‘I know you’re vegan, so I made you a bacon salad’

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I enjoy the company of another couple we’ve known for years. I’ve had them over for dinner many times.

I eat only plant-based (vegan) foods; however, I make both vegan and meat-based dishes for everyone else. I don’t ask them to bring anything, as they are our guests.

A few years ago, we invited them to meet us for dinner at a restaurant, which we planned to pay for. A day before the planned dinner, they called and wanted to invite us to their house rather than eating out. I asked if I could bring anything, and their answer was no.

When dinner at their house was served, it was stew with multiple kinds of meat and no vegetables. Even the salad had bacon in it. The wife said, “I don’t think you eat meat, but I hope you can eat this.”

Miss Manners, they have known for years that I don’t eat animal products. I picked through the meal as best I could without complaint. Since the pandemic, we haven’t gotten together with them.

What are your thoughts on hosts who don’t provide any meatless dishes for a longtime friend? As a vegan, I have always made dishes with meat for my guests.

GENTLE READER: That your friends are either thoughtless, inconsiderate or perhaps just forgetful. The latter seems unlikely after all these years, but if you can believe that that is all it is, the friendship might be saved — if you think it worthwhile.


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