OP, a 30-year-old vegan, has been following a vegan lifestyle for six years but has never forced his beliefs on anyone, including his girlfriend and family who eat meat.
Recently, OP invited an old friend, who wanted to go to a BBQ restaurant, to dinner. OP suggested vegetarian and vegan restaurants, but the friend was unhappy with the idea and insisted on going to a meat-centric restaurant.
OP reluctantly agreed but told his friend he would not pay for his meal. During dinner, OP ordered sides, while his friend had a premium quality ribeye steak that cost 50 euros. At the end of the meal, OP refuses to pay for his friend’s meal, causing his friend to become angry and accuse OP of being a bad friend. The two have not spoken since.
OP is questioning whether they were in the wrong for refusing to pay for their friend’s meal.
It’s All About The Steak
Various, rightfully skeptical Redditors are questioning the real intentions of the friend’s response to the situation:
“I mean c’mon. That wasn’t a joke. He is just pretending not to understand because he wants to be a mooch and either split the bill or have OP buy them a steak. Hoping for a free steak honestly seems like their ulterior motive in suggesting a place like this rather than a vegetarian restaurant. They are not a friend.”
There was great support for this comment in the thread. They suggest that the OP’s friend did not believe they should split the bill fairly.
Steak restaurants are considered among the most expensive one can go to for a meal universally. Never mind that the restaurant didn’t serve meat; OP’s friend specifically brought OP to a steak restaurant to satisfy his needs.
It appears to be an apparent ploy, according to the commenter, that the friend was, in fact, no friend at all. They were deliberately trying to doop the OP out of their money to pay for their expensive meal.
In this Redditor’s eyes, it would be impossible for OP’s friend not to do this deliberately. They have taken advantage of them and should face repercussions.
Generally, when people go out for a meal, it is acceptable to split the bill if they have had effectively the same experience. Otherwise, there are some basic etiquette rules for dealing with alternative scenarios.
“Even if you hadn’t ethical reasons or other reasons not to eat meat, it’s essential, typical politeness – when splitting the bill – take dishes that are more or less equal in value.
If I get a € 7 pizza and a bottle of water, and another person gets € 35 and a Chardonnay, why the hell should I pay for their expensive lunch?”
This commenter notes that regardless of the ethical reason for choosing a particular restaurant, the essential requirement to pay the bill takes precedence.
They make an excellent comparison between two people at the same restaurant purchasing two entirely different options, drastically impacting the end bill. In this case, it cannot be expected that the person who bought substantially less valuable items to pay for half of this bill.
Therefore, this issue is really just basic manners, regardless of the restaurant they were in. Each should pay their proportional fair share of the meal.
He Was Warned
Before OP and their friend entered the BBQ restaurant, OP made their intentions clear.
You told him in advance. He doesn’t sound like much of a friend.”
This is a very important point. The discussion about the bill was made before the meal, where they agreed that OP would not be paying half. Therefore, the argument at the end of the meal was almost certainly pre-planned in order to ensure that the OP would feel uncomfortable and pay for half of their friend’s expensive meal. As they note, it does not sound like much of a friend at all.