Internet split over mother's decision to bring ham sandwich for 4yo son into vegan cafe

boy eating ham sandwich
The post started a heated online debate. Photo credit: Getty Images.

For adults it's generally unacceptable to bring your own food into a cafe, many parents would know that sometimes a sandwich or muesli bar is the only thing you can get your kids to eat, leaving you to drink your coffee in peace. 

But one worker at a vegan cafe has turned to the internet to ask if she was acting like an "asshole" when she asked a customer to put away her child's ham sandwich. 

Posting on Reddit, the cafe worker explained she usually looks the other way when a parent brings along their own food for a child. 

But recently a woman came in to buy lunch, bringing her child "around four years old" with her. The parent asked for a plate for the kid's sandwich, which the cafe worker already thought was a "more substantial meal" than they'd usually allow, but decided to let it go. 

After bringing out the customer's lunch, the worker realised the child's sandwich filling was ham, which violated the venue's strict no-meat policy.

"I tell the women that meat can't be eaten on the premises (this was inside) and they need to put the stuff back in the Tupperware," the waitress said. 

"They get upset and say the kid will go hungry and I say they're welcome to order one of our vegan sandwiches or anything else."

The worker went on to explain that even a vegetarian sandwich would be acceptable, but the ham was a no-go. 

"They get angrier and say they'll take their meals to go and won't be back. On the way out, they shout that I'm disgusting for depriving a child of its food.

"I can see their point, but also think they should have thought more before coming to our cafe."

The waitress finished her post by asking fellow Reedit users if she was being the asshole in the situation. 

The post quickly became the centre of a heated debate, racking up over 1000 comments from people sitting on both sides of the fence. 

Many people thought the mother was way out of line.

"You're not the asshole - I'm a hardcore carnivore and I feel like bringing a ham sandwich to a vegan restaurant is totally crass," one person wrote. 

"I would never think that taking an animal product into a vegan restaurant is remotely acceptable," another agreed. "Veganism might not be for me but it doesn't cost me anything to respect others choices."

"Even disregarding the vegan/meat issue here, I can't imagine bringing an entire sandwich into a restaurant even for a kid, and expecting everyone to just be cool about it to the point of bringing me one of their plates to eat my outside food off of?" another pointed out. 

But others thought the cafe worker had made a big deal out of nothing. 

"Not only are you the A-hole, but you also cost your café a customer over a kid's sandwich. Congrats!" one person sarcastically wrote. 

"Why did you waive it for some customers and not others?" another questioned. "You selectively applied this rule and you would deserve the bad Yelp review if they left one."

"Agreed! Breaking the rules for some (dairy foods) but not others (meat) makes [you the asshole]" wrote another.