Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ground beef freak out

On Thursday around 1pm I opened the mini fridge in my office suite to grab my lunch only to find that someone had placed a package of raw, ground beef on top of my Laptop Lunchbox. <shudders> As I lifted the beef off of my lunch, I felt a stomach-churning squish beneath my fingers and instantly felt nauseous. It has probably been about 3 years since I've touched a package of raw ground beef and even when I used to eat and cook with meat, in its raw form, it has always repulsed me.

And what's worse - this meat wasn't just in the fridge that day, I had seen it in there for the last two days. An employee had grabbed it on their lunch break, intending to take it home for dinner, and had just forgotten it in there. Aside from the fact that leaving raw meat in a very small fridge for several days where people store their lunches is a very serious sanitary issue (sometimes those thin packages leak), I found it incredibly insensitive considering that everyone knows that I am vegan.

I sat at my desk and debated whether or not I should say something. Sometimes I feel silly complaining, as though I somehow don't have the right to say that I'm uncomfortable with something since I'm a minority. But that's ridiculous! I have every right to pipe up and say something. So I told my boss, who completely agreed that it was a sanitary issue, and although she didn't acknowledge that it would be offensive to me, at least she swiftly responded to have it removed. The employee did not understand why it was a problem and felt that my boss was overreacting about it.

I posted this interaction on Facebook and had some interesting feedback. My cousin felt that I should just let it go if it wasn't done as a practical joke or maliciously. I don't feel that it was - I think it was done out of shear lack of common sense and ignorance. But what does just "letting it go" mean? Does it mean I shouldn't ever voice my opinion? That it's not important to educate someone about what they've done so that they understand why it's offensive? I used to just let everything go and I found that I got walked on quite a bit. I'm tired of living that way and I won't keep my mouth shut. I'm not going to scream and yell, but I will provide valid information and try to open people's minds up.

Needless to say, I did not eat my lunch because all I could picture was raw, bloody beef and the squish beneath my fingers.


  1. Yesterday, I had to buy the ingredients for a meal at my church's community kitchen. We were cooking for 75 and while I would have loved to do a vegetarian meal, the hungry and homeless are often picky, and they need to get a lot of calories in with one meal. So I ended up doing pasta and meat sauce...which left me with the bizarre experience of buying 20 lbs. of ground beef. I bought more beef in that trip than I've probably bought in my entire life, combined. Fortunately nobody made me touch it in the kitchen.

  2. Yuck! I definitely agree with you that the raw-beef-on-lunch was especially nasty because you're vegan, but (call me crazy) I happen to think putting raw meat on top of even cooked meat is uncool--not to mention days old raw meat. My husband still does eat meat (le sigh), but when it goes in the fridge, it goes in double wrapped and away from everything else, especially already cooked food. Thousands of people get sick every year from salmonella, so it's not just a "don't stack raw meat on top of food because she's vegan" argument. It's "let's not poison people, m'kay?".

    Also, somehow I missed saying congratulations on your engagement. That's fabulous.

  3. It is really quite nasty and even meat eaters have told me that it is really uncouth. Luckily (knock on wood) it has not happened since. My boss swung into action fast and was equally repulsed by it.

    And thanks for the congrats :) We are ridiculously happy!