To eat or not to eat: Sending food back

So, vegans, what to do about this?

You're out for a lady's lunch at a wonderful neighborhood cafe, owned by a handsome Italian gentleman. He explains the salad special. You hear: Carmelized fennel, argugula and figs. So you order it.

Here's what you get: A plate piled with the pinkest prosciutto you've ever seen surrounded by a beautiful necklace of halved figs on a thin bed of...carmelized fennel and arugula.

You stare at the ham. If you send it back, will it go to waste? Will the wait staff eat it? Do you pick around the meat?

What would you do? What would Kathy Freston do?

I ate it. Scarfed it, thinking here's to vitamin B12.

Not to put to fine a point on it, the pig's already dead. If I send the plate back, it doesn't make the pig less dead, it only makes me a pain in another mammal's ass.

I'm curious. Vegans, would you handle the above dining dilemma?

Comments (6) -

August 31. 2011 09:58


I'm vegetarian, and I wouldn't have been able to bring myself to eat it (apart from anything else, even when I ate meat I didn't like ham!). I'd have been pretty mad with the restaurant as well.

Rhian |

August 31. 2011 10:11


I don't blame the restaurant but myself for not understanding. I've been omnivorous forever, so the meat wasn't off-putting. But I know lots of vegetarians, who would have been completely "ooged" out!

leslie |

August 31. 2011 10:23


When I was pregnant I made the conscious choice to eat meat.  The first few things tasted really strange – the first meat I ate was bacon, and I never ate that again in the pregnancy, it just tasted wrong.  I think the texture of meat is just really strange when you're used to a vegetarian diet!

Rhian |

August 31. 2011 21:32


The pig is already dead. And the choice to eat it should be made without worry of outside opinion. I wouldn't have eaten it b/c meat is not only unhealthy for those that must die to produce it, but for those that ingest it as well. Eating the flesh of another is still just that, whether you ordered it or not. I feel better not eating meat. If I didn't need to eat, I'd pick around it. If I was hungry, I'd order something else with a discreet explanation. That's not the right way, that's just my way.

ColleenTowner |

September 1. 2011 07:35


Yes, the pig was already dead, and had you returned it, it may have gone to waste. However, I suspect your decision to eat instead of sending the salad back may have more to do with social instincts. You were out with your friends. The owner was charming. You didn't want to draw attention and conversation to your diet. So, you ate. You were happy. I applaud you.

You are a good friend, a welcome guest and not self-absorbed. You were a bad vegan. Just one more reason your friends love you.

Threadingwater |

September 3. 2011 10:06


not sure why they didnt include the dead pig in the salad description...I would have scarfed it too!  But, it would be okay and proper to eat around it, or send it back, asking them to prepare one sans the dead pig.

John |

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