Vegetarian waiters - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-07-2008, 10:53 AM
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Hi Everyone,

I'm curious if there are any vegetarian waiters out there that have to serve meat, and what your thoughts are about this. I worked with another vegetarian girl at my last job and we spoke of this. She said, "Well, if there were high-end vegetarian restaurants with good business, then I'd work there, but there aren't any, so I just try not to think about it.



Any thoughts about being vegetarian and a waiter?
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#2 Old 07-07-2008, 04:07 PM
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I avoid eating eggs, but I'll carry a plate bearing some of them to my husband. His choices are not my choices, and I don't see it as a significant source of 'enabling' to provide that kind of service.



I'd feel the same way about being a waiter. My refusing to carry meat wouldn't reduce the demand for meat, it would just reduce the demand for my waitressing services.



I find it esthetically unpleasant, but that's a separate issue.
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#3 Old 07-07-2008, 04:24 PM
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hello, I work at a place called Silver Spurs in New York. Everyone comes there for the huge burgers we serve. I find them repulsive. It is annoying waitressing to piggish meat-eaters and knowing how ignorant they are for eating it. BUT, one thing you can do is when customers ask for recommendations, to recommend the salads. I also don't lie when people ask me "How's this burger?" I tell them I don't know, I'm a vegetarian. Maybe it will make them less inclined to eat meat, who knows! Don't worry, I don't think it makes you hypocritical in any way, you're just delivering the food they would be ordering from someone else anyway.
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#4 Old 07-07-2008, 05:05 PM
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I need vegetarian waiters in public establishments. They help me make sure I am getting a meal without animal products like I am trying to order. I usually give them big tips too. Oh, and vegetarian waiters typically make sure I don't get a stack of dry chips with two black beans and three tomato bits on top of it for a modified nacho order.
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#5 Old 07-07-2008, 07:04 PM
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I work in a cafe which serves meat. The kitchen there is also used for the bakery part of the business, so I'm faced with huge trays of gross sloppy meat filling waiting to go in the pies and other lovely things like that. But that aside, it's a job. I get on with the people I work with and just try not to think about the gross parts of what I do, carrying meat, pulling meat out of the sink if it's blocking the drain (that is disgusting!), etc.
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#6 Old 07-08-2008, 01:18 AM
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Thanks all. Your words are helpful to me, and I appreciate your giving me your thoughts on this. I feel better now.
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#7 Old 07-08-2008, 03:55 AM
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I also work in a place like that, but worse, in the kitchen.



I'm looking for a new job, as soon as I find one I'll leave it.
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#8 Old 07-08-2008, 07:41 AM
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I'm a vego waiter. Usually I'm ok, if I have my own section, all I'm doing is taking orders and running out drinks. The runners take out the meals. But, when I'm working as a runner, it's not so great. Also, when I say 'enjoy your meal' after doing the cracked pepper thing, what I mean to say is 'I hope you CHOKE'



I am the butt of many jokes. The other night I was putting linen away and a chef walked past with a piece of red raw meat, waving it and saying 'mmmm!'. I don't know what I did to deserve that. The chefs mean it in good fun, but it's like saying 'Only complete lunatics don't believe in sex before marriage, pro-choice, etc etc' to a catholic. It's really insulting.



I tend to disassociate the piece of meat, from being an animal. Also, like xJen10 said, when people ask me about food, or what I recommend, I don't lie. I just say 'ohh...you lucked out. You got the vegetarian waiter!' Then I half jokingly say they should get the mushroom tart and the pumpkin risotto. A lot of our regulars know I'm vego now. I don't say it in a 'you murderous pig!' way, and I tell them what is popular. The only things that really sh!t me, are when people order kangaroo and call it skippy... or something equally stupid, like ordering lamb and pretending to care that it's a baby animal. I don't spend too much time on such people, only really drop by those tables when I absolutely need to. Not because I'm an elitist vego, but because I have no time for idiots. Also, maybe the odd customer will take note of their vegetarian waitress and think about it, before their next meal [probably not though!]



lol, I applied for a job with Animal Lib a couple of weeks ago. So need to get out of hospitality!
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#9 Old 07-08-2008, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bios View Post

I'd feel the same way about being a waiter. My refusing to carry meat wouldn't reduce the demand for meat, it would just reduce the demand for my waitressing services.

Just out of curiosity, would you be willing to take a paid job procuring children for paedophiles? On the basis that not doing so wouldn't reduce demand, and that it's their choice and not your choice?



Just stirring it up a little.
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#10 Old 07-08-2008, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lentil Burger View Post

Just out of curiosity, would you be willing to take a paid job procuring children for paedophiles? On the basis that not doing so wouldn't reduce demand, and that it's their choice and not your choice?



Just stirring it up a little.



Quite.
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#11 Old 07-08-2008, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lentil Burger View Post

Just out of curiosity, would you be willing to take a paid job procuring children for paedophiles? On the basis that not doing so wouldn't reduce demand, and that it's their choice and not your choice?



Just stirring it up a little.





Being a pedophile is illegal, whereas eating meat is not.

~kathy
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#12 Old 07-08-2008, 01:03 PM
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Lentil burger-- It's obvious you enjoy stirring it up, but I have to agree with cathias-- pedophilia is illegal.



I'm quite uncomfortable eating meat. It's gross. And I love animals-- they are sentient beings, but honestly (I have to say it), they are not on the same level as human children.
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#13 Old 07-08-2008, 01:45 PM
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Speaking as a customer, I'm glad there are some vegetarian waiters in omni restaurants. As other people have already said, they are ideally placed to help out veg*n customers or recommend veg*n dishes to omni customers.



Last week I went to a restaurant I'd never been to before and asked which dishes were or could be made vegan. The waitress brought a list over (chain restaurant, so they had printed allergy advice etc) and then she told me she was a vegetarian and quite often had vegan versions of the vegetarian dishes and gave me some recommendations. I felt a lot happier knowing that she was vegetarian and therefore would understand exactly what I was asking for and wouldn't think I was a weirdo for asking!
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#14 Old 07-08-2008, 02:41 PM
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Derwenna-- thank you, and you have a great point. There have been a couple times I've waited on veg customers, and when I tell them I understand and am sensitive to the issue myself, their relief is so obvious it's palpable.



I go to the back and get the recipe book, and seriously, I write lists of options for my customers. Come to think of it, I wish people would do that for me when I eat out.
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#15 Old 07-08-2008, 03:59 PM
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It grosses me out a bit when I see people eating the food, but it's their choice and also not my place to judge them. Which is hard sometimes, but then I remember that I don't appreciate being judged for my choices, whatever the facts may be.



And I love meeting other vegetarians/vegans and being able to help them with their options. It always picks me up.



Though when people ask me how an omni dish is I wonder whether or not to lie to them and tell them it's good just to make things simpler. thoughts on this??
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#16 Old 07-08-2008, 04:46 PM
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You could tell people that you haven't tried it because you're vegetarian but a lot of people say it's good. Something like that.
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#17 Old 07-08-2008, 04:53 PM
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Whether it's because they're vegetarian or just don't like bacon it always pleases me when we get orders with, "No bacon, extra tomato" or similar, cutting out the meat. =]



Also, when I turn 16 (in two months) I'm going to look for a new job, and try to avoid places with meat.
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#18 Old 07-08-2008, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lentil Burger View Post

Just out of curiosity, would you be willing to take a paid job procuring children for paedophiles? On the basis that not doing so wouldn't reduce demand, and that it's their choice and not your choice?



Just stirring it up a little.



I personally don't find eating meat to be as evil as pedophilia. Call me speciesist; ok, that's the way it is. I also have a lot more acceptance of people disagreeing with me on the ethics of meat eating than the ethics of pedophilia, since every societal message reinforces the evil of pedophilia while social pressure supports eating meat. That doesn't make meat eating right, but it makes it much more understandable how someone could think it's ok.



You almost certainly associate with meat eaters, and may well be friends with some. Would you hang with a pedophile? Do you try and actively interfere to stop every instance of meat eating? Would you actively interfere to stop child abuse you were sure of and could even see it happening? If you treat these acts differently you're living in a glass house and throwing stones.
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#19 Old 07-08-2008, 09:24 PM
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I manage a restaurant at a theater that serves tons of meat.



I've developed a sense of clinical detachment about the whole thing. I talk up the veggie options to customers and staff, and make sure the kitchen is providing accurate information about ingrediants to customers. I know there have been quite a few veggie customers relieved to speak to me about the food.

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#20 Old 07-09-2008, 01:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elanor View Post

Lentil burger-- It's obvious you enjoy stirring it up

Otherwise known as making people think.



Quote:
but I have to agree with cathias-- pedophilia is illegal.

I'm not actually suggesting that the two things are entirely analogous, but your statement makes no sense. Law does not define what is moral, and gassing Jews was legal in Nazi Germany. One would hope that you wouldn't have been comfortable assisting with that, regardless of the legal position.



Quote:
I'm quite uncomfortable eating meat. It's gross. And I love animals-- they are sentient beings, but honestly (I have to say it), they are not on the same level as human children.

That's fair enough. But a large proportion of animal rights activists would regard that as speciesism. I'm not saying I agree, but it interests me to consider how we arrive at certain moral distinctions within our individual ethical make-up.



So yes... I appreciate it's an extreme analogy, but I wonder if veggies/vegans haven't become a little desensitised. Would we really feel comfortable working with meat/dairy if the true horror of the industry was constantly fresh in our minds? I'm really not sure. To be honest, I have no firm opinion either way.... still exploring my ideas through discussions like this and trying to decide how I feel. I find that asking awkward questions helps.
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#21 Old 07-09-2008, 02:18 AM
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I would not work selling or serving meat, no. Meat eating is not as bad as child-rape to me, no, but simply because something is the lesser of two evils does not mean it's OK. The legal aspect is irrelevant to me. There are a whole lot of things that may be legal yet are immoral to me, things that I will never do nor encourage in others. It's not illegal to cheat on my partner yet I'd never do that. It's not illegal to blow my aging parents off and refuse them solace as they get older but I woudn't do that. It's not illegal to keep a flock-bird that typically travels thousands of miles each season in a tiny, 30cm by 30cm cage, either. Yet another legal thing I have no intention of doing.



Yes, I do have the ability to pick and choose my work and I'm able to know back waitressing jobs and the like but I worked damned hard to get to that point in life. I didn't get here by accident or luck.

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#22 Old 07-09-2008, 03:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bios View Post

You almost certainly associate with meat eaters, and may well be friends with some. Would you hang with a pedophile?

You could argue that the difference is one of awareness. Most meat-eaters have never really thought about what they're doing, and it probably hasn't occurred to them to question the morality of their actions. Burgers don't scream back at you.



Quote:
If you treat these acts differently you're living in a glass house and throwing stones.

Well not really, because I was just posing a question.
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#23 Old 07-10-2008, 01:09 PM
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I'd feel awful just seeing a piece of meat in front of me. You can't exactly say anything, though, or the restaurant would lose business and you would end up fired. But if someone asked you for advice about a meat item on the menu, just say "I haven't tried that particular item yet, but I hear...". You have to leave ethics out of it, hard as it may seem. Bottom line? I'd get a new job Good luck!
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#24 Old 07-10-2008, 08:27 PM
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I've been working with meat for more than 6 years... 3 years as a waitress and 3 years as an In-n-out Burger worker. Sometimes, I cook meat and get it all over my clothes and arms. It's not something I like to do, but it's my job. I want to leave In-n-out again and find another waitressing job because even though I'm making good money, it's not enough to get by.



My vegetarianism has come in handy for a lot of customers when I was a waitress. I knew what was vegetarian on the menu and what wasn't (even when it came down to the sauces). When customers would ask me if a meat item was good, I told them this: "Honestly, I've never had it, but it sells well." Sometimes I would mention that I was a vegetarian, sometimes I wouldn't. One time, when I told someone that, the Mom at the table had the nerve to tell me that it was a phase. She didn't know me at all and told me that my dietary habits for the last 3 years were a phase. I had my fair share of dumb customers....



The only thing you can do is mentally distance yourself from the meat. That's all you can do. I loved my waitressing job (except for the sexual harassment part).
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