I Don’t Know What Tempeh is but it Tastes Like Salt and Ass

09.23.13

There’s a nonprofit here in California that does a lot of good for our residents. It sort of starts with women and children but by extension it’s good for men too. It’s just a good solid non profit that I believe in and I support. In 2012 I gave them a little more than $400 in small increments.

Last week I was invited to a fundraiser for them. It was a small one with about 30 women in attendance. It started at 6pm and was $500 to attend. Since I’d given this non profit no money this year I decided that I’d have a $500 dinner with them, or at least appetizers. I attended the event out of curiosity but spent the money because I really and truly care about the work this organization does (which is why I will not be mentioning who is it and google will get you nowhere, this was not a public invitation).

When I got to the residence I knew I was in the land of rich democrats because the driveway sported a bumper stickered Prius and a top of the line Tesla. That this was one of the most beautiful homes in 90210 was not lost on me. It’s good to be green but let’s not mistake the setting for a yurt in Topanga Canyon.

I went in, dropped my check and met a few people. The owner of the home told me about her passions: cats. Oh, I bet you thought there’d be a list there, there’s no list she’s into animal rescue and she rescues cats. She also believes that meat consumption is responsible for more greenhouse gasses than automobiles. Which is why we were served tofu and tempeh that tasted like ass.

I don’t know what ass tastes like but I’ve changed plenty of diapers in my day and everything that was on that table smelled like something that had landed in the diaper genie a dozen years ago. I decided that I hated the homeowner for not warning people on the invitation that it was a vegan home. With a warning I would have done one of two things: eaten first or stayed home. I probably would have stayed home. I dislike people who prioritize animals over people.

I was going to add a paragraph about how I don’t dislike vegans but that would be dishonest. I really do dislike vegans (even though I am a reformed vegan). I hate feeding people with specific food needs unless they have a real allergy or disease. If you’re gluten free and not in danger of needing a colostomy bag you should never eat at my house because I’m not getting rid of wheat because you’re on your 93rd fad diet of the year. If you’re allergic to fish I will scrub down my kitchen and read the ingredients of every sauce in there to make sure I don’t poison you. I’m not likely to serve people veal because apparently raising babies in boxes isn’t very PC but if you look at a cow and don’t see deliciousness then my dinner table isn’t a good place for you. I’m sorry. I’m flawed and judgmental and irritable and one of the worst things about me is that I’m not trying to grow, change or evolve. I’m content to sit in judgement of you.

I like that people have taken to rescuing pets from shelters rather than purchasing them from breeders. We got Sparky from the clink and she’s been just lovely (even had a TV debut earlier this month) and had to buy Junior from a breeder because the rescues nabbed all the poodles from the shelter before I could get there and then wouldn’t let me have a dog because I had a gardner. Explaining to them that I already had a 15 year old poodle did not pacify them.

Had this event been about animals the Tofu-Tempeh Table of Ass might have been appropriate, had this event been about greenhouse gasses the lecture might have been welcome. This event was about neither of those things. In fact this event encompassed parts of healthcare that might have meant sacrificing a monkey or two and certainly hundreds if not thousands of rats. Recognizing that this lady had generously opened her home to a charity I cared about I ignored the animal rights lecture and grabbed a seat.

The speakers were good and reaffirmed for me the fact that I was in the right place. Well, not that I physically needed to be there but that I needed to support this organization. After the speakers were done everyone sort of mingled and I overheard someone talking. The snippets of conversation were about boys in foster care and finding a forever home for them. I assumed it was more cat talk but then realized that the conversation that I’d overheard was actually about people. For the first time in ages (years perhaps) I’d heard an Angelino talk about a boy being fostered that wasn’t a dog or a cat. It was an important moment for me.

Something is wrong with all of us that we have fetishized animal ownership to the point where we refer to them as orphans or foster animals rather than what they are, abandoned or unwanted animals. Recently someone in my twitter stream called me a murderer for eating steak. Murder is a term we reserve for humans as we hold human life to be sacred.

As the animal rights activists have co-opted the terms adoption and foster home I realize that the reason this gets under my skin is that I am, in part, to blame. Although I’ve blocked all the pet adoption updates from showing up in my feed I haven’t done anything to replace them. Obviously these work and I’m not one to reinvent the wheel so I’m going to go ahead and share some potential adoptees on my facebook timeline and hope that others will do the same

Destiny and Faith

Sometimes being a curmudgeon is good. I’ll see your 85th cat adoption post and raise you a couple of kids.

Heart Gallery LA has photographed some of the kids who need homes in Los Angeles. Sharing these stories might be more fulfilling than finding a home for a cat.