What would you do? Birthday cake at work. - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-03-2009, 06:57 PM
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So I work for a company that treats their employees really well - we have 2 all-expense paid activity days per year in the country, have welcome lunches for new employees (and goodbye cocktails for people who are leaving), an all-expense paid Xmas party, a paid Xmas lunch, etc. If it's your birth month you get treated to lunch and cakes are ordered. Obviously, I won't be able to eat the cake, as the bakery they order from does not make anything vegan. So this is what I've been thinking about:



1) I am supposed to choose the cake I want... I'll probably just ask one of my coworkers to choose since it won't matter to me if I'm not eating it.



2) I thought about bringing my own amazing chocolate vegan cupcakes as an additional thing, but it's my birthday and the company is paying for the cakes, so I think it might come across as rude or pretentious (sort of like "looking a gift horse in the mouth" if you know what I mean... not saying I will eat the cake just because they pay for it, because I won't... although I very much appreciate the fact that they want to do this for us)



3) I can't just find a place that does make vegan cakes because I'm not the only one with a B-day in Feb. and I don't want to be an inconvenience or be too demanding (not my style).



4) I don't think I have any other option apart than just ordering it and not eating it... then again, we all have "cake time" together in the office kitchen, so everyone will know that the birthday girl isn't eating her "own" cake.



Sigh. Only a few people know I don't eat meat, milk or eggs, but that might not make them think "Gee, she probably can't have the cake we're ordering." I don't really want to point it out...
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#2 Old 02-03-2009, 07:09 PM
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i think people would understand if you brought your own cake and intended to share it with whomever was interested. explain to whomever is ordering the cake that its awesome to be celebrating and you appreciate whatever is being done for you, just simply explain that you choose not to consume xyz, but will be bringing your amazing cake for anyone to enjoy. just keep it simple. tell your fave co-worker that he/she can pick what kind of cake the company is buying!

have fun!
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#3 Old 02-03-2009, 07:36 PM
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Since your company purchases the cake for you, why not at least ask if you can order a vegan cake? Offer to cover the cost difference between their cake and a vegan one you'd prefer. Or, just let them know that you'd prefer to make your own cake and bring it to share your love with everyone you work with. What good is a birthday if you can't share?
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#4 Old 02-03-2009, 11:18 PM
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You reminded me of this episode of Seinfeld:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zGKGZ24M7U



Why don't you want to point it out? If you stay at this company this situation is bound to come up again.
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#5 Old 02-04-2009, 05:04 AM
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I would totally let them buy a cake and I would bring my own vegan cupcakes...in fact, I do this every month because we celebrate monthly birthdays where I work. And I am a February girl too!! Happy Birthday to you!



Everyone I work with is very open/accepting of my dietary choices so it does make it easy for me. Plus, they look forward to me bringing in food, particularly baked goods...you can always hear everyone saying, "did Karen make these?", "what did Karen make?" They love everything I bring in and will eat that first before eating any of the store bought stuff!!
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#6 Old 02-04-2009, 05:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pandora9kry View Post

Since your company purchases the cake for you, why not at least ask if you can order a vegan cake? Offer to cover the cost difference between their cake and a vegan one you'd prefer. Or, just let them know that you'd prefer to make your own cake and bring it to share your love with everyone you work with. What good is a birthday if you can't share?

This. I do the latter because my company would never think of purchasing any cake for their employees' birthdays, and we only have inofficial birthday celebrations during breaks anyway. But if they did, and let me choose one, I'd definitely not consider it an inconvenience for anyone to order a vegan cake for my birthday to share with everyone else. My coworkers never complained about any differences between cake other people brought or my vegan stuff, all they care for is that it looks and tastes good (something with chocolate in it is usually most popular), and as we all know many vegan baked goods do.
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#7 Old 02-04-2009, 05:20 AM
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i'm sure if you explained it they would understand... if they dont - thats just rude!



this is something i have to learn to tackle now that i am going down the vegan track. i have always been a sucker for cakes and the such, and my work is very much the same... if there is something to celebrate there's cake or a lunch! hell we are having bubbly at work the day i get the keys to my new house LOL
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#8 Old 02-04-2009, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by karenlovessnow View Post

I would totally let them buy a cake and I would bring my own vegan cupcakes..





I'd definitely do this.



But I'd let my company and my work-friends know why I'm doing it (i.e. because I'm vegan) so they don't order too much cake, or think I'm snobby for not eating theirs.



.
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#9 Old 02-04-2009, 06:58 AM
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Could you ask instead for a nice fruit tray or something?

http://megatarian.blogspot.com
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#10 Old 02-04-2009, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LongLashedVeg View Post

Sigh. Only a few people know I don't eat meat, milk or eggs, but that might not make them think "Gee, she probably can't have the cake we're ordering." I don't really want to point it out...





I think this is your difficulty. This issue of your dietary choices will come up again, and so you may just want to address it once and for all. I'm sure some people will think your choices are odd, but others will ask questions and be generally interested. This is a great opportunity for you to bring up your veganism, in a situation where you have some control. I would agree that bringing your own cupcakes to share would be a great idea, and let the company supply a cake as well. I think it sends a better message if we vegans aren't always the ones saying "No, I can't eat that" but rather "Here, try this - isn't it good?"

It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities. ~A. Dumbledore
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#11 Old 02-04-2009, 07:46 AM
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I would definitely talk to HR or whoever does the cake ordering and let them know you're vegan and would not be able to eat the cake that is bought to celebrate your birthday. Then I would suggest an alternative. My bringing in vegan cupcakes is what I would choose, or something like the fruit platter. If the price of a vegan cake was not much more than the price of a regular cake, then I might suggest that. Somehow, I get the feeling a vegan cake would be more expensive, even though it usually contains less. (And hopefully you would know about the place that makes it, because I've had both good and really bad vegan cakes made commercially.)
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#12 Old 02-04-2009, 08:09 AM
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i would never tell someone i "cant" have xyz food--sends a bad message---its a CHOICE (unless there is an allergy). it would be like someone that does not have tofu, amaranth, seaweed and on and on in their diet saying they "cant" have it---it is a choice to include these things or not. just a pet peeve of mine.
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#13 Old 02-04-2009, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by smedley View Post

i would never tell someone i "cant" have xyz food--sends a bad message---its a CHOICE (unless there is an allergy). it would be like someone that does not have tofu, amaranth, seaweed and on and on in their diet saying they "cant" have it---it is a choice to include these things or not. just a pet peeve of mine.



Indeed. The last message you want to give is that vegans can't even eat cake. What a turnoff (to the idea of veganism) that would be for so many people. So skip the fruit too.



I'd bring in a cake or cupcakes or see if they can order a vegan cake.
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#14 Old 02-04-2009, 02:04 PM
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I would speak to the person who orders the cake and ask if it would be ok for me to bring a home-made cake to share because I don't eat milk or eggs so wouldn't be eating the bought cake. It would be a good way of letting your colleagues know that you are vegan without having to make a big deal out of it, if they ask who brought the home-made cake you just say, "me, because I'm vegan/I don't eat milk or eggs, here you go, have some cake, it's really nice". I'd definitely want to bring some cake, standing there not eating cake does not send out a good message about veganism and I'd probably make my colleagues more uncomfortable by standing there not eating while they were eating than if I was eating too.
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#15 Old 02-04-2009, 07:46 PM
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Thanks to all who responded. Your support and advice mean a lot to me.



I have decided that I'm going to speak to the Admin director - she knows I'm vegan and is one of my favourite coworkers. I'm going to tell her that since I won't be eating the cake they are ordering, I'm volunteering to bring something (and that I'll be more than happy to). I'm definitely going to make those yummy cupcakes.



I also think that it would be better to bring along the cupcakes than just sit there and perpetuate stereotypes about vegans being deprived of sweets. I've made the cupcakes for my non-vegan family and friends and they have disappeared within 2 days, lol.



This is my first birthday being vegan. I'm turning 25!





THANKS afga
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#16 Old 02-04-2009, 07:46 PM
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Thanks to all who responded. Your support and advice mean a lot to me.



I have decided that I'm going to speak to the Admin director - she knows I'm vegan and is one of my favourite coworkers. I'm going to tell her that since I won't be eating the cake they are ordering, I'm volunteering to bring something (and that I'll be more than happy to). I'm definitely going to make those yummy cupcakes.



I also think that it would be better to bring along the cupcakes than just sit there and perpetuate stereotypes about vegans being deprived of sweets. I've made the cupcakes for my non-vegan family and friends and they have disappeared within 2 days, lol.



This is my first birthday being vegan. I'm turning 25!





THANKS again!!!
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#17 Old 02-04-2009, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by sybaritik View Post

I'd definitely do this.



But I'd let my company and my work-friends know why I'm doing it (i.e. because I'm vegan) so they don't order too much cake, or think I'm snobby for not eating theirs.



.



exactly...or suggest something else instead of cake.
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#18 Old 02-04-2009, 09:48 PM
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I still don't understand why you can't request a vegan cake for your birthday.
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#19 Old 02-04-2009, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by VeganKosmos View Post

I still don't understand why you can't request a vegan cake for your birthday.



If I found a place that makes and delivers vegan cakes, I'd have a solution...
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#20 Old 02-04-2009, 11:05 PM
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I still don't understand why you can't request a vegan cake for your birthday.



Where do you live?
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#21 Old 02-05-2009, 09:52 AM
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Where do you live?



Middle of Nowhere, Oklahoma. But yeah, I got the point. I was assuming that everyone was in a place with many vegan options. Unfortunately, that's not always the case.
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