Restaurant Is Evil for Tricking Vegetarians Into Eating Meat

indian food samosaA group of 16 vegetarians in New Jersey filed a lawsuit against a local Indian restaurant for serving them meat-filled samosas even though they double-checked to be sure the appetizer pastries were vegetarian. They're suing for emotional and monetary damages (the New Jersey Appellate Court decided just this week to allow the suit to go forward), and you know what?

I hope they get every penny.


Here's why this particular case of a restaurant serving vegetarians meat is so egregious: The customers were devout Hindus and do not eat meat for religious reasons. In fact, some strict observers of the Hindu religion believe that meat consumption "affects the purity of the soul and that those who eat meat cannot be with God after death." Given that the only way they can be cleansed of this sin is through a purification ritual in India’s Ganges River -- a pilgrimage that can cost upwards of thousands of dollars per person -- the customers want the restaurant to foot the bill.

After all, the restaurant did make a serious error. Its employees not only assured them it didn't make the pastries with meat, they told the vegetarians there wasn't even meat-filled samosas on the menu! Not only that, but the tray of appetizers given to the group was labeled vegetarian. Why would they suspect it was anything but?

True, a lawsuit does seem like a heavy penalty for what seems to be an accident; but, when it comes to people's dietary restrictions, restaurants can't afford to be negligent. Consider what could happen if it mixed up an order for someone who was deathly allergic to meat (or another ingredient). If it takes a lawsuit to make restaurants more careful with people's requests, then so be it.

Do you think the restaurant should have to pay the vegetarians for serving them meat?


Image via jeffgunn/Flickr

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