bring your own chicken to the veg restaurant - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-17-2003, 05:12 AM
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http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_820101.html



A mother was asked to leave a vegetarian restaurant for giving her 11-month-old son a jar of chicken baby food.



Sarah Graham was told it was "offensive" to feed Joshua the meal by staff at the Rendezvous restaurant in Aberystwyth, Wales.



She was also told there were worries about contamination. Sarah was asked to leave after asking the restaurant staff to warm up the jar, says theDaily Telegraph.



Mrs Graham said: "I've never heard anything so ridiculous in all my life. It was not as if I had brought in a whole roast chicken and started carving. I was a vegetarian for 20 years but it doesn't mean that my baby has to eat only that way as well.



"The manageress said she was worried about contamination. But I brought my own spoon - there is no way it could contaminate anything."



The restaurant's owner, Maggie Cotton, said: "When the woman asked for the baby food to be heated we refused, but purely because of possible contamination of food.



"I was very polite when I told her that we were offended by her bringing baby food containing meat into the restaurant. I simply stood by my beliefs. We often get families in and we gladly give them vegetarian food for the baby."



A spokesman for the Vegetarian Society said: "We would support the restaurant owner in her stance."
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#2 Old 09-17-2003, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by automaton View Post

A spokesman for the Vegetarian Society said: "We would support the restaurant owner in her stance."



While this may be viewed as ridiculous by some, the restaurant is a privately owned business (from what I can tell) and certainly should have every right to refuse service, or ask a customer to leave.



Of course, it's this type of media reporting that could also have the affect of contributing to a negative image associated with being veg (elitist, ridiculous paranoia over something like contamination, etc) in the eyes of the general population.
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#3 Old 09-17-2003, 07:47 AM
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I've been in a youth hostel where there was no visitor kitchen because of food regulations.



I asked if they could warm up something for me, and the normal answer would be no, but they would make an exeption for me.
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#4 Old 09-17-2003, 09:49 AM
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Well, if somebody fed their baby ham in a kosher restuarant I think the restaurant would do the same thing.



I agree with Robert.
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#5 Old 09-17-2003, 10:15 AM
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Yes, the method in which this story was reported makes veg*ns seem paranoid and elitist. As a privatly owned business, Maggie Cotton has the right to refuse service to anyone she chooses. On the other hand, I agree that is completly disrepectful (and quite frankly DUMB) of the customer in question to bring in "contraband" food into the restaurant. Nothing I hate more than "mommy entitlement" The attitude "I'm lactating with a kid hanging off my tit the world must bow down to me and ohhh over my little booger vessel" Grrrrr. She probably has one of those giant prams and has tried to cram it in some inconvenient space like a small elevator.



Go Maggie for standing up for her business.



Edited for disclaimer: I agree that not everyone who is a parent walks around acting self important. I am of that age in which all of my friends are having kids and all of them, are not letting parenthood ruin their individuality.
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#6 Old 09-17-2003, 10:17 AM
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Robert, I see you're consistent in applying your views on privately owned businesses to other areas!

I won't get into the difference between the impact on the health of other patrons of a bottle of baby food and cigarettes....

I can see why the restaurant would want to uphold their beliefs (my wedding is going to be vegetarian and I'll be furious if anyone tries to bring meat into it.... not really the same thing but you get the idea) but the article seems to be written in such a way that it will make veg*ns look irrational and unreasonable.
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#7 Old 09-17-2003, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by monkeyandbunny View Post

Nothing I hate more than "mommy entitlement"





That is one of my biggest peeves too! Not limited to lactating of course, but this sense that some parents seem to have that everyone should bow at the throne of their kid, regardless of how much it inconveniences or costs everyone else. I had a lot of that type in an apartment building I lived in once.

Note: Not saying all parents are like this.
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#8 Old 09-17-2003, 10:26 AM
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That woman was rude.. it doesn't take that many braincells to realise that's it's rude to bring chicken into a veg restaurant. She just wanted something to complain about.



Was it so important that she *had* to run to the media with the story?
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#9 Old 09-17-2003, 10:28 AM
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Good for them. Our coffeehouse is vegetarian and pretty close to vegan (surprisingly the owners aren't), anyway I go there all the time and one time there was a lady in there with a fur coat and it just burned me up. I didn't say anything and it really shouldn't have bothered me so much but it felt like someone invaded my happy place, you know?

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#10 Old 09-17-2003, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Marie View Post

That woman was rude.. it doesn't take that many braincells to realise that's it's rude to bring chicken into a veg restaurant.



I thought being vegetarian meant "no red meat" ?





















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#11 Old 09-17-2003, 10:29 AM
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How in the world did this get in the paper anyway? Geez. This lady probably phoned them as soon as she got home.

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#12 Old 09-17-2003, 10:33 AM
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Maybe it was fake fur. They've been coming out with some pretty good lookalikes lately.



I just bought a couch and a couple chairs for my living room made out of a microfiber.. They look and feel just like that super soft leather. Not only that.. they wear better than actual leather.. (that's what the sales guy was telling me anyways)
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#13 Old 09-17-2003, 10:34 AM
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Where are the veg*n police when they are needed?
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#14 Old 09-17-2003, 11:32 AM
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Where are the veg*n police when they are needed?





*attaches a piece of broccolli to chest to act as a badge* If I would have seen that woman in person, I would have said something to her. Then again, I'm kinda bold and sassy like that.
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#15 Old 09-17-2003, 11:43 AM
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Hmmm, most baby food I've seen was vegetable-based (I waited in a mail line-up at the grocery store beside this section and so looked it all over ... there were a few meat ones). So the very concept of chicken baby food seems a bit weird to me (but what do I know).





However, I think part of the issue is because it was a baby. If a grown man came into a restaurant with a chicken sandwich and took it out to eat (maybe ordering a drink to justify his presence in a restaurant) , could they refuse him service for bringing his own food into the place. Sure they could and they do.



Also it is a vegetarian restaurant. It seems only mannerly of the person with the child to have respected the general theme of the restaurant.



The other patrons probably do not wish chicken to be inside the microwave and aquire negative opinions about the restaurant and the owners should have the right to refuse this service.





I think the article seems to point a finger at vegetarians as being 'not sympathetic to a cute little baby's needs' when in fact the mother should get some manners and consideration for other people and take her chicken food to another restaurant.







-------------------------

..... if only this had been fish-based baby food, this whole thing would never have happened
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#16 Old 09-17-2003, 02:07 PM
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What a stupid article. I think it was on like page 3 of the daily mail or something (some paper I picked up on the tube) It's hardly headline news. It was pretty thick and disrespectful of the woman to bring the food into the restauant. You don't go into a non smoking area and start smoking cigars- because they aren't cigerettes. I think the owners did overreact as it was only 8% chicken- but it's their restaurant and this woman was disrespecting them and the other customers- so of course she had to leave. And they didn't charge for her meal. That doesn't stike me as being unreasonable. I just cant believe it even made it into the news- an article about a death boat where 200 thousand sheep are expected to die, are in inhumane conditions, and badly cared for was not even near the front.



grrr



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#17 Old 09-17-2003, 04:37 PM
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It's their restaurant, and vegetarian customers may have concerns about this. It's a little disrespectful to take chicken into a vegetarian restaurant. i agree that if a grown man had done the chicken sandwich thing, then that's definitely a warrant to kick him out. This may be considered a little OTT by some people, but I do actually agree with it in a way.



And I agree that the media is using this story to give a negative impression of vegetarians.
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#18 Old 09-17-2003, 04:45 PM
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It seems I disagree with the consensus here. I think a mother with an infant should be permitted and supported in feeding her child with whatever food she regularly gives the baby, whether it be formula, breast milk, bottled baby food (with or without meat), etc. Unless you ban infants from your restaurant, you need to expect that parents will be bringing in their own food to feed the child, and that the food may not be the same sort of things that are on the restaurant menu. What is the harm? The contamination concern seems bogus under the circumstances. It seems like the motivation is just the owner (and other patrons, I suppose) "disapproving" of this mother's choices and trying to control how she feeds her child. I think that's arrogant and rude.



A recurring theme on this forum is veg*ns pleading to be allowed to eat as they choose, without being hassled or made to feel out of place. Shouldn't that run both ways?
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#19 Old 09-17-2003, 05:12 PM
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If I were the owner of that restaurant, I probably would have tolerated the situation, although I would also have kindly but firmly expressed my wish that the mother NOT do the same thing again in the future.



However, I support the owner's right to make the decision that she did.



There is certain to be much more to the story than those few lines tell us: Did the owner offer alternative baby food? There's a hint that she might have done so. Was the mother accurately quoted in saying that "my baby doesn't have to eat that [veg*n] way as well"? I hope not, because it would be a pretty silly statement in regard to a single meal.



I imagine that the attitudes of both parties had a lot more to do with the outcome of the situation than the veg*n issues did.
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#20 Old 09-17-2003, 05:20 PM
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Suessomon, this would be the world's biggest non issue if shen didn't ask the waitstaff to warm her baby food. If that request was never made, I would agree with you. I think asking the restaurant to prepare food (even if it is just popping it in the microwave) that doesn't belong to the restaurant is ballsy. The customer should have execerised some common sense and looked at the restaurant sign before going in. Regarding the contamination issue, yes there could be the off chance that the babyfood(even if it was vegetarian) was harboring some foodborne bacteria. I think A. Maggie Cotton was correct to stand up for the principles for which her restaurant was founded. B. She was doing her job by not allowing possible foodborne bacteria into her facility.
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#21 Old 09-17-2003, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Seusomon View Post

Unless you ban infants from your restaurant...



All in favor of child-free restaurants...





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#22 Old 09-17-2003, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by meatless View Post

That is one of my biggest peeves too! Not limited to lactating of course, but this sense that some parents seem to have that everyone should bow at the throne of their kid, regardless of how much it inconveniences or costs everyone else. I had a lot of that type in an apartment building I lived in once.

Note: Not saying all parents are like this.



I completely understand what you're saying! Just because Junior is the light of *your* life, doesn't mean the whole world will stop turning for him! What is the point of feeding a baby a pureed corpse any way?
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#23 Old 09-17-2003, 06:38 PM
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I wouldn't have tolerated it. She only did it to cause a problem. Why else would she bring that to a veg restaurant when there are so many other flavors of baby food?
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#24 Old 09-17-2003, 06:58 PM
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Perhaps you would like to vote on this:



http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/3115410.stm
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#25 Old 09-17-2003, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Seusomon View Post

It seems I disagree with the consensus here. I think a mother with an infant should be permitted and supported in feeding her child with whatever food she regularly gives the baby, whether it be formula, breast milk, bottled baby food (with or without meat), etc.

But why of all the restaurants in the world, go into this one? Like I said before, wouldn't it be ball-sy to feed your baby ham in a kosher restaurant?
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#26 Old 09-17-2003, 07:56 PM
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I agree with Seusomon that mothers should be supported in meeting their infants' needs. Even though it is technically a health code violation to bring outside food into a restaurant, any reasonable restaurant owner/staff would overlook a jar of baby food and even be happy to warm it up.



The problem is that she brought chicken baby food to a vegetarian restaurant. Now, I could see an omni not anticipating the feelings of vegetarians on this issue. It's hard to always be sensitive to other viewpoints, especially when they are not your own. But this mother says she was a vegetarian for 20 years. This is where she begins to look like a trouble-maker to me. She had to know that it was potentially offensive for her to do this.



However, the reaction of the restaurant owner is also troublesome. Sometimes when I'm contemplating such situations, I ask myself, "What would Miss Manners do?" Here is my solution: as a restaurant owner or staff person, make your feelings known in a polite way, and ask the customer to accept some pureed veggies from the restaurant kitchen instead. Baby food is ridiculously easy to make. This would have gotten the point across, kept the chicken baby food out of the microwave, probably would have made the customer happy (especially if they didn't charge her), and finally, it would have made the restaurant look really accomodating to mothers with infants, which is great publicity.
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#27 Old 09-17-2003, 08:11 PM
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It wouldn't let me vote!
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#28 Old 09-17-2003, 08:18 PM
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Gosh, this whole thing is really silly from both sides. I agree with everyone who says this woman is a trouble maker. I mean, why run to the media? Why not just order baby food from the menu (the restaurannt said they'd do this) or just pop outside and feed her kid? Lots of restaurants ban outside food from their premisis for less reason than this. And also the mothers reason for having to feed her kid chicken baby food was the he needed "protein". Give me a break! The food was only 8% chicken anyway.



All that being said, if I'd have been the manager there I'd have just let the kid eat it's baby food and asked the mother to please not bring non-veg food the next time.

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#29 Old 09-17-2003, 08:20 PM
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The food was only 8% chicken anyway.



All that being said, if I'd have been the manager there I'd have just let the kid eat it's baby food and asked the mother to please not bring non-veg food the next time.



Where are you seeing the 8% thing? I don't see it in the article linked at the start of the thread, unless I am blind.
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#30 Old 09-17-2003, 08:21 PM
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Here is my solution: as a restaurant owner or staff person, make your feelings known in a polite way, and ask the customer to accept some pureed veggies from the restaurant kitchen instead. Baby food is ridiculously easy to make. This would have gotten the point across, kept the chicken baby food out of the microwave, probably would have made the customer happy (especially if they didn't charge her), and finally, it would have made the restaurant look really accomodating to mothers with infants, which is great publicity.



According to one article I read the restaurant did offer to do this, but the mother refused, saying her kid needed "protien".

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