I cast myself into Ehell: I thoughtlessly made a comment that could easily have greatly offended a coworker of mine, had she not been a much more graceful person than I.
I recently completed an internship. While on this internship, I went out to dinner with several of them to say farewell to another coworker who was going off to do bigger and better things. Among the other people who went out to dinner with us was Megan. Megan is a vegetarian, but she is also one of the good sort of vegetarians, and who accepts that people eat meat and they are not evil because of it. While waiting for our food, the following conversation arose:
Megan: (jokingly) Don't you know how cruelty those animals are killed?
Me: (also jokingly) I kill my own animals on my family's farm - I assure you that they are treated kindly and killed in the most human way possible. Actually, they get off better than us - we have to gut them after.
Megan: Actually, I've always wondered. What do you do with the blood and guts. Like, do you turn it into those puddings...?
Me: I think only pig's blood is used for black puddings, and I farm sheep. Usually we use the blood to fertilize the vegetable patch - blood and bone's an old a common... (it is at this point I remember Megan is a vegetarian)
Oh geez, I'm so
sorry.There is a pause. Then our coworker bean-dips.
I'm very embarrassed with myself - I had honestly forgotten that Megan was a vegetarian up until that moment, but it was still completely inappropriate for me to suggest that her vegetables are probably fertilized with animal products.
Fortunately, Megan accepted my stammered apologies, because she would make a much better Ehell member than I (it did seem strange to be apologizing for answering a question, but I wasn't sure what else to do).
Ehellions, what should I have done to not upset Megan - who asked the question - in the first place? Failing that, what should I have done to make up for my blunder?