Dear Proper Green:
Settle a bet between my sister and me. She says that having meat at a dinner party with vegan guests is rude. I say that I don’t have to change the way I eat because I invite a friend over who eats differently. I’m not going to offer them meat, but why should I avoid it?
You shouldn’t. I’m not sure when this current custom of expecting the hostess to conform to every dietary whim began, but let’s put a stop to it right now. It’s your home, serve and eat what you please. It is rude to dictate to someone who has graciously invited you to dine at their house what the menu should be. And if, as you are serving your steak au poivre you hear that oft uttered staple of the militant vegetarian, “I get sick when I see meat,” immediately respond: “How terrible. This must be a rare treat for you, since you obviously never get to eat out.”
BTW, it is just as proper at that dinner for your guest to refuse any dish which does not appeal to them. A simple “no thank you” will suffice.
About Proper Green
The “green movement” is a relatively new one. And because it’s so new, ideas about what constitutes proper behavior within the movement are still evolving. But we think it’s important to establish some guidelines to help smooth the way.
Proper Green is (at least we hope) a blog about good manners in a green world. And while people often confuse “etiquette” with “manners” - the former deals with social custom, i.e., which fork to use or how to introduce your niece to your husband’s cousin at your step-sister’s second wedding––the latter is an expression of respect.And that’s what we’re going to focus on.
Good manners, like our planet, need care, attention and dedication. We hope you find inspiration and answers here.
Please send inquires to: Propergreen@recyclebank.com. Questions may be edited for length and clarity.