Help! [moral dilemma - meat at dinner party] - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 03-19-2007, 06:47 AM
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Well, I was invited to a dinner party by a friend yesterday and she didn't know I was vegetarian. I'd had to decline her first offer because I was busy, and, as I said in the text, "unless you're cooking nut roast it could be a bit of a problem." Anyway, the date was changed so I could go, and she said "so, who's the vegetarian?" And I told her I was, and told her why.



Now my reasons for going veggie are mostly health reasons (in which case it wouldn't hurt me to eat meat once in a while - right?) and ethical reasons. I really don't approve of the way some animals are treated in the meat industry, and I don't think we have a right to kill other living creatures for food - and some meat-eaters see it as such. I have no problem with other people eating meat, so long as they're grateful and recognise the fact that something died for their meal.



Anyway, my friend said, "the beef we're having is from a local farm, it's 100% organic and I bought it from the local butcher, who only sources meat that's been treated well. Would that change your mind?"



I told her it wouldn't, and she said that that was absolutely fine, she'd cook a nut roast as well.



Now here's my problem. I felt really bad for imposing on her. I offered to cook my own dish, bring it along to have with the veg she'd prepared to go with the beef, but she, being lovely, wouldn't have any of that. I guess, being a new veggie, it was my first experience of having to have "special treatment" because of my new lifestyle.



Also, I found it pretty hard to find any reason why I shouldn't eat the beef - I'm not taking meat for granted, it's been well-treated, and, as callous as this may sound, it's dead already. My friend's already bought it. It's not as if any of it will go to waste, but I won't be saving a cow's life by eating it if it's already dead. Also, I know it hasn't been pumped full of chemicals which would have easily made me run a mile.



Shout at me, people. Tell me I'm wrong for thinking like this. But first - don't worry, I'm not going to have any of the beef this evening at the dinner party!



Just remind me why I shouldn't. I know I shouldn't. I've just lost sight of why I'm doing this.
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#2 Old 03-19-2007, 07:33 AM
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Stick to your principles!! It's still a dead animal!



Seriously, though, your friends will do this for you, and will even look for gelatin in their dip ingredients before too long. That's what good friends do. If it makes you feel better, bring her a really nice hostess gift, or have her over for a super vegetarian meal in the future.
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#3 Old 03-19-2007, 07:34 AM
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It's understandable that you're thinking like that, about the animal already being dead etc, especially as your main reason for vegetarianism is health...but if you do start eating meat at occasions like that I can imagine (I don't know from experience, as a lifelong veggie) it would be easy to do it more and more and not feel like you really are supporting the industry as an individual.



It sounds like you really want to be vegetarian so just don't give up...I'm sure you will feel much better healthwise without the meat as well as long as the rest of your diet is balanced.



Also, it's good to show your friends that you really are committed to a veggie lifestyle and are not prepared to give in just because it may be a little less convenient for them to cook you an alternative (and there are a lot of other things they could do besides nut roast as well). You shouldn't feel bad about inconveniencing them because they should respect your right to eat veggie, especially as it's a diet/lifestyle that is on the increase.



Hope that helps! Enjoy your nut roast tonight!
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#4 Old 03-19-2007, 07:42 AM
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Ahhh just what I needed. Thank you



Cftwo - a veggie dinner party would be amazing, I might have to get planning! Thanks!



Llamapower, good point about it becoming more likely to slip back into meat-eating if I do it once or twice. I hadn't thought about it like that. And you're right in saying that unless I show my friends I'm committed, they maybe won't see me as a "proper" veggie - and maybe start getting a bit resentful when I feel guilty and say there's no way I'm eating meat "this time," or something.

Hehe, I know there's more to life than nut roast - but I've never tried it actually, and I thought it would go well with the roast beef that the others are having I'm sure I'll enjoy it though, from the recipes I've read it sounds delicious.



Thank you!!
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#5 Old 03-19-2007, 01:57 PM
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What you could do is still bring a dish that is veggie but not so obvious like instead of bringing something "extreme vegetarian", bring something ( i am not going to say normal cause vegetarian food is normal) but something simple you know what i mean? Or what ive done at way not at all formal ocassions ( iwent to a party and didnt know that they were going to have a BBQ) so i had a ketchup, mustard, and relish sandwich. REALLY REALLY GOOD!!!
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#6 Old 03-19-2007, 03:28 PM
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Siz, sometimes people bend over backwards to accomodate me at dinners, and I always always always express my appreciation to those who help me out. If someone's going to extra trouble to make me food, I want to reinforce that in the hopes they'll feel good about what they've done. I want to give the impression vegetarians are nice, kind people who aren't trying to inconvenience anyone and appreciate a hand. Too many people are acquainted with the poor examples of veg*nism.



Please don't feel bad that your host is accomodating you. That's a good thing! On VB, we hear a lot of horror stories about people refusing to accomodate vegetarians, so please don't lay guilt on yourself for this. Definitely bring something to share if it's that kind of dinner.

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#7 Old 03-19-2007, 04:48 PM
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I think it's wonderful that your friend is cooking a nut roast as well. If she's buying organic, sustainable beef, it sounds like she is more aware of the issues that usually accompany meat eating.



Bringing something special for the group to share, and/or a hostess gift will go a long way towards showing your appreciation for her extra effort.

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#8 Old 03-19-2007, 05:11 PM
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Remember, if you eat the beef, people will brand you as a hypocrite. I suggest that you bring some yummy vegan food to the dinner for all the other guests to enjoy if you feel "unfriendly". Just don't refer it as "vegan", or else people will think it's gross.
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#9 Old 03-19-2007, 05:49 PM
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Thank you all, for your support and ideas

Just got back from the dinner party - the nut roast was AMAZING and the other people who tried it really enjoyed it too. It was actually a good job I didn't bring anything myself as it was a small gathering and there was more than enough food to go around, but I'll be sure to cook for my friend in return/buy her a thank-you gift or something
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#10 Old 03-19-2007, 07:09 PM
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I would for sure do something for her, even as simple as mailing her a thank you card. It's wonderful you have such a kind friend, and I'm glad you had fun!
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#11 Old 03-19-2007, 07:17 PM
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Drop her a dozen luscious vegan muffins, cucpcakes or cookies with a thank you note.
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#12 Old 03-19-2007, 09:28 PM
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Listen to everyone else. Just say no. If anyone asks one and backs you into a corner about it, just say "Does it really matter to you? It's a personal choice." And then the Crawdad Militia will storm the grounds and clear the area! (My boyfriend just threw that last part in... not sure if he's serious or not...)
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#13 Old 03-20-2007, 05:35 AM
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If you ever end up in a situation where someone isn't as accomodating, just say you'll eat the potatoes, veg and yorkshire puddings! People seem to think that won't be enough, but it really is!



And ethically I do understand what you are saying about the cow already being dead etc. But by eating it you would be saying that yes, it is ok to kill happy healthy animals so humans can eat them. Isn't that wrong, regardless of how the animal lived?
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#14 Old 03-20-2007, 07:44 PM
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Aren't yorkshire puddings cooked with beef... something?
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#15 Old 03-20-2007, 08:06 PM
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No, it's just a batter. It's often served with roast beef though.

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#16 Old 03-20-2007, 08:23 PM
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i'm pretty sure that traditionally beef suet (fat) or the drippings from the roast 'whatever' is used to line the pudding pan/s before the batter is added. i've always used vegetable oil, or hardened vegetable shortening- i'm sure plenty of people don't though. best to check with the host, i'd say... just like with the roast potatoes and gravy... might be good, might not.
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#17 Old 03-20-2007, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoodedclawjen View Post

i'm pretty sure that traditionally beef suet (fat) or the drippings from the roast 'whatever' is used to line the pudding pan/s before the batter is added.



oh yeah, good point! I see that's probably what TNS meant My mum stopped doing it the old skool way with the beef fat (yuk) yonks ago so I totally forgot.

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#18 Old 03-20-2007, 08:56 PM
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Suet was indeed the word I was looking for...



Thanks HCJ. Never found vegetarian yorkshire puddings when I visited England and I had SO wanted to try them...



And isn't "cooking with" going to make them take on the juices and whatnot from the meat anyway, regardless of the fat used in them?
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#19 Old 03-21-2007, 05:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tofu-N-Sprouts View Post

Suet was indeed the word I was looking for...



Thanks HCJ. Never found vegetarian yorkshire puddings when I visited England and I had SO wanted to try them...



And isn't "cooking with" going to make them take on the juices and whatnot from the meat anyway, regardless of the fat used in them?



No, the yorkshire puddings themselves are cooked in trays like this



http://www.kenwoodworld.com/images_d...ls_full%5D.jpg



I would imagine most yorkshire puddings are made with veg oil rather than beef fat - ours always were anyway!
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#20 Old 03-22-2007, 04:03 PM
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whats a nut roast? lol iv never heard of it.
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#21 Old 03-22-2007, 07:52 PM
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I usually use canola oil for the yorkshire pudding. You don't have to use the beef drippings to make it. Even before I went vegetarian I did it this way, and put the extra drippings into the gravy. I've told our friends when I first went vegetarian not to worry about cooking seperate for me. Now when we go out to a dinner I usually will munch out on the veggies, and ignore the main course. I haven't made a huge fuss over being vegetarian, and because of this our friends don't mind if I skip the main course aka meat dishes. They will at times, add an extra veggie dish for me to munch on. I wouldn't worry about it too much, as there will always be times when your no meat lifestyle will come in contact with carnivores. I live with a bunch of meat eaters, and it's a running joke with us of a good nature.
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