Let’s start with an about me. I’m Gilbert, I’m 6’2”, caucasian, born in New York, of vaguely European descent and am entirely non denominational when it comes to religion. However, yesterday- I ordered a hindu meal on a plane. Why? Because I knew it would be delicious. Is that wrong?
Perhaps it was because I was flying on American Airlines (I’ll let you take that as you wish)- but the crew member who came around to ask for my meal seemed genuinely shocked. She glanced down at her meal spreadsheet, noticed I had a special “hindu” meal and looked at me as if it was the first sighting of big foot, on earth.
I am fortunate enough to have had many steaks on many planes- and they’re almost always better left on the ground. American’s menu for yesterday’s flight, even the veggie option- didn’t strike the right notes with me. Though I will say, I appreciated being able to select them 30 days in advance. When looking through the special meals, as a huge (die hard) fan of Indian food from both North and South, a curry sounded perfect. Tastebuds and sensitive smells are lost in flight, and curries consistently hold up as veteran choices on planes. Biryani’s too.
I respect and appreciate the rights for all religions and groups to practice freely. It’s crucial. However, I am not particularly religious. Is it wrong of me to select a meal purely on taste, and not on religious or ethnic necessity or tendency. Personally: I don’t think anyone is getting hurt here. The airline must provide special meals constantly, caterers (especially in London) are constantly prepared for this, so I see no victim. I am not intentionally mocking or subverting any religious cause by eating food, at least not intentionally. Plus, sometimes airlines offer curries, biryani’s or other ethnic food staples anyway, without ordering a special meal. Is this a moral conundrum?