Office's 'Vegan Food Only' Policy Is a Major Slam to Meat Eaters

office foodNo matter where you work, anyone who works in an office environment seems to have a common gripe: The neverending flow of junk food! From doughnuts in the morning to pizza for lunch, cupcakes for a special occasion, cookies someone with a penchant for baking always brings in, and candy that's seemingly offered up by the pound, it can feel like having amazing self-discipline is a must if you want to stay on track. Another possible solution: Working at a place like the nonprofit organization, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which actually has a policy mandating that ONLY vegan food may be eaten in its office. No kidding!

The organization advocates for healthy eating, preventive medicine, and ethical clinical research, so they enacted the policy as a way to practice what they preach. They give potential employees a heads-up about the rule when they send an offer letter. Yep, they mean business. At PCRM, it's "go vegan or go home." Literally.

Apparently, employees do go home ... and eat meat or dairy, and the general feeling about that is "don't ask, don't tell." Ha! How crazy, huh?

I've gotta say, this is extreme. While I appreciate what the organization is trying to promote, and it sounds like they're doing a good job inspiring their employees to eat healthier overall and share healthy, homemade breakfasts and lunches, they're missing the mark. Though it has notable benefits, going vegan isn't necessarily for everyone. Nor is it necessarily going to ward off weight gain or other health problems. There is a LOT of vegan junk food out there, from candy bars to fried foods to uber-processed foods, many containing processed soy, which is frequently used as a protein substitute in vegetarian/vegan prepared foods and has been linked to cancer risk.

Furthermore, what about people with special dietary needs? Being hypoglycemic myself, I know I don't feel very well if I don't eat certain sources of lean protein -- often dairy or lean meat -- along with complex carbs. I wouldn't be surprised if other people are in the same boat, and should they not be allowed to work at PCRM if they refuse to eat a vegan substitute? That just doesn't sit well with me, nor should it with an organization focused on smart nutrition and preventative medicine.

What do you think of this workplace policy? How would you feel if your company said "go vegan or go home"?


Image via Moresheth/Flickr

vegetarian, food, in the news, breakfast, lunch

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B1Bomber B1Bomber

There are all kinds of vegan foods out there that people don't even think of as vegan. Vegetables come to mind. Natural peanut butter, hummus, falafel, fruit salad, juice popsicles...none of these have any animal products in them and all make good snacks.

nonmember avatar April

I'd probably sneak eat whatever I wanted to in my office. Or make a big leafy green sandwhich with turkey hidden in the middle. mmmmm. No matter what they say, unless they scrutinize your food every morning, they are never going to know what you are eating

Serab... Serabelle

That doesn't seem legal, telling people what they can or cannot eat at work, especially if you aren't providing the food. I'd be pissed if I worked there! I hate the smell of popcorn, but don't tell others not to make it!

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

Someone who didn't believe in a vegan diet shouldn't be working there anyway. If you hate porn would you work for Playboy? If you're an atheist would you work in a Christian bookstore? Working for an organization when you don't support their core mission is ridiculous.

nonmember avatar kaerae

@Rhonda - In case you've been living under a rock, the economy is in the crapper, people are taking any job that pays. Also, the religion analogy is nonsense, no one is arguing that vegans don't exist. And the organization advocates healthy eating, you can eat healthy and not be vegan and vice versa.

I'm with April, I'd sneak whatever I wanted in. Do they have a meat-sniffing dog go through your purse and desk drawers?

Kassy Ortega

1) Not all vegan food is soy. And dont believe the soy myths that the meat and dairy industry is flating around.
2)Being vegan IS for everyone! Its just a matter of laziness and finding good foods that suit you.

nonmember avatar Miriam

Actually, you're much more likely to eat healthy on a vegan diet. As others pointed out, it's just a matter of doing some light research. Also, if you're worried about getting your protein, here's a list of vegan sources: lentils, beans, spinach, quinoa, sprouted grain bread, nut butters, non-dairy milks (soy, or if you want to keep soy out of your diet, almond, hemp are good). Also, not all soy products are created equal. Tempeh is actually VERY healthy for you. Give it a try! Good luck!

Sierr... SierraLynn

No Kassy, being vegan is not for everyone. I would never eat vegan because I dont want to. Its not laziness either. I just dont want to, plain and simple and I should not be forced into it by anyone not even a company I may work for. Unless they supply the food, they should not dictate what others can eat. Its asinine.  

Val Larocque

Being Vegan is NOT for everyone! What kind of diet do you suggest I follow? I have sensitivities to all grains, beans and legumes. I like having muscles, I'll keep them... thanks!

adopt... adoption2013

Kassy if you are allergic to soy, nuts, peanuts, and most lentils you would find it difficult to get sufficient protein on a vegan diet.  Btw one of my friends has this issue.  I eat dairy and eggs.  I do not eat meat or wheat gluten.  I cannot digest it properly.  I am not lazy.  I choose not to be more than a pain in the butt than I already am to feed.   Btw a baby actually died of malnutrition after her parents fed or a vegan diet.  You have to be very careful to ensure that your children are getting all of their nutritional needs met.  If the office is promoting a vegan lifestyle no one should be bringing other things to work.  

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