After a 7 month hiatus from this blog, I wonder: is anyone still out there? Anyone waiting for me to post? I bet you are just beside yourself with curiosity about where I’ve been. Answer: first I was trying to get a new job, then I got a new job, and now I’m BUSY as heck. The truth of the matter is that while I was in the midst of my job search, I felt the need to make this blog private. I didn’t want potential employers to be able to find it and not hire me on the basis of my ethics as they pertain to food. And yes, I realize that sounds strange because you’d think any employer would appreciate someone with such strong ethics, but that’s not exactly how things always work in the conservative finance industry. Sigh.
At any rate, I wanted to discuss veganism in the work place a bit. I wish I were lucky enough to be able to work somewhere where being vegan was the norm. Or at least where telling someone you were vegan didn’t result in very shocked stares and a million questions about how it is even possible to not eat animal products. I had been at my last job for 7.5 years, during which I made the transition from meat-loving omnivore to vegetarian to vegan. My bosses thought I was a little nutty, and one of them asked me every day if I was having tofu for lunch. Because that’s all vegans eat, you know.
Coming to this new job, I am interacting with a much larger group of people. Of the other 24 people in my department not one of them is even vegetarian, much less vegan. This presents both an opportunity for education and sometimes awkwardness. I’m probably not making the situation any better by having an 8×10 framed picture of a rooster in my office – this picture to be exact:
This was a Valentine’s Day gift from my boyfriend. I took this picture when I was visiting Kindred Spirits Sanctuary and he thought it was so great he framed it and said I should bring it to work. This is the largest picture I have in my office. It prompts a fair number of questions and/or reactions.
One man said “you like chickens?”. I said “yeah, I do.” He replied, “oh you should have grown up on my farm then. We had 400 of them. Slaughtered them ourselves!” Um….not exactly what I meant when I said I like chickens.
Other than that, so far no one has really been insensitive. They’ve mostly just been sort of curious or confused. I’m okay with that. I don’t mind being the “weirdo”, and I figure as they get to know me, they maybe won’t think being vegan is so strange after all (that’s the goal anyway). I don’t expect anyone to convert or anything, but it’s kind of nice to be able to show them that being vegan isn’t some big sacrifice or something.
I’d be interested in hearing about other people’s experiences in the work place. Is your work place vegan friendly? Are you the only vegan? If so, how do you handle that?