Being a vegan when all of your friends are not can be challenging, as whenever you get together, you have limited food options. That’s why, when the whole crew is together and someone cooks the vegan a meal that is vegan, they really appreciate the gesture.
So Redditor erincin thought was happening for her when she went over a friend’s house for a barbecue to find a very tasty fruit salad that she could eat, in stark contrast to the hot dogs and hamburgers that were being cooked at the barbecue.
However, when she complimented the fruit salad, the “chef” took offense.
Unsure if she’d unintentionally insulted him, she went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” for objective feedback from strangers:
“AITA for complimenting a guy on the vegan dish he made?”
Our original poster, or OP, was pleasantly surprised when she turned up to a friend’s barbecue.
“I (20F[emale]) am vegan and went to a friend’s backyard barbecue. I wasn’t expecting to eat food there since my friend’s family only likes meat, but there was a tasty fruit salad I loved.”
“My friend’s brother (21M[ale]) was the one who made it, and I said thank you for cooking a tasty vegan dish and I liked it.”
However, her friend’s brother did NOT like that.
“He said that the dish is not vegan, and it just doesn’t have meat or dairy in it. I said that’s what vegan food is.”
“He was getting increasingly angry and finally said ‘I didn’t make any f**king vegan food. And if you ever come back, know that there won’t be any f**king salad for you to eat next time.'”
“‘Don’t you ever come to my home calling me a vegan.’ It was meant as a compliment. Not an insult. AITA?”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors couldn’t even believe that OP had to ask if she was the one who did something wrong here.
“You don’t even have to be ultra polite to not be an AH. A neutral response like ‘no problem’ or ‘oh yeah I guess it is vegan’ would’ve been absolutely fine.”
“The guy’s problem is that he felt attacked by someone complimenting his food because they specifically used the word ‘vegan.'”
“I’ve met guys like that, who act like their masculinity is threatened if they are associated with ‘snowflakey’ (in their words) things like veganism.”
“I get the impression this is one of those guys. He’s insulted and embarrassed because of his pre-existing biases.”-p0isonfrog
“I know a ton of people that would react this way! It’s toxic masculinity. These guys view ‘vegan’ as some sissy hippy bullsh*t.”
“They don’t even know what it means. It’s just ‘snowflake, millennial bullsh*t’ again no clue what it means it’s just a buzz word that they don’t want to be affiliated with or they could lose masculinity credit.”
“He was offended and when she pushed the envelope he was even more offended because she was being a bad guest by insulting her host.”
“This was not her intention but I bet if you asked him he would say things like ‘she kept calling me vegan, I don’t care what other people do but don’t come to my house and push your agenda on me.'”
“This guy is an idiot but there are thousands more where he came from.”-RainbowBright1982
“I had someone thank me for making a vegan potato salad. In no way was that the goal, i just dont like mayo in potato salad.”
“So i said ‘haha i wasnt even thinking of it being vegan when you asked what was in it! Glad it worked out that you ended up loving it! Do you want my recipe?'”
“Yknow. Like a normal f**king human person.”-Thesaurii
“NTA. Seriously when I was 20 I learned vegan cooking specifically because so many women my age were going vegan.”
“I would use it as an icebreaker if a woman mentioned she was vegan I’d go into ‘Really? I just tried this great chick pea recipe…'”-wonkow
Most people wondered if this man felt threatened by the word “vegan”…
“NTA. Since when is ‘vegan’ considered an insult? Furthermore you did not even call him a vegan, you just told him his fruit salad was good and that you enjoyed this vegan option.”
“He needs to chill and seriously ask himself why he goes mental because someone likes his salad…”-nexutus
“Man, I feel like this one needs a ‘everyone is weird’ option. Who refers to bringing a fruit salad as ‘cooking a vegan dish??'”
“I wouldn’t show up to thanksgiving with a bag of mini carrots and say ‘please enjoy this gluten-free side dish I cooked for you.'”
“On the other hand, even if that’s weird, this dude had a great opportunity to just say ‘oh Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed it’ or ‘I’m glad there was something you could eat’ and just move on with his life.”-Research_Ninja
“That fact that the word vegan triggers fragile masculinity so easily is not a reflection of veganism but in fact toxic masculinity.”
“If she’d said thanks for the gluten-free salad and he lost his sh*t it would be super clear because we don’t equate being GF with morality.”
“The fact that so many people hear vegan and immediately get defensive says a lot more about those people than veganism.”
“Dude was fragile at best and a total toxic machismo volcano of a**holery at worst. NTA”-yoneboneforjustice
“NTA. Though I do feel like asking if you are one of those people who preach about your lifestyle choices?”
“Because you could have complimented the salad without saying it’s vegan…”
“His reaction was out of proportion for a compliment and I wonder if he was previously subjected (by you or other people) to endless conversations about going or trying vegan…”-farrag0
…or if he had some sort of negative exposure to veganism before this moment.
“NTA because it doesn’t rank as an arsehole move. But honestly your comment cracks me up. I can understand the frustration the guy evidenced.”
“Fruit salad is fruit salad, the basic form does not include animal products. It existed well before veganism was a commonly practiced and understood dietary choice.”
“It doesn’t need a vegan categorisation added to it. It is like tomato and onion salad, mixed fruit and nuts or fried tofu. All fine and normal foods which don’t include animal product.”
“I don’t thank my friends for cooking me a omnivore roast meal. I thank them for cooking me dinner.”
“I don’t comment on the deliciousness of my grandmother’s vegan canned peaches and plums, I praise her preserves.”-charlpip
“It’s really weird that you went to a BBQ and thought your only options were 1. Not eat or 2. Hope someone made food you could eat.”
“Next time bring a vegan dish yourself. Unless you want to play the martyr it makes no sense to not bring something. It’s usually polite to bring something to a BBQ regardless of your dietary needs.”
“The friends brother is the AH obviously but you get a tiny honorable mention for not simply bringing your own damn food.”-SnooPeripherals5969
“NTA! I have encountered similar things in the past. Some men seem to think ‘vegan’ means ‘gay,’ and that you basically made him seem gay for making vegan food.”
“I had a friend who refused to eat at a vegan place with me because he was sure I was gonna upload photos of him and people would laugh at him.”
“If you need to kill and eat animals to prove your sexuality, then I think you have completely misunderstood the concept.”
“The only ‘meat’ you need to eat to be considered a straight man is… vagina.”-Cute_Mousse_7980
“NTA but ‘vegan’ has implications. It’s not just about not eating animal products.”
“I had a salad the other day, it just happened to be vegan. It was a tasty salad. No need to bring veganism into.”
“Have you made a big deal about being vegan in the past and tried to convince others to become vegan?”
“If you had, I would want to make it very clear that a particular dish I made had nothing to do with veganism especially if I wasn’t vegan.”-fgvkfea615
Sometimes, offhand remarks we make to people really are taken to the next level.
That almost never has anything to do with us—as OP likely learned from all the feedback she solicited from Redditors.
Hopefully all parties will move on with their lives peacefully.