Do you have questions about being vegan? Send them
to Jo using this easy form.
She would be happy to address your individual concerns
as well as general inquiries about vegan ethics, philosophy,
practical applications, and living compassionately.
Jo cannot respond to questions about nutrition or
answer questions that have already been addressed in
Jo will make every attempt to answer each question
personally, however, due to her schedule, this may not
be possible. If a reply is forthcoming, it could take
up to a few weeks, so please be patient. It is also
possible that your question will be answered directly
in the "Ask Jo!" column rather than an individual
If you'd like to view previous questions Jo has
answered, visit the Ask Jo! Archives.
Who's Coming to Dinner!
is a polite way to tell a host my dietary preferences
upon accepting a dinner invitation?
It is always thoughtful and courteous
to tell the host your dietary requirements as soon as
possible after an invitation has been extended. Few
things are as disconcerting or embarrassing at a dinner
party (for both the guest and the host) than for a guest
to find nothing suitable to eat.
There's no shortcut to disclosing the fact that you're
vegan. Be honest but tactful in your approach. Explain
briefly what being vegan means in terms of your diet.
Let your host know what specific items are and are not
acceptable. Remember, this may be the host's first encounter
with such an "unconventional" way of eating, so she or
he may be puzzled as to what to prepare for you.
Reach out to your host as much as possible. Mention some
familiar vegan foods the host might want to prepare (such
as hummus with pita bread; pasta salad with vinaigrette
dressing; breadcrumb-stuffed mushrooms, etc.). Offer to
supply some simple vegan recipes for the event (as an
adjunct to the nonvegan foods that will be served, not
as a replacement), or suggest preparing a dish to bring
with you when you come. Ask what type of dish would be
preferable (appetizer, entrée, dessert, etc.).
Some hosts are offended by guests bringing a dish to their
event, feeling that this could imply they are incompetent.
Try to be sensitive to this issue, and do what you can
to find a comfortable solution for both you and your host.
Most hosts are delighted to be as accommodating as possible
once they clearly understand what to buy or cook for a
vegan. If your host doesn't want to cook something special
and seems uneasy with the idea of you making a supplemental
dish, recommend a few brand-name vegan products or locally
prepared vegan foods and let the host know which nearby
stores carry them.
If, even after speaking with the host, you are concerned
you'll leave the party hungry, eat a light meal before
you go. Don't fill up too much, though. In case your host
pleasantly surprises you with lots of vegan goodies, you'll
want to be sure you still have plenty of appetite left
to show your enthusiastic appreciation!
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