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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,

My mum has been a vegetarian for years, and a vegan for over a year. She recently got a job opportunity to work in a cafe which she accepted. Prior to that she was not working, and due to medical reasons found it almost impossible to find work.

Obviously working in a cafe will mean she is surrounded by people eating animal products. She will have to take orders and bring people their food.

I told her that it will still happen even if she is not there. She does it but she switches off while she is at work.

Quite often she will doubt that what she is doing is right. I tell her that it's no worse than buying veggies from the supermarket that sells meat.

I am sure she would appreciate some uplifting advice from other like-minded people.

Thanks to all.
 

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As a police officer, I'm often required to destroy injured animals. I hate doing it, but hate seeing the animals suffer too. :-(
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaisieF View Post

As a police officer, I'm often required to destroy injured animals. I hate doing it, but hate seeing the animals suffer too. :-(
Well ...

I think a person who can do something they dont want to do out of compassion, and with compassion, is kinda more 'vegan' than a person who couldn't Maisie.

'Mercy' killings, I think, are better done by those who are reluctant rather than by those who are keen?
 

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Hi Brett


Just in case this helps ...

I had opportunity to purchase a snack wagon (road side jobbie that serves bacon rolls and such crap) recently. I considered it like this:

Without me it would continue to sell meat products at wahtever rate it sold meat products at.

With me it would have had to increase, and actively promote, a range of veg*an options as well.

Every vegan option sold would have meant one less meat product sold. Had that been succesfull it would have encouraged all the local competition to sell more veg*an and less meat too.

A kind of 'change from within' strategy I had in mind, as it were ..

Has your mum considered using whatever influence she has at her work in a similar way?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
'Mercy' killings, I think, are better done by those who are reluctant rather than by those who are keen?
Well said.

Quote:
Has your mum considered using whatever influence she has at her work in a similar way?
Yes, and she will offer opinions where appropriate, but those are usually few and far between.

Do you have any tips for "creating scenarios" where people might ask you more questions? I think this would be a positive step, and would not come off as "pushing views".

For example, you might ask if they would prefer dairy-free butter (instead of just using dairy) you may get a percentage of people who say yes, and another percentage that ask more info about it.

I think talking about health would be fine, but talking about exclusion of meat and dairy would be against the interests of the cafe owners. Its a fine line and as an employee representing their business, you have to choose your words carefully.
 

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If she could back it up with a case for increasing the cafe's customer base by selling more (or any?) vegetarian and vegan items, the cafe owners might agree.

However, if she is fairly new, she should wait a bit before suggesting changes (especially to the owners) or pushing ideas on customers (some of which may be regulars and know the owners quite well). People can, and will, take it as a personal attack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@TailFin, great idea. I will get her to check if they sell any items that are already vegan (maybe accidently vegan) and they could maybe mark them as vegan. Same with vego stuff.

Thats one BIG problem I have when I go out to eat. So hard to know what is vegan friendly. Even sometimes when you ask the staff they have no idea.
 

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I work in a restaurant that specializes in house made sausages. I actually enjoy watching unhealthy people choke down sausages all day long. It's reaffirming.
 

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Maybe she can consider this as gaining experience so when she applies at a vegan cafe next time, they'll be sure to seriously consider her.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornernote View Post

Well said.

Yes, and she will offer opinions where appropriate, but those are usually few and far between.

Do you have any tips for "creating scenarios" where people might ask you more questions? I think this would be a positive step, and would not come off as "pushing views".

For example, you might ask if they would prefer dairy-free butter (instead of just using dairy) you may get a percentage of people who say yes, and another percentage that ask more info about it.

I think talking about health would be fine, but talking about exclusion of meat and dairy would be against the interests of the cafe owners. Its a fine line and as an employee representing their business, you have to choose your words carefully.
One would be allergies!! Ask what they do when someone with a food allergy comes in and can't eat eggs or dairy.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornernote View Post

Do you have any tips for "creating scenarios" where people might ask you more questions?
Tricky in the situation that your mum has to operate in Brett ..

Technicaly, as yo' momma is dealing with paying customers, it is a 'sales' situation. Questions have to lead somewhere.

Like if you ask a customer if they would prefer dairy free/low salt/low fat/organic/humanley produced this that or t'other then you have got to have some of whatever it is to give them. You'd look like a prize wozzack if someone said "oh yes, dairy free please" and then you have to tell them that you havent actualy got any?

That means first convincing the restaurant owners/managers that having some vegan options to offer customers is worth them chucking a few dollars at.

That's back to being a bit of a sales job again as the benefit over risk/aggravation then has to be 'sold' to the owners/managers.

Now as it happens I am a salesman and I often have to sell to what we call the Ho-Re-Ca (Hotel Restaurant and Catering) sectors.

Gonna put my mind to this one. Probably will start a new topic to discuss ideas on how to 'sell' veganism to the meat fixated muppetry that dominate the catering industry.

Will say this though; Veg*ans, generaly, have worked long and hard to prove to the catering industry that we are wishy-washy-wankers who will put up with whatever unimaginative crap is incidentaly available to them.

That, when it comes to persuading caterers that veg*ans are worth any effort at all, is obstacle number one to overcome.
 

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I understand how she feels - I'm a chef, and not only does where I work serve animal products, I have no choice but to prepare them - and there are many times when I'm up to my elbows in veal bones (for stock) or chopping up chicken/lamb/beef/etc. that I say to myself "How can I do this? How can I be part of this?"

I remind myself that if it's not me doing these things, it'll be just someone else - and I have to make a paycheck to be able to take care of myself and my animals. I annoy my coworkers to no end by making vegan meals for staff meal when I get that task added to my plate, and by encouraging them to at least cut back on meat and dairy, and up the vegetable intake! One of my coworkers is a big guy, eats loads of meat, and is actually proud of it and how he is obviously "thriving" because of his size. I point out to him that his 3 month old son probably wants him to live to see him graduate high school, and he gets really quiet, then!

Right now, though, I'm slogging through, trying to educate the kitchen and the servers, and dreaming of the day I can open my own restaurant - a vegan cafe with a big focus on raw food and fresh juice!
 

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~
 

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I work in a restaurant as a waitress and I have to serve animal products. Sometimes the smell and sight of flesh gets to me a bit but essentially I am not creating demand for the animal products and I can provide more education about veg*nism to the rest of the staff. It can be funny sometimes, if someone mentions there is a vegan as part of a booking on a night I am working the managers purposefully put the booking in my section. That is good because the customer then has someone who understands and I am a pro at veganising our menu because I do it for my staff meals all the time.
 

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I don't find it hard at all to discuss my veganism w/o pushing it on other people. As long as you aren't aggressive about it most people can relate in some way or another. I find that in larger groups people tend to be a little more "macho", especially guys, but most of them will come up to me later and ask me about it 1 on 1 and really listen to what I have to say.

As far as the ethics of working there, like others have said, it's not like she's increasing meat consumption. Maybe she could even recommend certain foods. I had a vegan cousin who worked @ arby's. Personally though, even though I'm OK w/ it, I think it would still be stressful for me to work there. Up to her I guess. If I had no job I'd prob be workin there too, at least for now. Doesn't mean she can't stop looking.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornernote View Post

I told her that it will still happen even if she is not there. She does it but she switches off while she is at work.
Eh, that's a little like saying "if you don't do the job, somebody else will do it" as a rationalization for other immoral industries (Nuremberg defense).

What you can say that, it CAN BE different if she's there. She can encourage people to order vegetarian and vegan items, which they would do less frequently if she wasn't there to give the encouragement.

She can learn some subtle ways to do it, both conversationally and subliminally by flashing menu items or perhaps slipping words into the small talk a la Derren Brown (whether that kind of subconscious suggestion is effective or not is questionable, but she could try).

Some staff will even tell customers that they are "out of" some item on the menu if it is difficult to prepare. She could even say they are "out of" some of the meat items from time to time if she wanted to- although that's an ethical conundrum in itself (it being a lie, and all). Is it right to lie to save a life? Hard to say.
 

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Originally Posted by Kumo View Post

Right now, though, I'm slogging through, trying to educate the kitchen and the servers, and dreaming of the day I can open my own restaurant - a vegan cafe with a big focus on raw food and fresh juice!
Wow, that's really heart breaking that you have to do that every day. I'm glad you're able to make a bit of a positive difference by giving the staff vegan meals!

Even the worst moral position can be an opportunity to do something a little better than it would be done otherwise.

Think Mr. Schindler. Stay positive.
 

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I'm a student, but I also work at a fabric store part time, and we sell wool and some silk stuff. That's all I can think of.
 

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Maybe she can help to implement changes. As a vegan who worked at Taco Bell, people really appreciated when I understood the veg*n in the group trying to order. Also, when ordering food, I tell the employees that I don't consider picked around food "contaminated" because it will encourage them to leave less meat in the overall product so that they have room to pick around for vegetables. So, it CAN be a way to help, not hurt.
 
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