This is just a bit of a vent/rant...I don't know whether anyone here is vegan, and I don't really want to ruffle any feathers, but it's one of the very few things (fundies being another) which really pushes my buttons.
I have a very dear cousin coming to visit next week. My cousins all live in England, my parents having been the only ones in the family to emigrate to the US, so I rarely see them, and she & her brother (who is also coming, and is not of the veggie persuasion) are the ones I have always been closest to.
She has been vegetarian since her teens, which, while I am happily omnivorous, I don't quite get, but can deal with. There are lots of things one can make for guests who do not eat meat. But I honestly see no point whatsoever in going vegan to the extent that if you are a guest in someone's home, you will be unable to eat anything containing butter, eggs, cream, cheese, etc, which are, frankly, staples in many types of cuisine.
I am a good cook, and do pride myself on being able to cater to preferences when we entertain or have house guests. I'm willing to go out of my way to provide her with a variety of choices she will be comfortable eating. But there are also many dishes I make, especially the more "special" ones, which will likely include some dairy ingredient or another, and we are likely to have at least a couple of dinners while they are here which will also include my parents, daughter and son-in-law. All of whom are also happy carnivores. My daughter & son in law in particular follow more of a paleo diet, which is pretty much diametrically opposite a vegan one.
She says she is "quite happy with simple food", and I can just give her a bowl of rice or something. Which just seems a horrible way to treat a guest. I don't have it in me to leave her out of a feast, but it just bugs me to feel as though I have to tweak all the recipes I've been making for years because they might include a bit of cheese, butter or cream.
I guess the crux of it is, much in the way I don't understand the religious mind, I don't get why someone would feel the need to be stubbornly vegan when a guest in someone's home. If it's for the ethics of it, I can understand not eating meat, but there are lots of readily available "free range" type dairy products out there which don't infringe on animal rights as far as I can tell. And if it's for health reasons, I don't see that the occasional taste of such products will have an appreciable impact. She's only been vegan for the past year in any case.
Wouldn't it stand to reason that a compromise of values would be fine? I can make things she will be comfortable with to the best of my ability, but she should not refuse to eat a dish with a hint of an animal product in it? Urgh. I don't want to make her mad, but this is something I just don't have patience for.