Saturday, October 18, 2014

Diet and Courtesy

They say that a way to avoid the possibility of arguing amongst a group of people is not to discuss religion or politics. I'd tend to agree with that statement. However, I would add one more topic to the mix and that is diet, or more specifically, what type of diet someone embraces. What I'm referring to here are diets like vegetarianism, veganism, paleo, raw,etc, etc. Online you can see some of the nastiest and most hostile exchanges when people get into it over the worthiness of one diet over another.
The idea for the following article came about after to talking to someone who had been planning a large gathering of people for a dinner party. This person told me she was surprised by the number of calls she got from invitees who informed her of their particular dietary needs, or better put, restrictions. This one didn't eat this, that one only ate that, and so on. My friend, being the plain spoken type, said she informed the callers that they might considering bringing their own food because they weren't coming to the K and W (as in cafeteria).
This all got me to thinking of something Cerutty wrote in one of books, and as it is with most of what he wrote, it's as relevant today as it was when it was first written.
Consider the following:
" I do not believe our lives need be made miserable by isolating ourselves too much from the customs of our country, even in the matter of food. What is called for is some intelligent discrimination. There is never any need to offend the susceptibilities of a kind host by not accepting, and consuming, some item of diet that ordinarily we would not consume.
Nature can make amends for almost any or all indiscretions as long as such indiscretions are not habitual. Also, it is not proper to vaunt one's peculiarities publicly, nor are we called upon to proselytize our neighbor. If we are asked why we do certain things, a serious inquiry justifies a serious reply. Otherwise it is for the teacher, and lecturer, to advance public ideas on these matters of food and conduct. The athlete will be too busy developing themselves to worry overmuch about the habits and conduct of his contemporaries."

Well said!

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