Over the holidays a friend of mine from high school visited Minnesota (where we both grew up) and I watched her cats while she and her husband were away. When she got back she brought me a few tasty treats from the homeland, including this cream of mushroom wild rice soup.
In case you weren't aware, wild rice is big in Minnesota, where it is the official state grain.
I wonder what the Maryland state grain is ...
Anyway, my friend was so thoughtful to bring me these gifts. At the time she brought them back, I was not yet vegan, so this particular conundrum might actually fall under the category of "non-vegan food I already own", which I discussed previously and believe I've come to terms with. But let's pretend my friend had actually brought me this soup last week either because she didn't know I was vegan or hadn't looked closely at the ingredients ... which include both milk powder and whey. Then what would I do?
If my friend had brought me back some authentic Minnesota t-bones (or whatever meat happens to be particularly Minnesotan ... I'm not really sure), I certainly wouldn't eat them. The friend who gifted the soup to me is vegetarian herself and I've been vegetarian so long people that about me and I doubt it would ever realistically be an issue.
But is it fair or reasonable to say that I would never eat a meat gift but would eat a vegetarian, non-vegan gift? In either scenario the animal suffering has already occurred and the food would simply go to waste otherwise. I could re-gift the item to someone else who would enjoy it. In fact, were I to be gifted with said t-bone or some other meat item, that's likely what I would do. And perhaps one day that would be my chosen course in a situation like I had with this soup. But I also feel torn because this was an item chosen for me in particular, and regifting it would seem ungrateful.
I suppose the longer I am vegan the less likely I will be to face this type of situation. And if it does arise again in the future, I will just have to take it on a case-by-case basis. For this case, however, my boyfriend and I enjoyed the soup for dinner Monday evening with some lovely sour dough bread. It was delicious and reminded me of home.
Has something like this ever happened to you? What did you do in that situation?