Picture the scene: you receive an unexpected mail stating you’re no longer welcomed at a close friend’s wedding but not because you missed out on confirming your presence, it’s due to your eating habits. This peculiar event became reality for a multitude of guests who were due to attend a wedding fully dedicated to a vegan lifestyle. There’s a recent buzz on an online forum – Reddit, about a young bride, just 20, who used a social media platform, Facebook, to share an interesting story of disinviting every non-vegetarian guest to her much-awaited day. Her post reflects her strong sentiment; ‘Experiencing guilt-trip from ‘family’, struggling to accept your 100% vegan wedding since they are omnivores.’
She further expanded on her decision by sharing, ‘To give everyone a better understanding, a handful of my relatives are no longer invited to my wedding because we can’t bear the thought of entertaining people whose actions contradict our values on a very special day that is meant to be filled with happiness.’ The bride then claimed that, ‘These people have repeatedly criticized my partner and I for our vegan choices. Upon revealing the news of the uninvitation, we were met with harsh reactions since we didn’t want to compromise our beliefs by inviting those who continue to harm animals, the very creatures we want to protect, to our wedding.’
The bride wasn’t willing for the guests to go vegan just for the day either. If they wanted to be a part of her big day, they had to commit to excluding all animal products from their lives indefinitely. ‘I won’t find it comfortable knowing they resumed meat-eating the following day’, she argued. The idea that people may label her ‘rude’ or ‘stubborn’ for refusing to compromise on her values didn’t deter her from standing firm on her stance. As expected, her post attracted ample attention sparking thousands of comments.
One of the comments threw a significant query at her, ‘Rather than leveraging this opportunity to demonstrate how delicious and fulfilling vegan meals can be, without forcing it onto anyone, you choose to use emotional manipulation over your entire family by holding the wedding invitations at ransom.’ A vegan commenter also shared his thoughts stating, ‘It’s possible to honour your wedding while staying true to your lifestyle. Imposing a ban on non-vegans is madness.’
Another commenter criticized the bride’s line of thinking stating, ‘Becoming a vegetarian or a vegan should be a voluntary choice, not an imposed one. The ones who transition because of coercion usually revert to meat-eating, realising the manipulated circumstances they were put in.’ One individual, however, went a step further to question the extent of her seemingly strict beliefs by asking, ‘Would she shop at a store frequented by meat-eaters? Can she visit a store that sells meat? Can she dine at a restaurant serving meat? It appears she’s willingly isolating herself from society, like a secretive cult, paving the path to distancing her from her family.’
There was a consensus amongst many that her approach may lead to her losing her close relations. One user stated, ‘There’s no way she will be able to maintain her friendships after making such a move.’ At the same time, some began to speculate about the number of attendees left to grace her ceremony. ‘I wonder how many vegans she’s acquainted with?!’ one user remarked.
A screen-grab of the post was reposted on Reddit, and one of the uninvited bridesmaids (who also happened to be the bride’s cousin) expressed her feelings. She disclosed that she, along with the other bridesmaids, were disallowed from attending the wedding because they weren’t vegans. ‘I wish we hadn’t received an invitation from the beginning, knowing it was going to be a vegan wedding,’ she remarked, adding that they had already bought all their dresses for the occasion. In a surprising revelation, she mentioned that even the bride’s mother was asked not to attend.