Friday, February 29, 2008

Grumble, Snarl, Mumble

Just thought I would post some mid-day whining. I am on a committee here at the university that is having a lunch meeting on Monday. I emailed the coordinator to let her know I am a vegan. She emailed back saying the lunch would be "vegan friendly" and that there would be "a salad with dressing on the side, fruits, vegetables, assorted pastries, croissants." Oh, great . . . so while everyone else gets some entree, I get a salad and some veggies. Dude, I am 6' 5"! Man cannot live on salad alone! I don't even like salad! Plus, why would they think pastries and croissants (especially croissants!) are vegan? Where are they getting these magical eggs and butter that don't come from animals? And do they think salad and a croissant resembles some sort of healthy lunch? I am just extra bitter because I recently went to a lunchtime research talk where everyone else got lasagna and salad (liberally doused with Parmesan cheese), and I was left munching on a bun of questionable origin. Phweet.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

If I were you, I would brown bag it and make such an awesome looking lunch that everyone will wish they had yours instead.

Jeda21 said...

I'd have replied: oh just salad then? That's too bad, I usually have a two course meal and all with no eggs, butter, or dairy.

That way you kind of let them know that air ain't enough for vegans!

Jamie said...

It always seems odd to me that universities are so unfamiliar with what makes a satisfactory vegan meal. I mean, these are supposed to be institutes of higher learning, right? And they think dry salad is a reasonable choice for lunch? goodness.

Courtney said...

I feel your pain. I hate large, university-catered meetings.

Thank you for this blog. My husband and I read it daily (and we absolutely love the pretzel bites, even though we're currently childless!). :)

arthursmommy said...

I feel your pain. That happens everytime they cater a party at my work. And my husband deals with it on a daily basis. The doctor's office he works for has drug reps that cater and when they do remember to bring veggie food, it si a crappy iceberg lettuce salad. Yuck! We stick to the safe and sure, a lunch from home. Sorry to hear about the mediocre choice you had. Have a great weekend.

TofuParty said...

Once, I had to go on a little boat trip with my work. They promised me their would be a vegetarian meal for me. Well, they give me a plate full of raw vegetables, a potato salad and some pasta. But on top was a nice piece of meat. They told me I only had to put the meat away. I refused. So I didn't have any food during all the day. But as a statement I didn't mind starving a little bit. And it worked, now they check it out if there will be a descend vegetarian meal.

pleasantly plump vegan said...

my hubby is in the same kind of situation. he's a big ol' 6'4 vegan man who works as a stock broker in an office where people eat Mc Donald's everyday. when they bring in food, he is always left eating salad or veggies. he keeps snacks in his cubicle for situations like that. it is frustrating when you aren't accommodated and should be.

kitsune-stars said...

Wow, it sounds like the coordinator is not even trying to accommodate you. Can you stick to your guns and insist on something more substantial than salad? That's an appetizer at best. If not, you could always brown bag something from home to go with the salad like falafel or those chickpea cutlets. Good luck!

Jenn said...

Arthursmommy, I know the same frustration - I am at the point where I don't even request the reps bring in a vegan alternative, because it's normally laden with dairy or eggs - and that's even after specifying that I'm allergic to both - which I am - still no point - so I bring my own lunch, as I do every day to make sure my coworkers look at their greasy takeout with displeasure...

As to universities and vegan acceptance - Simon Fraser while they are veggie friendly are still not really vegan friendly - they have very limited options and all of them calorically are awful, so I still have to pack my own when I'm up there.

robiewankenobie said...

yeah, ya know what? i'd say something. you seem like a pretty tactful guy. i think it is important for people to accommodate other belief systems. if this was a religious belief? you better believe that the university would honor it. grrrrrrr.

robiewankenobie said...

oh! and my favorite trick? is to email/contact whoever is making the food. they're usually much cooler about things. and that way you can tell her that you were able to make arrangements with the caterer or cafeteria staff should she ever need vegan meals in the future. because you're helpful like that. ::grin:: i did that for a work banquet at a hotel once? best daggone meal on the planet.

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I recently stumbled across your blog and have been checking in quite frequently since finding out I have IBS and basically had to become vegan overnight since dairy and eggs are no-no in controlling symptoms. Anyway, I understand your frustration with the "vegan" offerings. I now find eating out to be comedy...vegan means vegetarian to most people which means salad, beans, or bread. I get offered salad with ranch dressing, fruit with cottage cheese/yogurt, oatmeal with milk, and all kinds of pastries. I have explained vegan to so many food establishments recently that I think I should record it and just hit the play button!

Karen said...

That's completely unacceptable. She seems to have little clue as to what a vegan is. She really should be more accommodating. As part of my job, I arrange lunch meetings all the time and we're always willing to have the caterer make special meals for vegans, vegetarians, celiacs, allergies, etc. You should tell her you're allergic to salad. See what happens then :)

Great blog (long time lurker, 1st time writer).

Happy Herbivore! said...

I was in a wedding recently and has spoken with the bride AND groom AND the caterers about a vegan plate for me... come the day of the wedding, they gave me baked beans (the same beans everyone else had with bacon chunks mine just didnt have the chunks - no thanks), coleslaw (because that's so clearly vegan) and some celery.

I'm only 5;7" but I out eat many men I know... a salad would hold me for maybe 10 minutes...

Michelle said...

I hear you. Sort of like the party we went to shortly after becoming vegetarian and the host couldn't understand why we wouldn't eat shrimp, which was their one concession to our "strange lifestyle." We ate carrots and celery while everyone else feasted. I try to keep good humor, but it does get really old to be hungry alone. I always expect to take something now just to be sure the husband and I get to eat.

John Plummer said...

Phooey on them. I have this problem all the time, too. Makes me want to say "Oh, I have no idea if this lunch is omni. For all I know it might have veganism hidden in it, and then you will be infected, and become part of our hippie cult! So there!" But it's Lent and I am trying to be kind.

Gabriel said...

Seems many have similar stories and I'll throw mine in. Our company always has its winter party at the country club the owners belong to. Three years ago they served the general manager, his wife, and myself a plate of steamed veggies. They were good, no doubt, but lacked substance. Everyone else had steak, chicken, mashed potatoes... the meat-eater works. I found out later each plate cost $85! The last two years I have thankfully been provided some pasta after stating my case.

Jan Scholl said...

when I was in the hospital for an extended stay-perforating ulcers-I was getting yelled at for not eating. I told them I was a vegetarian, so instead of steak, they brought me eggs or chicken broth. when did the chicken become a vegetable?
my daughter finaly went to a local middle eastern place and got me some carrot juice and brown rice. I said I would never go in hospital again!

Vegan Dad said...

Jan,

That sounds like when Vegan Mom gave bith to Son #3. We kept asking for vegan meals. They kept sending chicken noodle soup and Jell-O. We finally sat down with the nutritionist who concluded that there was very little they could feed Vegan Mom other than veggie broth, salad, and fruit. Pathetic.