Recently, a 24 year old woman sought the insight of Reddit users from the ‘AITA’ -- standing for “Am I The A**hole” -- subreddit page. Allegedly a vegan for the last decade, the woman described a scenario in which she went out with her friends partying and “got white girl wasted.” In her drunken state, her friends gave her chicken nuggets to munch on to which she asked, “Are these vegan?” When her friends claimed they were “sunfed” (a vegan substitute for real chicken), she started munching away. However, she admitted that the food “tasted off” to her.
It wasn’t until the next day that the woman discovered that her friends had posted the ordeal on social media and that she had, in fact, purposefully been fed meat. After making this discovery, her ‘friends’ proceeded to mock her by mimicking her crying and yelling “the chickens!” The young woman retaliated by bringing the video to the police and pressing charges against her now ex-friends on the grounds of food tampering and are now “facing charges.”
After telling her tale, the woman then asked Reddit users whether she was in the right or in the wrong. She went on to share that those she pressed charges against believe she’s overreacting from a “harmless prank.” However, she feels, in her drunken state, these people took advantage of her, tampered with her food, and publically humiliated her. Pertaining to the last point, this could easily fall under the classification of cyberbullying -- which is both law and policy in 42 US states, while just law in the remaining 8. That being the case, if this argument was agreed upon, then these individuals indeed committed a crime.
This woman’s ‘friends’ were complete jerks. These individuals went far beyond innocently pranking their friend once they stooped to humiliating her online, then choosing to mock her after expressing distress. I’ve seen my fair share of horrible pranks that either unintentionally backfired or were just plain dumb; however, most friends would apologize and keep it private. Listen, if your idea of a ‘prank’ jeopardizes someone’s lifestyle (tricking a vegan into eating meat) or physically harms them, it’s not a prank. A prank, once all said and done, is supposed to make all parties involved laugh it off -- a symbiotic relationship. If only the prankster laughs, it’s closer to abuse or bullying in that one person thrives and the other suffers -- a parasitic relationship. And let’s be honest, if you would gladly have a laugh at the expense and general well-being of others, you’re not much more than a measly parasite.