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I work in a multicultural environment and I know for sure to order vegetarian if we have lunch. But I also will not even discuss having eaten non-vegetarian food. Is this a new norm or am I imagining the pressure that I feel?

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    I have never been in a situation where I have felt under pressure to order vegetarian at lunch. This may mean you're imagining the pressure or (more likely) it means that we are in different cultures. Dec 29, 2022 at 19:39
  • @PhilipKendall: Importantly, when I said "multicultural" I meant that either I knew or assumed many of the co-workers were vegetarian. It makes sense not to eat meat in front of someone who is morally opposed to it, even if they say they don't mind others doing so.
    – releseabe
    Dec 29, 2022 at 19:46
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    Maybe (just maybe) if they said they don't mind others doing so, they meant it because they don't want to force their views on others? Seems to me you are trying very hard to box yourself into a corner here and then getting worried when you find yourself in a corner. Dec 29, 2022 at 19:51
  • @PhilipKendall: I appreciate your feedback. But firstly, another person told me that while the vegetarian said she did not mind, she really did. But I asked how others feel, and you are saying that you feel no pressure. I am often at lunch meetings where if I ordered meat, I would be literally the only one, so I don't. The need to pretend to be is a more recent thing for me.
    – releseabe
    Dec 29, 2022 at 20:10
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    I have voted to close as opinion based, because you have given us no facts to go on. You told us what you do, not why you do it. You did not explain this pressure you feel, there is nothing we can help you with here if you don't actually explain why you think this is a workplace problem. What happens at your workplace if you don't do it?
    – nvoigt
    Dec 30, 2022 at 8:23

3 Answers 3

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Do you like vegetarian food? If yes, order vegetarian food. Do you feel bad about the suffering of animals? If you feel bad enough, order vegetarian food. Are you allergic to protein? If yes, order vegetarian food. Is vegetarian food cheaper and you csnt afford non-vegetarian food? Order vegetarian food. Are you afraid that your peers will shun you if you order non-vegetarian food? In that case, it’s none of their business what you eat, so order what you like.

I’d probably make an exception and avoid eating pork in front of people having a problem for religious reason. Because there are plenty of alternatives to eat.

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  • My question is not what to do but whether other people also feel the pressure to avoid not just eating meat but even discussing this. To be more clear, I work with many people from east Asia and it is quite a big deal to them, not a casual decision. If you worked in a similar environment , you might have a different perception.
    – releseabe
    Dec 29, 2022 at 20:13
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    @releseabe We barely know what you know. There is absolutely no way we can answer "whether other people also feel the pressure to avoid not just eating meat but even discussing this".
    – Peter M
    Dec 29, 2022 at 20:15
  • @PeterM: I asked how people felt. Maybe if I had limited it by saying, those of you who work among many vegetarians.
    – releseabe
    Dec 29, 2022 at 20:17
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But firstly, another person told me that while the vegetarian said she did not mind, she really did.

It doesn't matter how she felt.

In life, there will always be people who don't like what you do. And there will always be people who try to influence how you behave.

If you live and work in the United States (and from your other question, it does sound like you're in the US) you need to learn to be more assertive and stop caring about what others think of you.

By trying to control what others think of you, you are letting those other people control you. In other words, you're teaching others to treat you like a child, not an adult.

Also, I want you to notice the second question you asked about the private office a contractor claimed as his own. That second question stems from the same place this question comes from. You're a rule follower. You have a strong sense of fairness. You care too much about what others think of you. You put the wants of others above your own wants. You're a "nice" person.

But ultimately, this kind of personality won't serve you well in the United States. Over time, you'll grow resentful, bitter, and angry.

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You are imagining it. Grow a Pair, order a steak and talk about how you feel the primal calling to chase down your food on foot, dispatch it with your bare hands and feed upon it's still warm flesh.

Okay, I'm partly saying this is jest, but partly not.

It's fine to have moral opinion on issue, it's fine to personally eschew from issue because of moral opinion, the moment you explicitly or implicitly try to compel compliance with moral opinion on issue is where tolerance and acceptance breaks.

This should be the standard of behavior on a myriad of contentious topics - you do you, and I'll leave you to it, so long as you allow me to do me - we'll get along like a house on fire.

If you are feeling compelled to comply with someone else's Moral code, that you don't share, then you need to stand up for yourself and assert your right to hold a different view. If you start experiencing discrimination or stigmatization for this, then either file an HR complaint, or look for a new employer.

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    I suggested that the meal (rabbit) be provided live in a cage. Then find out how many are prepared to do their own food… I asked the students and most are not prepared to kill, butcher then eat the meat. Someone else must prep the meat for them…
    – Solar Mike
    Dec 30, 2022 at 12:13
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    Something I actually agree with, if you are incapable of killing and butchering an Animal, then perhaps you shouldn't eat meat. Dec 30, 2022 at 18:46
  • "the moment you explicitly or implicitly try to compel compliance with moral opinion on issue is where tolerance and acceptance breaks." - If you see someone kicking a puppy I imagine you don't just leave them to it? Moral opinions are not all of the same magnitude, some of the things I value I wouldn't ask of anyone else, others I'd get in a fist fight over.
    – Clumsy cat
    Jan 7, 2023 at 11:44

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