Being the office vegetarian means ordering off the regular lunch menu more than a few times. Ashley Douglas of Foxy Veggies shares what it’s like being “that” girl or guy in the office.
Becoming a vegetarian was one of the best decisions of my life. It was something I always felt would happen, but I just needed discipline, a little push, and time to do it. People are usually shocked when I say that I’m a vegetarian, and I’m sure all of my fellow vegetarians can relate. In the workplace is really where I receive the most concern. Here’s what it feels like to be the only vegetarian in an office.
Lunch Can Be A Challenge
The first thing that can sometimes be a hassle is lunch. A lot of times if you are not upfront about being a vegetarian, you may not have anything to eat. For example, since moving to Texas, we typically have barbecue for every single lunch meeting. Don’t get me wrong, barbecue is always good, but there aren’t many sides that are vegetarian friendly. You’ll be surprised how many things come seasoned with bacon, pork, or red meat. This of course is not done on purpose, but it gets awkward when you only have a few sides on your plate while everyone else is throwing down on the rest of the spread.
You Become a Teacher
When you’re not chowing down like everyone else, the questions start flowing. You don’t want to be offensive, but you have to explain your vegetarianism. People always want to know why you’re a vegetarian. The questions are just to understand your lifestyle choice, but some questions can get old very quickly. Despite that, I welcome all the questions. I would rather teach people and have them ask me questions instead of assume. While I’m no expert in all types of vegetarians, I’m always ready to help and inspire others.
Your Co-workers Know You
While you may stand out as the office vegetarian, at least everyone knows who you are. And that is a great feeling. My co-workers are kind enough to all try to make an effort to make me feel included at work. Everyone has been accepting of my lifestyle. Sometimes they even forget that I’m vegetarian because I guess I just wear it so well.
If you have a vegetarian at your office, just treat them like everyone else. They may tell you what foods they do and don’t like. They will appreciate the effort you make, and who knows, they may even share some cool recipes.