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Even Miss Manners hates vegans...hehe!

Some old neighbors of mine from Woodstock NY emailed me a Miss Manner's article this morning. Not sure why it is they read Miss Manners...but I found it amusing to say the least (being vegan themselves, they just must have seen the title and decided to read it).

Word of advice....don't invite your co-workers to an annual company event at your home.....Miss Manners thinks in doing so that you would be rude. ::)
http://www.timesunion.com/ASPStories/Story.asp?StoryID=592726&Category=LIFE&LinkFrom=RSS

I like these 2  paragraphs...it sounds exactly like the type of party you might find being thrown here at Dave's house:

"I know they will serve only vegan foods, no sodas, and food that many in the larger group don't necessarily enjoy, along with lots of alcohol, which is amusing, given their health concerns. They will not allow anything other than vegan foods in their home, which is their right.

Of course, knowing this upfront, I will eat before I go, and nibble on their offerings. Even so, there is a feeling among the workers that these two are incredibly rude and controlling."  ;D

Oh, I forgot...I wanted to add.....the 2nd paragraph above.....that is exactly what I do and how I feel when I goto an Omni's for a party! :P ;D

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Davedrum, that's exactly what I thought! My (large corporate) company frequently caters "appreciation" events for my department, celebrations for birthdays, "going away' parties for people who are quitting, etc, and all they provide are meat filled sandwiches, limp salads of iceberg lettuce and carrots, bags of potato chips, and industrial looking pastries. GROSS. Sometimes, if I'm lucky, they will have a fresh fruit platter, but it is rarely really "fresh" and usually not even ripe. I feel forced to go to these things, and that's fine, but I always get asked "Aren't you hungry?" or "Oh, you must be on a diet, good for you for being strong!" It would be nice to have just one vegan option besides flavorless fruit.

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wtf?  throwing a party is rude?  i think ms. manners needs some refresher training.  
the letter is hilarious though, since, as you said, that's how most of us feel every day.  "they proselytize their food choices and practically insult those who are comfortable with their own eating habits."  you don't say.  people do that?  do they then take the time to write letters to the paper about it too?  sheesh.  some people's kids.  
in fact, i have a work barbeque coming up.  i'm following her advice and politely declining the invitation, but somehow i doubt it will make the headlines.  i should write in and tell her about it though.  i wonder if she'd give the same response.    

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Hey!  That's how it is at my workplace, but in reverse!  We have a supervisor-funded staff appreciation lunch each year.  The restaurant we go to has a preset menu of meat or meat, so I offer to cover the front desk (you'd think - being a scientist - I'd have less trouble transferring phone calls) and everyone gushes over how nice it was for me to sacrifice my lunch so they could go to the luncheon.  ::)  That's me... I sacrifice.  ;)

In our smaller unit of five, one person eats halal, one person is Buddhist (no meat, garlic or onion), and then there's me, the vegan.  It's hardest to find a restaurant that has selections sans garlic and onion.

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Good points Ya all (working in my Southern Accent today...how does it sound?...still too much like a New Yawka)? :D

I was wondering if the same letter was written but instead of the hosts being Vegan, the hosts were Jewish and were going to be serving only kosher food.  Would Miss Manners have told the letter writer to decline and have everyone else decline the invitation? Sad that the letter writer feels that she needs soda pop and meat to enjoy herself at a party. Why not try some really tasty vegan food and eat something different for one evening? I guess it would kill everyone to try something different then what you wrote Celtkat: "meat filled sandwiches, limp salads of iceberg lettuce and carrots, bags of potato chips, and industrial looking pastries." I'm sure her response would not have been the same if the hosts served a diet that adhered to their observation of a religious custom/diet and kept their home kosher (or whatever). Does she tell people to not goto a Jewish wedding if they expect and feel the need to eat lobster tail and bacon wrapped frankenfood?

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I saw it a little differently.  The submitter, who I do think is being REALLY inflexible and close-minded, mentioned that the host probably would not serve sodas at the function.  Sodas?  I don't drink them either, because of health reasons, but refusing to serve something like that seems more of a personal preference than an ethical view. 

Maybe I'm jumping to conclusions, but while I can understand not wanting to be responsible for animals being killed as a reason for not serving meat, not serving what is usually the most common beverage (soda) at company picnics seems like she is trying to impose her own personal dietary preferences on her guests.    Not cool, in my opinion.  She should make reasonable efforts to accommodate her guests, although she should NOT do something that goes against her principles.  Serve vegan food, but serve something that is familiar to most people, not health food that most people haven't heard of. 

But, yeah, I think the submitter definitely sounds like someone who, if the situation were reversed, would serve only meat w/o any other options, since they seem to think that a meal without it is simply unimagineable. 

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I don't understand why so many people refuse to try something new---even just once.

I recently had something similar happen. Last year I took a class to become a nurses assistant. We were talking about some types of food we could have on the last day of class for a little party. Guacamole came up. One girl got a disgusted look on her face. Turns out she had never even tried it. ????? I tried to explain what it taste like but she flat out told me she doesn't like to try new things.

That is really beyond my understanding. Isn't one of the things that makes life fun is new things?

I won't even define guacamole as a "weird food" personally.

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They won't even try one bite of something unless they've had it all of their life and know that they will like it. What's the worst that could happen? You take a bite, you don't like it, you don't eat any more of it.

I had an awesome dad, in that respect.  My sister and I were required to try a small bit of new food.  If we didn't like it we never have to have it again, but we had to try it first.  He was the same way with music - we listened to everything.

I don't eat obvious vegan foods.  I have made a specialty of what I call omni side dishes.  Everyone gets worried when I bring food somewhere, and then they see it's something they already eat.

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ha, i agree with everyone. just flop "omni" for "vegan" and ta da! that is our lives in a nutshell. part of me thinking the writing is using some "vegan stereotypes" and that what they are saying may not be an accurate picture of what the host does/plans to offer.

because, as we all know, all we veg*ns eat is healthy food, no soda, nothing "normal" at all  ::)

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God forbid a meat eater has limited choices for ONE NIGHT.  Sigh.

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with me i have a ton of recipes that i want to try that are both meat and vegan. with me im up to trying new stuff. with merrick im going to be like most parents try and bite and if u dont like it then dont eat it. either make urself something else or let me make u something else.

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I think an employee apreciation party should cater to all the employees. So, if it's buffet style (and they usually are) then there should be choices from vegan to omni. Otherwise, it no longer becomes a party for the employees, but the people in charge.

If it's a private party in my own home, I'll be serving vegan - absolutely. That's not rude.

So, I'm half and half on this issue. I also think it's bad manners to put down another person's food choice. I'll willingly engage in dialogue as to why I'm a vegan but I'd never walk up to an omni and berate them for their food choices. If they ask me (and they usually do), I'll talk about health benefits, environment benefits, etc. But, before then, I keep my mouth shut. It's bad manners to comment on someone's food choices.

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part of me thinking the writing is using some "vegan stereotypes" and that what they are saying may not be an accurate picture of what the host does/plans to offer.
because, as we all know, all we veg*ns eat is healthy food, no soda, nothing "normal" at all  ::)

Yep.  That's what I was thinking, too.  How the h#!! is it rude to serve food at a get-together?  Vegan eats, while not what the typical American would expect at a get-together, are still food.  Food does not exclusively mean meat.  Duh.  Miss Manners can b!$e me.

There.  That's polite.   8)

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Here is what I wrote to Miss Manners:

I am a vegan.  I do not, however, try to convert everyone I meet!  Your words to the omnivore who was put out about being made to eat vegan food were misplaced.

WHO thinks that vegans eat weird food? WHO thinks that vegans don't drink sodas? AND, not all alchohol IS vegan!  We eat food just like the rest of the word and there is nothing odd about it, it simply doesn't include animal products.  We don't like to be served up buffets full of miniature sausages, cheese balls and hot wings.  People who make those sorts of choices for us are not taking our desires into consideration either.  By the way, not all of us who are vegan are for animal rights as the root of our choices.  I suffer from a chronic autoimmune disorder and I have vastly improved my health by becoming a vegan.  A bite of animal flesh can lead to a bout of pericarditis and land me in the hospital, so don't suggest that "a little bite" won't hurt me, it can.

By the way, when I entertain my nonvegan friends, I serve them faux gras (black bean pate), fruit salad, quinoa (a high protein American grain) salad, organic corn chips, salsa, homemade ranch dip made with tofu (no cholesterol, little fat and mostly protein and YOU could not tell the difference), raw veggies for dipping and a decadent chocolate dessert that sticks to the teeth, among other things.  I am told my vegan green chili stew rivals all others, no matter the ingredients.  I have never had any complaints and I have many guests eager to eat at my table.

Anyone who cannot eat where dead animal parts are NOT served is frankly not welcome at my table.  They have no sense of adventure, no flexibility and no imagination.  Such people are not risk takers, not team players and not people I would hire, and not because they aren't vegan.

I'll post back if I get an answer.

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good response. i too have many friends who get really excited when i talk of bringing vegan baked goods to events/the office. i can understand if an omni was hesitant about some of the more "specialty" vegan foods (tempeh, tofu) but most of what we veg*ns eat is pretty "normal" on the omni side (grain, beans, fruits/veggies) even if they don't eat them the way we do.  >:(

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i just wrote miss manners a note:

Dear Miss Manners,
While i cannot speak for the couple mentioned in a recent letter, i can speak for myself, and for most members of the Vegan community.  I acknowledge that it is rude to insult another person's food choices, however this is not something that Vegans do.  If only because it is something that happens to us constantly.  Furthermore, what do you think happens to a Vegan couple at a company event thrown by someone else?  They know that nothing but processed food full of animal byproducts and hydrogenated oils will be served, with perhaps a platter of carrot and celery sticks, that they will have to eat plain because the only dip available is ranch, which contains milk and eggs.  If a Vegan coworker wants to host an event it's probably because they want to be able to eat.  And the buffet spread may not include animal products, but my guess is that it would still include plenty familiar items, just with the cheese left off.  Because we cook most of our own food, and actually pay attention to what we are putting into our bodies, Vegans do care a lot about flavor.
Might i also mention that a typical corporate event would generate a huge amount of waste, in the form of plates, plastic tablecloths, decorations, etc.  A Vegan employee would leave out unnessecary waste items and use  serving ware made from recycled materials.
We do not alter our diets because we want something to be holier-than-thou over.  We alter our diets because it is better for the environment, it is better for our bodies, and we don't believe other animals should be killed for our enjoyment.  Can you blame us for not wanting to participate in an event that serves up heart attacks, global warming, and dead tortured cows for dinner?
Thank you

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ms. manners is gonna get an earful  ;D i love it.

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Lol... My mother and I just had a huge row over this. She thinks that Miss Manners was correct... And those vegans were rude, and they should've served meat.

Guess she's never going to be invited to dinner at my house. There's no way in hell I'd serve carcass!  >:(

Sucks that she thinks like that, though. I always thought she was more open-minded.  :(

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She thinks that Miss Manners was correct... And those vegans were rude, and they should've served meat.

and, interestingly enough, i've read some "vegan manners" advice that said to not go to parties, eat ahead, etc if you were worried about not having any food there you could eat. how is it "rude" for us to ask for some vegan chow (so we can eat) but not rude to throw a fit because meat isn't being served? we can't win.

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That's true, it is not against an omni's belief to serve a vegan item, whereas serving meat at my home would upset me.

Idk. :X I give up.

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