When you are vegan (do not eat or wear any animal products), eating out rather than cooking your own food can be complicated, even when going to mostly vegan restaurants.
Some vegans become irritated when a restaurant makes a mistake with their meal. They may send the food back, chastise the waitstaff, or blast their ire over social media. I do not think vegans have any more right to be upset about their meal not being prepared correctly than anyone else does.
Unless you make or grow your own food, there is no validity to being upset at the mistake of a restaurant. If you have a severe food allergy or special diet restriction, then why would you trust any restaurant serving hundreds (or thousands) of people per week, expecting them never to make a mistake?
If you are vegan and choose to eat out, you can be explicit in your instructions and hope they get it right. If they do not, then it is fair for you to ask for (but you have no right to demand) another course or a correction to make your meal vegan. It is good that you let the restaurant know they goofed your order; they likely want to know so they can do better in the future. It is, however, not so good if you tarnish their reputation or cause confusion on the world’s most powerful social media sites or trash-talk about your experience to friends or family.
It is outrageously irrational to fault a restaurant for making a mistake on an order one time out of (let’s assume… more than a hundred?). Can YOU do anything a hundred or a thousand times without making a single mistake?
When I eat out, I can only rationally assume the food is not 100% vegan, even at a 100% vegan restaurant. For example, there are no clear delineating factors to determine what is vegan. Many vegans, to distinguish where they draw the line on the Animal Kingdom, go by the simple rule, “Do not eat anything that feels pain.” Oysters have virtually no nerves and almost certainly do not feel pain. Are they vegan? Most vegans would say they clearly are not because they are an animal. Broccoli, on the other hand, has a central nervous system–the only tell-tale sign that something feels pain. Is broccoli vegan? Most vegans will not hesitate to say it is, because it is obviously not an animal. Some vegans eat honey; some do not. There are many undecided areas–no restaurant can know every kind of vegan that walks in the door.
I do not expect every waiter or waitress I encounter to know if the rice was made with chicken broth, if the beans have lard, if the fries were cooked in the same grease as the chicken wings, if the soup base is water or beef broth, etc… Even when they claim to know the answers, I must assume they are sometimes wrong. I can easily see a waitress asking a chef, “Is our soup broth vegan?” The chef might not know because he did not prepare the broth, but it is vegetable soup, so of course it must be vegan. “Sure,” he says, “It’s sent to us in unlabeled frozen blocks from our corporate distribution center, but it’s vegetable soup. There’s no meat in it.” The waitress then might return to the table and say, “I asked the chef. He says it is vegan.”
Is it the chef’s fault for making a logical leap that vegetable soup is made with vegetable stock? Is it the waitresses fault for not probing deeper on your behalf? Is it your fault for not specifically asking to see the ingredient list for the soup, if there is one?
The bottom line is, if someone else is preparing your food, you are at their mercy. That is your choice. Don’t cry about it if it is not perfect. After all, there are humans cooking your food in the back. Sometimes lazy, forgetful, honestly mistaken, occasionally careless, stressed out, hurried humans. It is unreasonable to expect 100% perfection 100% of the time.
That is why we vegans have the option of making food ourselves and expecting humans to be human is the entry price for convenience.