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Tricking people into eating something is always an asshole move—so much so that food tampering is actually recognized as a crime in many states. But a vegan whose friends tricked her into eating real chicken nuggets wants to know if she’s the asshole for going to the police.
The 24-year-old woman said in a Reddit post on Tuesday that she was “white girl wasted” when her friends gave her what they said were Sunfed vegan nuggets. But not only did her so-called friends give her real chicken, but they also filmed the whole thing and put it on Snapchat, complete with mocking impressions of her crying over animals.
It sounds like the sort of juvenile cruelty you’d expect from middle schoolers, but the woman’s adult friends are definitely old enough to know better.
OP to her “friends” (Hopefully): pic.twitter.com/bNEE3bTios— Christian Horn (@Christian__Horn) October 8, 2019
Justifiably furious, the woman decided to report her friends to the police for food tampering because. “They took advantage of my drunken state, tampered with my food, and publically humiliated me,” she wrote.
Her former friends, however, are apparently outraged and insist it was just a “harmless” prank. So the woman turned to Reddit for some perspective from uninvolved parties.
Okay so please bare with me I know these two examples are not the same but they seem similar to me. This is a choice she made for her body that her friends took advantage of while she was drunk am I crazy or does this seem similar to assault. (Much less severe of course)— Allie (@SpinachShark) October 8, 2019
Some supported the woman all the way and decided she’s “not the asshole” (NTA in Reddit speak). Not respecting people’s dietary needs can have severe consequences in case of allergies and intolerances, and long term vegans and vegetarians often can’t digest meat properly anymore, making them sick if they ingest it.
NTA. People who haven't eaten meat for a long time can get REALLY SICK if they do. If they are okay with their friend being sick because of an "innocent prank" then they didn't have the best of intentions to start with, not to mention making a friend go against personal values.— Ju - Empática e Pistola (@JuliaPrad0_) October 8, 2019
Others said they would have thought going to the cops was too extreme if not for how far the woman’s former friends took the prank. For these commenters, the entire incident—not just the food tampering—reeked of cruelty.
A lot of people are focusing on the food tampering (which is awful to be fair) but I feel the need to point out, if these people did this to a drunk person and filmed it to humiliate her, how far would they go with the next drunk person to humiliate them?— Scooter (@thatkilburnguy) October 8, 2019
These people took advantage of a drunk person, fed them food that not only is against their beliefs but could potentially have made them ill, FILMED THE WHOLE THING so they could share the humiliation & laugh at them more). They deserve the charges the DA wants to throw at them.— Misty Clifton (@mistyclifton) October 8, 2019
And some people thought the friends deserved to get in trouble just because they’d been so careless about incriminating themselves.
Twitter user @HummingbirdRSO, who identifies himself on Twitter as a lawyer, pointed out that the incident would be classified as assault in every state and argued that the woman is far from overreacting.
Attorney here: this is assault or battery in probably every US state. Pretty classic fact pattern they use to teach this stuff in 1L year.— Naked Brunch (@HummingbirdRSO) October 8, 2019
Still, some said involving the police is a massive overreaction because of the severity of the charge. A felony conviction could leave the woman’s former friends, in addition to serving jail time, unable to vote and with very limited housing and employment options.
Yeah but really the adult solution here is to cut those friends out of your life, not to ask the police to sort it out for you!— Stanley Devastating (@devastatingstan) October 9, 2019
Twitter user @TranslaterBot2k may have had the best answer to her friends’ complaints, however: Just tell them that reporting them to the police is a hilarious prank, too!
Tell them that your going to the cops is just a "prank," too, and you plan to upload a video mocking them crying and yelling, "THE COPS!"— "Translator" 2000 🌊 (@TranslatorBot2k) October 8, 2019
Ahaha, all in good fun, right? Your friends obviously just need to lighten up. NTA.
Siobhan Ball is a historian, archivist, and journalist. She also writes for Autostraddle and bi.org