You’re a real go-getter. You want to be the CEO of your company one day. You bust your ass daily – maybe more so than anyone else you know. You want it. You need it. You've sacrificed for it, but you’re vegan. What does this have to do with anything? Well, most major decisions and bonds are formed after hours while eating and drinking. Think about it, kitchens sell houses in the same way bars and restaurants establish big business deals.
Now I see your brain starting to work. You see it, don’t you? How does one climb the corporate ladder without having to watch or be around people ingest beautiful beings that you and I personally happen to like? Well, that’s a tricky one. And quite frankly a question I don’t have the perfect answer to.
It’s difficult. Play in the NBA and dribble a leather ball, or take a stance against it all and never play or watch a game? Go eat ribs and wings at happy hour with the gang, or continuously decline and be seen a ‘party pooper’? What’s the right moral decision? How do you keep your vegan morals and further your career at the time?
My personal feeling is that you have to be a person strong in character. You have to develop a thick skin and a sort of ‘badassery’ that people respect and see as strong and powerful. People will only push you as far as you let them. But respect goes an incredible distance. When they see you as a person that's convicted it’s amazing how they’ll bend to your will. Instead of always going to eat wings, they’ll sometimes go to the local vegan place – catering to you because they like and appreciate you.
Another thing I believe you have to do it pick your battles wisely. You can’t expect the NBA to stop playing with a leather ball. At least not right now – people aren’t nearly informed enough just yet. What you can do though is be selective with your approach. Like I won’t watch horse or dog racing, and I make it very clear to people that it’s for moral reasons. That sounds a lot less kooky than not liking basketball because the ball is leather.
The gist of it is that we obviously don’t live in a vegan world (yet), so we have to be smart with our actions and reactions. The same way major deals are made outside of the office is the same way views are formed about vegans in social settings with people you work with and beyond. It’s more than possible to be a go-getter at work AND be a dynamite vegan – you just have to think a bit further than most people do.
Good look on getting that next promotion!
~ Dan Murphy
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