My workmates have been very supportive about my going vegan. It probably helps that I’ve been a strict vegetarian as long as they’ve known me, so it’s not really a drastic change. In fact, one of the guys said he only realised this week that I’ve made the transition, and it’s been months now. They’re all interested, and I don’t have to have that stupid conversation about having to eat meat so the cows don’t go extinct, which is really a plus. We’ve always had vegetarians in our team though – there are only two of us now, but there used to be enough that the office would get soy milk in for our tea and coffee like they get the cow milk in for everyone else. I have to bring my own now, and I’m the only vegan, I think.
It is a bit tough when it comes to eating a work events. Oh, the big events are catered to death, so there’s always something there, like the fabulous roasted vege sandwiches from the last one (who knew sandwiches could be so tasty?). When we had a bring-a-plate lunch (like a pot luck), it was ok. I made sure I brought something I could eat (chana masala, which everyone loved so much I had to give the recipe to half the team). The other folks were great when it came to stuff I could eat. There’s no veganising BBQ chicken, but the salad was made with the chunks of cheese in a separate container so I didn’t have to pick them out. There were vegan chips and dips and breads and dukka. I would say about half the food there was vegan. I appreciated the effort and the thought.
Sometimes though, it’s just a pain. Today we went out to our local and I had one glass of sauvignon blanc and one Vietnamese spring roll, which wasn’t even nice. There were little duck meat tarts and prawn tempura and other tidbits that I missed because I turned up late. As I watched everyone else eating, I thought – how hard would it be to have veganised those things? It would be cheaper and everyone would still enjoy it. For example, that prawn tempura could easily have been vegetable tempura.
Tomorrow we’re having birthday cakes, which, ironically, I organised. None are vegan. The cake shop doesn’t sell any. However, it would be so easy to make them vegan, some of them at least. I can accept that vegan cheesecake can be a bit of a pain, but the mudcake and carrot cake would be easy enough. I don’t understand why people don’t maximise their customer base if it’s easy and inexpensive to do so. I’m going to look for a different cake shop.
Ultimately I know that I have a really supportive group of colleagues, and lots of other people have a much harder time of it. I do wish the world was more vegan friendly sometimes though. It would be so much easier. How are the rest of you finding working life as a vegan?