“Doing evil so something good may come about.”


Here at CAF, I frequently read that a Catholic “can never do something evil so that something good may come about.”

Which puts me, and others in a dilemma.

My dilemma pertains to lying when ordering in restaurants so I can have something safe to eat.

I am strict VEGAN.

Most eateries in my area do not have vegan options.

Also, based on my knowing people who work in the restaurant industry, they will lie to customers about ingredients to vegans/vegetarians
Yes, I can prepare most of my meals, and I DO, but at times it is NOT POSSIBLE.

This is how I handled myself last time I ate out … I said I had allergies (to dairy). **Once a person says they have allergies, the restaurant will prepare a dish free of the offending ingredients. **

I know it’s a sin to lie, but I needed to eat, and needed to have something that was safe for me.

Will be going to confession tomorrow, so I’m thinking of this.

Would appreciate any comments.


You are correct

Being vegan is a choice and there is NO Catholic teaching to support a requirement to eat vegan at all times. Dairy products are perfectly safe. If you choose not to eat them, then that is your choice.

You may not lie to restaurants or anyone else to achieve your goal of not eating animal products. You will simply have to forego eating out if you cannot find something that meets your self-imposed standards.

Ask the restaurant for an ingredient list, or ask them to prepare a vegan dish for you. If they will not, then you have the option not to eat there.

There is not “but” or “exception” to the truth that we may not do evil in pursuit of a good.


maybe you have a mental allergy.


Bisco, I can’t tell if you are trying to be rude here or not, but this comment definitely comes off as unjustly insulting and childish.

OP, I was going to post, but 1ke pretty much said everything I would. I’d like to ask why you feel this need to limit yourself? I can… kind of understand not wanting to eat meat, but why would you not use dairy products? God created the animals for our service, and the harvesting of dairy products does not harm the animals. Why do you driven to avoid them to such an extent that you would lie to do so?


One may not lie. Yes such is a sin.

The ends do not just justify the means.


1753 A good intention (for example, that of helping one’s neighbor) does not make behavior that is intrinsically disordered, such as lying and calumny, good or just. The end does not justify the means. scborromeo.org/ccc/ccc_toc.htm

As St Paul tells us in the inspired Word of God Romans 3:7-8.


Then, don’t lie! A simple, “I am unable eat dairy; can you prepare something for me that I may eat?” is both truthful and leads to the desired result. Whether your inability stems from a digestive issue or a personally-held standard is both unspecified and immaterial to the conversation. :shrug:


This is a good compromise :thumbsup:


she already said they will lie to customers who are veggies/vegans, why advise her to try something she already said wouldn’t work?


“I have allergies to dairy” is a lie. You may not say this.
“I cannot eat dairy” is perfectly fine. You do not need to give the reason why. If they presume it’s due to allergies, it’s not due to a lie on your part.


Did I suggest that she tell them she’s vegan? :wink:

(And, even if they followed up with “Oh – are you vegan?”, she could – in all good conscience, presuming that they’d lie to her – say “me? A vegan? That’s not what it’s about.” Remember, not all have the right to the full truth, especially when their response to the truth would be to commit a sin. (Remember the old conundrum "what would you say to a Nazi who asks, “are you hiding Jews in your house?”))


The online dictonary gives 3 definitions for the word allergy. The third, non-standard perhaps, definition is: Informal. a strong dislike or aversion, as toward a person or activity:
“He has an allergy to hard work.” So, under, that informal definition, if you have a strong dislike of dairy, it could be classified as an allergy to dairy. (See dictionary.com). Because of this informal definition of allergy given in the dictionary, I don’t see how it would be a mortal sin to say, under the conditions you have proposed, that you have an allergy to dairy if you dislike dairy because of your stance on following a vegan diet.


I would not say Mortal sin is in question.

But I would suggest that such suggestion of the “dictionary meaning” will amount to the kind of mental reservation that is a lie. So no I would not rely on such to not lie.


You are right to have a greater aversion to sin… than to dairy.


Not sure, because of what the dictionary allows. Take for example the statement: I have an allergy to work. The dictionary presents this as an acceptable use of the word allergy. Under that authoritative reasoning, it seems to me that you could also reasonably argue that “I have an allergy to dairy” is a similarly acceptable use of the word allergy and therefore is not a serious lie. It seems like it is more of a harmless euphemistic expression designed to not cause difficulties between the position of the vegan and the policy of the restaurant.


A lie is a sin -be it serious or no (I never said it was serious here -but only that it is a sin and thus not to be done).

In those circumstances there is a ZERO possibility of a person thinking that “allergic” means anything other then a medical meaning.

Such sounds rather to be a “strict mental reservation” which in moral theology = a lie.

And a lie is a sin.


“The Lord denounces lying as the work of the devil: “You are of your father the devil, . . . there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.””

“By its very nature, lying is to be condemned.”


1753 A good intention (for example, that of helping one’s neighbor) does not make behavior that is intrinsically disordered, such as lying and calumny, good or just. The end does not justify the means. scborromeo.org/ccc/ccc_toc.htm

As St Paul tells us in the inspired Word of God Romans 3:7-8.


Then you disagree with the dictionary which says it is OK to say: “I have an allergy to work” even though this does not have any medical meaning. I agree with the dictionary and believe that the word allergy can be used without committing sin to denote something other than the common medical use of the term.
I base my argument on the third definition of allergy given in dictionary.com.


Perfectly said 1ke :thumbsup:


I sympathize, but I think you’re trying to bend the rules a little too much here for convenience.

I think you should find a restaurant that you trust and be a regular customer there. :thumbsup:


If I could, I would.

I know what my options are. Most of the time, I make my own meals, but that is not possible for me 100%.

My other option is to not eat, and for me with some of my medical conditions, meal-skipping is not good.


In the context it would seem to be a strict mental reservation for one is not giving a clue as to what is meant due to the context.

A strict mental reservation is a lie by theological definition.

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