A Vegan in America’s Food Industry

I want to start this off with something I’ve been wanting to get off my chest for some time now…I feel like a huge hypocrite. I preach about Veganism, yet I work for a company that is far from vegan. I hate it.

Let’s rewind a bit—I have two jobs. One is working with students, which I absolutely adore. The other is in a restaurant where I am a server. This is where the issues lie. I would LOVE to work for a full service Vegan Kitchen, like Ethos, however there’s no way I’d be hired anywhere with the limited availability I have. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great company to work for: they take care of their employees, management is wonderful, and my fellow coworkers make going to work fun. I don’t hate my job or the employees and guests there, I hate how I feel about myself working there when I have the strong views I do.

There are a few vegetarian options, which is awesome, but the majority of guests coming in have no desire in ordering a vegetarian meal (even though the choices we have are AMAZING). I attempt to push these options at times but I typically get responses like, “HA! Where’s the beef?”

restaurant1Which brings me to when guests ask for a recommendation or my opinion on a dish. I never tell a table I’m Vegan. “Vegan” tends to have such a negative connotation to most of society. I avoid telling those I serve that I am vegan for fear they may take it out on me and my tip later on. And so, I lie and tell them I am pescatarian (like vegetarian, but seafood is still incorporated in the diet). When I first began at this restaurant, I still ate seafood, thus I have tried most of those items on the menu. Even with sharing this somewhat-true information, I can feel my tables judging me most of the time.

As if having my tables judge me wasn’t bad enough, I can sense some negative opinions from fellow employees. Okay, let’s backtrack again. Some are interested in hearing what I eat on a daily basis (they usually respond with “That actually sounds really good…but I just could never do it”) and there are a couple vegetarians/pescatarians at work, too. But there is one person in particular that scoffs and mumbles under breath any time I bring up my lifestyle—which isn’t often—or inquire about ways I can eat vegan at work. It’s absolutely infuriating. And don’t get me started on when I hear another server come back into the kitchen saying they have a vegan at their table. Why must some people be so closed-minded? Why must we be judged for not wanting to hurt animals and wanting to save our planet?

restaurant3Lastly, let’s touch back on those vegetarian options. As I said, that’s awesome we have a few of those. However, they are almost impossible to modify into vegan options. I do my best while trying not to annoy the cooks. And this applies to any restaurant. A lot of restaurants are beginning to offer vegetarian options but they are typically just some variation of a veggie burger. Cool, you have a veggie option. You’re trying. But ever think we may be tired of veggie burgers?! I really hope I’m not coming off as a snob. I just believe the Vegan community is growing fast and restaurants should be accepting. I personally was never a big burger person even when I ate meat. They tasted good, sure, but I never craved one. So I sure as hell don’t crave (veggie) burgers now.

That being said, I think it’s pretty clear why Shmesh and I created this blog and have dreams of becoming our own Vegan Kitchen one day. Aside from the fact that we both enjoy cooking, we hope to inspire others; inspire others to try vegan food and to maybe even become vegan themselves. We hope our tasty recipes and, soon, delicious meals in our business will help show people how amazing Vegan food truly can be. Finally, we hope to be a place where other vegans can eat out and order ANYTHING their heart desires on our menu.

To save animals. To save their babies. To save our people. To save our planet.
You all are here at the beginning of our journey and we’re so happy to have your support.

Much Love & Many Nomz!

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