I have a really dumb sounding etiquette question. I know 4 people who are vegans IRL. I've never asked any of them why they were vegan, I just accepted that they were vegan. If these people might be at our dinner table, is it considered impolite to ask them why vegan, or not? I'm considering going vegan, and need some lessons in basic etiquette. I know people will ask me if/when/why I'm vegan, I have some solid answers (family health history, for starters), I just don't know about these other 4 people...I hope this makes sense to you.
I don't think it would be impolite to ask.
In fact, they might welcome the question!
I figure asking someone why they're vegan is no different to asking them why they're vegetarian. The only issue I'd see is if there's people who eat meat at the table as well. I know I sometimes feel a little nervous explaining myself, while people who haven't asked the question (but eat meat) are within hearing range.
Does that make sense?
But, I'd definitely ask especially if you're interested in the reasons.
Hopefully if somebody's reasons are animal rights / ethics, they leave it with a simple explanation, and not jump right in to an explanation of factory farm conditions. The person asking the original question, could always ask more questions if desired.
As a guest in somebody else's home is not the time for unsolicited graphic descriptions or attempting to guilt somebody away from animal products.
You might also preface your question with, "Oh, by the way, I'm considering going vegan myself, so I was wondering...." Share a little of yourself, before asking them to share with you. Best of luck!
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