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 three 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. AITA?
UPDATE: thought I would answer a couple 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.
Here are some of the top comments:
Honestly, I think YTA (You're the A%#hole). Not in a big way, I get it’s not what you usually look forward to or are used to with meals. 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!
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 before hand and politely pick at whatever looks best when you’re there.
NAH (No A%#holes), 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%^ty.
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. If I asked them to provide bacon because it's my preference, I'd for sure be disrespecting their beliefs.
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 to not ask her to do it. It’s one meal, a compromise shouldn’t be this hard.
What do you think? Should OP's sister make options for the meat eaters?