Do you judge people who serve meat? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-09-2014, 10:15 AM
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A spin off of the slaughterhouse workers thread.

I don't see myself ever working in a slaughterhouse in a million years but I work at a restaurant which serves meat as a waitress. Now I have runners (people who bring the food to the table) and bussers (people who clean up the tables and wrap the food if people want it to go) so really the only things I'm responsible for are making recommendations, bringing drinks and running payments.

Still I am responsible for recommending animal dishes. And describing tortured carcasses as delicious, etc. I never tell my patrons that I'm veg unless I find out that they're veg.

I guess what I'm trying to entangle is my level of responsibility. I went vegetarian and later vegan due to working at a vegan restaurant...but they said I didn't have enough fine dining skills and I went back to work for Hooters. I work at a casual fine dining modern American place now.

I guess I don't have to be a server for a living, but my living expenses are high in NYC and for a college drop out this is the highest paying unskilled labor I can find. I eventually want to work for Sysco (major restaurant supply chain) but that isn't a veg*n job either.

Thoughts?
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#2 Old 02-09-2014, 10:23 AM
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Everyone has to make a living. Servers/hosts/busers don't make or break the meat industry and everyone who walks into a restaurant thinking about eating an animal is going to eat one whether you recommend it or not. It's basically do far from the root at worst you're enabling, at best you're trying to scrape by like everyone else.

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#3 Old 02-09-2014, 11:09 AM
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I work in the Uk in Horticultre we grow trees and some bedding plants. No meat production but we will try to stop/kill rabbits/ mice/ voles/Slugs/Snails many other things that when you grow a monocrop, lots of one thing together then nature quickly adapts to your plans.
I dont kill things but I am part of an industry that does.
I just try to do as little damage as I can while I'm here..
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#4 Old 02-09-2014, 11:42 AM
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Hello Broccolichick,

When one person holds one point of view serve meat and another upholds a very different belief, their is great potential for conflict. Yet conversations like this effectively amount to, OH YES IT IS....immediately contradicated by OH NO IT ISN'T.... belong only in pantomime. In all other contexts they don't end in laughter, they end in tears.All Vegans are in the process of getting the planet out of it's fixed position and getting us human's to engage in a constructive process on the meat industry and the rights of all animals on the Planet.

Till then we all got bill's to pay,even us Vegans.

 

STAY HAPPY

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#5 Old 02-09-2014, 04:33 PM
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There are very few veg*n jobs out there, so I wouldn't stress about it too much.

Even in jobs far removed from food, there's always a product or a moment that is decidedly UNveg*n and whether or not we can refuse to do certain things, really depends on how much power we have in that moment.

Whenever I've had to do something that is definitely unveg*n (and it's come very close, if not more so to what you have to do), I remind myself that one day I will have the power to choose.

 

Right now, you're a waitress, you don't really have a lot of options as to whether or not you recommend animals for people to eat. But, let's say you focus on maybe working your way up the chain of command. One day, you're not a waitress, you're in the corporate part of Sysco. Then, you can instigate change, if only to get them to push for better animal practises, or for more vegan and vegetarian options in the menu.

Or, if you just stay as a waitress, you're instigating change by talking to the veg customers who come into the restaurant and need to find something to eat. You're helping vegetarianism and veganism become more normalised, in what is arguably the hardest part of veg*nism- Eating out with carnists.

In short, if I was at a restaurant and the waitress said to me "I'm a vegan" I wouldn't judge her, but I would feel sorry for her. It's only luck that I haven't had to wait tables (yet, give it time :P) and I think it would be a hard job to do at the best of times, let alone while being veg*n.
 

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#6 Old 02-09-2014, 05:08 PM
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If I was at a restaurant and you (as in the waiter or waitress) told me you were vegan I'd breathe a sigh of relief, get your recommendation for a good meal, and then tip you extra well.

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#7 Old 02-09-2014, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drsmokey View Post

If I was at a restaurant and you (as in the waiter or waitress) told me you were vegan I'd breathe a sigh of relief, get your recommendation for a good meal, and then tip you extra well.

I agree! I had a server ask once if I was vegan, when I was waiting for my take out order for 4. It was an omni but vegan-friendly Mexican place, and she said she was vegan and always talked to customers who ordered vegan food. She had suggestions of other stuff to order, and we talked about other vegan-friendly places to eat. Finding someone who understands is always nice. smiley.gif
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#8 Old 02-09-2014, 10:03 PM
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My restaurant is not vegetarian or vegan friendly so I go out of my way to make sure my veg*n guests get a decent meal. The former chef used to hate veg*n's so he purposely mislead our guests about the fact that the black bean burger contained egg whites. I always make sure my guests know 100% of what's going into their mouths cause when I go out to eat I appreciate the same.
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#9 Old 02-10-2014, 05:42 AM
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That should be illegal :mad:

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#10 Old 02-10-2014, 07:52 AM
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That should be illegal mad.gif
That IS illegal! Misleading someone about what is in food that is served to them is also dangerous as they may have a serious allergy! Any thing like what broccolichick mentioned should be reported.
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#11 Old 02-10-2014, 11:47 AM
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Misleading people about what's in food is not illegal or 50-75 % of restaurants would be closed. If you have a serious allergy they could easily pull the cross contamination card.
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#12 Old 02-10-2014, 12:09 PM
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@ broccolichick that is true and that is why people with serious food allergies should avoid restaurants altogether ....
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#13 Old 02-10-2014, 02:45 PM
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No, I don't judge people who serve meat.

People have to be able to eat and pay the rent.

Based on a person's skill set, location and circumstances, they may not have many options, and will have to make due with work they can find.

Happiness is not the result of a mathematical equation comparing the good times and bad times someone has had. It is a state of mind.
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#14 Old 02-10-2014, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by broccolichick View Post

Misleading people about what's in food is not illegal or 50-75 % of restaurants would be closed. If you have a serious allergy they could easily pull the cross contamination card.

 

Well, it could be a case of fraud, which can be criminal.  But it would need to be demonstrated that this evil chef profited from the deception.  If he didn't make any money from it, and was just a wicked human being taking joy in the suffering of others, then he probably would not be criminally liable.

 

It could also be reckless endangerment, due to risk of allergic reactions.  Cross contamination isn't a defense, unless normal (expected) cross contamination during cooking would have made the food equally dangerous to the amount that was added.  Nobody actually has to be hurt for the chef to be tried for reckless endangerment- the danger just has to be there.

 

The statute of limitations on reckless endangerment is probably five years.  If the chef is as big of a jerk as it sounds like, he could possibly server jail time for that.  How long ago was this?  And is there proof of it, or enough people to testify so it's not just one person's word vs. another's?

 

 

Civil lawsuits are another matter, though, and there have been a few cases of civil suits for pain and suffering, emotional damages, spiritual damages, etc. for restaurants lying about their food products which actually contained meat.  Of course, for that you generally need identified plaintiffs with standing to sue.

 

 

 

 

Anyway, regarding serving meat- I couldn't lie and recommend things (not something I can do personally).  But if you're required to say it, maybe say it without enthusiasm.  Or recommend more vegetarian dishes to omnivores- even a little bit of gentle nudging would easily outweigh any contributions to the industry.

 

You could also just stop recommending the meat dishes at all, and just describe them flatly without making them sound good.

If they threaten to fire you for it, you could explain that it's against your religion (religion here perhaps being moral beliefs- not their business why you believe what you do).  They'll probably back down.  Most employers are afraid to be sued for wrongful termination (you'd just have to be careful you don't do anything else wrong if administration is out to can you).  But if your employers know the law better than they would be expected to as restaurant managers, then they might just fire you (you can't actually sue them for that, since it's part of the job to lie about the food).

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#15 Old 02-10-2014, 05:45 PM
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Again if misleading guests about what's in food was criminal most restaurants would be in serious trouble. Restaurants routinely mislead people on the cuts of meat they're being served, the source of their product, whether it's organic or not, and even what species of fish they're consuming. I've worked in at least 15 restaurants, corporate, non-corporate etc. and it happens everywhere. It's not necessarily malicious and who's responsible varies, if something can't be sourced it's replaced, etc.
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#16 Old 02-10-2014, 06:03 PM
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If they threaten to fire you for it, you could explain that it's against your religion (religion here perhaps being moral beliefs- not their business why you believe what you do).  They'll probably back down.  Most employers are afraid to be sued for wrongful termination (you'd just have to be careful you don't do anything else wrong if administration is out to can you).  But if your employers know the law better than they would be expected to as restaurant managers, then they might just fire you (you can't actually sue them for that, since it's part of the job to lie about the food).

Well there are two issues here. As a condition of continued employment I signed something saying that I can't bring a bring a civil suit against them for any reason, I agree binding arbitration on any disagreement. Secondly I work an at-will state meaning they don't have to have a reason to fire me.
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#17 Old 02-10-2014, 06:24 PM
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Again if misleading guests about what's in food was criminal most restaurants would be in serious trouble. Restaurants routinely mislead people on the cuts of meat they're being served, the source of their product, whether it's organic or not, and even what species of fish they're consuming. I've worked in at least 15 restaurants, corporate, non-corporate etc. and it happens everywhere. It's not necessarily malicious and who's responsible varies, if something can't be sourced it's replaced, etc.

 

That's like saying 'If having sex with a girl too drunk to legally consent was rape, most men would be in serious trouble" :rolleyes: - it just often goes unreported, and even when reported, it's hard to prove it.

 

In the case of fraud, if it is deliberate, it is criminal.

 

Fraud is one of the most rampant and under-reported kinds of crime there is (probably even more so than date rape); particularly in retail.  Of course, it's also a much less serious crime in most cases, which is why most people don't care.

 

The main trick is you have to prove they did it deliberately, and that it wasn't just due to incompetence.

 

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Well there are two issues here. As a condition of continued employment I signed something saying that I can't bring a bring a civil suit against them for any reason, I agree binding arbitration on any disagreement. Secondly I work an at-will state meaning they don't have to have a reason to fire me.

 

Well, you couldn't sue either way.  It's legal to fire employees for not doing something that's legitimately part of the job, even if it's against their religion.  Most managers probably just don't know that.

 

The main effect is just a practical barrier against being fired; a bluff, in a way.

 

But if you're at-will, then they might not even consider it, and might just fire you.  I'm not sure what the protections are for employees working at-will in NY.  But that doesn't matter- what matters is what your manager thinks the protections are (since you can't sue either way).

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#18 Old 02-10-2014, 07:00 PM
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Well if you can find a single case where a restaurant has been found criminally liable for doing such a thing I'm all ears because I haven't worked in a single restaurant who hasn't misrepresented items on the menu at one time or another.

As for at-will employment an employer can't violate known labor law or terminate as retaliation for reporting a violation of known labor law, but as far as civil issues you can be terminated without reason, without notice.
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#19 Old 02-10-2014, 07:35 PM
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Well if you can find a single case where a restaurant has been found criminally liable for doing such a thing I'm all ears because I haven't worked in a single restaurant who hasn't misrepresented items on the menu at one time or another.
 

 

Here's the thing:

 

1. The customer has to figure out he or she has been duped.  This rarely happens.  How many people have ever said "Hey, this doesn't taste organic!" (particularly, because in many cases, there is no taste difference, or only an expert could tell the difference).

 

2. The case has to be brought to trial-

-If it's over a $50 bill, the owner is always just going to settle out of court (because they know they were wrong)

-No DA would likely prosecute a food fraud case so small without evidence that it was ongoing.  It would have to be a pretty classy restaurant with a BIG bill, or a big dinner party, or a lot of customers coming forwards together.

-Most food fraud cases, in practice, are class action (a few, like with distributors, have resulted in jail time- though proving criminal culpability of any person is even harder)

 

3. The fraud has to actually be proven- which means evidence that the establishment made the claim at all (and it wasn't just a rogue employee), and that they knew it was incorrect when making it.  This is incredibly hard in practice.  It's very easy to argue incompetence, or that the claim came from an unauthorized employee.

 

Like with Date rape- it's just so hard to prove ('we were both drunk' or 'she wasn't drunk', etc.), we see very few cases of these things going to court because people know how hard they are to win.  Most are really big deals that make it (like the Honey laundering scandal).


 

Quote:
As for at-will employment an employer can't violate known labor law or terminate as retaliation for reporting a violation of known labor law, but as far as civil issues you can be terminated without reason, without notice.

 

OK, so, they probably can't ask you to be complicit in the commission of any crimes- one of which would be knowingly lying to customers for food sales.  You can be made to subjectively describe something as delicious, but they can't fire you for refusing to call their meat organic (for example) if it is not.

 

That's probably the best you can do (just being honest about the meat in objective terms)- not sure if that's the kind of restaurant where that would matter though.

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#20 Old 02-14-2014, 12:30 PM
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Nope..

Dog, guts and guns..
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#21 Old 02-14-2014, 06:26 PM
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