Not everyone eats the same.
Some people thrive on fast food and comfort meals, others enjoy vegetable-centric dishes.
Many people have adopted vegan lifestyles, and love to share their passion for their choice with others.
For Redditor jeffman980, their sister is one of those vegans.
The Original Poster (OP) and their family have an annual family reunion, and their vegan sister is hosting.
The menu came up and quickly became cause for debate.
This drove the OP to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA).
“AITA for telling my vegan sister she can’t serve only vegan food at our family reunion?”
She went on to explain.
“Hey all, I’m genuinely torn about this and need some clarity.”
“Every year, our family has a reunion where different members host. This year, it’s my younger sister’s turn.”
“She’s been vegan for about 3 years and is quite passionate about it. We all respect her choices and make sure there are a good variety of vegan options whenever we have family gatherings.”
“When she announced she’ll be hosting, she also said that the entire menu would be vegan to align with her beliefs and that it’s a chance for the family to try something different.”
“Some family members were excited, but others, including many of the older folks, were pretty upset and felt like they were being forced into her lifestyle, even if just for one meal.”
“I spoke to her privately and asked if she’d be open to including a few non-vegan dishes for those who aren’t keen on a full vegan menu.”
“She got quite defensive, saying this was her chance to showcase veganism and that for one meal, everyone can give it a go.”
“I respect her beliefs, but I also think that forcing an entire family to adopt her choices, even if just for one meal, isn’t fair.”
“She’s now upset with me for not being supportive and says I’m not respecting her choices.”
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
“Honestly, I think YTA. Not in a big way. I get it’s not what you usually look forward to or are used to with meals. But it’s one meal!”
“I grew up with two vegetarian friends (whole family), and when they had me over, even as a kid, I knew I shouldn’t expect or ask for meat.”
“You say you respect her beliefs but want her to go against them for you all in her own home.”
“Veganism is based on a strongly held personal belief related to their morals, and in that way is similar to religion.”
“You wouldn’t go somewhere a Muslim is hosting and expect them to still serve pork to you because YOU love and eat it. You’re asking her to put aside her beliefs for your taste.”
“There is still tons of variety and delicious options with vegan food! So so much! Be more open-minded to something different for one meal.”
“If you really expect to just completely hate any meal with no animal products, smash a burger beforehand and politely pick at whatever looks best when you’re there.” – cespirit
“Have to go with YTA.”
“It’s one meal, and she’ll be serving food that everyone can eat, and it’s perfectly possible for her to be an amazing host without catering to people’s preference for meat dishes.”
“If a friend whose religion forbids pork invites me to their place for breakfast, the fact there’s no bacon with my pancakes isn’t them forcing their beliefs onto me.”
“But if I asked them to provide bacon because it’s my preference, I’d for sure be disrespecting their beliefs.” – AncastaOfTheRiver
“NAH, but this is totally on you guys, not on her.”
“You guys apparently had agreed that she should be the next host, and Vegans have an ethical stance against purchasing animal products for any reason…”
“…so I’m not sure what was expected from this. If you wanted animal products to be served, I don’t know why you all agreed on her being allowed to host in the first place.”
“Asking her to pay for and serve animal products is asking her to compromise her morals and her beliefs, it’s just sh*tty.” – Blu3Ski3
“I’ve been a vegan for over 20 years. I wouldn’t attempt to cook meat for someone. I wouldn’t even know where to start.”
“I’d order food with meat in it, or I would be fine with someone bringing a meat dish they prepared. Everyone has different comfort levels with meat and with vegan food.”
“On the meat eaters side, some vegan food can upset their stomachs if they aren’t used to imitation products.”
“On the vegan side, I’m not comfortable handling raw meat, and that’s pretty reasonable not to ask her to do it.”
“It’s one meal, a compromise shouldn’t be this hard.” – Snowconetypebanana
“She’s catering and ensuring that everyone has something they can eat (allowing for allergies, dietary requirements, etc) even if it isn’t what they’d normally eat.”
“I’ve worked in catering and have frequently heard, ‘oh no, I don’t want that it’s vegan’.”
“One free sample later, and they’ve chosen to order that same menu item, despite non-vegan items being available. It’s just prejudice.”
“Your family sounds like they’re being very closed-minded.”
“They can go without animal products for one meal, it won’t hurt them, and nor do they have an ethical position which mandates eating animal products at every meal.”
“YTA.” – KaleidoscopicColours
“Suck it up for one meal. I am not a vegan or any form of vegetarian. However, sometimes we do things for people we love.”
“Eating a meal made by someone you love, surrounded by people you love, is a pretty easy sacrifice to make.”
“If this family reunion is Thanksgiving, then I would definitely have some honey-baked ham and turkey ready for me for when I get home! Yeah, and all the sides, too.” – Infinite-Lychee-182
“YTA, it’s one meal. Okay, fair enough, if she spends the entire reunion as a lecture on veganism and actively tries to make her guests feel guilty, that would be wrong.”
“But it’s a vegan-hosted party, I really don’t see the wrong in her showcasing vegan food there as everyone can eat it?”
“The logic of, ‘we accommodate your diet, why not ours?’ isn’t as sound as you think it is…”
“…her diet has to be accommodated for as her diet doesn’t conform to the norms. She wouldn’t have anything to eat if nobody actively thought to.”
“Whereas, everybody CAN eat what she’s offering. They just don’t want to.”
“I honestly just think this is more about it being ‘vegan’ than anything else.”
“When I worked in a pub we would write up new beers on chalkboard menus, I remember changing the sign to a new beer…”
“…the same guy who had bought it earlier and liked it, came in a couple of days later after I had added to the chalkboard ‘vegan’ (I’d forgotten when I first changed it and updated it later)…”
“…he must’ve forgotten he’d already tried it and absolutely balked at the idea of a vegan beer haha!”
“Same thing when I used to hand out free hot meals for Food Not Bombs…”
“…which if you don’t know is an organization that uses binned food from supermarkets to use up otherwise ‘wasted’ food from being sent to landfills.”
“Had a couple of people happy enough to grab a free bowl knowing it was from a bin, but as soon as I said vegan would put it down again haha”
“It’s one meal though. It really won’t hurt your family to try out her food!” – Ok_Climate6209
“YTA. It’s one meal, and she’s hosting. People act like vegan meals come from Martian farms via teleportation.”
“It’s literally just everything you eat except for the meat, dairy, and eggs. Honey if you’re going to be weird about it.”
“It’s like someone says the word ‘vegan’ and people forget they have been eating vegetables and fruits for years. Oreos are vegan.”
“There will probably be a fruit tray, some vegetables and dips, and some larger family-style dishes. If you are interested in being helpful, let her know some things you think will be crowd-pleasers.”
“A burrito bar? Baked beans? Grilled vegetables?”
“If anyone is upset, they can do whatever vegans have done for decades and bring a little something for themselves or eat before or after.”
“Edit: if you want to offer some good faith help, remind your sister that a lot of people are sensitive to soy and that she will want to label any food that has unexpected ingredients…”
“…so nobody eats anything they’re allergic to.” – RibbitRabbitRobit
The OP came back with an update for us.
“Thought I would answer a couple of questions here so they’re not lost in the comments:”
“1. There is no set rota. The hosting goes to whoever wants to host most / hasn’t hosted before. In this case, she wanted to host”
“2. We have managed to come to a compromise where people can bring their own food as long as it doesn’t contain meat, which I think is fair.”
“3. just for some more context, she works at a well-known UK fast food place, so has no issues handling/preparing/serving meat, although I get that this can be different at home.”
Bon appetite. We hope the family enjoys this compromise!