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Re: Vegetarian Etiquette

Dear Bev,
I have been following this thread with interest, and it was your post 
that I chose to respond to. Please do NOT take this as a criticism, but 
here goes:

On Thu, 27 Mar 1997, Beverly Kurtin wrote:

> When served fat when I have asked for NO fat, I simply leave, refusing to
> pay for anything.  
This is certainly your right as a consumer, although I have found that 
educating the manager is usually more productive. 

And if at a family or friend's place when I have
> deliberately been served something they know I don't eat, I say "thanks for
> having me over--I'm out of here."

This is an area that I have a problem with.  While it is certainly wrong 
to DELIBERATELY sabotage someone's eating plan, I am troubled by the 
assumption that one's friends and family are under the burden to 
accommodate dietary restrictions.  Common courtesy should come into play, 
but I hear a lot of hostility (not from you personally, Bev, but in 
general) about eating with friends.  I have carnivorous friends who hate 
beans. I know this, and it would be rude OF ME to repeatedly serve them 
beans. However, sharing a meal is not strictly about food. It is often 
more effective to politely decline something "off limits."  I feel that 
my friends can learn about my eating habits when we are all out at a 
restaurant, and that vocal opinions when you are a GUEST in someone's 
HOME are inappropriate and often backfire.

There have been several occasions when I have had salad and wine for 
dinner, and refused to make a big issue over it. My attitude is "I am 
here to enjoy your company."  As a result, my friends are if anything 
overly conscious of serving veg-friendly meals, and I don't have the 
reputation of being a huge pain in the ass.  Also, GOD FORBID that a 
vegetarian (or fatfree or whatever)  "cheats" in front of the same 
friends (or family) after making a huge stink earlier.

My $ .02 on sale,