One of my co-workers informed me that, not only is she a vegetarian, it is unacceptable for her if her veggie burgers are cooked on a grill that has cooked meat, or with utensils that have touched meat. How far do I need to go to accommodate these requests?
Vegans and vegetarians may differ in how strictly they adhere to their chosen restrictions. For example, lacto vegetarians eat non-meat animal products and honey, but no fish, chicken, meat or gelatin. Vegans avoid eggs, dairy products, honey, meat and gelatin. Scripture offers several vegetarian restrictions; Genesis 1:30 is one example. However, there are no proscriptions in Catholic teaching against eating meat, excepting times of abstinence in Lent.
You may consider having your vegetarian co-worker cook with you.
You may also consider ordering some food from a local vegetarian restaurant. Make sure when ordering that your co-worker’s dietary restrictions are met. Tell the restaurant your needs and they will steer you in the right direction.
Dr. Gelasia Marquez is a psychologist and family counselor.