I'm an omnivore. I eat meat. But I'm by no means a "meat lover". I love vegetables. And I prefer cheese or spinach pizza to any other types of pizza. Just because I do eat meat doesn't mean I want every dish, or even every meal to have meat in it. And I get pretty insulted when vegetarians assume that because I do eat meat it means I always eat tons of meat to the exclusion of other foods.
As i said in the other thread, when at a buffet party people should do a quick scan of the number of people of at the event and at the number of servings of each food and only take one portion. But if all foods are presented to all the guests, every guest has equal rights to try any of the foods.
I absolutely agree. I'm talking specifically about cases where it's clear that one dish won't stretch to give everybody present a reasonable helping (e.g. 10 veggie burgers and 25 guests). Then, if you aren't veggie, I think it's rude to take a veggie burger.
So its rude for me to take the food I prefer because I'm not strict about never eating meat? Because I choose to be flexible in life I should not get my preferred foods at parties but rather should be relegated to eat what I don't want? That doesn't sound very polite.
Most vegetarians are so by choice not by necessity. And most vegetarians despite the rumors won't in fact get sick if they suddenly consume meat. So I really don't see why if someone chooses to not ever meat they should be granted things they like while the person who chooses to simply eat less meat should not get what they prefer because they are willing to compromise.
Ok, let's say there are two people, and two burgers. One is a veggie burger, one is a beef burger. Ann is a vegetarian, Bob is not, although Bob actually prefers veggie burgers to beef burgers, and doesn't really eat that much meat anyway.
Does Bob get to take the veggie burger, leaving Ann hungry? I think we'd all say that Bob was at least being inconsiderate, if not rude.
Similarly, when I eat with vegan friends I make sure that I let them have the lion's share of the vegan-friendly food, even if the tofu looks super yummy (and I do love me some tofu ), because it would be inconsiderate of me to place my tastes above their need to eat a decent meal.
Bob wouldn't be the inconsiderate one. The host would be.
You are saying omnivores don't deserve to get what they prefer and should suffer for their choice to not be picky. That is not fair or polite or considerate of omnivores, it just isn't. Not being picky should be rewarded not punished. Why should Bob not get what he prefers? Why should Bob always have to suck it up and take the least desirable thing simply because Ann refuses to compromise and occasionally eat meat like Bob does even though Bob does not prefer meat?
If Bob chooses to defer to Ann that's him being extra nice and he should be thanked and recognized, but he should not be forced to take the less desirable item simply because Ann refuses to budge.
Your post equates vegetarianism with pickiness. That actually upsets me a bit as a vegetarian.
It's not pickiness. It's a lifestyle choice which is comprised of many factors. For me, it is a combination of health and ethical reasons. It's not pickiness. I'm not a pain in the butt about my vegetarianism. I cook meat for my husband and daughter. I abstain from eating it. I suffer from several health problems and abstaining from meat helps control those problems as an unintended side effect of what was initially purely an ethical choice for myself. For some people, the ethics of vegetarianism is such a strong motivator as to be religious. Some choose vegetarianism for religious reasons (many hindus and buddhists, for example, choose to eat vegetarian). Some choose it out of such a strong moral objection to the meat industry that it becomes a spiritual or religious-like motivation.
Pickiness is very different. Pickiness is "I won't eat meat because it's gross.". Meat isn't gross. It's very very tasty. Most of the vegetarians I know recognize that it looks and smells and tastes yummy. Sometimes I miss it. Most vegetarians do it for a combination of health and ethical reasons (watch Food Inc if you wonder what I mean by "ethical reasons"). They don't do it to be snobby, a pain in the bum, or picky. There are some who are vegetarians because it's cool and trendy. I know lots of vegetarians and (thankfully) don't know anyone who does it to be trendy. It's actually a pretty significant lifestyle choice and takes a lot of commitment and motivation to stick to. Because, frankly, meat is yummy and smells really good!!
Let's pretend that we're not talking about tofu. Let's pretend that we're talking about halal or kosher chicken dogs in a room where there are 3 people who cannot eat beef for religious reasons. There is a big plate of beef hotdogs and a small plate of 6 chicken hotdogs. There are enough for 2 hotdogs for everyone. The beef-eaters choose the chicken dogs because they are super yummy. This leaves one hotdog each for the 3 people who abstain from beef for religious reasons.
Two of the beefeaters who took a chicken dog know that there are people who choose to abstain from beef in attendance. One of the beefeaters does not know.
The beefeaters who know about the non-beefeaters may nto be outright rude, but they are definitely being extremely inconsiderate. The one who does NOT know why there are chicken dogs is being neither rude nor inconsiderate.
However, in an ideal, polite society, everyone at the party (whether they know about the non-beefeaters or not) would look at the big plate of beef dogs and the small plate of chicken dogs and make the logical, thoughtful conclusion that those chicken dogs are probably for someone specific. In their uncertainty, perfectly polite folks would ask.
Of course, the solution is to host as you do, and have enough veggie options available that everybody can make a decent meal out of them if they so choose, but that often isn't the case.
Now, this, I agree with, especially the bolded. In those situations, however, the responsibility lies with the host, not the guests.
It has been my experience that if you're hosting for 20 people and only 5 are vegetarians, offering enough veggie options for 20 people to make a decent meal out of them virtually guarantees a HUGE quantity of leftovers.
I often make the mistake of doing this and always end up with a fridge full of leftovers that start to spoil before I can finish it all.
It's certainly ideal to do so, but if previous experience has taught a host that "this is how much vegetarian food typically gets eaten", providing slightly more than that amount ought
to be sufficient. If providing slightly more than usually gets eaten ends up not being enough, the host/ess hasn't been a bad host/ess or shirked their responsibility to the guests.