When it comes to food, we all have our specific preferences, some of which are strict diets.
There is some debate as to whether such diets should be imposed on party guests, according to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Zealousideal_Bank116 was at odds with her parents when they disagreed on whether to serve an all-vegan menu at her birthday party.
Unwilling to compromise, the Original Poster (OP) questioned why she couldn’t have one night.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not wanting non-vegan food at my birthday party?”
The OP wanted an all-vegan birthday party.
“I’m 15 Female and turning 16 in December. I am having a pretty large birthday party at a banquet hall (80+ guests).”
“I have been a strict vegan for 2+ years now. I am doing it because I believe in animal rights, and i know what the meat industry does to the environment. I will not be part of the problem.”
“We are catering food for this party and I explicitly said that, since it’s my birthday party, I want the entire menu to be vegan.”
Her parents did not totally agree.
“My parents said they will order any vegan dishes I want but will also provide non-vegan dishes to accommodate other guests.”
“I am not happy with this. It’s my birthday party and one of my requests is that people not consume animals for this one night. Like, it’s one night, it’s not that big of a deal.”
The OP and her parents could not come up with a solution.
“My parents are not budging and saying that not everyone is vegan and they need stuff to eat.”
“But it’s my birthday party, I don’t think it’s going to kill anyone to have to eat vegan for the night.”
“AITA for not wanting non-vegan food at my party?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said NAH, that more parties made good points.
“There’s another word for vegan food: ‘food.'”
“As long as there’s an assortment of ‘real food’ offerings rather than just foods that are soy-based substitutes for other things, non-vegans should find plenty to eat.”
“Almost everyone can eat salads, grains, beans, vegetable dishes, breads, and the like. No one will starve if they forego animal products for one meal. They might even enjoy experiencing a new way of eating.”
“I get that the parents want to be accommodating to guests, but I think it would be gracious of them to grant their daughter’s wish here.”
“It’s heartfelt for her; for everyone else, it’s just one meal.” – EllySPNW
“I can be picky about food sometimes. I’d also eat before the party, and maybe bring a snack I like in the car just in case. But I’ll try almost anything.”
“I will say, for a party likely filled with teenagers, they might not all know to do that.”
“Having some common staples as a backup seems like a good idea, although I do sympathize with OP.”
“Maybe they can figure something out, like sourcing the non-vegan products from local farms and small businesses.” – thepugnacious
“NAH. Your parents are being pretty generous catering for 80 people for a 16th birthday. With that amount of investment, they deserve to have some say in the menu.”
“You are ok to have preferences here… but ultimately if it’s on their dime, they should make the call. If you disagree, feel free to pay for it yourself.” – teeterleeter
Others said the parents were in the right because they were paying for the party.
“I’m going to go with NAH.”
“I understand where you are coming from. I don’t agree with you, but I understand where you are coming from. If I was invited to such a party – I would simply eat ahead of the party, as to not cause any issues, or decline the invitation.”
“But – you are also a minor. Your parents are putting on the party.”
“They are – to be blunt – going to be responsible for the blowback/complaints from it. They are paying for it, etc. I think they are 100% in the right to make that choice.”
“Now – when you are an adult; paying for your own party, hosting it yourself? 100% on you.” – SDstartingOut
“Do you realize that catered vegan food is far more expensive than catered vegetarian/meat options? OP didn’t mention how much excess money their parents have, but money is a valid concern.” – Promethazines
“These are also 15-year-olds going to the party who will see the menu and probably kick a huge fuss. She’s not catering to adults who will go ‘ok sweet I’ll try it!’.”
“She’s catering to kids who will have the food they like fo eat, like pizza, burgers etc, and that’s what they’ll want and they will probably complain if the entire menu is ‘veggies’ (which is probably how they’ll see it).” – the fakeblonde
“I am allergic to nuts and lentils. I can’t eat most vegan dairy or cheese replacements or protein sources. It’s really unsafe for me to do so and I’m not going to risk it so I’d avoid vegan foods altogether.”
“Obviously, I’m always checking ingredients but vegan foods seem to use a higher amount of lentils, nuts, and seeds as substitutes or to make items have a better texture.”
“I probably wouldn’t go to a party that serves vegan-only food because of my worries or I’d just not eat.” – ExtremePotatoFanatic
Some said the OP was right and that it was only for one night.
“The idea that they can’t go one party without meat or even without eating is hilarious.”
“For 90% of the events I go to, the only thing I can safely eat is a piece of fruit or vegetables (often can’t even be sure about the dip). I have been to several parties where I can’t eat a single thing and can only drink water.”
“I have learned to eat a small meal before any event where I can’t be sure I will have safe food available, and I often carry a small meal bar just in case for longer events where the pre-meal might not hold me over.”
“It is just not that big a deal, and while I’m always very grateful when people do cater to my specific needs, I don’t think anyone should expect that.” – Ambystomatigrinum
“There are many meals that I eat that are technically vegan or easy to be vegan. Eggless pasta aglio e olio (garlic and olive oil) without cheese is a fabulous dish.”
“No one is going to starve or suffer from malnutrition because they went to a party with vegan food.”
“Food allergies and other issues need to be dealt with at this event as they should all other events: with caution and common sense.” – cappotta-marrone
“I hate this widespread (false) notion that a vegan meal is somehow an incomplete meal by default.”
“As a non-vegan, the ignorance of other non-vegans around food is astounding.”
“Do people not realize that often the only thing stopping a dish from being vegan is that it was cooked in butter? Or uses cow milk instead of nut milk?”
“Like, cooking with veg oil instead, or chia seeds instead of eggs, that’s going to ruin your entire meal?”
“I just can’t with that attitude any more than with militant over-the-top vegans.”
“And to be clear – OP is definitely NTA here. IMO (in my opinion), it’s perfectly fine to ask that your personal values be observed at an event celebrating your personal existence.” – aLittleQueer
Though the OP was adamant that this was what she wanted for her birthday, the subReddit felt more divided. First of all, the OP wasn’t paying for the party, which automatically means she would need to take her parents’ feelings into account. Second, the parents might be right that people could complain about the menu.
But on the other hand, as some others pointed out, it was only for one night, and a night that was meant to celebrate the OP. Her values are part of who she is, and her feelings are valid, as well.