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Thread: OK for a vegan to work at a store that serves meat?

  1. #1

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    Default OK for a vegan to work at a store that serves meat?

    Hello. This is my first post/thread on this forum as the topic is very relevant to me at the moment. However, I certainly intend to become more involved in the community as I have only recently become fully vegan and thus the support from a forum group is very enticing!

    Anyhow; recently I've acquired my first "real" job (I'm fifteen years old) at a sushi store. Of course, this means they prepare and serve a variety of dishes that contain animal products.

    Personally I can justify working there, as I don't have to eat or purchase the food myself. Being as young as I am, anywhere I acquire a job is bound to contribute to animal cruelty in some form or another; until such time that I can be self-employed or work for a vegan company, this is likely to be true. Still, I feel quite guilty to the point of considering quitting.

    I would very much like to hear how others might feel about working for an establishment that sells animal products, in the hope that it will give me a better understanding of how I feel about this job.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    cherished emmapresley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Would you consider it "okay" for a vegan to work at a store that serves meat

    hello and welcome to the forum
    firstly congratulations on becoming vegan and getting your first job! my daughter is 16 years old and finding all kinds of interestingly rubbish reasons why she shouldnt have to find a job.

    i work in a food related non vegan setting/workplace and have sort of learned to desensitize a little bit over things. sometimes certain things or smells catch me and repulse or rile me, and other days the same things dont seem to so much. its sort of like tuning out to cope i guess. i could get another job, though i quite like this one, and dont really think we as vegans should have to justify our jobs.

    i dont know. give it a try, new days of being vegan can be quite intense and emotional, you sort of want to shout it from the rooftops to make everyone aware, share informatin and change peoples beliefs. there's ways to do it and ways not to. see how you go..good luck
    ahronli sed ah dunit so thid tek thuh cheyus graytuh offa mi nihbles

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Would you consider it "okay" for a vegan to work at a store that serves meat

    Hi and welcome to the forum The question is "Do YOU consider it "okay" for a vegan to work at a store that serves meat?" Only you can make that decision, no-one else.
    Go where your conscience (and your finances... ) takes you.

    Good luck whatever you decide.

  4. #4
    fortified twinkle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Would you consider it "okay" for a vegan to work at a store that serves meat

    Welcome

    I think we all have a certain amount of compromises we make to live in the world as it is at the moment. For instance, I have to go and collect milk for refreshments at meetings as part of my job. I don't particularly like it, but I know the people would have drinks with milk anyway, however I do other things in the workplace like bring in cakes and encourage people going out on work lunches to go to veggie places.

    Does the place you work sell vegan sushi? If they do and people ask you for recommendations you could always mention that you've only tried the veggie sushi but it's really good?

    On the other hand, if you do feel really uncomfortable there, I wouldn't let your age make you think you can't work somewhere more in keeping with your ethics? I'm not sure where you live, but are there likely to be clothes stores or other non-food related job opportunities?
    "If you don't have a song to sing you're okay, you know how to get along humming" Waltz (better than fine) - Fiona Apple

  5. #5
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Would you consider it "okay" for a vegan to work at a store that serves meat

    Hi Rokuran - welcome.

    You will get different answers but personally I would try not to feel too guilty because you're probably not altering what people would eat by working there - in fact depending on your role you might be able to recommend the vegan options (if any)?

    I'm sure all vegans would prefer to work in vegan businesses but if that's the only job you can get then (again personally) I would keep doing it and look out for a vegan-friendly one at the same time.

    Do you know what you'd like to do eventually? If you're thinking of working in catering etc it could be worth hanging on in there to get catering experience which you can apply to a vegan business later. If you're not interested in then I guess you could look out for a job in a bookshop or something!

  6. #6
    cobweb
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    Default Re: Would you consider it "okay" for a vegan to work at a store that serves meat

    It's difficult these days when you can't always be choosy about jobs.
    Personally I strongly prefer not to handle animal products where possible. I couldn't, for example, prepare sushi myself - but I do occasionally have to sell Ewe's milk yoghurts and Cow milk at work, which I can put up with, as I also put up with feeding my cat 'normal' cat food.............

    I think everyone has to make their own boundaries really, try things and see how you feel with them .

    Personally I feel I will leave my job if I'm forced to sell meat - IF by doing so am not keeping my own family hungry by giving up my wage.

    It's not easy being vegan in a very un-vegan world .

  7. #7
    leedsveg
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    Default Re: Would you consider it "okay" for a vegan to work at a store that serves meat

    Hi Rokuran and welcome to the forum. I don't think I could add much more to what's already been said. In a nonvegan world, we all as vegan individuals have to make compromises, and we all as vegan individuals, have to decide just how far we are prepared to compromise.

    Good wishes for you and whatever you decide

    Leedsveg

  8. #8
    Back-Space's Avatar
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    Default Re: Would you consider it "okay" for a vegan to work at a store that serves meat

    I always look at how my actions effect something later down the road. By working in a restaurant, even by preparing meat, you're not hurting the vegan movement(as weird as that is). If you don't work there, someone else will fill your spot. I used to work in the kitchen actually. Once I did the research on vegetarianism, is started bothering me to work with meat. So even though I had all the schooling done for it, I decided to quit. It's not for me, personally, but I wouldn't look down on anyone who decided to keep a similar job.

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Would you consider it "okay" for a vegan to work at a store that serves meat

    Welcome!!

    I always think of being vegan in terms of a definition I heard years ago when I became vegan myself and it went something like this: To be vegan is not an absolute state, it simply means 'you refrain from using animal products to the extent that it is practically possible'. Some things are more easily controlled like diet and certain products as well. But unless you go and sit on an island somewhere and grow all your own things I think you are always participating in some way to ways you might not agree with and I'm sure there are things that we just don't know about. We live in an omni world, not a vegan world and we must all make a living, it's up to the individual to decide how he can and wants to do this. You don't have to explain yourself to anyone.

  10. #10
    Bad Buddhist Clueless Git's Avatar
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    Default Re: Would you consider it "okay" for a vegan to work at a store that serves meat

    'Lo Rokuran

    Just in case it is of any comfort to you the 'buddhist' position on such matters is (very loosely) this:

    Any form of trade in meat or living beings, buying or selling, is 'wrong livelihood' (the others are trade in weapons, poisons and intoxicants) and, basicaly, that reflects the vegan view too.

    The 'correct' thing to do when caught in wrong livelihood is to work diligently towards developing skills that will help you move into better livelihood as swiftly as possible.

    That and to be the best influence you can on others trapped in wrong livelihood to do exactly the same.
    All done in the best possible taste ...

  11. #11
    aliaslotte's Avatar
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    Default Re: Would you consider it "okay" for a vegan to work at a store that serves meat

    I work in a supermarket and handle non-vegan foods all day. Sometimes, I end up working on the cheese counters, other times with the meat and other times in the cafe preparing the food to be eaten. I don't like having to handle so many animal products but I cannot afford not to work there. Jobs in my area are incredible scarce - have been for years - and I genuinely wouldn't be able to live without working.

    My goal is to one day work somewhere else - I want to be a teacher. I just see this as a stop-gap job and I am dealing with it, even though it doesn't necessarily go long with my beliefs.

    I think, as has been mentioned before, it is up to you. If you cannot bring yourself to work with these products, try to find something else.

  12. #12
    Rocket Queen
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    Default Re: Would you consider it "okay" for a vegan to work at a store that serves meat

    I personally wouldn't now. BUT.
    When I was young and jobs were hard to come by with lack of experience and lack of things I knew I could do, I did work in places where I had to serve meat. I could handle it and I also used it as an oppurtunity to 'reach' people who bought the stuff, recommend them to try other non-meat products, showed off my health-knowledge and vegan knowledge. Get to know veganism well so you won't get into a conversation where you know not the answers.use the experience wisely, you are making money and bettering yourself and I am sure you won't be doing it all that long
    The greatest mistake is to do nothing because you can only do a little.

  13. #13
    Rebecca Lady Mozdust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Would you consider it "okay" for a vegan to work at a store that serves meat

    I personally wouldn't want to work anywhere near meat! But like everyone else has said, it's a personal decision we all have different opinions on!
    "Nobody can come up with a good argument for eating animals nobody can." - Morrissey

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