The Vegetarian Reception: Carolyn Hax Strikes Out

Well, nobody bats 1.000.

“Where’s the shrimp?”

My favorite ethical advice columnist, Carolyn Hax, missed a soft pitch by a mile recently. The question came from a couple—an apparently insufferable couple, I may add—who sought Hax’s confirmation that they were within rightful boundaries by wanting to have only vegetarian fare at their upcoming wedding reception, since they were vegetarians themselves. “We don’t want to spend money purchasing meat or fish, and feel that a celebration of our union and the home we are making together should not have meat or fish in it,” they explained. Her parents objecedt on the grounds that, among other things, many of their older friends can’t tolerate beans and dairy. Hax’s correspondent retorts that they can certainly stand to go meatless for one reception.

And Carolyn sided with the soon-to-be insufferable married couple, saying,

“I believe the range of food permissible within a vegetarian diet is broad enough to satisfy all, allowing me to duck the question of whether the guests’ comfort trumps the hosts’ principles. I believe it’s a case-by-case call, depending on both the principles and (dis)comfort involved for the guests.”

Oh Carolyn, Carolyn. A few more duds like this, and the New York Times will offer you its post as “The Ethicist.”

The key word here is host. Elsewhere in her answer Hax says that the parents are being unreasonable to suggest that they can’t endure even one meal without meat, but that’s not what they are saying. Of course they can endure one meal without meat. They can endure one meal without food, or with lousy food, or stale potato chips, peanut butter sandwiches and diet Dr. Pepper.  They can endure a crummy, uncomfortable wedding reception—I know I have—but isn’t the point of a party to make the guests happy? These people are taking the time to witness and celebrate the couple’s wedding, some presumably traveling long distances, all bearing gifts and good wishes, and these creeps say, “The heck with what they like, they’ll eat what we give them, and we don’t like meat!”  Oh, nice. So, applying the same principle, if the bride and groom are devotees of Gregorian chants and Mongolian throat singing, by God, that’s what the guests will have to listen to and dance the hokey-pokey to, because that’s what the hosts like. After all, it won’t kill them to have to listen to that for one night, right?

What kind of standard for planning a party is that ?

The attitude of this pair is selfish, disrespectful, ungenerous and as contrary to the Golden Rule as it gets. The wedding reception is a party for the wedding guests, not the bride and groom’s private indulgence. Just as these two would be grateful for party fare that included non-meat selections for people like them, they should recognize that providing some non-vegetarian selections for people who don’t share their “principles” or taste in food is equally reasonable and appropriate. Oh, that’s right…they “don’t want to spend money purchasing meat or fish.” They are, in addition to being lousy hosts and friends, cheapskates. Well, do everyone a favor, then. Elope. Then you can have all the watercress sandwiches and lentil cakes you want, and your friends can mail you their wedding gifts without having to listen to the Mongolian throat-singing while munching on tofurkey.

Carolyn Hax, to her credit, goes to great lengths  to avoid being judgmental, but in this case, the couple would benefit from some old-fashioned Ann Landers smack talk. “These are your friends, family and guests,” Ann would say. “Be gracious and hospitable. What’s the matter with you?” Or perhaps a little Dean Wormer would be more effective, as in, “Selfish, self-righteous and cheap is no way to start out married life, kids.”

Post Script: After writing this, I happened upon a feature in the Washington Post’s Sunday Style Section about the local couple’s wedding. After the ceremony, they treated their 60 guests to a sumptuous raw vegan dinner and reception….because, you see, both bride and groom were vegans. Maybe they are such devoted and intolerant vegans that they have cut off all non-conforming friends, co-workers and relatives, in which case the reception was ethical, even if they are not. Or, it dawns on me, perhaps I have missed some cultural shift in which couples regard the wedding reception as an opportunity to impose their tastes and preferences on everyone else, and nobody thinks the worse of them.

________________________

Facts: Washington Post

Graphic: Meat Free Every Day

383 thoughts on “The Vegetarian Reception: Carolyn Hax Strikes Out

  1. Pingback: Please Comment On Ethics Alarm Blog! « realmanure

  2. Shaking our finger at someone doesn’t help them change. If anything, our perception of someone’s guilt only keeps them stuck in it. When we are shaking a finger at someone, figuratively or literally, we are not more apt to correct their wrongful behavior. Treating someone with compassion and forgiveness is much more likely to elicit a healed response. People are less likely to be defensive, and more likely to be open to correction. Most of us are aware on some level when we’re off. We’d be doing things differently if we knew how. We don’t need attack at this point; we need help. Forgiveness forges a new context, one in which someone can more easily change.”

    “Forgiveness is the choice to see people as they are now. When we are angry at people, we are angry because of something they said or did before this moment. But what people said or did is not who they are. Relationships are reborn as we let go perceptions of our brother’s past. ‘By bringing the past into the present, we create a future just like the past.’ By letting the past go, we make room for miracles.”

    Excerpts by Marianne Williamson

      • This weekend, I am invited to a hamburger loving individual’s house. I do not eat beef, pork or lamb. I eat minute amounts of chicken and turkey. I have been a vegetarian for years and some years of my life I have not.

        I am responsible for taking care of my personal needs. I made a personal decision to attend the event. The host just lost his wife, and he is part of a group of people working on life transitions. Instead of asking for what I need at the meeting (no beef at the barbeque), I decided to remain quiet. I will eat the hamburger, thank the host for his hospitality, and bring along some salad, too. The gift of friendship and solace is more important to me when I show up – and not the ETHICS of why the host did not OFFER veggie food “for those of us who prefer it.” There is no obligation in my book for a host to serve me any particular food. I come from the school of eat what you have on your plate, be grateful. And further trained by sesshin sit ins to eat gruel for 10 days at a time. You should see what gruel does to educate your heart! It is not what is served, be thankful for the food you have been offered. It was the hard work of many that brought the food to the table: the seed planter, the grower, the harvester, the truck driver who drove it across the land, the preparer, the person who carried it home from the market and paid for it. Without Father Sun, wind, sky, rain, and earth – we have nothing. Our life can be taken from us in a minute. Be thankful for this day, and what is given to us. And yes, this is relevant TO ME. Amen.

        • A general invite is not a captivating event. That said, when you’re invited somewhere and you don’t eat specific foods, it is perfectly alright to ask about the menu. If it doesn’t meet what you’re willing to eat, you can choose to not go, or since this is a barbeque, you can ask if you bring something to add to the grill. A polite suggestion could also work, but you actually have to be polite, and make sure it’s not a demand.

          Since you aren’t doing any of the above, an ethical discussion about the hosts choice to serve meat dishes would go like this “You: Why aren’t you serving vegetarian? Them: Because this is a barbeque.” What they’ll be thinking is “What an asshole.”

          If you’re unwilling or unable to eat gruel, you’re not a good person. Got it.

          Why are you sharing things that are only relevant to you? Maybe I should use this thread to give med credo on life, family relationships, and Yellowstone National Park.

          It seems to me that you can’t stand someone not liking your opinions. That might be something to work on.

  3. All of the above is completely irrelevant to the original post. If you truly held yourself to as high a standard spiritually as you are making out to be, your ego will have allowed you to walk away from this train wreck that you have created long ago. ”Be thankful for the food you have been offered” In saying this you have contradicted yourself, as you have said above ”shaking a finger at someone doesn\’t help them to change”. You Just Don’t Get It……at all.

  4. I have been away for a few days and thought I would check out what I missed before going to bed and chose this one as the comment count so high, I expected this one would be interesting, epic by the count. I now feel like I do after eating too much junk food.

    tgt I think you deserve an award, I may not agree with you much but your patience and perseverance was admirable. Well done.

      • I’ll second, do we get to take an official vote now?

        Seriously tgt, I commend you for taking the time to read everything she wrote, and while I doubt she will see it as a compliment, i think it’s admirable that you took the time and energy.

        • All of you are taking the time to read what I write. Marvelous, we are having some fun here…an energetic discussion. Psst – tell Jack, that I think tgt is a cool person. You, too, Brian, even though you all are a team trying hard to dismantle my view. LOL

          • Sounds like you just admitted to being a troll.

            Also, we are not on a team. We all have independently come to our views. Sometimes we aggree. Sometimes we don’t.

            Also, what we are doing is pointing out invalid logic and unethical thinking. Those just happen to be “parts of your view”… and that explains why views shouldn’t be free from vigorous criticism.

            • tgt, I feel differently about who I am. You state I sound like a troll. I am new to WordPress from March 2012. I do believe in my first amendment rights, and I know you do, too…or you would not be energetically discussing the vegan wedding issue here on Ethic Alarms. It is okay to criticize my view without calling me names. How do you feel about that, tgt? How do you feel about debating with me without calling me names? That is an issue for me.

              It appears to me, and I am not against you – you might be healing something within me about society. (note my blog is about self realization verses the teaching of culture). I am working fervently with my emotional intelligence here as we debate. I feel like lashing out. I feel my anger but am cognizant of not acting upon it when people call me names. I am cognizant of the ignorance of the media, and culture at large for the need to take people down, demean them, find a way to devalue who they are. How about you tgt? How do you feel when you are called names? What does it feel like for you in a debate when someone purposely calls you a name to make yourself more – let me say – on top of the heap? Do you understand where I am going here. The discussion was about the couple serving vegan food.

              We talk about ethics. What are the ethics of real communication – real interdependent relationship in YOUR VIEW, which I respect.

  5. Steve, nice to meet you here: It is clear that exercising power with love requires a great deal of work, but what is this about is the risk involved? The problem is that the more loving one is, the more humble one is; yet the more humble one is, the more one is awed by the potential for arrogance in exercising power. Who am I to influence the course of human events? By what authority am I entitled to decide what is best for the human race?

    Who gives me the right to dare to believe in my own understanding and then to presume to exact my will upon the world? Who am I to play God for the community? When we risk to exercise our power, we are attempting to influence the course of the world, of humanity, and we play God. Most parents, teachers, leaders who exercise power have no cognizance of this.

    In the arrogance of exercising power without the total SELF AWARENESS demanded by LOVE, we are destructively ignorant of the fact that we are trying to play God – power over other’s decisions.

    We must be careful.

    Love compels us to play God with full consciousness, and if you do not believe in God, I accept that, too. I accept you as you are.

    Only out of humility of love can humans dare to be God.

    • livvy1234
      “Steve, nice to meet you here: It is clear that exercising power with love requires a great deal of work, but what is this about is the risk involved? The problem is that the more loving one is, the more humble one is; yet the more humble one is, the more one is awed by the potential for arrogance in exercising power. ”

      This is meaningless garbage dressed up to be dressed up meaningless garbage.

      “Who am I to influence the course of human events? By what authority am I entitled to decide what is best for the human race? Who gives me the right to dare to believe in my own understanding and then to presume to exact my will upon the world? Who am I to play God for the community? When we risk to exercise our power, we are attempting to influence the course of the world, of humanity, and we play God. Most parents, teachers, leaders who exercise power have no cognizance of this. ”

      It is everyone’s civic duty to hold their community to the highest standards. To follow your logic is anarchy. It is your duty to take a stand to influence society, I think you are trying but the basis of your argument is not germane to this forum. I have gone rounds with tgt and Jack on some issues that I normally would agree with them on based on other standards but are on opposite sides as to the specific ethics of the issues and separating other standards can be difficult.

      “In the arrogance of exercising power without the total SELF AWARENESS demanded by LOVE, we are destructively ignorant of the fact that we are trying to play God – power over other’s decisions. We must be careful. Love compels us to play God with full consciousness, and if you do not believe in God, I accept that, too. I accept you as you are. Only out of humility of love can humans dare to be God.”

      More garbage.

      Acceptance of unethical behavior breeds more unethical behavior. This attitude of live and let live is a fine premise if you ignore reality. Society has a duty to define acceptable behavior and to allow individuals to live as they chose, the point where they should meet is where individual behavior has an impact on others. The standards utilized to determine what is acceptable are those held by the majority of the society. Those standards can be categorized in many ways; here on Jacks blog it is ethics. He has some great resources and rules on his site; I have benefited from many of them and am still learning to apply several others, you may want to peruse them.

      • I accept your view. The issue is, do you accept mine? Do you accept my view that I find it acceptable for a host and hostess to serve what they choose at a wedding. Living in the land of duty, missionary sex position, shoulds and should nots, do’s and don’ts, have and have not is not good for the soul, in my view. Let us explore how we can change the world collectively by accepting one another for who we are as we are. That is more important to me! I fed up with war over the last couple of thousand of years! Yes, this blog is wonderful. And when someone came on here, with a different view, people are running around like chickens scratching up the dirt to tell me my point has no validity. Live and let live.

        I do not espouse not eating meat or eating meat. I make a decision based on my own needs – not what I THINK SOCIETY SHOULD BE AND DO. Bah!

        How do we UNDERSTAND OUR MOMENT IN HISTORY?

        I want to know you, what you feel, not what you memorized as right and wrong. I want to know you, what you believe, not what you paid some teacher or university to tell you to believe. Do you understand me? We are inquiring here together, interdependent upon one another. What if the greatest gift we could give was to give this young couple the freedom to choose? Why must we bury them in cultural expectations. Perhaps they were abused children, or faced many horrific issues – can you be sure they did not – and perhaps they are ignorant – we don’t really know. So how can we sit here, like gods, judging their actions. Who are we? What substance are we made of? Forgive others for what they do not know. Don’t make fun of people, call them names, malign them. I am not stating you did this. I am talking in general here. Please understand that. We are inquiring together to collectively transform the world – not box people in a should or should not box. People die that way. They cannot remember their freshness, who they are. Remember those teachers that tell you to color in the lines? You destroy the creativity of the child, and what you land up with is a herd of sheep culture.

        • Do you accept my view that I find it acceptable for a host and hostess to serve what they choose at a wedding.

          We all accept that you have that view. We think you’re wrong.

          Living in the land of duty, missionary sex position, shoulds and should nots, do’s and don’ts, have and have not is not good for the soul, in my view.

          And off we go…

          Let us explore how we can change the world collectively by accepting one another for who we are as we are.

          Let us explore how we can generate heat by staring at a stick. Ready, set, Go!

          That is more important to me! I fed up with war over the last couple of thousand of years!

          So…it’s important to you that we change the world? If so, you should probably try something that works. If it’s important to you that we change the world by accepting one another for who we are, that’s… um… weird.

          Yes, this blog is wonderful. And when someone came on here, with a different view, people are running around like chickens scratching up the dirt to tell me my point has no validity. Live and let live.

          What? When someone came on an ethics blog and professed unethical philosophy, we appropriately responded. When someone’s point has no validity, it has no validity. We’ve been over this. I can say “The sun is, like, yellow man. That’s why it’s wrong to bring pocket knives on airplanes.” And if I did, I would be appropriately skewered.

          Live and let live means don’t interphere in the lives of people when they aren’t causing harm. You (and the couple) are violating it. We, pointing out the problems, are not.

          I do not espouse not eating meat or eating meat. I make a decision based on my own needs – not what I THINK SOCIETY SHOULD BE AND DO. Bah!

          Liar, liar, pants on fire. You absolutely have espoused not eating meat in this thread.

          How do we UNDERSTAND OUR MOMENT IN HISTORY?

          Now you’re justing fucking with me.

          I want to know you, what you feel, not what you memorized as right and wrong.

          So…what we’re already doing? 1 point for me.

          I want to know you, what you believe, not what you paid some teacher or university to tell you to believe.

          Oooh. 2 points for me!

          Do you understand me?

          Yes, I understand, but I don’t understand why. I can’t give myself credit here.

          We are inquiring here together, interdependent upon one another.

          Except for your misuse of interdependent and the fact that you aren’t inquiring.

          What if the greatest gift we could give was to give this young couple the freedom to choose?

          “Yes, son, I know I’m fabulously wealthy and you never could have expected your house, your bank, and your offsite records would be destroyed by simultaneous meteor strike, tornado, and arson, but instead of helping you get back on your feet, and, maybe, use a telephone, I’m going to give you the gift of the freedom to choose.”

          It’s the the greatest gift we could give them, they do have the ability to choose, and it’s irrelevant.

          Why must we bury them in cultural expectations[?]

          Why must we point out when people violate the social contract? Other than to keep civilization existing and the benefits of civilization, I can’t think of one good reason.

          Perhaps they were abused children, or faced many horrific issues – can you be sure they did not – and perhaps they are ignorant – we don’t really know.

          More rationalizations. In determining if an action is ethical or not, it doesn’t matter what happened to them. Their history goes into what the response should be. Nothing more.

          So how can we sit here, like gods, judging their actions. Who are we? What substance are we made of? Forgive others for what they do not know.

          Forgiveness only occurs when someone has done wrong. So, we can know they’ve done something wrong, we just can’t note that they’ve done something wrong? How stupid.

          We’re also not sitting like Gods. We’re not commanding behavior. We’re not punishing the wicked with eternal damnation. We’re saying: “We don’t like this. It causes pain. Here’s how you can avoid causing pain”.

          Don’t make fun of people, call them names, malign them. I am not stating you did this. I am talking in general here.

          Hey guys! Don’t murder people. I’m not claiming you murdered people. I’m bring it up, because, um… I think you’d be liable to murder people.

          Please understand that. We are inquiring together to collectively transform the world – not box people in a should or should not box.

          No, we’re not. We might want to transform the world for good, but pointing out inappropriate behavior isn’t something we want to get rid of.

          People die that way. They cannot remember their freshness, who they are. Remember those teachers that tell you to color in the lines? You destroy the creativity of the child, and what you land up with is a herd of sheep culture.

          One, there’s no force being applied here. Two, people don’t die from doing what is right. Creativity has nothing to do with unethical behavior. Do you know what paradise is? People who are free to do anything, but do what is right because it is right. You would say that’s a destroyed group of sheep.

          • Like you, tgt, I am here on earth trying to figure things out. I do not condemn others for eating meat. I have openly stated I eat minute amounts of chicken. I am struggling with violence upon animals, upon people, war, suffering, demeaning others, gossip, slander, ethics, values. I am struggling with all of it. We are inquiring here together…caught in the same web of culture. We are caught in the web of culture trying to live our lives with value. I certainly appreciate your willingness and consideration to debate.

  6. In this day and age, its pretty common to invite people of different religions to your event. As a Jewish guy, I have attended a lot of church weddings, funerals, baptisms and confirmations in multiple Christian denominations, and I invited Christian friends to my Jewish wedding. It would never occur to me not to have a rabbi preside, read some Hebrew prayers, or stomp on a glass because Jewish ritual would make some attendees uncomfortable…those are the people who shouldn’t attend. It would never occur to me to criticize someone for requiring me to sit through Mass in order to share a family event.

    The moral issues involved in a vegetarian wedding reception are indistinguishable. In fact, they are also indistinguishable from those involved in a mere dinner invitation. If I accepted an invitation to have dinner with this couple at their home, I would expect to eat a vegetarian meal….or I wouldn’t go. It seems to me, Jack, you have some unexamined assumptions influencing your outcome here, that a wedding is somehow a public event or that dietary preferences are less important than religious ones.

    • They are less important, and the wedding itself is not the dinner or reception. One is a a ceremony centered on the couple that guests are being asked to watch and witness. The other is a celebration and party where the host has an obligation to make a reasonable effort to allow the guests have a good time. If the couple have dietary preferences, they can eat what they choose. Making your guests eat what you would choose to eat without concern for them is not hospitable. And, I may add, obviously. “The moral issues involved in a vegetarian wedding reception are indistinguishable”? Nonsense. They are completely different.

    • Yes,and religion isn’t always a faith. It’s really anything one does religiously. For some vegetarianism is a religion. They believe in it and adhere to it just as strongly as a Jew,Christian or Muslim does to their religion.

      • Karla, I know quite a few people who adhere to vegetarianism like a religion. Some people are highly sensitive to the killing of sentient beings. People have different emotional energy. Some people are much more highly attuned to violence.

  7. Karla,

    This is way out of context, but, the first page of comments hates me now:

    Original comment:
    https://ethicsalarms.com/2012/08/28/the-vegetarian-reception-carolyn-hax-strikes-out/comment-page-1/#comment-47590

    “Forgiving others does not mean we should claim that bad conduct is not bad conduct. Your suggestion is a path to the bottom. “All that is needed for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing.”

    Don’t you think you’re overstating it just a bit? This is not a case of evil verses good.

    It is a case of good ethics vs bad ethics. That it’s not the worst thing in the world is irrelevant in determining if it was good or bad. Would I want horrible punishment rained down on this couple? No, but that’s completely separate from the ethical determination.

    Also, my comments were directed directly towards Livvy’s use of her philsopohpy as rationalization. Her philosophy didn’t say, “don’t judge people until they’re at least ‘this’ evil”. That would be wrong as well, but for slightly different reasons.

    • “Don’t you think you’re overstating it just a bit? This is not a case of evil verses good.

      It is a case of good ethics vs bad ethics. That it’s not the worst thing in the world is irrelevant in determining if it was good or bad. ”
      You mean a nip it in the bud sort of thing to avoid things getting worse?

  8. FYI: This link, to a Martha Stewart site, was placed on Livvy’s own blog by a helpful commenter. The advice on the issue under discussion is remarkably straightforward. Quote: “Whether you avoid animal products, alcohol, carbs, or anything else, your wedding is not the time to try to convert people to your way of living…The trick is to be true to your beliefs without making guests feel deprived…”

    What a concept.

  9. Only 340 comments? We’ll I’ll leave one and maybe I can get flamed 9 times.

    I’m on the fence. For me, how this preference is executed makes all the difference.

    1) Who’s footing the bill? If the parents, then the reception is their party to host. There’s no food at the ceremony (traditionally), only the reception. In this situation, as articulated above, it sounds like the parents are footing the bill, so I think this situation is over right here.

    2) Let’s assume that the Bride and Groom are hosting (footing the bill), and they host a “Vegan Wedding”. I’m fine with that under the following conditions:
    a) full disclosure up front
    b) really stress the optional nature of attending
    c) have the ceremony and reception in different locations and provide restaurant ideas for those that would like to eat “en route” to the reception.
    d) give people the option to attend the ceremony and not the reception.

    The key to all of this is that the Bride and Groom need to remember that their wedding can be anything they want it to be as long as they are willing to make sacrifices to size, location, expense. However, if they’re trying to have it both ways (i.e. big traditional wedding) then they are boorish to impose this dietary quirk.

    • Tim, this souds doable to me. Kind of balanced. The couple wants to make a statement. If the parents are paying, then the parents have some say so. If you want to make a statement at your wedding, I personally feel it is okay, but then perhaps you need to make a statement on your own dime. Kabbish? As a guest, I would go no matter what. The food does not make or break my personal commitment to my own personal value system. Nice to have you on board. We need more people here, that are not on the group team – you know – blog friends, or friends in business defending one another because there is dollar value involved – or trying to attain favors of the blog host, Jack Marshall. We need more comments from folks that are not usually involved with this blog. Perhaps you are. I am making some assumptions here that you are not. I think the more the merrier! Let’s bring it on! Yay!

      • “We need more people here, that are not on the group team – you know – blog friends, or friends in business defending one another because there is dollar value involved – or trying to attain favors of the blog host”

        Translation “I need to recruit others to join my team and defend my mindless drivel because my ego can’t take this anymore” . You are the most ridiculous fool to have ever made yourself ridiculous in the history of all ridiculous fools.

        BTW – I am a newcomer here, with nothing to gain, monetary or otherwise, doesn’t make you any less of a fool.

        • jcyt, lighten up. This is a debate based on fellowship, camraderie…not a do or die issue. Why are you commenting…to call me a name, shred me, bring me down, demean me here? For what purpose. I have no purpose but to invite bloggers. What is blogging about for you jcyt. I need to understand your perspective on blogging? Why do you need to call me a fool? For what reason do you do this jcyt? Why are people feeling the necessity to call others fools, morons, idiots, all this name calling goes on in the media, too. Why?

          • I, not being the one who is seemingly consumed with spending vasts amounts of time filling this blog space with foolish nonsense, am obviously not the one here who needs to lighten up. I never called this issue “do or die” , far from it. Everything that you said in between, again, mindless drivel. I apologize if the word fool offends you. I call them like I see them.

            • “I have no purpose but to invite bloggers” Great, why then, did you say “not on the group team – you know – blog friends, or friends in business defending one another because there is dollar value involved – or trying to attain favors of the blog host” Sounds to me like you have a deeper purpose here, one that attempts demean not only the host, but those who comment on his thread. Another contradiction for you. Can you see through that cloud of hypocritical self-righteousness you reside in?

              • Jcyt, absolutely. I am a hypocrite. I don’t like this inherent part of my nature. Do you like it within you? There are ethics, but we as humans have our feet planted in the earth, and we must be careful what we embrace to be ethical. Thank you for pointing out what I wanted you to from my post. Sending light and love.

              • Yes, I am self righteous. I am human, just like everyone else. I hate that part of me…the shadow…the place I want to hide from everyone…the masks I wear to “look good” to the world. I keep having to face my shadow. How are you working with this? When you called my words drivel? How did it make you feel ethically? Thank you for sharing.

                • “I keep having to face my shadow”. Study ethics and what it is about, not to understand others and their actions, but to understand yourself. and your actions. You keep running circles around the truth with your illogical thoughts and ideas. You are no closer to learning the truth in doing this, not about others and not about yourself.

                  • Oh my. I will use caps here to further relate my view:

                    1. ALL SORTS OF PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUNDS, WHICH DO NOT INCLUDE ETHICAL TRAINING, MIGHT FIND THIS BLOG ON WORDPRESS.

                    2. I DO NOT HAVE ANY PARTICULAR ETHICAL TRAINING OTHER THAN 12 YEARS IN ZEN WITH PRIESTS. THAT IS ALL I HAVE. QUITE ORDINARY ACCORDING TO MY BELIEFS.

                    3. I AM TRAINED IN ACCEPTING OTHERS VIEWS – IT IS A HEART TRAINING NOT CEREBRAL. I OFFER MY HEARTFELT VIEWS WHICH MIGHT BE DIFFERENT THAN THOSE HERE.

                    4. WHEN I OFFERED MY VIEW: ( HOST AND HOSTESS CAN SERVE WHAT THEY LIKE – I FIND IT ETHICALLY OKAY) I FEEL THAT I HAVE BEEN DEMEANED REPEATEDLY, MADE FUN OF, BY A GROUP HERE.

                    5. I AM REASONABLE. I OPENLY GAVE MY NAME, OTHERS HIDE THEIRS AND I ACCEPT THEIR NEED TO HIDE THEIR NAME. MY LIFE’S WORK IS THE STUDY OF CULTURE VS SELF REALIZATION. THAT IS WHY I AM HERE.

                    6. I AM STUDYING THE MANNER OF DEBATE, THE SMALL BOX THE DEBATE APPEARS TO BE FOR ME, AND TRYING TO RELATE FROM A DIFFERENT ANGLE (HEART BASED ETHICS) OF ZEN TRAINING. REPEATEDLY I HAVE TOLD PEOPLE I ACCEPT THEIR VIEW. ALL THEY HAVE TO SAY BACK IS I DISAGREE WITH YOUR VIEW BUT ACCEPT YOUR VIEW AS YOUR VIEW.

                    7. IN SUMMARY, THIS IS WHY THE WORLD IS AT WAR FOR CENTURIES. WE CANNOT SEEM TO ACCEPT ONE ANOTHER AND NEED TO MAKE OUR OWN VIEW SOMEONE ELSE’S VIEW. THROW MY VIEW IN THE GARBAGE. BUT WHEN YOU ACKNOWLEDGE MY VIEW YOU VALIDATE MY HUMANITY. THAT’S ALL FOLKS.

                    • More, off topic, mindless drivel, only this time in large caps, as if using this function on your keyboard to make your words “louder” will make them any less ridiculous. I accept your view, consider your humanity validated, or something.

                    • Jcyt, why are you so angry? What is making you mad about my posts? Do you want to swat me off the page? Did I not warn the reader I would post in caps? Did I offend you in some manner? One of the things I have learned about myself and others is that oftentimes, we all have lots of resentments that have built up over the years. A lot of what we feel is unconscious, and something in the present moment can trigger old resentful feelings, hurt, anger, sadness.

      • As it happens, I’m here regularly. Haven’t found much to comment on lately though. I initially skipped over this post because it said “vegetarian” in the title. That’s how much I hate vegetables. But when Jack highlighted the lively discussion earlier in another post, I had to come see what all the hub-bub was about.

        I only read a handful of comments, so I’m not keen on where all the craziness came from, but I think you’ve found that tgt is quite the passionate commenter. The key is to stay on topic and avoid tangents and bad logic as much as possible. A couple of threads with him will do wonders for your critical thinking and debate skills.

        • TGT is a very nice person! So are you to take the time to comment kindly to me. Thank you. I appreciate the time and effort tgt has put into this. Regards, Jane

  10. Livvy, there are some animals outside RIGHT NOW in terrible danger. They are being torn apart limb from limb while alive, by other animals.
    Are you just going to bang away at a keyboard while they scream in pain, with no one to rescue them? You could at least hold them before they die. They’d appreciate it.
    If that sounds more daunting than actually having a kind of morality that works and makes sense…well you could at least catch a few snakes, keep them in a cage (no, better make that a spacious preserve), and train them to eat vegan. Then at least you would have saved the lives of many mice and frogs. (Your morality still wouldn’t work or make sense, but you could at least feel better about yourself, right? Come on, there’s a holocaust going on in your backyard!

    • Isaac, I love dogs more than you can ever imagine. I value all sentient beings. I “chose” to advocate for shelter dogs of North Carolina. When I moved here the NC Dept of Agriculture had no rules in place for animal shelters. Most animals were gassed in upwards of 40 year old cinderblock chambers with broken seals. Through the hard work and effort of animal advocates, we have made it possible for the rules for animal sheltering to be written. We are still a work in progress here.

      By the way, North Carolina is second in pork production. We slaughter 11 million hogs a year for makin bacon! And many more chickens, etc. Bet you get some bacon from our state, we are second to Iowa in makin’ bacon! Bladen County kills 30,000 hogs a day! Whewie! I accept it.

      Isaac, I also save insects and worms when they struggle in the hot sun. HA HA HA…isn’t she a weirdo…tell your friends! If you like meat, good for you. I respect your view, Isaac. My wish to save shelter animals is very personal to me. The Dept of Public Health and Safety even took me to the dumpsters behind the shelter – so I could see the body bags of what ETHICAL INDIVIDUALS do to dogs! I think we kill about 300,000 still per year here in North Carolina. It is called ethical living…you know…looks good on the outside to others. But they do this in all states. Yours, too.

  11. i really wanted to enter this discussion but lacked the time. and then it got so off topic that it was no longer pertinent to the original post. perhaps we’ll have the opportunity to debate a similar subject soon.

    • Gregory, nice to meet you here. Yes, the topic went off into other directions, as topics often do when people gather together. So does the human mind do this all day long…it makes no sense. One minute we want ice cream and the next minute we want something else or need to do something else. Have you ever thought about why the human mind makes no sense? Anyway, we moved from the topic of the couple to relationships, I think…how do we collectively transform the world ethically, and with an educated heart/mind?

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