Out In The Open

How one joke got a man turfed from his job at a vegan restaurant

Writer Chris Dupuis is a long-time vegetarian and a supporter of animal rights. He’s also got a wry sense of humour, which he suspects is why he got pushed out of a job at a plant-based dining establishment.
Vegans may appear to be all about peace and love, but some have no time for jokes about their lifestyle choice. (Helen Alfvegren)

Chris Dupuis is a writer, a committed vegetarian and supporter of animal rights. Several years ago, he applied to work as a server at a vegan restaurant. 

Everything was going well on his first shift until, "I was asking [the supervisor] at some point 'so how long have you been vegan?'...she'd said earlier that day or maybe the day before she had a sore throat so she had some tea with honey in it and she was feeling really guilty about that," he said, "I thought it would be a good opportunity to make a joke, so I asked her if it was free-range honey."

The supervisor was less than impressed by Dupuis' joke.

"I feel pretty confident that I was actually wearing leather shoes the day that I went in. Nobody said anything about that but the joke about free-range honey proved to be my ultimate undoing."

Chris never got a second shift.  He suggests that while he supports the idea of lowering our impact on animals and the environment, it's also important to have a sense of humour even when it comes to seriously held political beliefs.

"I do think it's important if you are going to be a vegan or a vegetarian to have a little bit of a sense of humour about it because you're going to be constantly confronted with people asking you about your choices, or critiquing them or making fun of them so if you're not able to laugh at it you're gonna end up just getting really angry."