You don’t choose, you lose

They’re planning a Christmas party at work, and one of my co-workers was bemoaning the fact that the price of food went up $500 because they added vegetarian foods to the selections.

Headdesk time, people.  Major headdesk.

Last time I heard, vegetarianism is a choice.  Of the several vegetarians I’ve known, not one has ever said, “I’m allergic to meat.”  Or: “Meat gives me horrible stomach ache, cramps, diarrhea, and constipation.”  Or: “Eating meat makes my hair fall out” or “my skin break out” or anything else along those lines.

If they give a reason, it’s usually that they choose not to eat meat because they don’t want to kill animals. Which is a fine choice.  I respect that.  But it is a CHOICE.

Did the price of party food increase because they added gluten-free options?

No.

Did I choose to develop gluten intolerance because I don’t want to kill wheat?

No.

Do I get to eat food at the Christmas party?

*crickets chirping*

We even have pork-free options for those who CHOOSE not to eat pork, usually for religious reasons.  That’s fine, too.  But for those of us who don’t choose, we lose.

I am prediabetic, too.  But that is different.  If I eat starchy carbs or sugar, I don’t get sick.  At least I don’t suffer any noticeable side effects.  My blood sugar may go up, and that can cause trouble if it keeps happening, but once in a while, it’s not going to kill me.  I won’t end up spending the next two days in the bathroom or putting a heating pad on my belly at night to ease the pain enough so I can sleep.

Sometimes I get huffy about all this and I tell people, “If I had it to do again, I wouldn’t choose lupus.  But it sounded so glamorous in the brochures!”  I could say the same about gluten intolerance.  It seemed like such a wonderful new thing to add to my already overwhelmingly wonderful life!  But a lot of people don’t speak sarcasm, so it falls flat.

So, no, I don’t think I’ll be going to the party.  I don’t care about getting drunk and I care even less about watching my co-workers get drunk.  I can’t eat anything but plain carrots and celery, so what’s the use?  Parties are supposed to be fun.   That doesn’t sound like fun to me, especially when I’m expected to pay for my own ticket to attend this shindig.  What am I paying for?

They spend extra money to buy vegetarian food so vegetarians can eat.  They spend extra money tearing up the sidewalks and putting in ramps so people in wheelchairs or strollers can come to school.  They spend extra money redoing the old bathrooms so they all have handicap access.  But they don’t spend extra money – or even think about redesigning the menu – to accommodate those with food intolerances.  I mean, it’s their choice if they don’t want to accommodate everyone.  And it’s my choice if I prefer not to be non-accommodated.

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