I constantly feel like there is an elephant in the room whenever I am at work or talking about my job where my veganism is mentioned with other people. And I was asked twice today by coworkers if I was vegan (both of whom I adore). I absolutely love and respect everyone I work with and all of their craziness (because all of us are crazy in one way or another) but because I am super passionate about this issue and it’s very important to me on a very, very deep level I should address it. Do I feel bad about selling meat at work? Yes. Does my job and livelihood depend on selling meat? Yes. Is it incredibly depressing and angering lying to people so they will buy a chicken or pork special that will make me look good for my bosses and increase my tips? Yes. Do I tell my tables the truth when they ask if I like one chicken dish over another? No, I tell them which is more popular. If they say something like, “Yes, but which do you like best?” I tell them I don’t eat meat. I return home defeated and I take some quiet time by myself before I work on and do research for a possible grad school proposal or I read text that covers animal lib, radical direct action, veganism as a way of life, other political economical bullshit etc. Or I screw around on the internet, play with the cats, watch a movie, and go to bed because I’m too broke to go out mostly.
This might sound really dramatic and I honestly try and not think about it at work and just do my job and do it well. But sure I have to square with myself before I go to bed knowing I support the very industry I speak out against in all this ranting writing, for my livelihood. Do I feel like a complete hypocrite? Yes. Will I be in the restaurant industry a long time? No. Do I feel weird about discussing it at work? Kinda. But only because it’s kinda like discussing it over the dinner table over a meat dish someone is eating. I have no problem talking about veganism and I encourage discussion but at work is not really the place. It tends to make the air uncomfortable. I’m certainly not judging coworkers about their eating habits. We’re all there to make a living and stay somewhat sane while dealing with idiotic drunk customers all day. Everyone everywhere mostly hates work but I love all the ridiculously rad people I am lucky enough to work with. I do feel extremely strong about animal exploitation and I’m pretty damn educated about these issues at this point and I’ll discuss it with anyone anywhere except work.