Author Topic: Vegetarian Question  (Read 6002 times)

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Sharnita

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Re: Vegetarian Question
« Reply #45 on: February 23, 2013, 11:36:16 AM »
To be fair, I think Snowdragon is OK with declining, just not offering to to bring anything.  That is what would get thme blacklisted.

Aeris

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Re: Vegetarian Question
« Reply #46 on: February 23, 2013, 11:39:00 AM »
To be fair, I think Snowdragon is OK with declining, just not offering to to bring anything.  That is what would get thme blacklisted.

But they must decline without asking any questions about what the host is planning or whether they might be able to eat anything, as that would also be 'questioning the host's hospitality'. So I suppose they are supposed to just decline everything. Which would put them no worse off them getting blacklisted, I suppose, so no real loss.

Moray

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Re: Vegetarian Question
« Reply #47 on: February 23, 2013, 11:39:25 AM »
Veronica, yes, I think it was waterwren that  had an axe to grind about vegetarians....among other things.
Utah

Allyson

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Re: Vegetarian Question
« Reply #48 on: February 23, 2013, 11:43:07 AM »
It's not uncharitable for a host to say 'no, I'd really rather you didn't bring anything for yourself' and then maybe the guest decides this isn't a great invitation for them and goes elsewhere, or else eats beforehand an just has some appetizer and salad. Not every invitation is great for every person. I do think it's uncharitable to blacklist someone from future invitations for asking the wrong question.

This puts guests in the position of either mentioning being vegetarian, and possibly having the host take major offense, or not mentioning it, showing up, and having pretty much nothing to eat. That's just illogical to me. If a guest asks, it's not because they believe this particular host can't provide--it's probably because they've trusted for enough 'providing' in the past and gone away hungry.


Tea Drinker

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Re: Vegetarian Question
« Reply #49 on: February 23, 2013, 11:46:38 AM »
I don't have a lot of people over for meals right now, though I hope to change that. But when I do, or when I'm arranging to go out for a meal, I always ask "are there any dietary restrictions?" Otherwise, it's all too easy to inadvertently leave someone with little or nothing that they can eat: for example, someone I know has to avoid dairy altogether. Knowing that, it's easy to work around. If I didn't know, I might serve, say, cucumber salad with a sour cream dressing, a curry with a few tablespoons of milk or cream in the sauce, and ice cream for dessert, leaving that person with nothing to eat but plain boiled rice.

Knowing, even if I didn't change the main dish, the salad could have a different dressing, and I could be sure to get sorbet as well as ice cream.
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Mikayla

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Re: Vegetarian Question
« Reply #50 on: February 23, 2013, 12:01:43 PM »
I'm in the camp that prefers the hostess ask vs the guest volunteer, but my main issue here goes back to the OP and the "vegetarian" who eats fish. 

I think anytime someone's eating prefs/beliefs, etc come into play, it's important to at least know what you are.  For example, what if the hostess had said everything was cool, she'd accommodate the guest.  And so, in addition to preparing her signature crab dip, she made some hummus and pita to go with it.  The guest arrives and digs into the crab dip. (I saw this happen once).

This would irk me as a hostess, because if I didn't know the person well, it would be hard to assume it came from ignorance of terms vs some weird kind of snowflakiness. 

*inviteseller

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Re: Vegetarian Question
« Reply #51 on: February 23, 2013, 12:03:43 PM »
As a hostess, I want my guests to enjoy themselves when they are at my house, and if they offered to bring something to not only compliment my menu (you can never have too much food!!) and help me out because of their dietary choices/restrictions, I would NOT see that as a slap in the face of my hospitality, I would see it as a good friend who realizes that they don't want someone else to go all out to accommodate their specific needs.  I have never set such a stringent menu that I could not accommodate more food, and it gives others a chance to maybe try a vegetarian/gluten free/ ect meal that they may never had thought of. 

Poppea

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Re: Vegetarian Question
« Reply #52 on: February 23, 2013, 12:11:52 PM »
This has been very interesting listening to all the different viewpoints.  Two of my girlfriends and I were discussing this issue because we have a friend who is a pescetarian by choice (probably best description) and all had different feelings about her bringing her own piece of fish (she doesn't ask the hostess BTW).

I said that in an informal setting I would prefer that she offered to bring a dish to share.  I think its rude to not have all guests given the same choice.  In a buffet brunch/dinner party I would have choices available (again offered to all), But when having a formal sit down dinner I wouldn't actually invite anyone who would require my altering my menu (example I had guests over for a Boxing Day sit down dinner and served Prime Rib and Yorkshire Pudding)  If I wanted to have a specific friend over for a formal dinner and they had an aversion to a food, I would just plan my menu around it.

One of my GFs thought bringing your own piece of fish was okay, because its not too disruptive.  But she wondered in theory if its appropriate when the reason is a food aversion, not a moral, medical or religious reason.

The other GF is a southern girl who would never say no to a guest, but actually thinks is horribly rude to bring something to someone else's house without asking/permission.  She (like a previous poster) thinks its an insult to the hospitality of the hostess.  She said if she had an aversion to a tyoe of food she would eat beforehand and then eat appetizers and salad.  Sha actually hates fish and does just that when that when she is a guest and confronted with a fish entree.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2013, 12:13:30 PM by Poppea »

Moray

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Re: Vegetarian Question
« Reply #53 on: February 23, 2013, 12:15:08 PM »
I do think asking before showing up with your own main or side is absolutely paramount. "Forcing" a menu change is pretty rude, and I can see how that would make a host feel bad.

I wonder why she refuses to ask; that seems the best way to decide what accommodations could be made on either side, or even if this is a good invitation to accept. Some people, eh?
Utah

Poppea

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Re: Vegetarian Question
« Reply #54 on: February 23, 2013, 12:19:31 PM »
I do think asking before showing up with your own main or side is absolutely paramount. "Forcing" a menu change is pretty rude, and I can see how that would make a host feel bad.

I wonder why she refuses to ask; that seems the best way to decide what accommodations could be made on either side, or even if this is a good invitation to accept. Some people, eh?

My experience with her is that she never asks permission because someone might say "No".  She has never offered or brought a dish to share either.  Lovely person in many ways, but I personally have moved her off my dinner party list.  I'll still invite her to my larger parties, bringing the chunk of uncooked fish irks me.

Aeris

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Re: Vegetarian Question
« Reply #55 on: February 23, 2013, 12:20:46 PM »
This has been very interesting listening to all the different viewpoints.  Two of my girlfriends and I were discussing this issue because we have a friend who is a pescetarian by choice (probably best description) and all had different feelings about her bringing her own piece of fish (she doesn't ask the hostess BTW).

I said that in an informal setting I would prefer that she offered to bring a dish to share.  I think its rude to have all guests given the same choice.  In a buffet brunch/dinner party I would have choices available (again offered to all), But when having a formal sit down dinner I wouldn't actually invite anyone who would require my altering my menu (example I had guests over for a Boxing Day sit down dinner and served Prime Rib and Yorkshire Pudding)  If I wanted to have a specific friend over for a formal dinner and they had an aversion to a food, I would just plan my menu around it.

One of my GFs thought bringing your own piece of fish was okay, because its not too disruptive.  But she wondered in theory if its appropriate when the reason is a food aversion, not a moral, medical or religious reason.

The other GF is a southern girl who would never say no to a guest, but actually thinks is horribly rude to bring something to someone else's house without asking/permission.  She (like a previous poster) thinks its an insult to the hospitality of the hostess.  She said if she had an aversion to a tyoe of food she would eat beforehand and then eat appetizers and salad.  Sha actually hates fish and does just that when that when she is a guest and confronted with a fish entree.

I actually think most of the posters were in agreement that one should *ask* the host before just bringing an alternate entree. I can't imagine bringing something with me unless either I knew the friend very well and this was already sort of understood, or if it were a large and very informal gathering where most people are bringing food anyway (backyard barbecue type thing).

For a dinner party with a small number of people? You certainly just don't show up with food without checking!

I'm not overly fussed about the distinction between aversion, moral diet, medical diet, allergy, etc. It's sort of like religion to me - if you tell me your religion is toadstool worship, I'm not going to question you too much about it. It's not really my place to determine whether you have a genuine toadstool belief, I should just assume you do for most purposes. So if someone tells me they aren't eating gluten, I'm interested *as a friend* to know whether that's because they have Celiac's, they've decided to go paleo, they were told by the great spirit Kaa that gluten is sacred and not to be eaten, or they just think it's gross - but it doesn't actually change any of my hosting behaviors. I'll do my best to accommodate what they do eat, and welcome their assistance if they offer it.

Unless someone just had about 47 'aversions' - then I'd lose patience. But that's extreme.

Judah

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Re: Vegetarian Question
« Reply #56 on: February 23, 2013, 12:22:23 PM »
The other GF is a southern girl who would never say no to a guest, but actually thinks is horribly rude to bring something to someone else's house without asking/permission.  She (like a previous poster) thinks its an insult to the hospitality of the hostess.  She said if she had an aversion to a tyoe of food she would eat beforehand and then eat appetizers and salad.  Sha actually hates fish and does just that when that when she is a guest and confronted with a fish entree.

Well I agree with your Southern friend. Just showing up with an alternate meal without asking the host first would not be okay. I think that with close friends we can relax some of the etiquette rules a bit, so asking the host/hostess how she'd like the situation handled would be fine, but just showing up with food is taking it too far. But, as I said earlier, as the hostess I would make sure all my guests had complete meals. That's my job as hostess.
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Zilla

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Re: Vegetarian Question
« Reply #57 on: February 23, 2013, 12:27:24 PM »
As others said, I too think it's rude to show up with food without asking.  Especially with her history plus she makes it harder for other people with similar lifestyles as evidenced in this thread.


I wonder if the hostess asked her if she had any restrictions?  Or if the hostess knows she is a pescetarian?  Do you guys know for a fact she didn't ask the hostess or they have a long standing tradition of doing this?

Aeris

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Re: Vegetarian Question
« Reply #58 on: February 23, 2013, 12:28:45 PM »
I do think asking before showing up with your own main or side is absolutely paramount. "Forcing" a menu change is pretty rude, and I can see how that would make a host feel bad.

I wonder why she refuses to ask; that seems the best way to decide what accommodations could be made on either side, or even if this is a good invitation to accept. Some people, eh?

My experience with her is that she never asks permission because someone might say "No".  She has never offered or brought a dish to share either.  Lovely person in many ways, but I personally have moved her off my dinner party list.  I'll still invite her to my larger parties, bringing the chunk of uncooked fish irks me.

You know, the adage 'it's better to ask forgiveness than permission' only goes so far. If it just didn't occur to her that she ought to ask, I would cut her a lot of slack for being flighty. But you're describing someone who *deliberately* skips asking, so as to avoid a result she doesn't like. That's not cool at all.

As a prior poster as experience, a few times when I've asked, I've had hosts tell me excitedly that they had tried out a super special vegetarian extravaganza for me and they couldn't wait for me to try it - if I just showed up with raw fish or veggie burgers without asking, when they had gone to all that trouble to make me something special... That would be so very awkward. :(
« Last Edit: February 23, 2013, 12:37:27 PM by Aeris »

mbbored

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Re: Vegetarian Question
« Reply #59 on: February 23, 2013, 12:32:04 PM »
I said it in the previous thread, but it bears repeating.

I've been a vegetarian (except for the occasional piece of locally caught fresh fish) for almost 20 years. When I'm invited to a meal, I say, "I'd love to come! Since I'm a vegetarian, would you like me to bring a dish to share or should I eat something before hand?" I always get one of three answers:

1) "Don't worry about it! I've got a yummy vegetarian dish for you."
2) "Ooh, I'd love it if you could bring something to share. I was going to grill some steaks: do you have something that might go well with baked potatoes and creamed spinach?" (P.S. My goat cheese stuffed portabellas are amazing)
OR
3) "Hmm, I was planning on my great grandmother's signature 3 meat lasagna with prosciutto as an appetizer and bacon ice cream for dessert. But if you'd still like to come hang out, you're welcome to!"

It gives the host the chance to decide how comfortable they are with a vegetarian guest (and an easy out if the answer is "not at all") and I know that I'm going to have enough to eat, one way or the other.

I would consider  rude and likely never issue another invite.

Wait, I just need to clarify. You'd never invite someone again if they said "I'd love to come! Since I'm a vegetarian, would you like me to bring a dish to share or should I eat something before hand?". Do I understand you correctly?

They are telling me they can't trust me to feed them and find my hospitality lacking enough that they have to do either bring their own meal or eat before, they don't need to be burdened by my poor hospitality.   Especially since I have not committed any faux pas by issuing an invite - if someone does not trust me enough to allow me to ask about restrictions but makes the point of letting me know that they would prefer to either bring something to my table or eat before hand - then they don't trust me enough to be able comfortable in my home. The entire premise of that tactic is pretty insulting to the host.

  I eat vegetarian two or three times a week, I am not incapable of making a vegetarian meal...but the assumption that I can't or won't is insulting.   The hose sets the menu - guests don't over ride that by bringing over their own food.  OR would it be OK for me to bring a meat entree to a vegetarian home? If the answer is no for the meat eater, then it should be no for the vegetarian.
 

I'm not trying to insult your hosting; I'm trying to make sure that I have something I can eat, because I do not handle being hungry well. There are plenty of people who don't know how to prepare vegetarian food or are too busy taking care of everything else to whip up an extra dish, and that's fine by me. There are also plenty of people who can make lovely vegetarian food and want to, and that's also fine by me. What isn't fine is a friend feeling like that I'm a burden and creating extra work for them because I voluntarily choose not to eat something most of the world does. I just want my host to know that the opportunity to spend time with them is more important than exactly what I eat, so I'm letting them know I'm fine with whatever level of hosting they want to provide.