Sometimes, you just gotta adapt. That’s the hard lesson learned by a restaurant in the UK which previously offered a strictly vegan menu, but has recently made the decision to offer meat on it’s menu in an effort to remain open.
You know that annoying friend who doesn’t know which restaurant she’s comfortable with, even after everyone else in the car has already suggested nearly every other restaurant in town at least twice, because she’d rather have something vegan to eat? Apparently there aren’t enough of her kind around to keep a restaurant like The Mango Tree in Taunton, Somerset open.
Which is ironic, considering just how vocal they are, which creates the illusion that there are a lot more of them than there really are. Kind of like the gay community, which has long insisted that they made up 10% of the population, which was a popular belief until recently, when the CDC determined that they actually make up less than 4%.
It seems like a vocal minority just didn’t have what it took to keep the restaurant open. And that’s a really important lesson to learn for companies considering going woke in an effort to placate the vocal few who demand representation at the expense of the product being offered. What is it that makes them so sure that the overly-vocal communities who are demanding disproportionate representation are present in great enough number to offset the base who would feel alienated with the offering?
One would get the idea that companies need to learn how to ignore those who, for all the noise they make, aren’t really interested in becoming their customers.
The Mango Tree learned the hard way that, as loud as they may have been, vegans aren’t present in great enough number to keep their restaurant above water. The solution that they came up with was what we see from the natural world: adapt to survive. However, we’ve learned something about The Mango Tree’s management, which has now alienated the few vegans whose attention they held. What has become evident is that veganism isn’t really their sincerely-held moral position.
If a person is sincere in a moral position, they must be willing to stand by it, regardless of the circumstances, whether positive or negative. There is no “well, just this once”, and there is no “the ends justify the means”. A Sabbatarian auto repair shop won’t be open on the Sabbath, and a Kosher deli won’t start serving pork, even if it means their businesses face shuttering, if their managers hold on to their integrity. I once knew of a Christian who believed in resting on Sundays (not a rare belief, considering his cultural frame of reference), but when his employer threatened his job because of his Sunday observance, he eventually caved, and decided to work on Sundays. He kept his job, but didn’t have anyone’s respect.
The Mango Tree decided to stop offering a strictly vegan menu. Maybe it’s because they’ve learned a few things about the world we live in, but it’s also possible that they viewed making more money as being of more importance than their indicated stance on veganism. In so doing, they’ve become a byword among the general community, and lost the respect of the few who were previously in agreement with them.
Whether they stand to profit from the change remains to be seen. They might actually benefit from the publicity that they’ve been getting, which is valuable considering how competitive the restaurant business is.
In any case, an omnivorous diet is one that humans are better adapted to, and is therefore a virtue that is difficult to deny. One thing that can be said for The Mango Tree is that they’ve managed to learn their lesson before it cost them too dearly.