WeWork is a startup that pushes flexible, communal workspaces for remote workers. But the company just announced that it’s now extremely less flexible about the diet of its employees. Bloomberg and other outlets report today that “the startup has told its 6,000 global staff that they will no longer be able to expense meals including meat, and that it won’t pay for any red meat, poultry or pork at WeWork events.”
In an email to staff, co-founder Miguel McKelvey states, “New research indicates that avoiding meat is one of the biggest things an individual can do to reduce their personal environmental impact… even more than switching to a hybrid car.” (Is this really new research, though? We point to the 1971 groundbreaking volume Diet For A Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappé.)
Sure, it’s America, people should be able to eat whatever they want. But on the company dime, going for a meatless entree or a vegetarian conference buffet isn’t going to kill anyone. (This could be my engrained response after all those years working for non-profits; I hardly ever say no to work-related free food, veg or no.) After all, WeWork employees can still have a steak at that business dinner; now they just have to pay for it.