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I'm doing a wine and food matching course, and for the assessment we have to taste 2 different dishes (steak, and chicken) and 2 wines and write the structural characteristics and flavours of each and then sum up if they are a good match. We have been doing practices in class and I just don't eat the meat. I knew that the test involved meat eating but when the teacher talked about it in class today it really annoyed me that they are so inflexible about having a vegetarian in the class! It really rubbed me the wrong way that I have to forfit marks in the test because I'm going to struggle to say exactly why it is a good or bad match because I don't eat meat.<br><br><br><br>
Theres a short answer question section to the test that is just theory and I can write comments on tasting the wine. I should be able to pass the test- if I do well in the other sections. But it's just so frustrating that I have to miss out!! Do you think I should complain?? It just seems wrong for it to be that way in this day and age! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":(">
 

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Discussion Starter #2
P.S. The title was supposed to be "problems with wine and food matching course"- but I was having real trouble posting a new thread!
 

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Do they know you're veg*n? If not, let them know. Hopefully they realize that wine goes with a lot more foods than just beef and chicken. If they still won't budge then tell them you're going to report their discrimination to the department head, or someone else in authority. I wouldn't raise too big a stink, but I'd say this is discrimination and you should call them on it.<br><br>
~Wonder <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/hi.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":hi:">
 

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That's definitely descrimination and you should definitely talk to a higher up about it. I bet if you were veg*n for medical or religious reasons (if you aren't already) then they'd magically be a bit more lenient. If this class is necessary for your degree or whatever, you shouldn't have to be restricted from taking it and being treated fairly in it. Hell maybe even if it's not necessary, they should still make an exception so that you have the opportunity to learn the same stuff.<br><br><br><br>
I don't even see why it's a big deal- wine pairing is logical, certain flavors go with certain flavors and that's that.. You don't need to actually taste the meat, just need to know what it tastes like.
 

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Have you proposed an alternate assignment, such as bringing in a couple of vegetarian dishes to do the analysis with?<br><br><br><br>
If the instructor is unwilling to do that, I for one don't think you have much of a basis for complaint. If we take courses that have animal use components knowingly, situations like yours are things we must expect, and it is not the responsibility of the schools to arrange things to our liking. It's great if they will; and a polite negotiation well in advance of the problem can often arrange it; but I do not think they are obliged to do it. In the world we currently live in, pairing wines with meats is a very reasonable thing to put in a wine course curriculum.<br><br><br><br>
This is a choice we make. As a general consideration, I don't think it is reasonable to hold institutions responsible to catering to every choice an individual might make (much as I believe in this one!).
 

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I would say you should definitely complain.<br><br><br><br>
Another alternative might be for you to suggest vegetarian dishes which would compliment the wine and listing others which wouldn't and expanding on the components which cause you to make those choices.<br><br><br><br>
I'm a big wine lover (I leave in 15 minutes to go to the Family Winemakers of California tasting to taste and then do some volunteer work) and I find so many people are ignorant of wine and vegetarian food pairings. However on a recent trip to Sonoma County wineries, we found that many of the tasting notes listed both veg and non-veg dishes to pair with the wines.<br><br><br><br>
Good luck with coming to some sort of resolution and I hope that you enjoy the course inspite of its limitations.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Bios</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Have you proposed an alternate assignment, such as bringing in a couple of vegetarian dishes to do the analysis with?<br><br><br><br>
If the instructor is unwilling to do that, I for one don't think you have much of a basis for complaint. If we take courses that have animal use components knowingly, situations like yours are things we must expect, and it is not the responsibility of the schools to arrange things to our liking. It's great if they will; and a polite negotiation well in advance of the problem can often arrange it; but I do not think they are obliged to do it. In the world we currently live in, pairing wines with meats is a very reasonable thing to put in a wine course curriculum.<br><br><br><br>
This is a choice we make. As a general consideration, I don't think it is reasonable to hold institutions responsible to catering to every choice an individual might make (much as I believe in this one!).</div>
</div>
<br><br><br><br><br>
Yeah part of me wanted to say something similar. But then, in my mind it keeps coming back to "What if it <i>wasn't</i> a choice?" What if someone had Crohn's disease or was unable to consume meat for some other medical or strict religious reason? It doesn't seem fair that that person would be restricted from taking the same classes and making the same grades as "normal" omni people.
 

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I echo the sentiments of others.<br><br><br><br>
If you said you couldn't eat beef because you were Hindi people would bend over backwards to accommodate you.<br><br><br><br>
But if you say you're a veg*n the most rationale belief there is, in this humble dude's opinion they penalize you.<br><br><br><br>
It sucks not being taken seriously.<br><br><br><br>
I think you would do better to find a vegetarian wine pairing dealy.<br><br><br><br>
Or quit and ask for your money back.<br><br><br><br>
Or do what I dodrink beer. It goes with everything.<br><br><br><br>
Anyway. Keep us posted.<br><br><br><br>
Cheers!<br><br>
TJ
 

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First, please gently bring your concerns to the instructor or whoever will be grading the test:<br><br><br><br>
Be sure they know you're a vegetarian for ethical reasons and are totally unwilling to eat any sort of animal. Explain gently that asking you to taste only one bite of meat is like asking a Muslim to taste one bite of bacon.<br><br><br><br>
If they are unwilling to budge, then take matters to the head of the department, because it is discrimination once they are aware of the situation.
 

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I teach biology for a living. Say a particular student of mine has a diehard religious conviction that the entire theory of evolution is evil.<br><br><br><br>
Normally my approach to people with such convictions is to suggest they learn what theory is about, and when they discuss it on exams and such to preface their remarks with "According to evolutionary theory" or some such so they are not required to imply any personal belief in such ideas. But suppose this person is convinced that even attempting to learn anything about the theory is evil and refuses to address that portion of the course at all. What happens?<br><br><br><br>
I would end up flunking that student on that material. The curriculum for a general biology course reasonably (according to general consensus) includes demonstrating some understanding of evolutionary theory. This hypothetical student did not accomplish that. My flunking her is not a repudiation of her beliefs, or a personal judgement; it is an expression of the fact that she did not fulfill course objectives. I am confident that my administrators would uphold such an action on my part.<br><br><br><br>
This hypothetical student had choices. She knew evolution was part of curriculum (it's clearly stated in catalogs and such). She did not have to take the course. She could take something else; or take the class pass/fail and do well enough on other material to earn a pass. Similarly, a wine tasting course is not something one is generally forced into.<br><br><br><br>
I agree very strongly with Nicky's decision not to eat the meat, else I would not be here. But I do not think it is unreasonable and discriminatory if the instructor chooses to enforce that all students master what may, for all I know, be an important part of wine tasting curriculum. Educational systems simply cannot maintain their integrity without having a curriculum that addresses what the professionals teaching the course think are the important educational objectives.<br><br><br><br>
It is not discrimination to say 'these are the standards everyone must meet to succeed' if those standards are relevant.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone for your replies. It's a compulsory course as part of my dipolma, so I have to take it and pass it. My tutor does know I'm vegetarian and simply just said that I just won't be able to do that part and I'll have to guess what the meat is like. I won't make a fuss about it, but it just really annoys me! I just wanted to see what everybody else thought. There is a guy in my class who is Indian and won't eat pork, bacon, ham etc. but doesn't really have difficulties because he eats every other meat and we have only have 2 pork dishes so far (out of about 20) and pork isn't in the test.<br><br>
I don't think it is wrong for there to be meat tasting in the course! I do believe it's relevant- I just wished I didn't miss out on marks because I'm vegetarian. I already have to sit through each class whilst everybody tastes 3 or 4 dishes that contain meat (sometimes there is a vegetarian one). I don't complain and I try hard to write notes about what each tastes like (which does help).
 

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It's unfortunate that the course requires meat-tasting. Though I agree very much with Nicky's decision.<br><br><br><br>
I don't necessarily think it's descrimination though, for the course to require it. As Bios said, (coming from a fellow educator's point of view) it is relevant in this context, and expectations to pass the course are outlined ahead of time.<br><br><br><br>
Unfortunately, I also doubt special treatment or exemptions would be given to those with religious or cultural reasons for abstaining from meat - Hindus or Kosher Jews for example. It's an objective of the course and as such, needs to be followed in some form by all taking the course.<br><br><br><br>
I have to say though, I REALLY do admire you for sticking to your convictions Nicky.
 
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