The Washington Post recently wrote about our friends at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), highlighting the organization’s healthy workplace culture and vegan office policies. PCRM, which promotes plant-based eating as preventative medicine, also encourages vegan recipe exchanges and food sharing (people take turns making smoothies certain mornings.) Why implement these initiatives? PCRM Director of Nutrition Education Susan Levin says simply, “We want to practice what we preach.”
It makes sense that eating healthy in the workplace is important. After all, most people will spend a third of their adult life at the office, and sitting all day alone takes a toll of our health. Add to that the unhealthy eating habits facilitated by office settings such as free baked goods, soda or snack machines, and fast food takeout, and the workplace can quickly deteriorate our health.
Luckily, most people want to eat healthier, and there are several ways you can help your own office become a little more healthy and veg-friendly.
So how can you help your colleagues make more compassionate, healthy choices? These veg advocacy ideas make it easy!
- Encourage vegan recipe exchanges. Point your colleagues in the direction of some of your favorite cooking blogs and websites, or offer to help veganize one of their family favorites.
- Share vegan food. Bring a Tofurky or Gardein roast to the Thanksgiving lunch, or cruelty-free cupcakes for your colleagues’ birthdays. The best way to convince people that vegan food tastes great is to let them try it!
- Suggest office-wide Meatless Mondays. The international phenomenon is an easy way to make a difference for health, the environment, and animals. People can bring their own meatless lunch, or go potluck-style!
- Make a list of local veg-friendly restaurants for lunch meetings. Use VegGuide.org or HappyCow.net to locate veg-friendly eateries near your workplace, and e-mail the list to your colleagues or pin it on the office kitchen fridge (with a pro-veg magnet, of course!).
- Add pro-veg books/DVDs to the office library. My former office had a bookshelf in the communal kitchen. If yours does too, add books such as Eating Animals or Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and, Wear Cows, or DVDs such as Forks Over Knives or Vegucated to the shelf.
- Leave veg guides or Easy Vegan Recipes booklets on the lunch room table. People love free stuff, especially free recipes!
- Ask human resources to offer vegan cooking demos or nutritional lectures. Many offices organize health fairs. Volunteer to make some connections to vegan chefs or health experts in your area. You can order Vegetarian Starter Guides to hand out too!