Global coworking giant WeWork, which operates five locations in Dallas-Fort Worth, has a bone to pick with meat. In a bid to ease environmental burdens, the company has barred red meat, pork, and poultry from being served at company-sponsored events or being purchased on WeWork’s dime.
According to Bloomberg, the meat-free policy was announced via a memo from WeWork co-founder Miguel McKelvey.
“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,” McKelvey wrote.
WeWork employees and members still can eat meat at the company’s coworking sites, as long as the company doesn’t pay for it. Also, WeWork members can serve meat they’ve purchased on their own at events held at WeWork locations.
However, purchases of hamburgers, steaks, chicken, or any other meat made on behalf of the company will no longer be reimbursed. And meat products will disappear from self-service food and drink kiosks at roughly 400 WeWork locations.
“We have made a commitment to be a meat-free organization,” McKelvey declared.
McKelvey’s memo cites research indicating that WeWork can save an estimated 16.7 billion gallons of water, 445.1 million pounds of carbon emissions, and more than 15 million animals by 2023 thanks to the meat ban.
Slate.com writer Felix Salmon labeled the meat prohibition “tyrannical,” complaining that the WeWork policy makes little sense.
“If office managers want to serve delicious and healthy vegetarian food for their employees, that’s fantastic, but the ease of doing so, and the degree to which those employees will embrace the meal, varies wildly from city to city and from country to country,” he wrote.
But WeWork is not the first company to institute such a policy. Juicero, a juice machine maker, instituted a similar ban on reimbursing employee expenses for meals at non-vegan restaurants. And a number of animal welfare organizations, such as Mercy For Animals, seek to hire vegetarian employees.
Dallas-area staffers were unavailable for comment. A few comments on the company’s Facebook page were pro-meat, but another commenter who identified himself as a farmer thanked the company.
“I wanted to endorse, encourage, and help emphasis the importance of taking such measures for the health of our future community/world,” his comment said. “I farm. Climate change impacts me and all other farmers directly.”