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Should I Treat if They Eat Meat?
What should I do if I take meat-eating friends out to lunch and I offer to treat? I am really uncomfortable at the thought of paying for a meat meal, but I feel equally uncomfortable saying “Sorry, but I will not spend my money on increasing the suffering of animals.” If I would say something, my friends in all likelihood would feel embarrassed or annoyed and perhaps respond by saying, “Okay, I will buy my own lunch then.” I imagine it turning into a very awkward and difficult situation for me. Is there a graceful way to handle this?
A true gift is one that takes into consideration the needs and desires of the receiver, not what the giver prefers. If a gift cannot be given from the heart, with no strings attached, it isn’t really a gift after all--it is a way for the giver to gratify herself rather than the recipient.
When you take friends to lunch, they should be able to choose whatever they want from the menu. When such a proposition is made to meat-eaters, you know up front that there is a good chance they will order items that contain animal products. It is discourteous and inconsiderate to put restrictions on an offer to pay for a meal by stipulating which dishes are and aren’t acceptable when you are not the individual who will be eating them. If you are not at peace with paying for a meat-based meal for your friends, don’t extend such an offer in the first place.
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