Parent Scrutinized for Feeding Family Fake Meat Without Permission

Commenters criticized a parent after they revealed they served their family fake meat for dinner and pretended it was real.

The anonymous user, known as u/cheekylilbooger, posted about the incident in Reddit's popular "Am I The A**hole" forum where it received more than 11,000 upvotes and 5,500 comments. The post can be found here.

Plant-Based Meat Alternatives

According to research published by the International Food Information Council, nearly two in five adults consume plant-based meat alternatives each week.

The survey also found that nearly 30 percent of American adults tried plant-based meat alternatives for the first time in 2020.

Parent scrutinized for serving fake meat
A Reddit poster was criticized for feeding their family fake meat without their consent. "Your son and husband are being ridiculous but you should never mess with people's food," one commenter said. monkeybusinessimages/iStock

A recent survey conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota found that nearly one in five Americans actually preferred plant-based alternatives to animal meat.

With the rise in demand, there are numerous alternatives for animal meat including plant-based chicken, beef and pork options. Currently, the plant-based meat market is estimated to be worth upwards of $1.4 billion. ​​


In the post titled "AITA for serving fake meat and pretending it was real?" the Original Poster (OP) said their two daughters are vegetarian while their son and husband are not. The OP also described themselves as a "flexitarian," someone who enjoys meat and vegetarian options.

"My son and husband always turn up their noses at tofu or any other meat alternatives—they say it's just 'weird' that it's made to resemble real meat, so it's really the concept and not the taste," the post read. "There are no allergies. My family and I often make two versions of dinner–one meat, one real, and twice the amount of pots and pans."

Recently, their two daughters thought it would be fun to prank the OP's son and husband by making two pots of spaghetti sauce—both made with soy protein—and pretending one was vegetarian and one was real meat.

"The goal here was to see if their brother and father actually hated the meat and to see if we could maybe save some dishes and time (in the future)," the post read.

The OP said everyone loved the sauce, with both their son and husband finishing their plates.

"This was when my youngest couldn't hold it in anymore and told them. They both got VERY upset about being fed something other than what they were told," the post read. "Reddit, AITA?"

Redditor Reactions

More than 5,500 users commented on the post, many scrutinizing the parent for feeding their family fake meat without their consent.

"People have the right to be fully informed about what they are eating, and their reasons for eating one food over another are SOLELY THEIR OWN," one user commented. "It's a personal right."

"Tricking someone into eating something other than what they thought they were eating is a massive breach of trust," one user commented, receiving more than 13,000 upvotes. "The fact that the substitution is harmless is irrelevant. That your aim was clearly to shame or embarrass them over their dietary preferences does not help...YTA."

"I think it would've been better if you made a bet with them beforehand to try and see which one is real meat," another commented. "This way you would've had their consent."

"ESH [Everyone Sucks Here]," another commented. "Your son and husband are being ridiculous but you should never mess with people's food. Besides, when was the last time doing a 'gotcha' had a positive outcome?"

"Slight YTA, as a parent sure, doing this to you kids is fine since you are wholly responsible for them but not to your husband," another user commented. "He is a person with agency and testing people like this unless they specifically consent and understand the parameters of the test is an AH move."

Newsweek reached out to u/cheekylilbooger for comment.

Other Viral Moments

In other viral Reddit moments, a man was slammed for complaining to his parents that he should have been taken on "lavish" vacations and a mom was criticized for her reaction to someone's comment about her toddler.

In another viral post, a new mom was bashed for "ruining" her sister's vacation.