I've just been to an event at our local town hall that included a buffet lunch. There wasn't any option on the booking form to indicate "vegetarian" or "vegan", so I sort of assumed that the buffet would include a good smattering of well labelled veggie food at the very least. I was wrong: there were piles of pork pies and unlabelled pastries and sandwiches. I had to rely on the old veggie tactic of asking omnivores whether they thought that this or that might be veggie. This resulted in a few solid little cheese tartlets and a cheese and pickle sandwich. Good job I'm not a strict vegan or I'd have been completely stuffed.
Now I can sort of understand people self-catering for family parties who aren't used to veggies doing something like this. However this was being laid on by professional caterers. Surely its part of their professional skills to ensure that veggies, who after all make up a fair percentage of the UK population these days, are suitably catered for?
In fact why do folk serve non-veggie food at buffets at all? I've never found a meat eater who can't eat anything that doesn't contain flesh. Indeed most are quite happy to indulge in veggie foods and on occasion I've been to buffets where the veggie options have run out far more rapidly than the number of veggies at the event would indicate. When you think about it just providing a range of veggie, or better yet vegan, finger food would cover all bases and leave everyone happy. I've seen some absolutely fabulous vegan food served as buffets, pop-up kitchens or as street food as events. I can't believe everyone tucking into those was a committed vegan, yet they didn't seem to be raising any complaints.
So come on event organisers and professional caterers: get your acts together and make sure there's well labelled food that everyone can eat. If nothing else you'll be less likely to get a "rubbish buffet" response on the feedback form from the veggies you've invited.