What do you do if you’re vegan but are still working a very non-vegan job? How do you even find a vegan job? In this video, I go over some of the basics for getting started on your search for your true calling. Get guidance finding a vegan vocation!
One of the more frequent questions I receive from potential, new, and long term vegans alike, is what to do about employment. How do you find a vegan job? What if your current place of employment conflicts with your values? Well today I’ll give you some basic pointers and a boatload of additional resources so you can stop working for The Man and start working for The…Vegan…Man…
Going vegan usually sparks a growing awareness of the rather astounding number of ways in which our species exploits other beings and our planet.
As the vast majority of the world is not vegan, it stands to reason that the vast majority of employment options involve not-so-vegan-friendly elements. From the blatantly obvious, like being a server at a steak house, or vivisector in a research lab, to the more subtle, like a sales rep for products tested on animals, or barista at a coffee shop.
For most people, immediately quitting their job upon going vegan without any alternative in place is not feasible, nor prudent. However, the idea of continuing on in an exploitative vocation is unthinkable.
Before we jump in, let me just say preemptively: to any concerns or questions about whether any job or human activity can be 100% vegan or totally free of any form of exploitation, please see the videos linked in the description, which delve into that issue.
When looking for a vegan job, there are an infinite number of possibilities, though it may not seem that way initially. One of the first things to determine is your area of interest. What is it you want to do? Of course if you’re looking to get out of your current job as fast as possible, apply for every vegan option you can find and take whatever comes first. Then you can start fleshing out your long-term goals.
Do you want to be your own boss? Are you interested in nonprofit work? Do you want to work directly with animals? With people? Do you have a location requirement or are you willing to move? Do you want to work remotely online? What is your skill set?
As a side note, the availability of location-dependent jobs will of course vary greatly depending on your location and ability to commute. You can always look up employment assistance centers and organizations specific to your area and country.
Writing down your goals ideals can be helpful in narrowing your search and knowing where to start.
One of the most basic jumping off points are job search websites. You can even search mainstream job posting websites with “vegan” as a keyword. I have included a list of these below. Additionally, there’s a fantastic website by Vegan Mainstream called the Vegan Job Board.
Another approach is to check out the websites of existing vegan companies, organizations and nonprofits. Most will have a section for employment opportunities. Some common examples are: vegan publications, restaurants and cafes, retail companies, farm sanctuaries, activist organizations, educational nonprofits, and more.
One important thing to remember is that vegans are needed in all areas of employment—just like vegans come from all walks of life and have wide variation in their diets, vegan jobs are also infinitely broad. Maybe you are a web designer and decide to work with an activist organization on their website. Perhaps you’re in the financial sector and decide to help other vegans find investments that align with their values. Maybe you’re in law school or already a lawyer and decide to transition to animal law. Or want to work in another capacity in the animal law sector.
Additionally, while many vocations, as within medicine and nutrition, have an existing anti-vegan bias or may be rife with misinformation, that’s all the more reason for more vegans to enter those fields! So don’t limit yourself with any preconceptions of what a vegan job is “supposed” to be.
Finally, there’s always the option to set out on your own path. Maybe what you want to do doesn’t exist anywhere. Maybe you want to start your own business, found a nonprofit, work as a freelancer in any number of fields. This can be an incredibly rewarding path to take, though it does require with a great deal of commitment, persistence, and risk.
I personally quit medical school to go full time with Bite Size Vegan. It was an incredibly uncharacteristic move on my part, and was simultaneously the best and most terrifying decision I’ve ever made. And thanks to my Nugget Army of patrons who support my work, I’ve been able to continue and grow Bite Size Vegan to the point where I’m now working on building my own team.
If you do want to set out on your own but aren’t able or don’t want to just take a flying leap, you can always use the time you have off from your current job to start pursuing and building what it is you really want to do.
I hope that this has been helpful. Please refer to the links below for job postings and search engines as well as other helpful guides from Vegan Mainstream, The Vegan Woman, Our Hen House and more.
Be sure to subscribe to the channel and enable notifications for more fresh vegan content every week.
If you liked this video, do give it thumbs up and share it around to help others find their calling. To help support the work of Bite Size Vegan, please see the support page or join us in the Nugget Army on Patreon.
Now go live vegan, get a job, and I’ll see you soon.
— Emily Moran Barwick
Tui Allen says
I have the perfect vegan job which I created myself. I left a well-paid teaching job to take it up. I did not do it because I was vegan though. I did it because I wanted to do this work and would you believe, doing the work made me go vegan! So it was a case of the cart came before the horse. Actually it was a dolphin – not a horse.
The work? I used to be a sailor when I was young. We sailed the Pacific on a tiny yacht with no working engine. and met many whales and dolphins out there in their own world on their own terms. They inspired me to research their lives and write their stories. There was one story in particular that I just HAD to write. It’s the 20 million year old story of how love inspired one dolphin to an intellectual achievement that changed the universe.
I switched to full-time writing in 2009 and I published it in 2011 and it has done very well and even been translated for publication in Europe.
Now a movie-maker is keen to make a film (if he can raise the money) Fortunately he envisages an animated feature film. This is good because I would prefer to die in poverty than sign the film rights to anyone who intended using live captive (exploited) dolphins to tell my story.
The story changes attitudes to dolphins and oceans by showing what these animals may really be capable of for all we know. My second book is at the end of the second draft and getting close to publication.
One day after writing my first book and just before I published it, I was sitting in a restaurant eating calamari (squid) and I had this awful epiphany.
“This food has been stolen from dolphins.” I became vegetarian at that moment. A few years later I booted eggs and dairy off my plate.
My greatest talent has always been storytelling. I now have the perfect way to use it to help marine animals. I am much poorer but much happier. Poorer, partly because I donated most of my book’s royalties to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society. They help dolphins in every way possible and their scientists gave me free assistance to make sure I got all the biological science of my dolphins and their setting correct.
Thank you for this video post, Emily!
Another helpful job site:
Use keywords such as “vegan”, “animal(s)”, “animal rights”, etc.
Over the years, I’ve lost many jobs because of my vegan values. These days, working for myself as a freelance artist/designer brings peace of mind… but I can no longer count on steady or big paychecks. Work can be difficult to find, especially since I reject unethical projects (such as designing a plush toy for a zoo) and so I’ve learned to live on the bare necessities. I’ve learned to be grateful for every cent that comes in. Yet I remain committed to the cause — building a compassionate vegan world for all!
P.S. What beautiful and sensitive memories dear Ooby has left you with! I very much appreciate last year’s memorial and one-year tribute you gave her.
I think vegans should begin to create a vegan infrastructure that removes our $ from the systems that continue to promote anumal cruelty.
I admit that having the veggie burger at Burger King is better than a meat burger but it still gives money to burgr king. The problem is the same when i buy veggies from the grocery. We need a vegan supply chain that keeps our values. Vegan options are a great start but we need to stop supprting those companies that in turn support suffering.
This will create some vegan jobs.
Tui Allen says
Well said James. Good point abut the veggie burger and its true of every restaurant we eat in, not just BK. I eat in restaurants far less than I used to and would love to have a vegan supermarket to shop in. The closest thing to that here is the greengrocer and that is where I shop often.
My veganism is as much about environmentalism as compassion for animals so I try to shop as light on plastic as I can. I just throw the veges ins the basket without a bag and avoid the pre-wrapped ones. I try to remember to take my own bags to carry it home in. And I produce some of my own food form my fruit trees and garden. They never come plastic wrapped and the birds get a good share of all the fruit in my trees. They leave plenty for me except the cherries. they don’t leave me any of those and I race them for the nashis too. It’s fun.
As Emily points out, there a number of vegan job opportunities out there, though you have to do some work finding them all.
At VeganWork.com, a job site for vegans and vegetarians, I’ve been curating a list of vegan jobs almost daily on my blog, and I estimate that I come across at least 100 vegan friendly jobs each week in the U.S. alone. And I’m just scratching the surface. Granted, many are on the coasts in urban centers, but I do discover employment opportunities throughout the country.
I’m amazed at, and encouraged by, the number of vegan restaurants, cafes, juiceries and bakeries I come across each day. Vegan and animal rights/advocacy/welfare organizations are another obvious choice for jobs. But also think about the food you eat, the body care products you use, the clothing you wear — all of these are produced by companies run by people. And they all have hiring needs at some point — from production to marketing to accounting to management to sales.
My goal with VeganWork.com is to consolidate all of these opportunities in one place. Until then, keep on searching and the best of luck!