As some of you know, I work weekends in a small rest home (17-20 residents), where a big part of my responsibility is the serving and cooking of meals. The menu is prefixed, and the night staff person prepares part of the hot meals, so I usually end up reheating most of the food. Now this usually works out well for me because it means I don't have to cook most of the meat, but once a month I'm the one who prepares either the beef or pork roast and on special occasions, there's either a turkey or a ham. I started this job before I became vegan and when preparing meat wasn't an issue, and I have to say that as soon as I made the switch I had no problem with not eating non-vegan items there. I didn't especially like making meat dishes anymore, but on the other hand I recognized that the residents didn't have any say in what was prepared, and that meal and snack-times are the highlights in their otherwise boring day. I also have to say that even though I don't consider myself to be a great cook, I'm actually quite good when it comes to dishes that I have to simmer for any length of time. So this past Easter I had to make a ham (which I've only made once before), and by the comments I received it apparently turned out fantastic (I used pineapple chunks and juice to baste and simmer). I was pleased because it had been a big meal to make and because I wanted Easter to be special for them, but I was so taken aback by how many of them went out of their way to let me know how much they had enjoyed dinner that I was strongly tempted to taste a piece myself! And it wasn't because I still have cravings for meat, or was hungry, but I simply wanted to know what all the fuss was about, snort. Happily though I didn't give in to the temptation, but took their word for it.
It does raise the issue though of whether I want to have jobs in the future that involve the preparation of foods that I myself for ethical reasons no longer eat. Luckily it won't be an issue for much longer in this particular job as I'm leaving at the end of May, but I suppose I have to think carefully about whether I want to even apply for these types of jobs again. Hmmm.