Your wedding is supposed to be the happiest day of your life. You’re queen for a day. It’s a celebration of your shared love and in many cases faith. And for one bride, that meant commanding all her guests permanently give up meat-eating or be banned.
One unidentified bride is going viral because of an unusual demand placed on her guests. As a devout vegan, she decided that not only would the menu be vegan but so too would the entire guest list. If her family and friends could not pledge to never eat meat and dairy again, their invitation to her wedding day was revoked. This led to the mother of the bride and two cousins who were bridesmaids to be barred from attendance. When her family pushed back, urging her to lift this rigorous restriction, the bride wrote to a Facebook group called Vegan Revolution.
From there, Reddit picked up the public post and her story spread like wildfire, probably because the bride called all her “omnivore” friends and family members “murderers.” And probably because this behavior feeds into the worst vegan stereotypes.
There are all kinds of vegans. There are those who choose a meatless and dairy-free diet for health reasons, those who do it for moral or environmental reasons. And because food is a big part of our culture—and for some—a key part to our personal politics, many vegans talk about this choice. Some even preach about it. And that preaching can turn personal quickly because some vegans see eating meat as murder. So, some omnivores respond with namecalling in kind. It’s a conversation that at best is punctuated by jibes and at worst devolves into insults. So, of course, this story is blowing up because it seems like the best example of those self-righteous vegan stereotypes while dovetailing deliciously into the “bridezilla” stereotype that plagues women. Sure, women are socialized our entire lives to believe our wedding day is to be the most perfect, happiest day in our lives. But if you’re bossy or unladylike in trying to achieve your dream wedding, well then you’re just a bitch in a big white dress.
In an edit to her original post, the bride defended herself by sharing some further details.
Something lost in the gleeful mockery of this young woman is that she felt her belief system was under ongoing attack from her family. So when she had something they wanted—an invite to her wedding—she used that as a tool to urge them to see her side. It was unconventional, foolhardy, and arguably rude. But there was more here than some self-righteous bitch demanding everyone play by her rules. At most, she hoped this might be a way to shift her family to a place of better respecting her and her values. At the very least, she wanted her wedding day to be peopled by those who support her instead of those who belittle her. This decision may seem dramatic, but that may be because we don’t know what led to this point. So, it was all too easy to lean into dehumanizing stereotypes to pile on to a young woman in a vulnerable moment.