How to Handle Being the Office Vegan

It’s easy to feel so connected and part of a community when you’re surrounded by like-minded people. As vegans, our community is precious to us and we immediately feel a bond with someone the instant they say they’re vegan, too.

So, what happens when we can’t be around our “people”? For instance, at work.

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When it comes to my vegan lifestyle, my coworkers are a mixed bag: some are intrigued and supportive, some think it’s weird and avoid anything vegan, and some are simply indifferent.

On top of being known as the Smoothie Queen of the Marketing Department, I get a lot of comments and questions about the food I eat. And I appreciate it because, even when it’s negative, at least they’re talking about it.

No matter what the remark, it’s key to respond with love, remembering that you were once in their position. Below are some stories of interactions with my coworkers. Be sure to share your stories in the comments!


Are you going to eat that whole thing?

When it’s in season, I often bring half of a watermelon to work for breakfast. And I think it makes people confused or even uncomfortable. I get lots of comments and jokes about my watermelon.

A coworker asked me once, “Are you going to eat that whole thing?!” I matter-of-factly said, “Yes,” and we laughed together.

I try to be the example that it’s ok to eat as much as you want. U.S. News lists Weight Watchers Diet, HMR Program, and the Biggest Loser Diet as the best weight-loss diets of 2016. Sadly, they all focus on calorie restriction.

I’m hopeful that if my coworkers continue to see me eat as much as I care for, maybe even a small bit of it will rub off and they might substitute a small piece of chicken for a large bowl of pasta at our next lunch outing. Which leads me to my next story…

Zen Burger

We often go out to lunch as a team and one of our favorite places is a (vegan-friendly) café down the street. Me being a fan of consistency, I always order the Zen Burger: a stacked burger with a Boca patty.

One of the strongest contesters of my vegan lifestyle saw me devouring this mouth-watering burger and started asking questions. Now, she gets the Zen Burger nearly every time.

It’s so rewarding to see a non-vegan enjoy vegan-alternative foods. Especially when the vegan-alternatives are so much healthier. Here’s a comparison of the Boca Burger and a hamburger. It’s a wonder why anyone still eats hamburgers!

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The Cookie Incident

At my company, there is always an excuse to have free food around, whether it be Wednesday Breakfast, Friday Lunch or someone’s birthday. One particular birthday, everyone got Mrs. Fields cookies.

Wanting to take part in the celebration, I brought my own Lenny and Larry’s The Complete Cookie to munch on. Naturally people were curious about the chocolate chip cookie suitable for a vegan so the questions started.

I offered everyone a taste and not one person was brave enough to take a piece. But the conversation continued and soon a couple people were hesitantly taking a small bite.

What surprised me, though, was that some of my teammates were so against trying a vegan cookie. It’s not that they didn’t want a cookie, they were already eating the Mrs. Fields. It’s that the word “vegan” triggered something in them that they felt repulsed or scared or intimidated by it.


Being the only vegan in your workplace comes with great responsibility. You must be the light gently guiding your coworkers toward the truth.

How do you guide your non-vegan coworkers? What successes or failures have you had in the process?

20 thoughts on “How to Handle Being the Office Vegan

  1. I am not vegan myself, but our son, daughter-in-law and their two kiddies are vegan. I have no problem with it and cater for them on a regular basis, and just love their food as well. When we have a family gathering, and some of my co-workers hear about it, they will ask me the same type of quesitons: How do you cope with making vegan food. It’s not difficult or hard to do. Just use common sense and enjoy it as well. I am glad and happy for you. Many a day will go by, that I in fact eat as a vegan. I love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There are about 160 people in our building, and I am the only vegan (and there’s no veggies)! I find people have only been curious about it, and asked questions. I often get people saying they admire my choice but couldn’t do it, so I try my best to let them know all the wonderful benefits 🙂

    Have also had people ask me if I’m going to eat that whole melon haha 😀 At the moment, honeydew melons are soo good and I can’t help but eat them whole.

    P.S. Really enjoying your blog and have prob commented on every post, apologies for spam!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Questions are awesome. Because even if it doesn’t compel them to change, they may be in a conversation with someone else and say, “There’s this girl at my work who’s vegan. She told me…” You never know!
      Ah I love knowing I’m not the only one who brings melons to work!
      I’m so glad you’re enjoying it. All your comments and kind words motivate me to make it better and better.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi,
    My daughter Hayley loves mangoes.
    Congratulations on being Danny Ray’s featured blogger! I was his featured blogger too. Maybe you can check out my blog if you need a blogging tip or two. That’s what I write about.
    Janice

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Rachel,
        Thanks for the follow! My youngest daughter’s name is Rachel! You have things in common with both my youngest daughters (I have three). I am having a blog party on my site today. Why don’t you come by?
        Janice

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post, Rachel! I am not vegan, but I am very conscious of balance in my life and diet. I too, have come across those who feel the need to comment on what I eat. One particular example I like to share is how coworkers feel they have the right to lecture me for salting my food. As a runner and a Florida resident, I am salt deficient which I rarely even bother to explain. I totally appreciated the watermelon anecdote! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s funny how everyone seems to think they know what’s best for every person. Most of the time their knowledge is just flat out wrong. You never know what someone’s circumstance is. Thanks for sharing!

      Like

  5. I would get annoyed by questions like….What are you eating? Where do you get your protein? But now I respond out of love and invite them some of my food or even for over for dinner. It’s nice to know your facts and respond with an educated response like vegetables have protein. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

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