Man Feels Attacked When Vegan Dinner Guest Asks Why He Never Cooks Anything She Can Eat

updated Oct 28, 2019
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Credit: Melina Hammer/Kitchn

It’s another day of food-related questions on everyone’s favorite Reddit forum, “Am I the Asshole,” and today’s question is one that presents a scenario likely familiar to anyone who has invited people over for dinner. “AITA for not accommodating a vegan guest?” asks the poster.

Now, sometimes there are mitigating circumstances — like a last-minute change in diet, failure to notify the host, a need for foods to be prepared in a completely separate kitchen (as with serious allergies or strictly keeping kosher) — that make it difficult to present the options a guest with dietary restrictions needs. This was none of those cases. 

This was, rather, a person who has been on this earth for very nearly three decades who knew well in advance that one of his guests was vegan. In fact, he and his wife had invited their friend and his girlfriend (the vegan in question) to their place for dinner multiple times, with the caveat that she must bring her own food, as they would serve nothing vegan. “We like to go all-out and cook elaborate multi-course meals,” the poster explains. It’s an all-day affair, he continues, and the food costs add up quickly for the four to six people they invite.

Not surprisingly, after multiple dinner parties of having to bring her own food, the girlfriend felt left out and like they were deliberately excluding her. Her boyfriend agreed. It seems that the dinner party host needs to read up on last week’s Guardian post that delves into why people hate vegans — and then do a serious examination of his own feelings on the matter.

So, world, here’s the deal: If you invite someone to your house, you are entering into a form of social contract. If you know what they do or don’t eat, it is your responsibility to accommodate them within reason. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to carve a block of seitan to match the lamb chops, but it does mean that you should make sure that the side dishes are all vegan. In most cases, that will actually save you on those food costs he was complaining about.

You don’t necessarily have make sure that they can eat absolutely every bite that everyone else can, but if you can’t so much as be bothered to find a way to incorporate your friend’s dietary needs into the menu, then perhaps you are not a friend at all. You have broken that social contract — and you are definitely the person in the wrong in this situation.