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No more meaty expense claims

WeWork will no longer reimburse staff for meals that include meat - does this mark a shift?

Office rental firm WeWork has announced it will no longer reimburse its employees for meals containing poultry, pork and red meat, and will also stop serving meat at its events.

The $20bn US firm claimed animal welfare and environmental concerns were behind the move and cited research that states avoiding meat is one of the biggest things an individual can do to reduce their personal environmental impact.

While smaller business have implemented similar policies, the coworking company is the most high profile to make the move. But what do you think?

Will a lack of meat on the menu be a common corporate trait in the next few years from firms looking to reduce their carbon foodprint, or is this just prescriptive virtue signalling from Silicon Valley?

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17th Jul 2018 12:56

I'd be looking for a payrise.

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By Jholm
17th Jul 2018 13:02

I'm sure most will disagree but I think this is a good idea on behalf of the company. I doubt it will spread, nor am I vouching for it to however.

While incentives are offered for other 'greener' options (such as mileage rates for cycling to temporary workplaces), it does make sense to me especially since animal agriculture is one of the largest single contributors to cardon dioxide emissions.

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to Jholm
17th Jul 2018 13:14

Jholm wrote:

I'm sure most will disagree but I think this is a good idea on behalf of the company. I doubt it will spread, nor am I vouching for it to however.

While incentives are offered for other 'greener' options (such as mileage rates for cycling to temporary workplaces), it does make sense to me especially since animal agriculture is one of the largest single contributors to carbon dioxide emissions.

Carbon dioxide is less than 1 part in 3000 of our atmosphere. Oxygen, by comparison, is more than 1 part in 5. At what point will we notice that our trees having nothing to breathe ?

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By Grundy
to lionofludesch
17th Jul 2018 13:56

You're not a climate change denier are you Lion?

Like they say "never meat your hero"

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to Grundy
17th Jul 2018 14:02

There are two issues.

Is there climate change ?

What's causing it ?

They're not the same thing.

Again - the Government tells me it's carbon dioxide.

Immediately I assume it's something else.

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to lionofludesch
17th Jul 2018 14:04

It can't be carbon dioxide. It's in short supply.

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to Portia Nina Levin
17th Jul 2018 14:12

We're running out of it.

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to lionofludesch
17th Jul 2018 15:09

Re "carbon dioxide is less than 1 part in 3000 of our atmosphere"

it might have been when you were a lad but its well over 400 parts per million now,one part per 2,500 and rising fast.

#factcheck

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to ireallyshouldknowthisbut
17th Jul 2018 15:22

Still not a lot, is it ?

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By Grundy
to lionofludesch
17th Jul 2018 15:40

How much water is too much water if it were in your petrol?

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to Grundy
17th Jul 2018 16:07

Grundy wrote:

How much water is too much water if it were in your petrol?

What ?

Are you implying that there should be no carbon dioxide in the atmosphere ?

What exactly is your grudge against plants ?

Like most things, it's about balance. At the moment, even at the most pessimistic estimates, there's 50 times more oxygen than carbon dioxide, which I put to you is pretty much in our favour.

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By Grundy
to lionofludesch
17th Jul 2018 16:17

My point is the same as yours, balance (as very specific balance), those same plants do not fare well when their environment changes

While you may not support climate change, do you accept that chemicals and modern farming techniques have a negative effect on the wider environment? That modern manufacturing, particularly plastics, have poisoned the soil and the oceans? That diesel engines produce Nitrogen oxide that poisons the lungs of anything that breaths it in?

Climate change is just a small part of human led environmental change

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to Grundy
17th Jul 2018 16:27

We're all doomed !

As long as we get to 2032, I'm grand.

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17th Jul 2018 13:05

No more puny puns please!

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By DJKL
17th Jul 2018 13:09

If in UK I would right now have my solicitors drafting my discrimination case to go before the ECHR.

I presume one may have fish as an option, why fish and not animals, what about seafood?

Seems to me employers need to decide if employment is a contractual relationship or whether they think they own their employees.

I can see the need for an employer to control employee behaviour in the workplace if it might be detrimental to other employees but this, casting their values onto an employee, is a nonsense.

What attitude would we take to this if the employer say gave staff a paid fifteen minute break each day but only if they used it to pray to a Christian god?

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to DJKL
17th Jul 2018 20:25

As far as environmental impact is concerned, fishing is lower down the list than farmed land animals but then from an animal welfare perspective, drowning an animal rather than stunning and/or gassing it may be seen as a worse option and so I would ban fish products too. Companies however have to start somewhere.

With regard to organisations and their relationship with employees, it has long been the case that a company can expect/dictate to an employee to behave in a way that doesn't bring the company into disrepute, ie far more than just being behaviour detrimental to other employees.

The companies act requires directors to consider the effect of the company's operations on the community and environment and this went hand in hand with the development of the concept, and practice, of Corporate Social Responsibility CSR (take a look at this article from 7 years ago http://www.businessinsider.com/corporate-social-responsibility-and-the-r...).

So whilst most of the attention has been on larger businesses in this respect (and so lack of attention on this site) I have had numerous experiences of clients and other small organisations deciding on their values and encouraging the sharing of them with stakeholders, customers, suppliers and employees.

Business ethics is a reality and it would be daft to retain an employee, or for an employee to continue in employment, if core ethics and values conflicted.

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By DJKL
to Paul Scholes
17th Jul 2018 22:15

Well, when someone can tell me what we are going to farm in the Scottish Borders on the high ground besides sheep I might start listening, above tree lines no forestry so that is not an option so what is the option?

What else at say Yarrowford are you going to farm, or do you just remove all the sheep and the land returns no food for anyone, that is not really sustainable ?

And of course the one blindingly obvious point, there is livestock on land because it is eaten, I really do not fancy having to go to a zoo to view sheep, because if we stop eating them then that is the only logical outcome, they will not be on the hills.

The trouble with sustainability is it needs viewed in relative terms not absolute terms, for each parcel of land ands its use you need to consider what, if any, alternative uses it has, and in large parts of Scotland there is no alternative farming use for it beyond livestock.

Frankly the all meat is bad for the environment argument is a total fallacy, especially if you wish to factor in say the airmiles/ refrigeration costs for that out of season tomato or lettuce you ate in November. The same can be said for the no fish arguments (though I would not mind a crackdown on the salmon farms in say Sutherland-the impact on sea trout appears to have been devastating); sustainability deals with best use of resources (in an environmental impact sense) not blanket, knee jerk, mantras.

Environmental impacts are not four legs good two legs bad, they are very nuanced and need fitted to particular local factors, otherwise they are mere token righteousness.

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17th Jul 2018 13:10

Snowflake alert.

That will be a massive own goal for them, when there staff are too weak to come to work off eating only carrots, and just wandering outside, all pasty faced and gaunt unable to climb stares etc.

As someone who worked in the leisure industry for 15 years, I will never forget a chefs response when someone asked "have you got anything for vegetarians?"

Yes the Fxxxing door.

I would open a workspace next door offering BBQ and open grill style canteen and see which has the better occupancy.

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to Glennzy
17th Jul 2018 13:17

Oi! Stop dissing vegetarians! I actually think you are correct and that the employer has no right to force its employees into eating (or not eating) something (I would be equally enraged if an employer said they would only be offering meat choices) - and I think DJKL's comment about the 'praying breaks' is incredibly apposite (especially for the poor, deluded, bloody US, where that sort of thing is endemic).
Mind you I'm the sort of veggie who doesn't care what anyone else chooses to eat, as long as they don't make ME eat meat - the world would be a much better place on so many levels if people didn't think they had a right to interfere in people's personal choices (and I've got to add this as a card carrying member of the female persuasion - that ESPECIALLY includes reproductive choices which bosses in the US seem to think they have some sort of say over... blithering idiots).

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to slipknot08
17th Jul 2018 14:05

Ha Ha

My wife and child are both veggies and so I have this banter every day.

You are right each to their own. Forcing people to eat though is unreasonable and I suspect will back fire on them, as from what I see from Americans and their diet they don't just like ribs they want the rest of the cow with it.

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to Glennzy
17th Jul 2018 20:38
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to Paul Scholes
17th Jul 2018 22:13

Paul Scholes wrote:

Staff are too weak? So what's kept me fit, fat and healthy for 8 years?

http://uk.businessinsider.com/elite-athletes-who-are-vegan-and-what-made...

https://www.fgr.co.uk/our-ethos/100-vegan

You're only 8 ??

Shouldn't you be at school ?

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By mrme89
17th Jul 2018 13:12

And what do employees do when there are no vegetarian options? Are they made to starve?

If my employer wants to start dictating my diet, they ought to be giving me a hefty pay rise to compensate.

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to mrme89
17th Jul 2018 20:40

There are always veggie options, animals eat them all the time.

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to Paul Scholes
18th Jul 2018 08:12

Paul Scholes wrote:

There are always veggie options, animals eat them all the time.

So by eating the animals, doesn’t it follow that I’ve had the veggie option?

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17th Jul 2018 14:02

Just claim the liquid lunch option

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17th Jul 2018 15:22

Come back to me when you have the whole of China, India and Brazil on board.

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to andy.partridge
17th Jul 2018 16:42

They are well ahead of you.

About 30% in India are vegetarian or vegan, and many more are "low meat" (albeit often out of poverty)

Why do you think the veggie and side menu is so good in a decent indian restaurant?

Diets in China, India and other such countries tend to be much less meat heavy than Europe and North America.

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to ireallyshouldknowthisbut
17th Jul 2018 17:02

Blimey, now you are dangerously close to advocating poverty.

I'm probably about 30% vegetarian too so I'm doing quite well, after all.

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to andy.partridge
17th Jul 2018 17:21

is the 30% the potatoes that come with your Sunday dinner.

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to Glennzy
17th Jul 2018 18:10

Glennzy wrote:

is the 30% the potatoes that come with your Sunday dinner.

I was going to say the rice with his korma, but potato potarto.

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to atleastisoundknowledgable...
17th Jul 2018 18:21

Aloo, actually. (Now there's a set-up for someone).

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to Glennzy
17th Jul 2018 18:18

Come on, moving from carnivore to omnivore was a sacrifice I made for the good of the planet (and maybe my arteries).

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to andy.partridge
18th Jul 2018 11:08

I should point out I eat meat. I cooked a huge amount at our BBQ last weekend.

However, we do a big range of veggie options and guess what was left this year? Mainly the meat.

We started 1 deliberate veggie meal a week a couple of years ago and are up to 2 a week now, and sometimes 3.

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to ireallyshouldknowthisbut
18th Jul 2018 22:10

We do meat-free Monday when we remember to.

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to ireallyshouldknowthisbut
18th Jul 2018 22:10

We do meat-free Monday when we remember to.

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17th Jul 2018 18:22

Great news - there's no point waiting for western governments to admit they will not meet their emission commitments, so it's left to people and organisations who care to do something.

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17th Jul 2018 19:24

Following Paul’s lead when Ichanged my car in June I returned to a petrol vehicle instead of diesel

Every little counts

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to Glennzy
17th Jul 2018 20:46

If you really followed my lead Glenn you'd not have returned to petrol and still have beaten most cars away from the lights!

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to Paul Scholes
17th Jul 2018 21:21

Baby steps Paul. Electric is not the answer

I am waiting for an hydrogen fuel cell
Audi then I will be on it

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to Glennzy
18th Jul 2018 08:51

Maybe Glenn but perhaps only when they can start producing hydrogen like plants do rather than from natural gas/fracking?

Like LPs, CDs, wind turbines etc etc, electric cars are today's answer and can be powered entirely from renewable energy.

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to Glennzy
18th Jul 2018 08:51

Maybe Glenn but perhaps only when they can start producing hydrogen like plants do rather than from natural gas/fracking?

Like LPs, CDs, wind turbines etc etc, electric cars are today's answer and can be powered entirely from renewable energy.

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to Paul Scholes
18th Jul 2018 09:57

Sure.

Provided you don't travel more than ten miles a day.

Not enough to get the average Surrey commuter to the station and back.

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to lionofludesch
18th Jul 2018 10:19

? I get 150 miles a charge out of mine

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to Paul Scholes
18th Jul 2018 10:55

OK - I exaggerated a bit.

But it won't get me to the Scottish Border for my holidays. Or to the rugby match in Whitehaven (not to mention back home afterwards). Or even London.

There's the problem. You can't call in to the electricity station and fill up in five minutes.

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to lionofludesch
18th Jul 2018 11:19

I never drove to my Scottish holidays, and rarely drive the 200 miles to London, it’s far better to take the train, so I shouldn’t choose a vehicle because it doesn’t suit 10% of my annual journeys?

I regularly do 180 miles to visit friends and family and, as I did when I had my fuelled car, stop for 25 mins for a break at a hotel, service station or town centre car park, which is all I need to add 80% to the car’s range.

The technology and facilities for EVs are moving at a fast pace and opinions that may have had some relevance 6 months ago are way out of date today.

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to Paul Scholes
18th Jul 2018 12:49

Paul Scholes wrote:

I never drove to my Scottish holidays, and rarely drive the 200 miles to London, it’s far better to take the train, so I shouldn’t choose a vehicle because it doesn’t suit 10% of my annual journeys?

My point entirely.

Quote:

I regularly do 180 miles to visit friends and family and, as I did when I had my fuelled car, stop for 25 mins for a break at a hotel, service station or town centre car park, which is all I need to add 80% to the car’s range.

Public charging points are still few and far between here, though improving.

Quote:

The technology and facilities for EVs are moving at a fast pace and opinions that may have had some relevance 6 months ago are way out of date today.

In my experience, it's never wise to be at the cutting edge of technology unless you have the luxury of a back up plan.

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17th Jul 2018 21:22

What they are doing is called dictatorship. If it does become a trend in for example conferences which I feel is already happening. I have had to nip out a few times at conference and events to get a good meat sandwich.

Now I don,t mind if the event is free, but if I have paid for the event and it includes food and I have no meat option then I expect them to refund me the cost of the food so that I can go elsewhere and purchase a meat option.

Conferences usually involve travel and the last thing I want is fish or Veggie food. I don,t mind a odd vegetarian meal in my house or out for a meal but not if I have been travelling and have a long day.

I do care for the environment and we have office bikes for client visits and I don,t have a car. Nor do I buy disposal cups of Tea and Coffee.

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By Maslins
18th Jul 2018 09:55

I eat meat, but good on them.

Sounds like they're not stopping people eating meat, just not reimbursing the costs. Meat dishes are virtually always more expensive than vegetarian dishes...so perhaps there is an argument for a genuine business reason for this (albeit I doubt that's a motive for them).

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By DJKL
to Maslins
18th Jul 2018 10:45

In that case one merely puts a monetary cap on the daily cost of the claim that will be met, one does not need to dictate the types of foods that will be reimbursed within that cap.

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