "deprived" the majority of her guests is that hints at entitlement on the part of any of the 7 who are offended. The first hint I got that someone felt they were entitled to or would feel deprived of my signature dish, would be the time I'd stop making it for parties altogether. We could insert any other dietary need/choice and I'd feel the same: low fat meal, low carb, gluten-free, low sugar or salt, etc.

And there are so many reasons that a person might chose to base the meal around one guest. It's a good way to get yourself to stretch your cooking boundaries when you otherwise might not: try new recipes and menu configurations. Maybe meat wasn't in the budget. Maybe she's trying out some dietary options of her own. Maybe she just isn't in the mood or it was a whim on her part. The assumption that she did it solely to indulge the vegetarian is pretty interesting and possibly not at all accurate. Even if she did, she would not be rude.
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LeveeWoman

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Re: Unsure vegetarian
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2012, 02:13:23 PM »
Well dinner was yummy and the vegetarian did show up.  This girl has a reputation for being a little bit "special" which is why I think the host went out of her way to cater for her.  Turns out that deciding at the last minute whether to attend a gathering isn't the only rude behaviour this girl partakes in, it was an interesting evening witnessing what some people think is OK when at someone else's house, or maybe I'm just over sensitive.

C'mon! Don't leave us hanging!

Snooks

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Re: Unsure vegetarian
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2012, 02:22:06 PM »
Did the hostess serve an adequate meal? Yes? Then she was not rude. She's not obligated to serve a meat dish or any other signature dish. It's her choice to do so or not.

In the interests of full disclosure, I am a vegetarian. But what I find rude about the attitude that the hostess "deprived" the majority of her guests is that hints at entitlement on the part of any of the 7 who are offended. The first hint I got that someone felt they were entitled to or would feel deprived of my signature dish, would be the time I'd stop making it for parties altogether. We could insert any other dietary need/choice and I'd feel the same: low fat meal, low carb, gluten-free, low sugar or salt, etc.

And there are so many reasons that a person might chose to base the meal around one guest. It's a good way to get yourself to stretch your cooking boundaries when you otherwise might not: try new recipes and menu configurations. Maybe meat wasn't in the budget. Maybe she's trying out some dietary options of her own. Maybe she just isn't in the mood or it was a whim on her part. The assumption that she did it solely to indulge the vegetarian is pretty interesting and possibly not at all accurate. Even if she did, she would not be rude.

Ouch, there's a whole pile of judgement that came out of nowhere.

O'Dell

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Re: Unsure vegetarian
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2012, 02:31:30 PM »
Judgemental yep. Out of nowhere, not really. I based my comments on the following:

POD to ShadesOfGrey. The hostess chose the make the meal all-vegetarian to accommodate one person out of eight. I presume the vegetarian didn't insist upon the hostess doing this, and that the vegetarian isn't some kind of guest of honor (though of course I could be wrong).

The hostess could have chosen to make an omnivore meal with hearty vegetarian sides instead, but she didn't. If there's any disappointment at not being able to eat a delicious meat dish the hostess is known for, it should be aimed at the hostess, not the vegetarian guest. (Though it wouldn't be polite to express that disappointment, of course.)

I don't think the hostess's choice to make an all-vegetarian meal affects the "rudeness level" of the vegetarian canceling out.

I agree with Shades and Lynn, maybe even putting it a little stronger.  I recently started eating meat after 20 years of being a veggie, and during that time, my favorite place to eat was high-end steak houses, because the side dishes and salads were so yummy.  It's not good hosting if the menu makes one person happy and 7 feel deprived.

OP mentioned she's known for her yummy meat dishes, so I have to say I don't get why she'd reconfigure the menu that much to begin with.



<snipped>
But I agree with others, it isn't the vegetarian guest being rude, it's the hostess deciding to change her menu to suit one out of 8.  (and who knows, maybe she always planned on this menu)  And no i am not a vegan trying to convert people.  I still love my meats.

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
Walt Whitman