Author Topic: Hosting with food restrictions due to religion  (Read 7687 times)

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NyaChan

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Re: Hosting with food restrictions due to religion
« Reply #30 on: October 30, 2012, 09:45:09 AM »
I was referring to having guests who like & expect pork at the same time as having a guest who can't eat pork (the mom).  And I believe their local family might be stopping by as well, even if they aren't staying the night there. 

snowdragon

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Re: Hosting with food restrictions due to religion
« Reply #31 on: October 30, 2012, 01:09:49 PM »
I was referring to having guests who like & expect pork at the same time as having a guest who can't eat pork (the mom).  And I believe their local family might be stopping by as well, even if they aren't staying the night there.

  I would say if the etiquette stance of "the host sets the menu" would cover it.

smroy724

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Re: Hosting with food restrictions due to religion
« Reply #32 on: October 30, 2012, 01:19:26 PM »
To clarify- it's not just me, I have my husband, my other child, my sister is coming along too (she is Christian, not Muslim), and other visiting nearby family (we live in Quebec and a baby is celebrated with wine/beer without question), so it's a bit of balance trying to accommodate all.

My household (including DH) eats pork, but ~90% of DH's family does not because of religion (they are Christian, but their church follows the no pork rule, Saturday Sabbath, etc).  I have three different ways that I handle:
a. When I am hosting just his family (rare) - I switch to turkey (ie. turkey bacon, ground turkey, etc). 
b. When I am hosting more than just his family (ie. Christmas with my family also) - I offer both ham and turkey.
c. When I am attending a potluck of his family's (ie. Thanksgiving) - I avoid pork at all cost.
    (Not sure how they are going to react to turkey bacon in the green beans...)

If they "drop by" (often, since most of them live within walking distance of us) while I am preparing a meal / eating a meal - the pork is there, I don't change / apologize / hide.  So far, this is working for me...
 
Just waiting on a certain member of the family to blow up about us eating pork, but that is another topic for another day... And DH's problem, not mine.  :)
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snowdragon

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Re: Hosting with food restrictions due to religion
« Reply #33 on: October 30, 2012, 01:47:37 PM »
This is not specific to this thread, but it is something that's been bugging me and is relevant - I get the whole my house, my rules thing - believe me I do!  I just don't understand why there is such a strong sentiment on this site sometimes to use that rule like a weapon when it isn't necessary (as in when no one is fighting the house rules or demanding anything at all). 

Yeah it is my house and as long as I'm serving sufficient nutrition to each guest, I can otherwise serve what I like, but what ever happened to hospitality?  If I invite someone into my home, I want them to be comfortable, I want them to be happy.  Even if the guest wouldn't care what I'm eating, food is something to be shared and why can't I just eat the chicken and dumplings I'd be happy to eat anyways rather than making it for the guest and going with potato soup w. bacon for myself?  It doesn't require me to go out of my way, and even if it did, I might do it anyways, because they are guests in my home. 

I think in this situation with multiple guests, with multiple preferences, having sufficient pork-free items for mom while still serving some pork for the guests who expect it is preferable so that everyone gets things they like.  But even when it is just OP's mom and OP in the house, absent some incredible craving for pork, is it really going to kill her to forgo it for a while?  Obviously she doesn't have to, and wouldn't be rude to eat it anyways, but what would it cost her to serve only dishes without pork?.

   It will cost her, her own autonomy and her own control of her dietary habit. Its saying that someone else's preferences for diet over rides another's even that other person's own home.  The weapon I see in a lot of these discussions is that one set of dietary rules always out weighs another- and that person who's  belief system allows them to partake in all things needs to allow themselves to be controlled by the other person's choices.
   If the OP was a guest in her mother's home  no one would expect the mother to bend her beliefs to accommodate the OP's desire to eat pork, no matter what the circumstances but it's ok expect the OP to bend to mom's belief that pork should not be eaten - even in the OP's home. It's a double standard.
   How far does this extend...if I go to a vegan's house I don't expect to have animal  products served to me, but do I have to abstain from them in my own home because she happens to be there...if so why are her preferences so much more sacrosanct that they control me in my own home?  What about smokers? If my aunt smokes, I get to tell her she can't in my home or car - but does that extend to telling her that she can't smoke in her home or car because I am there and I don't smoke?  If not - why would it for any other belief set?
  What this comes down to is do my values get respected in my home, or are they always considered less worthy of respect than someone else's, no matter where we are?

sparksals

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Re: Hosting with food restrictions due to religion
« Reply #34 on: October 30, 2012, 02:00:25 PM »
Considering the OP is pregnant, she should be able to cook and eat whatever she pleases.  Of course, make sure meals aren't entirely pork for her mother, just like I'm sure her mother will ensure the OP has food she enjoys, like bacon after the baby is born.  It is a two way street.

  to me the pregnancy is a red herring. A host who is not pregnant would have the same right under etiquette to cook and eat whatever they please as one who is pregnant. The only thing either one had to do is assure that their guests have something to eat.


Absolutely.  I made the point to counter the thoughts from some that she should just suck it up and  not serve anything that is not part of the guest's religion.  I don't think that is fair or required.  Even if she wasn't pregnant, it wouldn't be a requirement. The fact the OP is about to give birth any second gives her some extra clout in the food department.  Let her have what she wants when she wants it.

  I don't understand that at all.

She shouldn't have to alter her diet or eating habits for someone else's limitations.  As long as there is sufficient food for the others to eat, she shouldn't be going extra mile to avoid foods for herself that she may like since she is about to give birth.  Let her eat whatever she wants.

She shouldn't have to alter her diet or eating habits for someone else's limitations even if she's NOT pregnant. No one should.

I already stated I agreed with that.   

sparksals

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Re: Hosting with food restrictions due to religion
« Reply #35 on: October 30, 2012, 02:01:22 PM »
This is not specific to this thread, but it is something that's been bugging me and is relevant - I get the whole my house, my rules thing - believe me I do!  I just don't understand why there is such a strong sentiment on this site sometimes to use that rule like a weapon when it isn't necessary (as in when no one is fighting the house rules or demanding anything at all). 

Yeah it is my house and as long as I'm serving sufficient nutrition to each guest, I can otherwise serve what I like, but what ever happened to hospitality?  If I invite someone into my home, I want them to be comfortable, I want them to be happy.  Even if the guest wouldn't care what I'm eating, food is something to be shared and why can't I just eat the chicken and dumplings I'd be happy to eat anyways rather than making it for the guest and going with potato soup w. bacon for myself?  It doesn't require me to go out of my way, and even if it did, I might do it anyways, because they are guests in my home. 

I think in this situation with multiple guests, with multiple preferences, having sufficient pork-free items for mom while still serving some pork for the guests who expect it is preferable so that everyone gets things they like.  But even when it is just OP's mom and OP in the house, absent some incredible craving for pork, is it really going to kill her to forgo it for a while?  Obviously she doesn't have to, and wouldn't be rude to eat it anyways, but what would it cost her to serve only dishes without pork?.

The problem is the OP is very, VERY pregnant.  She doesn't have the time, energy or ability to be cooking for multiple dietary restrictions.

sparksals

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Re: Hosting with food restrictions due to religion
« Reply #36 on: October 30, 2012, 02:03:05 PM »
This is not specific to this thread, but it is something that's been bugging me and is relevant - I get the whole my house, my rules thing - believe me I do!  I just don't understand why there is such a strong sentiment on this site sometimes to use that rule like a weapon when it isn't necessary (as in when no one is fighting the house rules or demanding anything at all). 

Yeah it is my house and as long as I'm serving sufficient nutrition to each guest, I can otherwise serve what I like, but what ever happened to hospitality?  If I invite someone into my home, I want them to be comfortable, I want them to be happy.  Even if the guest wouldn't care what I'm eating, food is something to be shared and why can't I just eat the chicken and dumplings I'd be happy to eat anyways rather than making it for the guest and going with potato soup w. bacon for myself?  It doesn't require me to go out of my way, and even if it did, I might do it anyways, because they are guests in my home. 

I think in this situation with multiple guests, with multiple preferences, having sufficient pork-free items for mom while still serving some pork for the guests who expect it is preferable so that everyone gets things they like.  But even when it is just OP's mom and OP in the house, absent some incredible craving for pork, is it really going to kill her to forgo it for a while?  Obviously she doesn't have to, and wouldn't be rude to eat it anyways, but what would it cost her to serve only dishes without pork?.

   It will cost her, her own autonomy and her own control of her dietary habit. Its saying that someone else's preferences for diet over rides another's even that other person's own home.  The weapon I see in a lot of these discussions is that one set of dietary rules always out weighs another- and that person who's  belief system allows them to partake in all things needs to allow themselves to be controlled by the other person's choices.
   If the OP was a guest in her mother's home  no one would expect the mother to bend her beliefs to accommodate the OP's desire to eat pork, no matter what the circumstances but it's ok expect the OP to bend to mom's belief that pork should not be eaten - even in the OP's home. It's a double standard.
   How far does this extend...if I go to a vegan's house I don't expect to have animal  products served to me, but do I have to abstain from them in my own home because she happens to be there...if so why are her preferences so much more sacrosanct that they control me in my own home?  What about smokers? If my aunt smokes, I get to tell her she can't in my home or car - but does that extend to telling her that she can't smoke in her home or car because I am there and I don't smoke?  If not - why would it for any other belief set?
  What this comes down to is do my values get respected in my home, or are they always considered less worthy of respect than someone else's, no matter where we are?

I totally agree with this.

zainabzks

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Re: Hosting with food restrictions due to religion
« Reply #37 on: October 30, 2012, 02:19:35 PM »
Your mom is coming to visit you. Do what you are comfortable doing. I am sure you will do the right thing for your mom. :)

I sense this thread is turning into a "her house-her rules" thread. When a guest comes to my home, I try and make my guest feel as welcome as possible and try and accommodate my guest to the best of my ability. Depending on one's relationship with one's mom, the mom may not be looked upon as a guest but rather a member of the household.
YMMV.

gellchom

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Re: Hosting with food restrictions due to religion
« Reply #38 on: October 30, 2012, 02:33:43 PM »
This is not specific to this thread, but it is something that's been bugging me and is relevant - I get the whole my house, my rules thing - believe me I do!  I just don't understand why there is such a strong sentiment on this site sometimes to use that rule like a weapon when it isn't necessary (as in when no one is fighting the house rules or demanding anything at all). 

Yeah it is my house and as long as I'm serving sufficient nutrition to each guest, I can otherwise serve what I like, but what ever happened to hospitality?  If I invite someone into my home, I want them to be comfortable, I want them to be happy.  Even if the guest wouldn't care what I'm eating, food is something to be shared and why can't I just eat the chicken and dumplings I'd be happy to eat anyways rather than making it for the guest and going with potato soup w. bacon for myself?  It doesn't require me to go out of my way, and even if it did, I might do it anyways, because they are guests in my home. 

I think in this situation with multiple guests, with multiple preferences, having sufficient pork-free items for mom while still serving some pork for the guests who expect it is preferable so that everyone gets things they like.  But even when it is just OP's mom and OP in the house, absent some incredible craving for pork, is it really going to kill her to forgo it for a while?  Obviously she doesn't have to, and wouldn't be rude to eat it anyways, but what would it cost her to serve only dishes without pork?.

Excellent post, especially the bolded, NyaChan.  This is a rare time when I disagree with you, Sparksals!

I feel so bad when I read posts that say, essentially, "You have the right!  If they feel bad, they're wrong.  It's your house, so only your feelings count.  As long as they don't have to eat it and get fed somehow, it's none of their business.  Accommodating others when you're not required to by etiquette is being a doormat.  Never go the extra mile for others!"  I mean, that's way, way overstating what people have posted here.  But it's kind of the logical extension of how the position sounds to me.

That said, I don't think it would be RUDE for the OP to serve pork.  And I don't eat pork, either, also for religious reasons.  I can tell you how I would feel -- in fact, do feel -- when I visit others and they serve pork.  I am not offended.  I just don't eat it.  If they served it as the main course, knowing we won't eat it, I kind of wonder why they made that choice (if we are the only guests, not a huge event).  But I don't think it's rude and I'm not offended.

My point is just that simply not being rude or offensive isn't the end of the inquiry for me.  I like to be a good host and make my guests feel as welcome and important as possible.

In this case, I don't see a problem at all.  The OP obviously has a good attitude about all this.  And it's her MOM, with whom she is evidently close enough to have her come stay and help, so I would think also to be able to discuss stuff like this.  If I were her, I'd probably just skip the pork for regular family meals (as much as for simplicity as for graciousness), and at some point say something like, "Mom, it's really traditional here to have [name of pork dish] and alcohol at [post-baby event(s)].  We were planning on serving both.  Is that going to make you feel uncomfortable?  How should we handle this?"  It sounds like her mom will say something like, "Oh, absolutely no problem, don't give it a thought," and mean it, too, and there you are.  But I think she will feel good that you asked.  It shows respect -- not for her religion, exactly, but for her feelings.  Which, come to think of it, as your mother and your guest, is what she is due and what the OP, as a gracious daughter and host, seems to to want to give.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Hosting with food restrictions due to religion
« Reply #39 on: October 30, 2012, 02:35:52 PM »
I would try to compromise as much as possible.

On days where other family (besides OP, DH, other child and Mom) is present, serve what is expected while making sure Mom can find enough to eat - i.e. not every dish contains bacon.  And keep cooking/serving utensils separate.

On days when it is just the OP, DH, other child and Mom, avoid serving alcohol and pork with meals.  Keep some bacon in the fridge to zap if OP has a craving or DH can enjoy a beer while watching the game on TV but keep the main meals pork and alcohol free.

I think it would show respect for Mom without undermining the OP's lifestyle.
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snowdragon

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Re: Hosting with food restrictions due to religion
« Reply #40 on: October 30, 2012, 02:49:31 PM »
This is not specific to this thread, but it is something that's been bugging me and is relevant - I get the whole my house, my rules thing - believe me I do!  I just don't understand why there is such a strong sentiment on this site sometimes to use that rule like a weapon when it isn't necessary (as in when no one is fighting the house rules or demanding anything at all). 

Yeah it is my house and as long as I'm serving sufficient nutrition to each guest, I can otherwise serve what I like, but what ever happened to hospitality?  If I invite someone into my home, I want them to be comfortable, I want them to be happy.  Even if the guest wouldn't care what I'm eating, food is something to be shared and why can't I just eat the chicken and dumplings I'd be happy to eat anyways rather than making it for the guest and going with potato soup w. bacon for myself?  It doesn't require me to go out of my way, and even if it did, I might do it anyways, because they are guests in my home. 

I think in this situation with multiple guests, with multiple preferences, having sufficient pork-free items for mom while still serving some pork for the guests who expect it is preferable so that everyone gets things they like.  But even when it is just OP's mom and OP in the house, absent some incredible craving for pork, is it really going to kill her to forgo it for a while?  Obviously she doesn't have to, and wouldn't be rude to eat it anyways, but what would it cost her to serve only dishes without pork?.

Excellent post, especially the bolded, NyaChan.  This is a rare time when I disagree with you, Sparksals!

I feel so bad when I read posts that say, essentially, "You have the right!  If they feel bad, they're wrong.  It's your house, so only your feelings count.  As long as they don't have to eat it and get fed somehow, it's none of their business.  Accommodating others when you're not required to by etiquette is being a doormat.  Never go the extra mile for others!"  I mean, that's way, way overstating what people have posted here.  But it's kind of the logical extension of how the position sounds to me.

That said, I don't think it would be RUDE for the OP to serve pork.  And I don't eat pork, either, also for religious reasons.  I can tell you how I would feel -- in fact, do feel -- when I visit others and they serve pork.  I am not offended.  I just don't eat it.  If they served it as the main course, knowing we won't eat it, I kind of wonder why they made that choice (if we are the only guests, not a huge event).  But I don't think it's rude and I'm not offended.

My point is just that simply not being rude or offensive isn't the end of the inquiry for me.  I like to be a good host and make my guests feel as welcome and important as possible.

In this case, I don't see a problem at all.  The OP obviously has a good attitude about all this.  And it's her MOM, with whom she is evidently close enough to have her come stay and help, so I would think also to be able to discuss stuff like this.  If I were her, I'd probably just skip the pork for regular family meals (as much as for simplicity as for graciousness), and at some point say something like, "Mom, it's really traditional here to have [name of pork dish] and alcohol at [post-baby event(s)].  We were planning on serving both.  Is that going to make you feel uncomfortable?  How should we handle this?"  It sounds like her mom will say something like, "Oh, absolutely no problem, don't give it a thought," and mean it, too, and there you are.  But I think she will feel good that you asked.  It shows respect -- not for her religion, exactly, but for her feelings.  Which, come to think of it, as your mother and your guest, is what she is due and what the OP, as a gracious daughter and host, seems to to want to give.


They can feel however they want- they don''t get to control others with their beliefs or feelings.  Respect goes both ways and if feelings of the guest who abstains from X are due respect, so are the feelings of every single person there and they don't deserve to have their feelings and beliefs ( and in this instance,  cultural traditions) disregarded because one person objects to X.  Even if the other people are only the host and her family - they deserve to be respected too, especially in their own home.

mj

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Re: Hosting with food restrictions due to religion
« Reply #41 on: October 30, 2012, 02:52:19 PM »
My thoughts are running along the lines as NyaChan and Gellchom. I don't think it's rude to serve pork, but I also can't imagine it's in every meal.

And, with this exact situation it's not like it's a regular host-guest situation.  Mom is coming to help and doing this household a favor, she isn't coming to just see the baby or visit the area, she is going to be working.  OP stated Mom will be cooking after baby is born.  So, what then? 

sparksals

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Re: Hosting with food restrictions due to religion
« Reply #42 on: October 30, 2012, 06:30:36 PM »
Actually, Gellcom, I think we do agree on most points.  I try to be a great host and wouldn't dream of intentionally serving something a guest doesn't like or can't eat. If I know of the limitations, I do my utmost to accommodate.  I don't *usually* subscribe the the 'my house, my rules' thing unless someone is an SS, but I can't help feeling that the OP is in a situation where she needs some leeway from hosting expectations and accommodations.

However, I also agree with Snowdragon in the sense that there is a double standard with those with restrictions and what they provide in their home and what those without provide in theirs.  I wouldn't expect a vegan to provide an animal product when I dine at their house, but if they come to mine, I have to go to great lengths to accommodate their restriction. 

That is where I see  SD's point, but also agree with most of yours.

snowdragon

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Re: Hosting with food restrictions due to religion
« Reply #43 on: October 30, 2012, 07:51:59 PM »
My thoughts are running along the lines as NyaChan and Gellchom. I don't think it's rude to serve pork, but I also can't imagine it's in every meal.

And, with this exact situation it's not like it's a regular host-guest situation.  Mom is coming to help and doing this household a favor, she isn't coming to just see the baby or visit the area, she is going to be working.  OP stated Mom will be cooking after baby is born.  So, what then?


  Then the mom does not have to touch pork but if the OP or anyone else wants it can cook themselves, the sister can cook it or another non abstaining adult. The idea is not to make the abstainer do something they object to - but to make sure that those who do not abstain don't have to, no one's beliefs are put above another's, especially in the non abstainer's own home.

mj

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Re: Hosting with food restrictions due to religion
« Reply #44 on: October 31, 2012, 10:16:27 AM »
My thoughts are running along the lines as NyaChan and Gellchom. I don't think it's rude to serve pork, but I also can't imagine it's in every meal.

And, with this exact situation it's not like it's a regular host-guest situation.  Mom is coming to help and doing this household a favor, she isn't coming to just see the baby or visit the area, she is going to be working.  OP stated Mom will be cooking after baby is born.  So, what then?


  Then the mom does not have to touch pork but if the OP or anyone else wants it can cook themselves, the sister can cook it or another non abstaining adult. The idea is not to make the abstainer do something they object to - but to make sure that those who do not abstain don't have to, no one's beliefs are put above another's, especially in the non abstainer's own home.

I don't disagree with that.  Of course, they don't *have* to abstain from pork or alcohol. 

Where this thread loses me is the idea that Mom is being hosted.  She's not, she's doing this household a big favor.  She will be cooking and working.  Likely being around a lot of things she is not entirely comfortable with (alcohol as well) and as she is doing this family a favor, a bit of good will and acknowledgement of her preferences  isn't much to ask for, IMO.