In a dream world, we would all work at sanctuaries or own super trendy vegan cafes, slinging oat milk lattes every day and gossiping about our favorite vegan celebrities. I won’t lie, I fantasize about this often, especially from behind the desk of my current 9-5 job where I am the only vegan in sight. It can be draining to live a compassionate lifestyle in a world seemingly built on the antithesis of everything you stand for, but I’m here to offer some guidance on how to make your day job a little more vegan friendly (and bearable). ?
1. Host a Weekly Vegan Lunch Group
Veganism is SUPER trendy right now. I’m talking a 600% increase in the number of folks (just in the US!) who identify as vegan. It seems like every day there’s a new dairy-free dessert hitting the freezer aisle or another fashion house banning the use of fur, which is awesome! A mere five years ago, your co-workers would probably look at you like an alien if you said you were vegan, but now there’s a pretty good chance they at least know what you mean when you say your lunch is entirely plant-based. Heck, I bet nosy Karen at the desk next to yours has even asked a time or two “what IS that?” when you pull out your Amy’s vegan burrito. So, let’s capitalize on the popularity and curiosity! Set yourself up at a table in the lunch room or, even better, head outside for some vitamin D, and offer to inform your co-workers of all the easy and delicious ways to be a modern vegan! Show them we don’t just eat steamed tofu! Grab a pack of Divvie’s vegan cookies and let your colleagues pick your brain on all things vegan. You might be surprised at how open-minded and willing they could be to give veganism a try!
2. Support a Local Animal Shelter with a Donation Drive
Vegan or not, we’ve all shed a tear any time an ASPCA commercial comes on the TV. And, for a lot of people, this can be the catalyst to becoming a full-blown vegan. Reach out to a local animal shelter and get an idea about the kinds of items they’re in need of (old blankets, food, toys, etc.) and set up a box somewhere in your office for people to drop donations. You can engage with your colleagues when they’re dropping off their items about how great it is to support animals, while reminding them that cats and dogs aren’t the only creatures in need of our help. Something as simple as “I love that we’re able to help this local shelter, but it really makes me think of all the innocent farm animals that are too often forgotten…” might ignite the spark in someone’s mind and make the connection that all animals are deserving of our love and respect.
3. Organize an Earth Day Cleanup
Earth Day is right around the corner, on April 22, 2019, and is the perfect time to educate your office mates about the impact their food choices have on the environment. Rally everyone to get outside for 15 minutes collecting the trash around your office and, while you’re out there, let them know that this isn’t the only way they can help Mother Earth. Meat consumption contributes to a whopping 64% of greenhouse gas emissions, while adopting a plant-based lifestyle can slash your carbon footprint in half! Cowspiracy has even made a reader-friendly infographic that can be shared around your office to remind people of the very real impact on the planet they have simply by choosing what to eat at lunch time!
So, even though we unfortunately don’t all have our vegan dream jobs, it doesn’t mean we can’t spread the message in small ways every day. In fact, it’s these small moments of activism that really add up to make a big, big difference. And how awesome would it be to convince a few co-workers to give veganism a try! Before you know it, your office could become the most veg-friendly place in town!