Ten Tips for being Vegan in the Workplace
Updated: Oct 12, 2019
Struggling as a vegan at work? Check out this article for some helpful tips!
As a vegan, you’re most likely spending a large part of your time amongst non-vegans. This is especially true in the workplace. Depending on where you work, your co-workers may be very supportive of your vegan choices, and even interested in learning more about how they can become a vegan. Or, they may not want to hear anything about veganism, and be repulsed by the idea of a diet devoid of animal products.
Regardless of your situation, it is absolutely possible to have a great working relationship with your non-vegan colleagues. Below is a list of ten tips to set you up for success as a vegan in a non-vegan workplace.
First and foremost, let your colleagues know you are a vegan. This doesn’t mean trying to veganize them, but it’s important that they know. Just by being exposed to a vegan, they may be curious to what it’s all about, as you may be the only vegan they’ve ever met. Additionally, if your coworkers know that you’re vegan, it will reduce your chances of being given any non-vegan food items. It’s also less awkward when you decline non-vegan foods offered to you.
Don’t try to convince people about the benefits of veganism if they’re not interested. As vegans, we all know how beneficial veganism is for your health, the animals, and the planet. However, most people don’t really care, and prefer to stick with their current food choices. If they’re not interested in going vegan, leave them alone, you don’t want to be that annoying person in the office who harasses their coworkers to go vegan!
Reassure your colleagues it’s ok if they eat non-vegan foods in front of you. I’d often get numerous apologies from people who were eating meat or any other non-vegan food item in my presence. This in turn would make me feel bad that they felt bad about this. Let them their food choices are their choices, it’s just your own personal choice to not eat any animal products.
Bring vegan food to share. This is a great way to show that veganism is not only healthy, but tasty as well. You’ll often get “I didn’t know vegan food was so good.” Score!
Show off your fabulous vegan wardrobe. I’ve got these great vegan booties which my coworkers absolutely adore. When they complimented me on them I let them know they were vegan leather. Needless to say, they were shocked, but impressed.
Be honest why you’re a vegan. If someone asks, give them an honest answer. Sometimes I find it hard to give a short honest non-preachy answer. I suggest developing an elevator speech, perhaps a 30 second to 1 minute spiel on why you’ve chosen veganism. If you’re prepared for this question, you’ll be able to answer succinctly without going overboard and scaring off the person inquiring.
Share your personal experiences with how veganism changed your life. For example, if you were having health problems prior to going vegan, share how these problems improved once you changed your diet. Many of your colleagues have most likely gone through some of the things you have been through. By finding common ground they may be able to relate better and even interested in doing what you did to better improve their health.
If you're going on, suggest a vegan restaurant. A non-vegan friend of mine and I went to a fabulous vegan restaurant in New York City. She was impressed by just how good the food was, and we still talk about that meal every once in a while.
If you’re an animal rights activist invite your co-workers to a rally or march. Chances are some of your coworkers own pets or love animals. By inviting them to tag along at a animal rights activity, they might correlate that there is no difference between the dog they have at home, and the cow they are eating for dinner. I invited two of my friends to an animal rights march and it was a great time. Although they did not convert to veganism, I think it may have opened up their eyes to the plight that many animals go through.
Have fun! This is always my recommendation for anything, though especially true with being vegan at work. If your coworkers are as supportive as mine have been, you’ll have no trouble having fun as a vegan while at work.
For the most part, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with my co-workers’ reaction to my veganism. At one place where I worked they threw me a going away party and most of the food was vegan! It was a very beautiful experience and everyone loved the food. You’ll never know how many lives you’ll be changing with your food choices. Just by letting others know you’re a vegan and kindly showing them how you live your life, you may be changing more lives than you know.