Vegans, what would you do?

Today I bring a question to all the vegans reading: what do you do when you have to go places where everyone is eating, and there’s nothing there for you?

I’m not really talking about restaurants- I’m talking places where there’s no one there that can make you an alternative.

Where I work, it is common to celebrate for lots of reasons, and in my position, it’s important that I be there during those times. When it’s a party for someone and all they’re serving is ice cream cake, that’s fine, because I just don’t eat it. There’s usually several other people who also won’t, for various reasons. But it gets a little trickier when these times use up a normal meal time.


Some geese with their goslings from outside of work this past spring!

You can always bring a LΓ€rabar, or something like it. My problem with that is that I have a fairly unhealthy relationship with food. I tend to think of food as something to be enjoyed, not as fuel. I don’t mind something like that when it’s just once in a while, but what about when things like that happen often? Or your whole day will be taken up like that?

So readers, this question is for you- can’t wait to hear your comments!

17 Days to Vida Vegan Con!

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11 Responses to Vegans, what would you do?

  1. leah says:

    I have not been in an establishment where I could not find something vegan … usually a very simple salad, which I find boring and totally unrewarding. But if I was going to a place to eat that i knew I would not support, such as a Micky D’s, I would eat before I went. I also pack an apple or simple snack (esp since I have kids) or I pack my own meal. Im a hula hoop instructor and often find myself in places where there is food, but I wont eat it if I don’t know how it is made. So I bring my own. Not sure if this is a helpful answer or not, but the food I made is almost always fresher and more healthy.

    • jodie says:

      Lettuce is a possibility, but that’s about it. I work in a school-type setting, and all the events are “catered” by the cafeteria, and I’ve only once seen a vegan dish come out of that kitchen (a breakfast, where the potatoes were vegan, along with the bagels).

  2. Andrea says:

    I suppose it depends on the situation, I haven’t been in a situation where there’s absolutely nothing that I can have, but I know that day will come. If it’s a situation like a pot luck, of course I bring my own vegan dish (that everyone ends up loving and eating but then saying “I can’t believe that’s ‘VAYGAN'” condescendingly…oh my πŸ™‚ ). If it’s something that just pops up, I would politely skip it. People will think you’re a weirdo, but whatever your reasoning (for humane/animal rights or health, etc.) you should stick to what’s right for you and be proud of that. That’s my best advice πŸ™‚

    • Anand says:

      Good cooks need to start doing “vegan cams”: take a video when people are talking about how good the dish is. Then tell them it’s “VAYGAN”. And when they say it wasn’t that good, go to instant replay. πŸ™‚

  3. I’ve been in that situation! The staff in my previous position never ordered a thing without cheese or meat! But I pack my lunch and snacks daily, a little joke in the office, so they knew I would just pull up a chair and eat whatever I brought. There was one occasion when a colleague (and friend) brought a huge, vegan couscous salad. In my new position, there was going to be a social event so I offered to bring a dish (a summer chili with grains — a huge hit!)

    I keep hemp seeds, nuts and nutritional yeast in a file cabinet so, worst case, I can eat a salad and add some nutrients and density to a plain salad.

  4. jodie says:

    I should clarify- I almost always bring my lunch to work, so it’s not as if I can’t pack something. The issue is that if I’m at one of these events (especially if it involves the kids that I work with), bringing something very obviously vegan brings up issues about class/status/I’m-too-good-for-regular-food. I kid you not. I had the same problem in the job I had when I was first trying to make the switch from vegetarian to vegan several years ago, too. I ended up at the time just eating vegan as much as I could, and vegetarian in situations like that, and didn’t go vegan for real until after I left that job.

    • jodie says:

      And of course, as a fully committed vegan I won’t do that now, which is why I’m asking how others handle it. πŸ™‚ I have a lot of accommodating friends and family when it comes to veganism, and only worked part time for the last few years while in school, so it hasn’t come up for me since that time. πŸ™‚

  5. I’ve not been in that situation (touch wood) as I’ve always found something to eat even if it’s just been a plate of chips. Not fun or exciting I know but it stops my tummy rumbling.

  6. Jessica says:

    The pot luck seems easy to handle – but I gather that’s not the situation here. Do any of the kids have special dietary needs? I recently volunteered at a field day for kids and they were all excited about pizza provided for lunch. I brought my lunch, and so did a little girl who has peanut allergies. Her mom packed it – and we sat together eating our own food. The other kids were too excited about pizza to care, and she felt better seeing someone else who couldn’t/wouldn’t eat the pizza.

  7. Anand says:

    I think the key is to not care what others think. Because they clearly didn’t care what you thought. Since you know your actions are based on principle, not preference, you can stick with what you need to do to nourish yourself.

    If others look at you funny, you know that you have the moral high ground, because you have judged your own behavior and decided that vegan was the right way to go. Most likely, they haven’t even thought about it, so that’s on them, not you.

    I just don’t think it’s worth the effort to “fit in” socially. And fitting in professionally can be done without worrying about offending anyone’s carnist sensibilities. πŸ™‚

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