by Mary Lee

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — A company with Bay Area locations is going vegetarian, taking meat off the menu at its locations and events.

New York City-based WeWork, which provides shared work spaces for startups and entrepreneurs, announced that it is going vegetarian to help promote environmental sustainability.

WeWork has several locations in the Bay Area, including one in San Francisco South of Market. Not only has the company banned meat, the new policy means no more meat at any events at its 400 locations; while employees can’t expense pork, red meat or poultry when eating out on the company dime.

Jeff Burger, who works in a WeWork space but is not an employee and is a meat eater, doesn’t seem to mind.

“It’s not like whole platters of meat just went away like they’re not there,” he said. “So yeah, it’s a corporate policy to get attention for it, so it’s good for them. I like the planet, too.”

According to Bloomberg, the company’s co-Founder Miguel McKelvey told employees in a memo, “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.”

The company estimates that by eliminating meat at events, it can save 16.7 billion gallons of water, 445.1 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions and over 15 million animals by 2023.

Jordan Baines, a worker inside San Francisco WeWork building, said, “I’m not a vegetarian, but I think it’s really a good choice from a carbon footprint perspective.”

While some people who use WeWork office spaces support the company’s decision to be more environmentally conscious, others say it’s not fair.

Jeremy Billow, another worker in a WeWork office space, said, “People should have a choice whether or not they want to eat meat. They can find a different way to do that, maybe pay for everyone.”

Many have asked if the company can even do this, and legal experts said that there are currently no laws that protect meat eaters in the workplace.

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