Should a bride serve dead animals to her guests even
though she finds the idea repugnant? Apparently, Readers Digest thinks so.
In the April edition, a woman who signs herself
"Bewildered Bride" writes in to Reader's Digest advice column "Ask Laskas…you've
got questions, she's got answers" with a question that may be of interest
to Animal Writes readers. We would love to reprint it here but that would
surely violate some copyright laws. If you are standing in line at the
checkout you may want to pick up a copy of the April issue of RD and turn
to page 71.
The bride writes that she would like for her rehearsal
dinner and reception to be vegan because, as she puts it, she wants to
"stand up for my beliefs about saving animals.." Her problem is that her
future mother-in-law insists that meat be served and the bride does not
want to start an argument. The advice columnist, "Laskas," gave an
unbelievably archaic and unenlightened answer. She wrote that the bride
had "made her point regarding animals" and that the mother-in-law had
rejected it. The bride, therefore, must compromise. She further stated
that, if vegan food were to be served, the bride should insure that the
food does not taste like "variously spiced cardboard" leaving readers with
the impression that vegan food could not possibly be satisfying or tasty
or sufficient. As the author of a vegan cookbook, I find that statement
condescending, insulting and dim-witted.
This advice is dead wrong on a number of levels. First,
since it is the bride's day, her future mother-in-law should acquiesce to
HER wishes, not the other way around. What gives this woman the right to
"reject" the bride's point anyway? Second, if the bride's mandate were
based on religion, for example, she wanted the food to be kosher, I am
sure that the advice would have been different. Those who do not
understand the ethics of veganism don't see that it is a way of life,
almost a religion to some, and that vegans should be respected in the same
way that anyone who is practicing any ethical lifestyle would be.
Furthermore, I know that I have seen questions like this one posed to Dear
Abby and Ann Landers who always, though they themselves were not vegan,
sided with the person who wanted the vegetarian food. They respected the
decision to be a vegan/vegetarian and they advised others to do so as
well. The fact is, this bride will probably want to raise her children
vegan and if she does not stand by her principles now, she will face this
argument with her mother-in-law again and again throughout her entire
lifetime. She does not mention her husband's preferences in this
situation, but one assumes he is fine with her decision since it is his
mother, not himself, that is making the demands.
If you feel, as I do, that this advice columnist missed
the mark on this answer, drop her a line. Her name is Jeanne Marie Laskas
and her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Compromise is a good thing most of the time, but not with
this. If a bride does not want to start out her marriage by serving dead
animals on a plate, she should not have to.
Go on to Abolish Primate
Experimentation & Slavery
Return to 24 April 2005 Issue
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