Karen Straus, a native of Seattle Washington and a staunch vegan, attended a Rosh Hashanah dinner at the Weinberg family and was reported to have been even more annoying than anticipated. Sandra and Danny Weinberg, members of B’nei Jeshurun, a local Modern Orthodox synagogue in the Seattle area, had invited Karen to attend the first night dinner this past Wednesday. “I knew she was a vegan and had prepared numerous dishes that I thought would be okay. My friend David is friends with her and asked if he could bring a guest and I said it would be fine. I obviously had meat for the normal guests and that’s where it got a little strange.”
While Karen could not be reached for comment as she was attending a scheduled Yoga With Goats and Pottery retreat where cell phones are not permitted, other guests at the table that evening corroborated various comments. Steve Grossman, had this to say, “As soon as she started commenting on how much palm oil destroys forests and ‘I’m so glad only olive oil was used’ blah blah, I knew it was going to be a long evening. She started to rattle off about beef being wasteful and souls of all living things and I swear, I wanted to go outside, kill the dog and start eating it.”
Denise Blum, Karen’s friend for many years was a little more defensive about her long-time acquaintance’s behavior. “I know Karen can be a bit much, but the fact that she only brought up the vegan thing when someone asked if she wanted the brisket, and waited until that moment was a pretty big step for her.”
Other guests had no problem with Karen’s vegan choice and actually enjoyed it. Host Danny Weinberg thought the whole issue was hilarious (much to his wife Sandra’s dismay) and thoroughly enjoyed having Karen over. “Are you kidding me? It was great! I began questioning her how she could stand to listen to the shofar blown and what must have happened to that poor ram. I mean come on? How is that not hilarious? I was even doing it while chewing a mouth full of chicken. I knew what she was about as soon as she walked in the door. I’d never seen so many bracelets bought at an art fair in my life. Classic!”
Sandra and Danny, while differing on the night’s experience, both agreed that if Karen wanted to attend future meals, she would be more than welcome. Sandra even suggested an all vegan Shabbat lunch. Danny has no problem with the idea, as long as he has enough notice to make other meal plans.