The choice of what foods we put in our bodies is a deeply personal question.
We make this decision based on tastes, smells, ethical practices, moral beliefs, religious practices, and a thousand other factors.
So, what happens when you decide to honor your values through the food served during a function you are paying for and your guests take issue with it?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) PurpleUnicorn434 when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) for judgment.
“WIBTA for not offering a meat option at our wedding”
OP began with the setting.
“Me (26 Female) and my fiancé (28 Male) are in the very early stages of wedding planning.”
“Both of our families have offered to chip in, but we’ll be covering the bulk.”
“We’re both vegetarians and really only have dairy products very occasionally.”
“9/10 we choose the vegan option and mainly cook vegan for ourselves, just when we have the same meals as our baby (10-month-old) we all eat the same.”
Then she explained why they had come to their decision.
“We can be in the same room as meat cooking etc, we’re not particularly preachy, we just don’t want spend money for animals to die in celebration of our wedding.”
“Feels wrong us paying into that industry.”
“Also looking forward to having a choice rather than the one option.”
“My mum has already made a comment that it’s not fair for us to not offer a meat option we’re of the mindset that it’s literally one afternoon we’re asking guests not eat meat.”
“No one in our guest lists have any other dietry requirements we need to think about.”
“She made the point that we’d expect a vegetarian option at someone else’s wedding.”
She did have to wonder,
“So WIBTA for not offering a meat option.”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some pointed out that the meat option usually isn’t good anyway,
“People are not going to die if they eat a meal without meat for one meal.”
“There are plenty of very delicious vegetarian meals.”
“Your mom’s argument is flawed because vegetarians cannot eat meat options, while meat eaters can eat vegetarian options.”
“I’d rather eat a meal with tasty Mac and cheese, crisp green beans and freshly baked bread than a stale piece of chicken or overcooked steak.” ~ yourlittlebirdie
“Fettuccine Alfredo and eggplant parm rather than dry salmon? Yes please!” ~ OkeyDokey234
“Wedding food is notoriously bad, and the meat tends to be the worst part.”
“If you focus on making sure the food is good, a vegetarian wedding sounds like it could be made into a better experience for a guest” ~ mmm__donuts
Sometimes we don’t miss what we don’t notice.
“Agreed- I love meat, but I can definitely go without it for a meal here and there.”
“It’s weird how so many great foods are actually vegetarian (mac and cheese, I’m looking at you), and no one kicks up a fuss, but tell someone you’re having a vegetarian meal and they lose their minds;”
“Some of my family is actually like that, and it makes no sense to me.”
“Also, an argument against meat eaters who get mad about vegetarian meals could be to simply rephrase it; dishes with meat in them contain something vegetarians cannot eat, dishes without meat do not contain one food that meat eaters enjoy.”
“Alternatively, replace the meat with some other food (or food type) that someone enjoys, eg ‘I won’t eat this curry because there’s no chips with it'”,
“Or ‘I won’t eat ice cream without syrup’; those things pair nicely, but neither food is lacking without the ‘extra’ part, and can be paired with other tasty options.”
“This comment ended up longer than I intended, and I don’t know if it makes sense, but hopefully it does?” ~lilgremlinbeth
“I’m not vegetarian either and if you were to put two meals in front of me that were of comparable quality, I’d almost definitely choose the meat option.”
“But I still end up eating vegetarian meals fairly often, because boiling water for pasta and opening a jar of garlic and onion marinara sauce is way faster/easier that remembering to keep frozen meatballs on hand (or, ugh, making meatballs from scratch, lol.”
“Most of my lazy meals are vegetarian, actually: scrambled eggs and toast (or french toast if I feel a tiny bit fancy), mac and cheese, bowl of cereal, omelets, (frozen) broccoli alfredo.” ~ anndor
“The problem isn’t that there isn’t meat, it’s that you’re telling them there isn’t meat.”
“It puts it at the forefront of the meal description and makes people realize there isn’t meat involved. If you want to avoid drama around your choice just don’t advertise it and moist won’t even notice it.” ~ mynamesaretaken1
Of course, people told stories to commiserate.
My family used to do a big potluck dinner for Christmas. One year, by accident, there were only vegetarian options. The only ones who even noticed were my dad and youngest cousin, out of 20+ people. ~ Quadrantje
“That sounds amazing.”
“I eat meat but not everyday.”
“You don’t get sick if you don’t eat meat at one meal.”
“I don’t get why people are so insistent, except maybe they associate it with the celebration?”
“Like my family does a prime rib for any important celebration, so they’d be a bit bummed not to have it, but I don’t think anyone would be upset or make a fuss.” ~ username10102
“Omnivore who eats vegetarian/vegan meals regularly here.”
“All the things you listed, you’re right, I’d eat them regularly.”
“But I’d probably eat them for a casual and light brunch, not an event people need to get dressed up for and especially not if I’ve been doing wedding duties all day as part of the entourage.”
“Or are all of these starters?”
“It’s your wedding though, and people can just decline to go if it’s such a big deal.”
“They can also grab food before or after (assuming you aren’t holding the wedding somewhere too remote to have easy food access) or sneak delivery in the parking lot if they get really hungry. NTA.” ~ MinPDnim
Commenters suggested that OP”s family was overreacting.
“That doesn’t really feel like ‘asking people not to eat meat’ that sounds more like just not serving steak, which is fine.”
“People who eat meat won’t combust if a single meal has mushrooms instead of beef.”
“Nice food options are nice food options and it sounds like people will still have a choice between option A and option B.”
“I don’t think the vegetarian meal comparison is valid, because most people don’t go around like ‘I literally NEED to eat meat at every meal for moral reasons.’ They’ll be fine.” ~ Captain_Quoll
“Yes it’s so silly, it’s their wedding and one night without meat is nothing!”
“My cousin made people angry because she had wedding pies instead of a cake. I was stunned! It’s like people are only going for the food” ~ helen_mcmuffin
I would be remiss if I didn’t include…Emergency Meat.
“Nta I went to a vegan wedding recently and the food was great, just make sure people have a few options, one family member did bring emergency meat from home though.” ~ HappyRainbowSparkle
“I’m picturing a purse full of slim jims hahaha” ~ Difficult-Region-103
Commenters also reminded OP to be cautious of allergens.
“NTA and I say this as a big meat eater (and someone who has been told by multiple doctors I couldn’t go vegetarian if I wanted due to how my body processes protein).”
“It’s not the same as not offering a vegetarian option because no one is ‘meatatarian’. Keep in mind though a lot of vegan food can include common allergens or foods that make people sick especially a lot of nut products and soy.”
“As long as you’re willing to accommodate the needs of someone’s diet, for a single meal, meat is not a need.” ~ falkorthe
“NTA. It’s your wedding.”
“But, do consider those with extreme allergies.”
“I have celiac, allergies to a bunch of vegetables and fruits and I’d be more than likely unable to eat at your wedding. Would you be mad if I had to bring my own food?” ~ Lady-Athena1987
And for some, there was just no logic to be found in the argument.
“‘She made the point that we’d expect a vegetarian option at someone else’s wedding.”‘
“Yeah, because vegetarian is the BASELINE.”
“All food is vegetarian but then some has meat added in. No meat-eater can NOT eat vegetarian or refuses to eat vegetarian for ethical reasons.”
“I always chime in on these threads.”
“I had the same situation. My ‘best friend’ who was also my matron of honor (mistake!) hounded me about this from the day I got engaged until the wedding day–and from what mutual friends report, she was still b*tching about it at least five years after the wedding.”
“And we didn’t even go full vegetarian!”
“It was mostly vegetarian but with one seafood option (it was a buffet).”
“Your mother sounds like my MOH with all the ‘people will expect meat’ nonsense.”
“We had tons of food (pastas, veggies, the one fish dish, etc.).”
“No one was going hungry.”
“And for the questionable few who really feel they can’t go without meat–it was a few hours of their life. I’ve spent plenty of ‘few hours of my life’ events having little to nothing I could eat (yay for a limp salad!).”
“It’s your wedding.”
“You are hosting the meal.”
“You get to decide.”
“If it helps, refund your mother’s contribution–or have her pay directly for something non-food-related (like, have her pay the photographer or whatever) so she can’t play the ‘I’m paying for the food’ card.”
“Have a lovely wedding!” ~ eugenesnewdream
Whatever reason we have for the decisions we make about the foods we eat is ours alone to make.
The choice to attend an event when you don’t agree with the menu is entirely up to the individual, of course.
But the menu is up to the host.