As veganism becomes increasingly more mainstream, so too, it seems, does people having very strong opinions about other people’s dietary choices.
A vegan woman on Reddit found herself in conflict with an opinionated coworker because of this. The Original Poster (OP), who goes by lorande9 on the site, refused to eat a supposedly vegan cake made by the coworker, who regularly harasses her about her dietary choices, because she wouldn’t clarify what was in the cake.
After the coworker was deeply offended, OP wondered if she’d handled it properly. So she went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.
“AITA for refusing to eat from my colleague’s vegan birthday cake?”
“I (29f[emale]) am working in an office and I have a colleague Bea, who routinely makes fun of vegans. I am vegan and i never make a fuss about food, i go to the same restaurants as my coworkers during lunch hour and i can always find myself something to eat without announcing my dietary choices.”
“Bea keeps calling me out on it though and she’s very condescending about it, she keeps saying i am just having a phase and she keeps offering me bites of her lunch that contain cheese and meat, and when i refuse she just goes ‘oh come on, its vegan i promise!’ winkwink. Its very childish and annoying and even other people asked her to tone it down, but she insists shes just joking.”
“Last week she brought a homemade cake to the office for her birthday, and when she put a slice down in front of me i politely thanked her but i said i cant eat that. She said the cake is vegan and she made it specifically so i could eat it, but knowing her very loose definition of vegan i asked a few questions about the ingredients and she didnt check any of them for milk or eggs, so I thanked her again but refused the slice.”
“She made a big scene out of it, she started crying and saying she just wanted to do something nice for me and now i ruined her birthday.”
“Some colleagues told me not to mind her dramatics, but my boss told me that it was her birthday and i could have given her cooking the benefit of the doubt. I sort of see his point, but i also feel like i dont need to justify my food choices to anyone and i never asked her to make the cake vegan for me.”
Redditors were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this conflict based on the following categories:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
“NTA. Sounds like she was waiting for you to eat it so she could go ‘aha!’ and tell you how much you enjoyed it.” —whatsername235
“NTA, OP. No one has to eat anything they don’t want to. And milk and eggs are the minimum she should be checking for. Sugar is also problematic for vegans as well as many other ingredients that she probably has no idea about.”
“I’m not a vegan but I’m a baker and working at a very upscale resort in the bake shop taught me how many things aren’t acceptable when baking vegan recipes.” —geckotatgirl
“I had a vegan ‘friend’ try this exact thing in getting my boyfriend to eat some vegan cookie or whatever. Wouldnt tell him what was in it, despite asking multiple times.”
“My boyfriend has a peanut allergy. She used peanut butter to replace the eggs. Thankfully, he refused to take a bite when she refused to tell him what was in it. You did the right thing OP.” —SelfBoundBeauty
“OP, your work place has an HR office. Use it because her constant harassment of you regarding your being a vegan is considered a hostile work environment. She’s an AH. You’re NTA” —Tapioca44
“I don’t eat food from colleagues on principal. Have you SEEN how most people live? Their lax attention to hygiene? Not risking it.”
“NTA. Even if she wasn’t tricking you, you don’t have to eat anything from anyone if you don’t want to.”
“What is this ‘my BIIIIRTHDAY!’ nonsense anyway? That maybe works if you’re 7 and you want more ice cream. Not when you’re 39 and wanna bully your colleagues.” —Dark_Fascination
“Your boss is also out of place. What if you are having problems and need to restrict your sugar intake? What if you ate something bad the night before and your stomach hurts and you are taking a day to feel better? What if you’re dealing with a ED? No one should ever feel forced to eat something just to please somebody else. These people..” —HopefulEuphemia
“…the boss is an AH too, for asking her to possibly eat something against her values for the sake of someone’s pride. I doubt he would have asked her to do the same if she was celiac or had a severe allergy to milk or eggs, or anything else for that matter.” —gottalottastories
“Yep, never trust an Ahole, their word is worthless. My sister did that to me when she knew I was vegetarian, she gave me eggrolls that she insisted were vegetarian and I never learned until months later that she lied and when I called her on it she came back with a snarky a** comment, “you lived didn’t you”..No respect at all. oh and NTA op. :)” —KitTayTay2021
“I have a friend who was vegan for 10 years who had a coworker like this. They worked at a restaurant together and one night the coworker was trying the special that the chef made and told my friend it was vegan and she needed to eat it in order to describe it to the guests.”
“After my friend ate it the coworker goes, ‘see, you can eat meat just fine. It doesn’t matter’. She fed my friend beef after not having eaten it for 10 years. She in fact was not fine and spent half her shift in the bathroom, not to mention all of the rage she felt. Those types of people are so fuc*ed up.”
“Glad you didn’t risk it OP. NTA” —illustrated_womxn
Hopefully OP’s coworker can learn to live and let live.