Author Topic: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians  (Read 14056 times)

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Sophia

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #75 on: October 02, 2013, 12:13:21 PM »
I've seen the reverse.  The "vegetarians" eating the meat and the veggie options being the leftovers. 
But, I think if you can only eat less than 50% of the offerings in a buffet you should make sure that you are near the front of the line. 

note: I'm not saying anything about real vegetarians.  Just the ones that think they shouldn't eat meat because they are dieting.  But, then see the pretty meat.

Hmmmmm

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #76 on: October 02, 2013, 12:13:34 PM »
Ok, so let's change it up a bit because I think the buffet aspect of the thing is becoming a red herring, because some people are mentioning that in their experience they would expect a food that had run out would be replenished.

Say you are eating 'family style' or 'potluck-style', (i.e. there is a buffet of sorts but no expectation that the food will be replenished, what you see on the table is what is available), is it still ok to take from a 'special' dish that clearly will not serve everybody there?


You can come up with 101 scenarios but the results are the same.  People in general aren't trying to deprive others of certain foods on purpose.  They aren't rude for preferring the "special" dish over the main dish being offered.  The only way they will be rude if the hostess makes the entire room silent and announces, "Please do NOT take from this platter if you aren't (insert type here)."   Or if there is a clearly marked sign, "DO NOT TAKE IF YOU AREN"T THIS TYPE".

It's not rude to prefer veggie burgers, but if there are clearly 5 veggie burgers and 25 guests, I think it's more considerate for the meat eaters to take from other dishes until the veggies have had a chance to take their first serving.

ETA: I'm not saying don't take from the 'special' dishes, just to hang back from taking from them until the crowd that can only eat those dishes has had an opportunity to serve themselves.

If there are 5 veggie burgers for a group of 25 guests and there are 5 "Known" vegetarians in the group then it is doubly the repsonsibility of the host to specify "I made these 5 burgers for Sue, Ann, Tarrence, Carlos, and Emily." Honetstly, I don't keep track of my friend's eating habits enough to track when one is eating a certain way or not.

Sure, if I'm at this party and I see a plate of 20 meat burgers and 5 portobello mushrooms, I'm going to ask if the mushrooms are for specific people. But really, I'd see this as very poor planning on the part of the host. Because obviously at least one of the guests who they designated a "meat eater" (me) is interested in a non-meat option.

Kari

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #77 on: October 02, 2013, 12:18:45 PM »
If the host does not place restrictions on the buffet selection, it is not rude for guests to help themselves according to their preferences. If only a few veggie options are present, I think a good host would alert the vegetarians first as to when the food is out to make sure they get the stuff they can eat. But if preferences aren't known, I can see how this would be problematic.

One thing to think about: not every meat eater may be able to go with the meat option. If it's beef burgers vs. veggie burgers, and my doctor told me to cut beef out of my diet, would I be rude for taking the veggie burger? Theorectically I could eat it, but I don't want to. Maybe the meateater  has a touchy stomach that day, or gave it up for Lent.  Maybe he or she wants something less filling. Who knows? But a meateater should not be painted the villain for selecting the veggie options when they're put out for everybody.

I don't blame vegetarians for being upset over this, though. It's gotta be tought to show up to a picnic hungry, see that --finally-- Aunt Ida managed to make her potato salad without bacon this year and by the time you get to the front of the line, the only options left contain meat. I'm trying to think of a good solution from an etiquette standpoint, because I don't think a good solution is to tell off a meateater for not eating the meat option, because there could be reasons why that's not appealing at the time.

Personally, I think we've come to the point where vegetarian options shouldn't be considered exotic food - it would be nice if hosts could do as someone mentioned earlier in the office pizza scenario and order more veggie options for everyone.

Figgie

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #78 on: October 02, 2013, 12:18:56 PM »
I just ask people to let the vegetarians/people who are gluten free etc. make their choices of the speciality food I've prepared first.  It's an easy enough announcement to make, as I do it at the same time I announce that everyone can start eating.

I have nice little porcelain place cards that I label with the type of food, so people are aware that it is gluten free, vegan or vegetarian.  I've never had a problem and people have been fine with it. 

My experience has been that as long as people know this, they will honor that request.  Probably because I don't invite the kind of people who would be so rude as to take vegetarian food before the vegetarians have had a chance to make their choices.

What I don't do is assume that people can read my mind and somehow magically know that any specific food on a buffet is somehow reserved for other people.  :)


Yvaine

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #79 on: October 02, 2013, 12:19:49 PM »
Ok, so let's change it up a bit because I think the buffet aspect of the thing is becoming a red herring, because some people are mentioning that in their experience they would expect a food that had run out would be replenished.

Say you are eating 'family style' or 'potluck-style', (i.e. there is a buffet of sorts but no expectation that the food will be replenished, what you see on the table is what is available), is it still ok to take from a 'special' dish that clearly will not serve everybody there?


You can come up with 101 scenarios but the results are the same.  People in general aren't trying to deprive others of certain foods on purpose.  They aren't rude for preferring the "special" dish over the main dish being offered.  The only way they will be rude if the hostess makes the entire room silent and announces, "Please do NOT take from this platter if you aren't (insert type here)."   Or if there is a clearly marked sign, "DO NOT TAKE IF YOU AREN"T THIS TYPE".

It's not rude to prefer veggie burgers, but if there are clearly 5 veggie burgers and 25 guests, I think it's more considerate for the meat eaters to take from other dishes until the veggies have had a chance to take their first serving.

ETA: I'm not saying don't take from the 'special' dishes, just to hang back from taking from them until the crowd that can only eat those dishes has had an opportunity to serve themselves.

If there are 5 veggie burgers for a group of 25 guests and there are 5 "Known" vegetarians in the group then it is doubly the repsonsibility of the host to specify "I made these 5 burgers for Sue, Ann, Tarrence, Carlos, and Emily." Honetstly, I don't keep track of my friend's eating habits enough to track when one is eating a certain way or not.

Sure, if I'm at this party and I see a plate of 20 meat burgers and 5 portobello mushrooms, I'm going to ask if the mushrooms are for specific people. But really, I'd see this as very poor planning on the part of the host. Because obviously at least one of the guests who they designated a "meat eater" (me) is interested in a non-meat option.

And grilled portobellos are AMAZING, says this omnivore.

MindsEye

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #80 on: October 02, 2013, 12:20:34 PM »
The obligation is still on the host, not the guests.  When I host dinner knowing there are vegetarians I don't make a smaller amount of food for the vegetarians.  I make a large amount of a dish they can eat.  Spinach risotto is often my favorite option.  A guest may have never had risotto before and say, "Oh, I want to try that."  It is on me as the hostess to plan enough for everyone, not chance that a guest won't have enough food.

Oh, absolutely, having plentiful food is the ideal solution. But where this is not the case....?

Then in it's still on the host to announce/serve in a manner that allows those with food restrictions to have a chance to eat.  Not the other guests.

It is also on the guests with the food restrictions to stand up for themselves and their needs. 

I really can't even call the omnivores inconsiderate if the vegetarian just stands there while they help themselves to the veggie hot dogs and says/does nothing.  It may not be precisely PA, but a refusal to take responsibility for your own needs is... something...

WillyNilly

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #81 on: October 02, 2013, 12:25:40 PM »
Let's express it in a different way, and I think we'll get more buy-in. If you know there are vegetarians in the group, it is considerate to avoid the vegetarian options until you are sure that they have had enough (at least one serving).

If you are unaware that a specific dish is there because it's all one person can eat, and no one tells you that until you've eaten most of it, it's not really your fault, but the fault of the organizer.

That's what I'm saying. If it is known that there are vegetarians at this party (and in every circle that I move in, it's a near certainty that there will be at least a handful), then it would be nicer if people avoided the more limited veggie options until everybody had had a chance to take their first serving.

Certainly at this particular party, it was known that there were at least 4-5 veggies.

But the point others are making is just because one choice is nicer, doesn't mean the other choice is rude.

If I get to "seat yourself" performance first and choose the best seat in the house, and then someone comes later and is shorter then me, it would be nice for me to move and give them my spot, but its not rude for me not to.
If I bring my lunch to work and pack a bunch of awesome home made cookies for myself as dessert its nice for me to share but not rude if I eat my lunch and don't share.
Etc.
Being nice is great, but its not the exact same thing as being polite.

Well, in the theatre example, you've paid for the seat and gone out of your way to get there early. It's a business transaction, not a hosted event, so I think your obligations to others become different. Like, it's not rude for me to buy the last iPhone in the shop, because I'm buying it, with my money, fair and square.

Similarly, there's no expectation (by most reasonable people) that you would share your packed lunch. In a communal eating situation, the whole point is that the food is shared. The whole nature of the scenario is different.

I didn't say a paid performance. It could mean free theater in the park, or a street performer, or story time at the library.
The point is, just because it might be nice to do something doesn't mean its rude to not do it.


Knitterly just wrote  a whole long thing about ethics and eating.
Well I do eat meat. But I choose what meats to eat based largely on ethics and on health issues. I eat venison my husband and or one of his friends shot, but grain-fed beef is not something I choose to eat. I recently went camping with a group and specifically brought free range, nitrate free chicken dogs because I'm pregnant and while I always tried to avoid nitrates, now that I'm pregnant I absolutely unconditionally avoid them - and when the chicken dogs ran out (because they were awesome and delicious and plenty of people who could eat regular dogs simply preferred them) I didn't pout, I dealt with the situation. In fact I was happy to have exposed a new and awesome food to people who were used to regular hot dogs.

The thing is I don't necessarily voice all my reasons behind my food choices. I'm not going to say I'm a vegetarian because I'm not, but I am not willing to eat all meat choices out there. I don't like to casually talk about my ethical reasons behind my food choices. I simply make my choices, sometimes missing out, and deal with it. Because they are my choices, and any consequences should be mine to suffer.

I make my personal limitations my issue to deal with. I don't expect others to cater to my quirks - they are mine. And while I feel very strongly about them, I recognize they are mine, and mine alone to manage. And I expect every other person out there who make personal choices about their food (whether they make the choices based on religion, or ethics, or whims) to do the same.

One Fish, Two Fish

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #82 on: October 02, 2013, 12:25:58 PM »
This has been food for thought.  We'll be going to a huge family Christmas party, and several people have dietary restrictions.  Making tags ("Vegan" "Nut Free" "Gluten Free") is a great idea!  Thank you.  :)
I'll get there.  Eventually.

WillyNilly

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #83 on: October 02, 2013, 12:28:38 PM »
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.

How does anyone know who those specific people are though? If someone prefers to not eat beef aren't they part of that specific group? How are they to know that their preference (whether its a general preference or just what they prefer at that moment) wasn't the one one being catered too?

Queen of Clubs

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #84 on: October 02, 2013, 12:30:02 PM »
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.

I agree with your point that the host would be the inconsiderate one, but totally disagree that vegetarianism = being picky.  I'm vegetarian because I cannot bear to eat meat and I believe it's wrong for *me* to eat meat.  I've been vegetarian for 20+ years now, even though dining out would be far easier if I could bring myself to eat meat or fish, but I can't violate my principles.  Would you claim a Hindu was being picky for refusing to eat beef or a Muslim was for refusing to eat non-Halal meat?

I don't expect anyone else to eat veggie (or non-veggie) because of my principles.  The host needs to provide enough veggie food so those who can make a choice have the opportunity to do so.

snowdragon

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #85 on: October 02, 2013, 12:30:28 PM »
...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...

 ...I hope the bolded doesn't mean that you think that vegetarians should just suck it up and eat meat if there's no veggie food left.  :o

No I mean many vegetarians made a choice to reduce what they would willingly eat. And that choice has the consequence they will not have as many options - that consequence is what they signed up for and they should be the ones to suffer less options, not people who did not make the choice to limit themselves.

Its like limiting anything else. If I chose to only go to rock concerts and never pop music or classical or folk or jazz, I should not get dibs on rock concert tickets just because other people can or will go to other types of music. If I choose to only wear 100% wool sweaters and never acrylic or cotton or cashmere I should not first shot at all wool sweaters simply because I choose to limit myself. Limiting what you eat does not mean you should get first shot at what is available to everyone, it means you need to plan around your own restrictions and sometimes you will not get what you want because there simply isn't enough to go around.

This. And changing the scenario will not change my answer. 

lowspark

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #86 on: October 02, 2013, 12:30:32 PM »
I'm of the opinion that any and all food on a buffet is part of the buffet and that what one chooses to put on their plate from that buffet line is no one else's business.

I'm also of the opinion that if there is a small minority of guests (or just one guest) with a dietary restriction that requires a special meal, that person's meal should be given directly to them by the host or they should be the first through the buffet line.

I agree 100% with this. If it's on the buffet line, it's up for grabs. If you don't want it to be up for grabs, don't put it on the buffet line. Put it aside somewhere and let the specific people who you want to eat it know where it is.

To me, the rudeness is to bring a dish and then announce that only certain people can eat it. That would make me want to take some all the more!

Honestly, it's just as rude to say that omnivores shouldn't eat the vegetables as it would be to insist that vegetarians eat the meat. I like all kinds of foods. And although I love meat, I also don't want to eat a ton of it at one sitting. So I take a little of lots of different dishes. I don't want to be told to pile up on the meat so that the vegetarians can have the veggies.

Bottom line: either bring enough for everyone or don't give everyone access to it.

I understand TeenyWeeny's complaint. And I can see how frustrating it would be to miss out on the only things you can eat simply because the people who could eat other things ate all the stuff that I could eat. But I think the fault lies with those who are doing the supplying, not those who are doing the eating.

And that's why I say, if the food is for a certain group only, it should not be on the public table. Whether that's a buffet or pot luck or formal dinner or whatever. It should be set aside and not offered to the whole group.

Zilla

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #87 on: October 02, 2013, 12:30:55 PM »
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.

How does anyone know who those specific people are though? If someone prefers to not eat beef aren't they part of that specific group? How are they to know that their preference (whether its a general preference or just what they prefer at that moment) wasn't the one one being catered too?


The host/ess knows.  And he or she should make the arrangements clearly.  That's an ideal and polite party.

Sharnita

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #88 on: October 02, 2013, 12:32:32 PM »
As far as there only being 5 veggie burgers, IME it is entirely possible another 5 just haven't been cooked yet because nobody was sure of demand. If the first  5 are consumed more are cooked up.

audrey1962

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #89 on: October 02, 2013, 12:32:50 PM »
I believe people should eat the food they find delicious. As a vegan, I share my favorite foods with my omnivore friends in the hopes that they will enjoy it. I don't fault omnivores for trying veg food, in fact, I think it's part of the fun of potlucks and parties. And I don't expect others to have to keep track of who eats what. As a hostess, I don't want my guests to worry about those things, that's my job! I just want them to relax, have fun, try new foods, meet new people and have a great time.