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TomJ
08-03-2003, 06:45 PM
Hi guys, I was just wondering...

When ever I make a vegan meal for my housemates, some of them insist on putting grated cheese on top. Would you be offended if that happened to you?

Cheers guys,
Tom

Halfelf
08-03-2003, 09:56 PM
Yes

Wonko The Sane
08-04-2003, 12:47 AM
You shouldn't be offended, and for many different reasons.

1) First and foremost, they are eating a meal that you made. This means that they are at least not revolted by your cooking and you should take that as a compliment.

2) If you wouldn't be offended by someone adding a bit more salt, then you shouldn't be offended by the cheese. They are obviously not vegan, and if they like the taste of cheese, to them, it's only enhancing the flavor of your food. I'm sure they don't do it to intentionally offend you.

3) They aren't doing it to intentionally offend you: If someone isn't trying to offend you, then take some time to think about why they are doing it, and if they are malicious in their intent. I'll bet they just add cheese because they like it, and would feel awful if they thought they hurt your feelings.

4) This is a very important question: Are they offended that you are vegan? Of course they aren't. As a vegan, you should be more aware of issues that others may not be aware of. One thing that all vegans strive toward is for having others to accept them and their choices and to be respectful of their lifestyle. This is a two way door.

While you may want others to stop eating meat and dairy, for whatever reasons you may have, you must also accept that person for whom they currently are. Acceptance, respect and communication are they keys to better understanding. If you accept them for who they are, respect their decisions and then communicate your ideas in a non-confrontational way, you will have much better results than if you face them in an accusatory manner. Honestly, you probably won't turn them vegan or get them to stop sprinkling cheese on your dishes, but if you approach them in a mature, respectful way, I'll bet that it makes a very lasting impression on them that could definitely gestate into something more down the road.

5) If you get offended and hold it in, it will quickly turn to animosity, and we know what that does to relationships. Animosity and lack of "appropriate" communications cause more marriages/friendship to end than anything else. This leads to other things that cause the parting of ways, but it always starts with a breakdown in communication. Communication is the basis for any good relationship. So if it truly bothers you, talk to your roomies about how you feel. Don't be confrontational because they will only go into a defensive posture and it probably won't turn out good. Take time to think about how you can approach the subject without making them uncomfortable. You know your roomies better than anyone, so use your head more than your heart on this one.

I could, however, be wrong and maybe they are just truly awful, ogrish people and you should tell them so in your loudest, angriest voice while waving your arms about in a threatening manner. Oh, and you should spit in their cheese.

Best of luck with your situation!

herbi
08-04-2003, 01:47 AM
If it was some kind of Special Occassion where you were deliberately trying to introduce them some yummy specifically VEGAN food and they had an "Eww! We can't possibly eat that without first adding some token animal product!" attitude, then I'd be a little bit annoyed/hurt/offended. If it was just your turn to cook dinner and they just like cheese, eh, wouldn't bother me at all (apart from being slightly jealous that they would eat cheese in front of me knowing it to be the one thing I most miss! ;)) At least they're not adding meat, which is what my Dad insists on doing whenever I make stirfry... :(

kristeenamarie
08-05-2003, 07:52 PM
I make it very clear that the meal was cooked vegan and will be eaten vegan, before I invite people to eat with me.

misanthropy
08-05-2003, 08:15 PM
I'd totally be offended.

I'm with kristeenamarie on this. If it was made vegan, it will be eaten vegan. Period.

Wonko The Sane, perhaps you don't view putting cheese on a vegan meal as a big deal since you're not vegan, but for me it's the same as pouring on meat or meat-based gravy.

bearhino
08-05-2003, 08:18 PM
Originally posted by misanthropy
I'd totally be offended.

I'm with kristeenamarie on this. If it was made vegan, it will be eaten vegan. Period.

Wonko The Sane, perhaps you don't view putting cheese on a vegan meal as a big deal since you're not vegan, but for me it's the same as pouring on meat or meat-based gravy.



i agree totally!!:mad: or even worse.

dviolet
08-05-2003, 09:44 PM
WonkoTheSane's response was the most well thought-out, intelligent and appropriate response in this thread. I think it's totally inappropriate to point out that he's not vegan without giving credit to his thoughtful response. Even if you disagree with him, you should give respect his opinions. How about backing up your own opinions with some real reasons!

Yes, we all care about animals, but you should not put your beliefs above other people and make them feel insignificant or unwanted. If non-vegans aren't welcome on this board it will become like so many of the other vegan snob sites on the web that I detest. I'm truly offended.

herbi
08-05-2003, 10:41 PM
Originally posted by dviolet
WonkoTheSane's response was the most well thought-out, intelligent and appropriate response in this thread.

From what I've read of his posts, I already like Wonko quite a bit, and I am grateful for his fake cheese skills, and I agree it was a thoughtful reply, but...

I WAS a bit taken aback that, when asked whether or not other people would be offended in a similar position, instead of replying with his opinion he decided to supply one for us, ie,

You shouldn't be offended.... Ummm... I think a more "appropriate" response would've been more like, "I wouldn't've been offended, and here's why:" You know what I mean? There's implied judgment of anyone who (for whatever reason) was offended when you start talking "shoulds". However, this may have just been a slighly off choice of words & not an intentional attempt to tell us all How To Feel, so I personally was not offended at all by it. I just want to point out that it can be easy to read things into written posts and take offense where none was meant.


If non-vegans aren't welcome on this board it will become like so many of the other vegan snob sites on the web that I detest.

This I completely agree with, but honestly I really didn't read Misanthropy's message to be derogatory or offensive at all! She made a theory that cheese (obviously?) simply isn't offensive to non-vegans, and stated that it is to her. (Which was the question in this thread... "Would YOU be offended if...?") I am sorry you are upset, dviolet. Wonko-- were YOU offended??? :confused:

herbi
08-05-2003, 10:44 PM
PS-- How many more times do you think I could've worked the word "offended" into that post??? :rolleyes:

jenbizagogo
08-05-2003, 10:48 PM
I personally would be offended as well. That's just one of the reasons I choose not to have roommates...I know it wouldn't sit well with me to have someone sprinkle cheese on something I made, let alone have cheese in my apartment.

In response to Wonko, dviolet, and misanthropy....I do agree with several of the points that Wonko made. Yes, showing acceptance, patience, and a general good attitude are much better ways to behave rather than getting all "high and mighty." BUT, the question posed here was whether or not one should be offended if a friend altered your vegan meal with ingredients you do not believe in using. It is completely acceptable to be offended by this situation. How you deal with that is a whole 'nother issue.

I think I know misanthropy well enough to know she wasn't trying to personally attack anybody. I actually had the same thoughts when I first read Wonko's post in this thread. When I was vegetarian I thought the exact same way as Wonko..."what's the big deal, right?" Since becoming vegan, it has become a big deal to me. I find dairy just as repulsive and evil as meat, if not more so. Now would I throw a big fit if a friend brought her own parmesan over and sprinkled it on the pasta I made? No. Would I explain why it bothered me and why I was offended by it in a calm, rational manner? Yes.

This issue is completely a matter of opinion. I think all of us are just explaining why we feel the way we do. I don't think anyone is trying to belittle anyone or make them feel unwanted...

Wonko The Sane
08-05-2003, 10:58 PM
Thanks dviolet. I guess if non-vegans aren't welcome here, I won't post again. I just thought that this was a place where a person could post thoughts, feelings and opinions without being judged. I guess vegans aren't judged for who they are and what they do, I wouldn't know since I'm not vegan.

Since someone took the time to research my posts to see that I'm not vegan, let's give you my whole story, shall we?

It's true that I'm not vegan. Never have been. I have, however, been a vegetarian for almost 15 years. I was vegetarian in a state where vegetarianism was unheard of. There weren't other vegetarians in West Virginia. I took quite a bit of flack from practically everyone that found out I was veg. There weren't any veg restaurants, but I didn't give in, even though it would have been very convenient.

My girlfriend happens to be vegan, so about 95% of the time I am vegan too. I cook vegan meals for both of us every day. It's not a hobby, I'm pretty serious about it. There will never be a day that I decide to start eating animals again. I am, and have been, aware of vegan issues and am active in the vegetarian and vegan community. I'm not a radical, militant or activist because I respect the choices that others make. I will, however, discuss veg issues with anyone that is interested. I'm a pretty accomplished vegan cook and share my recipes whenever anyone asks.

I also happen to be allergic to grains. Wheat, oats, barley, rye, and very allergic to rice. My skin breaks out constantly because it's practically impossible to eat without consuming these things. This allergy also causes me to be overweight. I have never really been an overeater, but I'm very large because of the allergy. So, I won't eat animals and I can't eat grains. As you can see, my choices are very limited, so sometimes I eat cheese. If you have suggestions on what I should eat, feel free.

I'm not trying to get sympathy, but I am trying to make a point. That point is that judging others is not a good thing. Everyone you meet is human, just like you. They aren't bad people because they eat meat. I don't feel like that I am better than a meat eater. I think someone with long hair once said something like, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone". So, if you've never eaten an animal, go ahead, judge me.

I think I made very good, unbiased thoughts on my last post. You have to see both sides of an issue to truly understand it. It is my opinion, but I think I made some very good points. Dissenting posts were laconic, fragmented, and short-sighted.

I think that this post has proved that point 4 of my last post is true. When you communicate in a confrontational way, like trying to emasculate someone by insinuating that their opinion isn't worthy because of personal choice, then they respond in a negative way. My response here is not typical of the way I communicate, but I can honestly not believe that so many could be so out of touch with human compassion as to get offended by someone putting cheese on a dish that you made them. At least 95% of the population eats meat. Are you offended every time you see someone eating meat or dairy? If you are, then your stress level is probably way too high. That's a lot of hate to carry around. The people that you all are referring to in this post are your friends. How about giving them a hug instead of giving them the evil, hateful, vegan vibe.

If you are closed minded, I'm sure this post won't make things better. but I implore you to think about the way you perceive life, relations, and your personal worth in society and on this planet.

I apologize for being so blunt, but I feel strongly on this matter.

Wonko The Sane
08-05-2003, 11:07 PM
P.S. I like you too Herbi.

I think if you read into the meaning behind my words, you'll see that I have respect for others opinions, decisions, etc., and I would never try to "supply an opinion" for someone.

I meant to use the words that I wrote, but sometimes words can be read differently than they are meant since inflections are so hard to convey via type.

You are my friends, and my community. I have the greatest respect for all of you and would not purposefully try to be offensive.

shedonteatmeat
08-05-2003, 11:24 PM
Wow... this is the first time I've seen an arguement here :(


For what it's worth, I don't believe that misanthropy would ever personally attack someone. I truelly believe she was just stating that non-vegans usually aren't repulsed by cheese...as vegans are. Just like a non-vegetarians aren't repulsed by meat,you know?

Also I think we all agree that everyone vegan-friendly is welcome here and I'm sure we all also agree that Wonko the Sane is more than vegan-friendly! :)

Let's all be happy!


Sidenote: I also remembered from reading Wonko the Sane's vegan story that he ate cheese occassionally, so I doubt anyone had to research posts for that info ;)

herbi
08-05-2003, 11:53 PM
Originally posted by Wonko The Sane
P.S. I like you too Herbi.

I think if you read into the meaning behind my words, you'll see that I have respect for others opinions, decisions, etc., and I would never try to "supply an opinion" for someone.

I meant to use the words that I wrote, but sometimes words can be read differently than they are meant since inflections are so hard to convey via type.

You are my friends, and my community. I have the greatest respect for all of you and would not purposefully try to be offensive.

Awww... Thanks! :kiss: ;)

I do think I understood the meaning behind your words, just trying to point out that I could see where the words themselves might get some people's backs up (I myself find it rankling to be told what I "should" do under ANY circumstances-- gut reflex reaction to that word! :)) and that maybe some similar miscommunication happened w/regard to Misanthropy's post? Truly, I did not think that the spirit of her words was "people who are not vegan are not welcome here", but more like "people who are not vegan are less likely to be offended by foods that are not vegan," which frankly sounds difficult to argue with. I guess I really don't understand what provoked dviolet to become so defensive in the first place? (Except, of course, her fierce devotion to her Sane companion and her wish that he be accepted by all of us despite his evil ways...)

Anyway, speaking for myself, Wonko's respectful and hilarious posts are welcome any day. (Unless, of course, he starts waving his arms about in a threatening manner...)

misanthropy
08-05-2003, 11:58 PM
Thanks for the support Herbi, Jenbizagogo and shedonteatmeat. That was exactly what I meant.

VeganXing
08-06-2003, 12:16 AM
Well, now that that's all settled (I'll just pretend it is) :) I'll share my thoughts on this.

I wouldn't be offended. I would probably be a bit dissapointed especially if the dish wasn't tasted prior to "fixing" it. I find it dissapointing when people aren't willing to go outside of thier routines. That's how most people are, though.

Plus, my sense of taste has changed even since last month. If my guest tasted my dish and said, "Ya know what this needs? A bunch o' cheese!" Well, that would be dissapointing, but somewhat understandable. Some people like to dump salt on everything.

Wonko The Sane
08-06-2003, 02:37 AM
Yeah, I feel like I did wave my arms around in a threatening manner. I was just a little "cheesed off" at the time. I'll try to be good from here on out.

dviolet is fiercely devoted to me, and I love her for it. We frequently discuss many issues and make it a point to try to see the issues from many different angles and I think we get a little bent out of shape when others think two dimensionally.

Of course I understand "why" you feel offended if someone puts cheese on your meal, but getting offended by this is just taking the path of least resistance. Getting upset over it will NOT give them a good impression of what veganism stands for. Positive reinforcement is the way to go!

If there was a misunderstanding, I am truly sorry misanthropy. I meant no offense.

VeganXing makes a very valid point in the "tasting before fixing" thought. I can see how it could be offensive if someone doctored your cooking, vegan or not, before even tasting it. That could certainly be taken as insulting to your cooking efforts. I totally agree.

"disapointing, but somewhat understandable". Disapointing I can whole-heartedly agree with, but offended that someone is doing something that they have done all of their life, no way. Maybe they don't realize "why" they shouldn't eat cheese. You can't blame someone for not knowing what you know, or feeling what you feel.

Kudos, VeganXing on a great point!

By the way, it would have been Lucille Ball's birthday today. Happy Birthday Lucy!

penfold
08-06-2003, 03:28 AM
disappointing but not offensive is exactly how i would have described the experience. this happened to me on many many occasions back in university days, sharing a flat with a veggie and 4 omni girls. grated cheese on everything.

now if i had been offended and they knew it would offend me, but still added cheese, that's a different matter. but for people who don't fully understand veganism (which includes, at the last count, most non-vegans), i would not expect them to realise the offensive power of cheese-adding behaviour.

as for it being better for people to add it after tasting than before - no way!! that would mean washing-up gloves off and graters at dawn! far better that they add cheese immediately, as a reflex action, than that they try my scoff and deem it insufficiently tasty!! :p :D

happy birthday Lucy!!! :loveyou:

Husky Corn Star
08-06-2003, 03:44 AM
Originally posted by penfold

washing-up gloves off and graters at dawn!

:D

shade
08-06-2003, 04:59 AM
Deep down I think that I would be offended, but I don't think I would say anything about it.
Then again, I'm also happy when people are at least willing to *try* vegan meals that I make, and if they choose to sprinkle cheese on top, I try not too take it too roughly.

dviolet
08-06-2003, 08:11 AM
Yes, my previous post had a lot to do with my loyalty to WonkoTheSane. I'm glad that misanthropy has cleared up that she didn't mean any offense. It's easy to misread other people's comments on the web when you don't know them.

However, I still think WonkoTheSane has very valid points that were totally ignored. I think that was a rather flippant remark to make to a very well-thought out post. If you knew Wonko like I do (or really read his post), you'd realize his reasons have nothing to do with the fact that he isn't vegan and everything to do with the way he respects, honors and treats his fellow human beings.

Ok, I'll move on...

As for being offended by cheese on vegan meals, I am reminded of Vegit-8's presentation last week where he reminded us "to meet people where they are at." It wasn't that long ago for most of us that we would have done the same thing.

If your friends are still eating meat, the fact that they would even share your vegan dish is a great sign. The fact that some of them even eat it unadultered is a blessing! Why don't you focus positive energy on those that obviously like your food the way it is?

If you suspect that the "cheese-sprinklers"are doing it only to provoke you, then that's one thing. However, I strongly suspect this is a harmless gesture of preference. People are creatures of habit. If they're used to sprinkling cheese on meals, they will continue to do it, even if you're vegan. Obviously, they are very supportive of your beliefs and you should give them the same support.

I am sincerely devoted to my vegan beliefs. However, I would never let it interfere with a friendship. Maybe it's because I'm the kind of person that doesn't call just anyone a friend. I have a handful of extremely close friends and I treasure them. I would never make them feel lousy about what they were eating, even if it's my own food.

If you feel otherwise, perhaps you'd be better off sticking to other vegans as the only people you dine with.

VeganMegan
08-06-2003, 12:11 PM
Hi guys, I was just wondering...

When ever I make a vegan meal for my housemates, some of them insist on putting grated cheese on top. Would you be offended if that happened to you?

Cheers guys,
Tom



I wouldnít be offended but I would be disgusted and disappointed. This however wouldnít happen to me because I do not allow animal products in my house under any circumstances. If anyone eats at my house they are eating a raw vegan meal. If they donít like they donít eat at my house. Itís just as simple as that. My house - my rules!


Yeah, I know it sounds extreme or harsh to some of you but I am not going to watch or be part of someone eating animal flesh or bodily fluids of animals in my house. Iím not going to sit there and watch that. Itís disgusting.

All of my friends and family know where I stand on food-diet-animals etc and no one questions it when theyíre in my house.

But I guess you have a bit of a problem if you live with meat-eaters. :) Good luck Tom! Maybe you can work something out with them.


I also happen to be allergic to grains. Wheat, oats, barley, rye, and very allergic to rice. My skin breaks out constantly because it's practically impossible to eat without consuming these things. This allergy also causes me to be overweight. I have never really been an overeater, but I'm very large because of the allergy. So, I won't eat animals and I can't eat grains. As you can see, my choices are very limited, so sometimes I eat cheese. If you have suggestions on what I should eat, feel free.

If you want to eat bodily fluids of animals thatís fine but why make up an excuse about it? Do you eat cheese because you want to/because you like it? Thatís all fine and good. Iím not putting you down for eating it. I just feel that saying you cheese because you canít eat grains is just an excuse. You should feel fine and secure to say you eat cheese because you want to.

I do not eat grains. I choose not to eat grains. I eat fruits and vegetables (and sometimes nuts but not many or often.) I do not sprout. I do not dehydrate. I eat raw fruits and vegetables. No animal products needed. I donít feel like Iím missing out on one thing. Itís a very easy and possible thing to do. Itís so super easy to grab a piece of fruit and go! :D

Iíve actually found that meat-eaters are more willing to try a raw vegan diet than cooked vegan food. I donít know why but this has been my experience. It makes no sense to me! :huh:

dropscone
08-06-2003, 12:15 PM
I'm with shade

I wouldn't say anything but I would be a bit hurt.

I have to confess that for a party a while back I made mini pizzas and put cheese on half of them (I didn't buy it, it was a vegetarian friend's party I was doing some catering for and he'd already made some sandwiches with it). People automatically went for the cheese ones first, but all of them got eaten, so it's probably a habit thing mostly.

VeganUU
08-06-2003, 01:08 PM
Would I be offended? Yes. I don't see how any vegan wouldn't be offended. The intention of the other person doesn't really matter. Most good friends wouldn't intentionally try to offend you, but I think you can feel free to be offended if you'd like. Would I storm about screaming and throwing a vegan tantrum? No. There's a big difference between how something makes me feel and how I choose to react. I completely agree with the sentiment that we need to be respectful, meet people where they're at, and put on a happy, shiny vegan face. But, that doesn't mean we can't be offended. Dairy is offensive and on the whole, rather indefensible. I get offended when people even talk about dairy in a positive light in front of me. That doesn't mean I throw rotten vegetables at them while screaming "murderer!" in response.

That being said, I would also be hurt, annoyed, disappointed, and sad (because I know how bad dairy is for human and animal health). Then again, if we were eating in my house, cheese wouldn't be an option. And, since almost all of my close friends are vegan, this doesn't come up too often.

I think the confusion and arguments on this thread are a testament to the challenges of on-line communication (something I'm always complaining about). Wonko has been very forth-coming with where he stands and his experience, and I appreciate his honesty. However, upon my first reading of his first thread my impression was that he was trying to say, "you vegans need to lighten up. Cheese isn't a big deal. Take a chill pill." Of course, it seems that what he was actually saying was much more complicated than that. Since this is getting super long, I'll just say that my only advice to people in this situation is to talk about it with your eating companions after they've eaten. There's nothing like a talk about pus, mastitis (swollen udders), and tortured veal calves to ruin a meal.

dviolet
08-06-2003, 01:59 PM
Originally posted by penfold
far better that they add cheese immediately, as a reflex action, than that they try my scoff and deem it insufficiently tasty!! :p :D

Well put. Like I said, you should be happy they are eating it at all! Even though it was more than 3 years ago, I still remember when I was addicted to cheese. I would put it on everything. That's probably how your housemates feel. If they live with you and they have their own cheese they are grabbing from the fridge, you cannot stop them. If you're having houseguests over, that's another matter.

However, we are not talking about guests. We are talking about people who live in the same space. Those are two different situations. Completely.

If people are guests in your home, they should respect what your values are and eat what you have provided. However, if you live in a house where you are ok with your housemates having cheese (and/or meat) on other occasions, I don't see how it's appropriate to enforce a vegan rule on them only when you cook. It's not who they are.

It's their home too and they should be able to live freely. You shouldn't enforce conditional eating rules on them. That's something you set when you move in together or not at all.

If you don't want others living with you that don't eat meat, dairy, eggs, etc., then your only choices are:
1. to live alone
2. get a vegan roommate
3. find roommates that will only eat meat, dairy, eggs outside the house

That's all there is to it.

Emiloid
08-06-2003, 03:17 PM
Wow! What an intense discussion. This is great... and stressful. Guess i'm just a bit sensitive.

I hardly know where to begin. Maybe by answering the original question? If I made vegan food and my roommate put cheese on it, I would be a bit upset, but mainly if (as others have said), they didn't try it vegan first. In fact, I'd probably stop them and say, "hey, why don't you try a couple of bites first without the cheese?" Or, "here, try nutritional yeast. It's yummy and cheesy." I hope they would listen. Sometimes it takes a couple of bites to realize something that you're not used to eating is actually tasty. If they put cheese on it after tasting it, I would feel sorry for them. I feel sorry for people who use tons of salt, too. It just reminds me that my sense of taste seems stronger since I went vegan.

To Wonko: are you also allergic to soy? Also, do you eat cheese because you feel it supplies some nutrient that you don't get from grains and such? Giving up dairy can be hard, especially if your other options are limited. Plus, as you can see from this discussion (and others), cheese is something that a lot of vegans miss. It's harder to duplicate/replace than almost anything, but there are some tasty options: nutritional yeast, VeganRella, Tofutti cheese, tofu (instead of riccotta), and so on. I personally don't even eat fake cheese (except nutritional yeast) very often. Maybe once a month or less. I find that the less I eat, the less I miss it.

Anyway, I don't think it's so bad that you eat cheese occasionally. What you're doing is far better than what most people do. You're making a very solid effort and seem open to giving up dairy if you felt you had options. Maybe this is a silly question, but: are you sure you aren't allergic to dairy, too?

Wonko The Sane
08-06-2003, 04:32 PM
I really am tiring of this discussion. I don't believe that some are going into it with an open mind.

I'm fully aware of the horrors of the dairy industry. I know how the cows are mistreated, I know they suffer. I am informed, and I still have cheese. Does this mean that I like for the cows to suffer? Of course not. I wasn't making excuses with my allergy story. It seems that every time I post something, someone tries to pick it apart, put words in my mouth and attack me. I retract my earlier statement. I do, in fact, believe there are certain members here with a holier-than-thou attitude after re-reading the posts (and some private messages). I'm not going to play "nice nice" and act like there aren't. I wouldn't be catching this much flack if I were vegan and felt the same way. I practically AM vegan and only have cheese rarely. It's not like I sit down to a huge block of cheddar every evening. I usually eat a nutritional yeast based recipe that I created and have actually posted here to share with vegans. I don't act that way toward meat eaters and I don't expect to be treated this way.

I like animals, but I don't treat them better than I treat people. I wish people didn't eat meat and I put the facts out there for people to hear when it is appropriate, but if a friend came to my house and said that they really wanted a ham sandwich, I would buy some ham and make it for them. Why? Because they are my friend and that's what they want. My parents eat meat, am I supposed to hate them for it? Should I be offended if I make pasta for my mother and she puts parmesean on it? If you think so, you have a serious problem.

It's not like the entire population woke up last week and decided to start eating animals. People have been eating animals and dairy for thousands of years. You cannot be angry at the human race for something that is instilled in them. YOU, as a vegan, have made a choice to not eat meat or dairy. The name of this board is VEGAN REPRESENT. You represent vegankind, you should be attempting to convey your beliefs to others in a POSITIVE light, not through accusations, hatred and warlike mentality. Some of you aren't making a very good case toward veganism. What if non-vegans read this post? What would they think? They would think that vegans were supremists with superiority complexes. We can invite some to this post and see what they think, if you would like. It would be the vegans against the meat eaters, the opinions would be split and there would be no middle ground. Well, the middle ground is where I live and how I think. Some here have viewed this posting from both sides and I have so very much respect and admiration for them.

I used to eat meat, and most likely, so did you. At the time you probably didn't want to eat a vegan meal either, and I'm certain that you didn't want to be told WHAT to eat. What if, during your meat eating days, someone had told you that they were offended that you ate cheese in front of them? You would have had thought them to be a total jerk, and don't say that you wouldn't have. Why did you choose to become vegan? I'll bet it wasn't because someone got offended that you ate cheese. I'll bet it wasn't because someone argued with you about why you shouldn't eat meat. Try to take the high ground, remember how you used to think and have a little compasion for people too.

Someone posted: However, upon my first reading of his first thread my impression was that he was trying to say, "you vegans need to lighten up. Cheese isn't a big deal. Take a chill pill."
This is what I mean, I never implied "you vegans" in any matter whatsoever. I am a part of the vegan community and promote veganism as much as vegetarianism. Try to remember, I'm on your side.

penfold
08-06-2003, 05:14 PM
sometimes being offended is referred to as "taking offense", since some insightful person realised it involves a certain amount of active choice on the part of the offendee.

this thread has made me very sad.

quite apart from some of the posts, i cannot *believe* that people have been sending unfriendly private messages to Wonko. if that has been happening, i am sickened.

herbi
08-06-2003, 06:42 PM
Originally posted by Wonko The Sane
What if, during your meat eating days, someone had told you that they were offended that you ate cheese in front of them? You would have had thought them to be a total jerk, and don't say that you wouldn't have. Why did you choose to become vegan? I'll bet it wasn't because someone got offended that you ate cheese. I'll bet it wasn't because someone argued with you about why you shouldn't eat meat.

For me, this is very true, and in fact I firmly believe that one of the things holding me back from going fully vegan those 9 cheese-soaked years was the fact that the few vegans I'd interacted with were angry hateful self-righteous jerks towards me-- a compassionate non-fur-or-leather-wearing vegetarian who was TRYING to get involved in the Animal Rights community (and therefore should've been recognized as an imminent vegan and encouraged/nudged along?). I wasn't about to stop eating something so delicious (and so much a part of my entire culture, family, etc) in response to hysterical ravings, especially if doing so would somehow make me be like those (scary) people! All it did was set up a huge block to even considering all the good reasons why I should've given it up. When I started dating a long-time vegan activist (who admits he used to be very confrontational until he realized it was counterproductive) who never once hassled me for eating cheese (though of course he wouldn't serve it to me at his house), it suddenly seemed like the easiest thing in the world to follow his example. Anyway...

I think there's some confusion in this thread (as VeganUU pointed out) about what "being offended" means-- is it how something makes you feel inside, which may not even be voluntary (though-- good point Penfold-- it could be!), or, how you choose to act on that feeling (which certainly is (or at least should be) voluntary)? I feel as though people are arguing where there's no argument, by responding to a comment on actions with a reply about feelings or vice-versa, if that made any sense? I can easily see how eating cheese could be deeply offensive to some people, but it's an entirely separate follow-up question to then ask, "if offended, what if anything do you do?" Hmm.

I do agree, though, with what seems to be the common sentiment, that if any individual finds him- or herself so deeply affected by the sight/thought of others consuming animal products in their presence, then they shouldn't (;) Wonko) live in a house with omnis! One or all of you will end up miserable...


quite apart from some of the posts, i cannot *believe* that people have been sending unfriendly private messages to Wonko. if that has been happening, i am sickened.

Me too! :(

VeganKen
08-06-2003, 07:01 PM
I'm ignoring the hoo ha going on in this thread, not that I don't care, but it's been pretty well discussed. :umm:

Responding to the original question: yes, I would be offended but like others have said I would have asked them to try it without the cheese first and then dropped it. Mostly because it's their house too and animal products are already allowed. Plus I doubt they knew it would offend you. They probably eat cheese in front of you all the time and it didn't even occur to them that they might tick you off.

If you had taken a dish to someones house and they altered it, then yeah I would be horribly offended. I once brought a pasta dish to the neighbors for dinner. They took it into the kitchen and it re-emerged with beef in it. They had no clue as to why I was so upset. They just wanted a "little protein". I can see where they might have mixed in the beef on their own plates but to alter the entire dish?

I choose not to accept invitations from them anymore. But then they've also lied about food ingredients so there's a pattern there.

But then I also have a friend who wants me to make an apple pie for her with a butter crust, "like you used to". She's even offered to buy the ingredients so that my money won't go towards it. I can't get her to understand why I won't do this. She won't even try a vegan apple pie, which is rather revealing about her temperment.

Now I'm just rambling. Time to go eat! :p

Lacykitten
08-06-2003, 07:07 PM
Originally posted by TomJ
Hi guys, I was just wondering...

When ever I make a vegan meal for my housemates, some of them insist on putting grated cheese on top. Would you be offended if that happened to you?

Cheers guys,
Tom

Okay. Here's my take on this. People I live with and putting animal products in my food.

I live with my parents, who are both omnis. When I make a vegan meal, they more often than not try it vegan, and usually eat it vegan. The few times where my dad (usually) has put something on it, like cheese, I've been.. I guess sort of offended. To me, adding something like cheese, meat, etc., to a dish is different than adding salt or pepper to it. Salt and pepper are seasonings, whereas cheese is.. more than that. It's like an "ingredient" or something. If I leave it out, it's not supposed to be there. It's like them telling me that what I made isn't good enough. Not that it's a bit bland and needs some salt, or that they like it with more pepper than I do. That it's not good enough the way it is.

Then again, it's a rare occurance. My parents have no problem eating vegan meals and have almost always enjoyed them as they are. They don't make a habit of putting stuff onto it, especially when I've worked hard to make a YUMMY vegan meal for them to enjoy with me.

When guests come over, I make vegan meals for them. I don't really /offer/ non-vegan items, except for one friend who is allergic to soy and a half a dozen other things.. She gets special treatment. *grin* But my other friends, who are pefectly capable of eating a vegan meal once in a while, DO if they want to eat at my house. And I have as of yet had no complaints on that. I also take only vegan foods when I go to parties, etc. I have baked cakes, cookies, brownies and muffins, etc. etc, for tons of parties for friends, only one of which is vegan, and no one has ever had complaints. In fact, everyone always asks me for recipies, and there are never leftovers because someone always ends up taking a bunch home. :)


Okay that DID go a bit off topic, but I haven't baked in a long long time and it's been on my mind a LOT lately, I've been DYING to bake.. and there are parties coming up... *twitches* LOL

Okay. So. If people were living with me, I would get a bit annoyed at them, I think, more than offended, if they constantly added things to the food I made. The way I see it is this: My beliefs are mine, but they are important to me. I worked to make a vegan meal for all of us to enjoy, the least you can do is enjoy it the way it was made. If you don't want to eat a vegan meal, please feel free to make your own dinner. I just find it almost.. well, rude, to add animal products to something when you know the person who made it, and is eating it with you, is against that.

To me, it's just disrespectful, is what it is, to deliberately add something that someone is against to a meal that they prepared for you.

That's just my opinion though. :)

Vegit-8
08-06-2003, 08:01 PM
*tiptoes into the discussion*

I may find an action offensive without being offended. What I mean by this is that I will try to remember that another person's actions (and thoughts and opinions) are about them, so why should I be offended by them. They are not about me. I may find their action offensive but I will try to choose not to be offended.
Disappointment is another interesting point. I may often experience disappointment, and then I have to remind myself that disappointment just means that my expectations of how a situation should be have not matched the reality. I cannot determine what another person's beliefs or actions are going to be, that is their job, so why should I let my disappointment be anything more than a passing acknowledgment to myself that once again, I am not in control of anything other than how I choose to perceive the world.
There have been many well thought out points in this discussion, not least of all the ones that relate to communication and the possibilities of misunderstanding what another person is saying.
I hope, as appears to be the case, that people have come to a place of peace regarding what they think has transpired here.
Congratulations to TomJ for coming up with a question that could provoke such discussion. I would not have expected it at first reading.

In answer to the original question, I would probably get my knickers in a knot, clench my teeth, think of a dozen scathing remarks, grind my heal into the ground, and sigh loudly. Then I would ask if they would like me to try and make a vegan cheese for next time as I would really appreciate their opinion. Then I would calmly walk out of the room and sulk.:D

May peace and joy be with all of us.
Vegit-8

TomJ
08-06-2003, 08:42 PM
Hi everyone,

Firstly, thanks for all your posts. I've learnt loads from this thread and I'm truly grateful for your thoughts.

I am sorry that my question raised arguments and upsets.


Vegit-8 (and anyone else for that matter), please feel free to call me Tom! :D

Tom

Wonko The Sane
08-06-2003, 09:03 PM
Hi Tom! Welcome back to your post. I won't speak for anyone else (God forbid), but let me say that you shouldn't be sorry for what has happened here. You had an innocent question and it turned into a battle royale. I apologize for contributing to making it uncomfortable for you.

Besides, I'm not upset.

Just a little friendly banter. Heck, conversation like that just adds some color to the old cheeks.

TomJ
08-06-2003, 09:12 PM
Thanks Wonko the Sane,
The only reason I felt uncomfortable was because other people seemed to be getting offended (there's that word again!) / upset. No need for anyone to apologise to me! ;)

Tom

VeganUU
08-07-2003, 02:14 AM
Hmm... I hope I don't count as one of the holier-than-thou people, but since I live in a little vegan bubble most of the time, I may have become one of those people without realizing it. I guess the bottom line for me is that I don't like having to compromise my values for anyone. So, if a friend asked me to make them a ham sandwich, I would ask them if they had suddenly gone insane and most certainly wouldn't do it. Likewise, if a friend asked me to beat their cat to death with a baseball bat, I wouldn't do it. I guess I just don't see much of an ethical difference. If that person decided I was a bad friend because of this, I guess I wouldn't want people like that as friends.

Wonko, as far as I'm concerned, you're vegan enough. I simply disagree with some of what you're saying, regardless of whether you eat a little cheese once in a while. I don't think it's an extreme reaction to take offense at someone putting non-vegan substances into vegan foods you've prepared for them. I do think it's inappropriate to be a butthole about it. No one on this thread has suggested that people who eat meat/dairy/eggs (like your parents) should be hated. I have a hard time believing anyone here would say that.

A major challenge of veganism is that it entails with it, for better or for worse, a "I used to be ignorant, but now I've seen the light" kind of mentality. We all admit that we used to eat animals. But, now we've learned the reasons why we shouldn't eat them and have chosen accordingly. Thus, others who haven't learned about animal suffering or who haven't chosen veganism are still a bit ignorant. I'm not saying I'm thrilled with this situation, but that's kind of how it goes. We've been "converted" (I know, I know... it's a bad word to use, but seriously... isn't it kind of true?), and it's hard not to see others as misguided.

So, when someone eats animal products in front of me, I usually think, "well, they're on their own path, and they just haven't quite figured this part out yet." I want all paths to lead to veganism eventually. If that makes me holier-than-thou, than I guess that's what I am.

Also, I tend to think of this as a private vegan community, which may be terribly foolish. I'm not envisioning masses of non-vegans pouring over our threads looking for a way to judge us and using our arguments as an excuse not to be vegan. So, I guess I'm more willing to say things I normally wouldn't say with non-vegans around. But, honestly, after reading this entire thread, I don't think it makes vegans look bad at all. I think it makes us look like a complicated bunch of people who have different opinions about and methods of being vegan. It also makes it apparent that we're a group of people willing to struggle with the difficulties of communication and the misunderstandings of the internet. There's no one best way to be a vegan advocate, to interact with non-vegans, or to be a witness for animal suffering. And, I agree that sometimes just living a positive vegan life is the most powerful thing you can do.

Dandelion
08-07-2003, 02:41 AM
hey I've actually enjoyed this debate. If the forums are too nice i get nervous... (and vice versa) ;) <need I mention the infamous honey thread?>

To answer i'd take offense myself. I even went through a period where i would get upset when people would order meat dishes at a restaurant in front of me...now i try to avoid those situations or shut up and talk about it later. Such conversations are best avoided over food like VeganUU said but staring at dead animals or the smell of pussy goo is also best avoided during times of gastronomical activities for me.

Now I can wax on about the situation that would/could occur and this has already been touched on before but my kitchen/household is vegan no ifs, ands or buts. Itís one of the few lines I draw. Iím an adult now and I think Iíve earned enough status to have just a wee bit control over a small portion of my life. Such a portion is my living space and such space is VEGAN. Iím lucky enough to have that and I hope it continues to be so. I wake up every day very thankful for what I have, trulyÖ(gushing)

Now the original question was about housemates and the sprinkling of cheese. In this instance itís a condimentÖof rape and murder! (heehee just had to sneak that in!) now if I were in such a situation living with nonvegans then I would be fully prepared to expect such nonsense. Iím sure they would know my opinions on the matter already and as Vegit-8 said I would try to accommodate them for a better experience next time.

Try sprinkling Why Vegans around the house and let them argue about that on Animal Eater Represent.com (http://animaleaterrepresent.com)

that's right baby...404! aint nutin there!

Dandelion
08-07-2003, 02:48 AM
just read the post VeganUU made while i was writing my last post and i reiterate that i think we've done a stellar job of discussing and digressing. Ok it hasnít been the most ideal conversation but I donít feel ashamed of whatís transpired. I do tend to think of these forums as Ďpublicí (itís my job) even though few would actually take the time to pour through these threads, I think.
Well I hope they would at the very most.
:D

Husky Corn Star
08-07-2003, 03:07 AM
Originally posted by Dandelion
pussy goo

* tries to think innocent thoughts *

Dandelion
08-07-2003, 03:09 AM
did i spell that right?
puss, pussy....
oh you know what i meant!
sheesh!
*fans self*

Husky Corn Star
08-07-2003, 03:18 AM
Paging Mr. Freud, we have a patient for you ... :D

dviolet
08-07-2003, 08:11 AM
Ok, I was contemplating dropping off the face of the earth - or at least this thread - but I needed to address this post. I waited a day, so hopefully I am more calm, cool and collected than I was in my previous posts. Those of you who don't know me, like Tom J, are probably thinking I'm a bit irrational. I just want to apologize if I offended people. If there's one thing I can't be rational about it's WonkoTheSane. It's what you call love. Ok, I digress...


Originally posted by VeganMegan
I do not eat grains. I choose not to eat grains. I eat fruits and vegetables (and sometimes nuts but not many or often.) I do not sprout. I do not dehydrate. I eat raw fruits and vegetables. No animal products needed. I donít feel like Iím missing out on one thing. Itís a very easy and possible thing to do. Itís so super easy to grab a piece of fruit and go! :D
VeganMegan, I'd say this is a bit of an overstatement. The raw foods diet may be many things, but don't try to tell us it's very easy. That's like saying a vegan diet is very easy. We all know the routine can become easier after a while, but if you think it's easy, you have a short memory that doesn't include your journey to where you are now.

I respect people who are on raw diets. I'm sure most of us on this board have contemplated the switch to raw. The fact is that getting rid of cooked food is just as difficult (or maybe more so for some) than the meat, eggs and cheese.

As for grains, for Wonko grains are especially difficult since he lives with a vegan (me) whose diet is heavily dependent on grains. It's something we're trying to work through because we love to eat meals together.


If you want to eat bodily fluids of animals thatís fine but why make up an excuse about it? Do you eat cheese because you want to/because you like it? Thatís all fine and good. Iím not putting you down for eating it. I just feel that saying you cheese because you canít eat grains is just an excuse. You should feel fine and secure to say you eat cheese because you want to.
Although you could have used more tact here, I agree with your point. If I were Wonko I wouldn't have defended why I eat cheese because there's nothing to defend. That's who he is and where he's at in his vegetarian journey. If he stays there, fine. If he becomes vegan, great. If he becomes a raw foodist, then maybe you'll share some of your recipes with him. But until that day, I accept him for who he is. That's been my point on this whole thread. </rant>

Wonko The Sane
08-07-2003, 08:48 AM
Originally posted by VeganUU
Wonko, as far as I'm concerned, you're vegan enough.
Ummm, ok. Gee, thanks for letting me into your secret society. We gotta work on that, it sounds a tad elitist.

I am however ecstatic that someone (VeganUU) has finally taken the time to actually think about this issue in a way that they might not normally think about it. VeganUU's response was more than a quick reply shot from the hip. It was well thought out, concise, and made a good case for what she believes. I still don't totally agree with her opinions, but that's ok too.

I applaud you VeganUU.

VeganMegan
08-07-2003, 09:29 AM
http://www.hd.org/Damon/photos/office-motes/AUTOSCALED29pc-brass-tacks-cyan-background-1-AHD.JPG

Look! I found some tacks!

Oh...ummm...that was tact not tack.
:thinking:



Again, in my OPINION and it has been my EXPERIENCE both the vegan diet and the raw diet are very easy and simple.

A person has the ability to do anything he or she wants to do.


http://www.darlington.rome.ga.us/development/images/giftplanning/willpower.gif

Lacykitten
08-07-2003, 10:11 AM
I wanted to add.

I can see adding something being less offensive if the dish is regularly served with it, and you don't have a vegan alternative handy.

For example, I made spaghetti for my boyfriend and mom last night. They both put parmesan on it. That doesn't really bother me, because it's not like adding it to a dish it doesn't belong in; until I went vegan I always had parmesan on my spaghetti and so did pretty much everyone I've ever eaten it with. Now, if I had vegan parmesan (which I'm gonna get soon, woot woot) I would have asked them to please use mine instead, give it a try.

But I dunno.. with my parents, and my boyfriend, and my close, GOOD friends, I don't have a problem saying "Hey.. I made this vegan meal for you.. would you mind eating it without the ____? Thanks," with a big smile. My friends would respect me enough to do that; if they're not respectful, they're not friends. (Then again, this isn't people I'm living with when talking about friends, so it's different.. can't just leave your roomies half the time..)

Anyway. Wanted to add.. I'd PREFER people didn't add parmesan to my spaghetti but it's just so common that I'm hard pressed to be too bothered by it, really..

misanthropy
08-07-2003, 01:27 PM
Rest of discussion has been moved to this thread:

http://www.plantbasedpeople.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1912

Emiloid
08-07-2003, 03:33 PM
Originally posted by Lacykitten
...I made spaghetti for my boyfriend and mom last night. They both put parmesan on it. That doesn't really bother me, because it's not like adding it to a dish it doesn't belong in; until I went vegan I always had parmesan on my spaghetti and so did pretty much everyone I've ever eaten it with.

I forgot to mention this in my post--that it would depend on how normal it is to eat cheese with the dish. Spaghetti/pasta: not so offended. Veggie stew: a little more disturbed. Fruit salad: very weirded out. Basically, the less common it is to add cheese, the more I would wonder if they were making a passive-agressive attack on my values and/or cooking.

Lacykitten
08-07-2003, 11:04 PM
I pretty much agree. :)

... cheese on fruit salad? Not even in my wildest dairy-chowing days!! Ewww.

Husky Corn Star
08-08-2003, 02:21 AM
Originally posted by Lacykitten

... cheese on fruit salad? Not even in my wildest dairy-chowing days!!

I do fondly remember the old days when at McDonalds dipping my fries in my Chocolate Sundays - that was an interesting and agreeable combination.

Dandelion
08-08-2003, 11:29 AM
I spawned the rest of the follow up posts to Husky's into a new thread called Bizarre food combinations (http://plantbasedpeople.com/showthread.php?threadid=1925)
:)