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A dispute between competing food clubs blew up on Reddit after a man started a “meat-only” club at work in response to a “vegan-only” club that was first launched by a co-worker.
“I (32M) am working long hours in a rather stuffy office environment. However, despite the long hours (or maybe because of them), the management has encouraged ‘lifestyle’ clubs at the workplace,” the unidentified user posted in the now-locked Reddit thread on Monday.
“For example, there is a Book Club, a Movie Lovers Club etc. They are free to join and are partially subsidised [sic] by the company, which makes joining a no-brainer,” the post said.
The user went on to note that about a year ago, a co-worker he called “Jane (29F)” who is a “dedicated vegan” joined the office, adding that other vegans are working there as well.
“After a conversation between them and Jane discussing the Book Club, they have decided to start a Vegan Dinner Club. Nobody had an issue with this,” the post says.
“Despite this, issues surfaced after their statement of purpose became known after it was filed to HR. In the statement, which passed with HR, one of the rules stated that only vegans, vegetarians, and pescatarians will be welcome, and that all dinner options will be vegan,” the post continued.
The man said that the rules upset him and some other co-workers because it was “exclusionary and divisive.”
The man said he spoke to Jane about the rule, but afterward “she seemed somewhat distant” while reminding him that it was a “lifestyle” club.
“The workplace soon became divided, but we opted not to file a complaint to HR. However, since the idea of a dinner club appealed to us, we started a ‘Burger and Steak Club’ where we wanted to try a different burger or steak place every week,” the post continued. “In our statement of purpose, we stated that only meat-eaters could apply, due to this being both a culinary and lifestyle club.”
Shortly thereafter, however, the man said in his post that some potential meat club members were called to the human resources department and were informed that members of the Vegan Dinner Club had filed complaints about the “exclusionary” meat club they said was “offensive to their lifestyle.”
The man also said the vegan club members claimed that meat-eating wasn’t really a lifestyle. Nevertheless, “the club passed with HR,” the man wrote.
He added that in the following weeks the meat club went to several different burger and steak restaurants on Fridays after work “and just relaxed after working 50+ hours a week.”
“However, despite my prior friendship with Jane, she now refuses to talk to me and is only spending time with her club members, despite everyone’s attempts to create a friendly workplace,” the man wrote, asking: “So Reddit, am I the a**h**e for creating a meat-eaters-only club at work?”
Reddit users debated the issue vigorously, with the post generating more than 1,700 responses.
“I don’t get the logic. If anyone wants to willingly join a vegan club and see vegan food up close, would that not be more beneficial than simply excluding non vegans?” one person wrote.
“It’s amazing that this is how real people are behaving at their jobs. These are working professionals playing the same games we played in middle school. ESH,” wrote another.
“…[Y]ou created a club for meat eaters only as a direct reaction to their club. You made it exclusive solely to fire back at them. That is petty as hell,” said another. “They behaved childishly, and so did you.”
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