V- Taunt Me And I Will Bite!
As a Vegan, going to a traditional restaurant can be an unsettling experience. Some waiters/owners just don’t get the lifestyle, and appear unwilling to invite the idea into their “foodie” world. It can be somewhat offensive.
Let me share a recent experience as an example. I am currently visiting the west coast, and my girlfriend and I met some other friends for dinner at a popular italian joint in Venice Beach, Ca. We tried to go to Cafe gratitude, a Vegan establishment that is irresistible, but the other party goers weren’t having it, and one can’t always force others to eat vegan. So there we landed, at the Italian place.
Scanning the menu, I of course noticed the large number of courses containing meat and/or dairy….hard to avoid at an italian restaurant. When the waiter/owner came around to take our order, my girlfriend expressed that her and I were strict Vegans, and before she could utter another word, the large, overweight waiter said, with a taunting smirk, “Im sorry.” Uh Ohhhhh… he is feeling sorry for us that we are vegan…….wrong thing to say to my girl! She quickly rebutted “don’t be sorry for us, we will most certainly outlive you! Feel sorry for the animals, not us! We feel sorry for you!” I don’t think he was expecting such a comeback.
And so we placed our order of veggies sautéed in oil and garlic, with the rather inconsiderate, overweight, clearly unhealthy man… who could certainly use more vegetables in his diet! Seriously, he sends his sympathies our way because we are healthy, slim, vegans. So very sad.
This was not the first time we have experienced abrasive, almost hostile responses from waiters, once we share that we are Vegan. I recall one experience in NYC where the waiter insisted on telling us he was a “meat-a-tarian.” Not really a funny statement for compassionate vegans like ourselves. Because to my girlfriend and I, that just means innocent animals are raised in a cruel manner and then murdered for human consumption….for the “meat-a-tarian.” So with that in mind, comments such as the above two examples, can feel very hostile and insensitive.
I feel it is unprofessional and plain disrespectful to speak with such aggressiveness and thoughtlessness to guests at a restaurant establishment. I certainly don’t attack others for their diet and moral choices. Instead I try to lead my example. By attraction to a better life..one of health, happiness, and compassion.
I am curious to know if any other Vegans or Vegetarians have had similar experiences at traditional restaurants? Please share your stories or thoughts in the comments sections.
And as a side note, I feel like these days all restaurants should have at least one vegan option, seeing how quickly people are picking up the Vegan lifestyle. Although it has been a slow process, people are changing, and are seeking a healthier, more compassionate lifestyle. And therefore restaurants should keep up with the ongoing growth of the Vegan community.
I’m vegetarian, not vegan, but I usually find it easy to get a pasta with marinara sauce and a side vegetable sauteed in olive oil when I’m not in the mood for something cheesy.
I have some vegan friends and I almost always cook Italian for them because there are a lot of traditional bean/pasta/potato dishes that are easy to veganize (just don’t pass the parmesan around).