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 Post subject: Should it be that difficult being a vegan?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:51 am 
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Making Threats to Punks Again

Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 3:41 pm
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Location: Yorkshire, UK
I was on a course for work yesterday. The lunch arrangements were messed up so when the waitress came & told us we were all to order a sandwich I told her I ate a vegan diet & asked if they had hummus. They didn't! So I then tried to see if there was anything I could eat. I said I could have chips & salad or baked potato & beans without butter (I was trying not to be a pain.)

Then the chef told me they had mozzarella tarts, but she couldn't tell me what was in them. I suggested as it was a mozzarella tart it was probably likely that there was mozzarella cheese in & therefore not suitable for a vegan....

Sorry but I felt I needed to post this. Some days I just feel like getting something to eat it such a big ask...

I then had to endure being told that it is very difficult to cater for vegans & made to feel c*ap.


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 Post subject: Re: Should it be that difficult being a vegan?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:49 pm 
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Chickpea, I'm sorry you had that experience. I've been there myself, and know that it's difficult. I often find it unbelievable that an eatery can have many dozens of things on their menu, and not one is free of animal products.

On the other hand, sometimes we find very sympathetic people out there. My son wanted to go to a new burger joint that had recently opened in our neighborhood. I agreed reluctantly to go, assuming that all I would be able to eat would be the fries (and I wasn't even sure of that). As it turns out, they have a black bean burger. I was all set to order it (after having asked a question about the place's proprietary sauce and having discovered that it included mayo) when the guy behind the counter told me that I couldn't order it either, since it was vegetarian rather than vegan. I had resigned myself to (again) watching my family eat when the guy suggested that I should order a bun, grilled without butter, and top it off with the various veggies and condiments that they offer. Not only did I have a nice meal after all (bun w/guacamole, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, lettuce & tomato), but the guy actually checked the sandwich when it was ready, noticed that it had been grilled with butter after all, and had them make me a new one.

Here's hoping that you will soon have an experience like the one I just had; although they do tend to be somewhat rare, they help make up for all those times that we've had to nibble on a salad or satisfy ourselves with a plain baked potato when our companions are chowing down...


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 Post subject: Re: Should it be that difficult being a vegan?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:38 am 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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I used to work for a credit card company, and they had this big old canteen where I ate mushy peas and baked beans on a jacket potato every day for three weeks. I once had pasta, and after I argued with the chef not to put any meat in it (it was a stir-fry affair, there was no queue), he covered it in very chickeny tasting stock. No soy milk in the coffee shop there, either.

In Chester, there is a very good French restaurant called Chez Jules. If you are vegetarian or meaty, it's really excellent (so friends went there for special occasions). If you are vegan and don't tell them in advance, you get a starter salad, a main salad and a fruit salad. From that point on, we warned them and once I had a cylinder of roasted vegetables with so much salt that I couldn't eat it. Once I had a stuffed pepper with uncooked rice and lentils and no seasoning, which I sent back. The last time I went there, it was genuinely delicious, but that might have been because there were two vegans present so they had to up their game.

I've had the 'cylinder of roast vegetables with too much salt' treatment in a few restaurants, actually. Once, even the chef agreed that he had made it inedibly salty (like, the couscous had a salty stock, the potato was salted and it was garnished with sea salt) and we got £15 of drinks knocked off the bill.

My boss constantly offers me cheese and milk chocolate, but that's because she likes cheese and milk chocolate and is usually too busy running round to even think about who she's offering food to. She normally offers me cider as well, which is always welcome. She seems to regard veganism as a voluntary allergy, so 'it's only got a little bit' is probably safe in her mind.

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 Post subject: Re: Should it be that difficult being a vegan?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:34 am 
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I just take my own food to things like this and eat it in the car - it's so much easier.

If anyone asks I just claim I didn't know they'd be food, so bought my own along.

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 Post subject: Re: Should it be that difficult being a vegan?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:09 am 
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I would always challenge the "vegans are difficult to cater for" bull. Any restaurant kitchen should have basic veggies, fruits, rice, spices and olive oil.

I was checking out the vegan foods in Nando's last week and the cashier, who was incredibly helpful, commented on how difficult it must be for vegans to eat out. She was so nice about it I could have hugged her.


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 Post subject: Re: Should it be that difficult being a vegan?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:47 am 
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Sometimes it's really frustrating. Mostly I get by ok but there have been a couple of occasions where I've ended up with chips and a side salad.

Once on a course, the food provided (by a 'professional' caterer) was appallingly bad. Firstly they forgot I'd told them several times in advance that I was vegan. The first 2 days I got lucky with the veggie option so I didn't realise they didn't know, but the 3rd day I ate bread and cucumber and it became obvious they'd ignored me.

Then when I told them again and they realised they had to cater for me I got a separate vegan dish made for me every day. And it got progressively worse every day. The best being a half cooked baked sweet potato with sauteed veggies in - no seasoning or anything. The worst being a stir fry made of just cabbage and soy sauce. No rice or noodles or anything on the side! I laugh when I think about it now, but it was so forking bad.

Everything was either half cooked, not seasoned or both.

When the 'chef' found out I was vegan, he asked the lady that served the food to check if i'd eat plain chicken. I guess if it doesn't have sauce on it's vegan, right?

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 Post subject: Re: Should it be that difficult being a vegan?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:07 pm 
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baps wrote:
I ate bread and cucumber
I see your bread and cucumber and raise you bread and rice*.

* accompanied by an angry French woman shouting "you didn't say there were vegetarians!", (well, we told the organisers who did not tell anyone else, apparently).

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 Post subject: Re: Should it be that difficult being a vegan?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:41 pm 
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I especially enjoyed the course dinner where I was presented with three slices of pickled beetroot on a bed of grated carrot and iceberg. YUM! This was even more galling when everyone else was getting a pasty.

It shouldn't be hard (especially when you consider most of these people are being paid to cater!) to cook a vegan meal, but it would appear that people are just too lazy to actually do it.


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 Post subject: Re: Should it be that difficult being a vegan?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:21 pm 
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Gulliver wrote:
baps wrote:
I ate bread and cucumber
I see your bread and cucumber and raise you bread and rice*.

* accompanied by an angry French woman shouting "you didn't say there were vegetarians!", (well, we told the organisers who did not tell anyone else, apparently).


But vegans love carbs, right?


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 Post subject: Re: Should it be that difficult being a vegan?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:47 pm 
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Making Threats to Punks Again

Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 3:41 pm
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Location: Yorkshire, UK
Thanks guys,
I have done the take your own food thing & I also went through a phase of not telling anyone because I found it difficult & felt like I was making life awkward & uncomfortable for people. However my admin officer, & friend, now books me on courses & tells them my dietary requirements, as she says I'm entitled to a meal & we are paying for it. I'm back there on Friday so that should be interesting!! Hopefully it won't be bread & rice!

I'm generally much more positive about the lack of understanding of a vegan diet.

It was just a BAD day!


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 Post subject: Re: Should it be that difficult being a vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:36 am 
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Bread and rice? Whoa.

A while ago I had to go to a seminar and my collegue asked beforehand if it was possible to get me something. They said yes. On the day itself, I asked where my food was. The lady said 'yeah well first N. said there was a vegetarian and later she changed it to vegan. So we weren't sure what it was now. I'm sure there's something!'. I don't know lady, if you ask for vegan food and the person turns out to be vegetarian instead of vegan: no loss there. If you cater something vegetarian and the person is vegan, that person has nothing to eat. So how about picking the option that is more inclusive?

The wrap had yoghurt sauce. But I brought my own food anyway because I'm generally very sceptic about being able to eat.

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 Post subject: Re: Should it be that difficult being a vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:52 am 
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Last week I went to an event which had a buffet. I was thrilled to see a clingfilmed plate at the end of the buffet with a sticker on saying Vegan, Gluten Free. I'm not gluten free, but whatevs. 3 rice cakes, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, guacamole, and a CHEESE SANDWICH. With both cheese, and bread.

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 Post subject: Re: Should it be that difficult being a vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:10 am 
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Glad to see it's not just me. I've endured some truly shocking 'meals' at work-related events over the years. Probably the funniest was when I went on a 'diversity awareness' training day & they forgot my food; oh the irony.

To be honest I've got to the point now where I tell the organiser not to bother & that I'll bring my own; partly so I get something decent to eat & partly because I work for a charity so it's ridiculous they're spending money on awful food I can't/won't eat anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Should it be that difficult being a vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:35 am 
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fisticuffs wrote:
But I brought my own food anyway because I'm generally very sceptic about being able to eat.



That's what I do too, I always bring back up food with me. A bag of cashewnuts and a few candy bars are often handy.

(I usually just try to avoid meetings that involve food)


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 Post subject: Re: Should it be that difficult being a vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:48 am 
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Location: Yorkshire, UK
JimXVX wrote:
Glad to see it's not just me. I've endured some truly shocking 'meals' at work-related events over the years. Probably the funniest was when I went on a 'diversity awareness' training day & they forgot my food; oh the irony.


That's Brilliant!! Reckon that tops my worst experiences. Athough a gluten free vegan meal of a cheese sandwich is pretty close...


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 Post subject: Re: Should it be that difficult being a vegan?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:03 am 
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Efcliz wrote:
Last week I went to an event which had a buffet. I was thrilled to see a clingfilmed plate at the end of the buffet with a sticker on saying Vegan, Gluten Free. I'm not gluten free, but whatevs. 3 rice cakes, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, guacamole, and a CHEESE SANDWICH. With both cheese, and bread.



Ate you sure some mustard didnt just slip
In a cheese sandwich last minute as a joke/fork you sort of thing? Cos otherwise it is Vegan and gf. Not sure about a meal, more of a bland sounding snack, but there you go.

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