A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a unique event hosted by First Tuesday Los Angeles. FTLA describes itself as "a women's group dedicated to creating and sustaining a sense of community with like minded women through social connectivity, professional networking, and social service." The theme of the group's February meeting was animal rights and when I heard that Skinny Bitch author Rory Freedman would be there I signed up to attend right away!
The event was staged at a gorgeous home in Pacific Palisades and began with a vegan dinner catered by Great Taste Catering. The food was good, but to be perfectly honest, it was very Vegan Version 1.0. The menu included pesto asparagus, a very basic salad, an under seasoned wheatberry salad, some vegan cookies from Trader Joe's, and a tofu dish that made me chuckle. This casserole was just so obviously made by someone who has no experience with tofu at all. It was whole blocks of tofu covered in tomato sauce, served with roasted potatoes. The tofu hadn't been marinated at all, so you can imagine how plain it tasted.
With that said, everything was tasty and god knows I ate everything on my plate. It's just a tad unfortunate that everyone probably left thinking that veggie food has to be bland. It probably would have been a better choice to have a vegan restaurant like Real Food Daily do the catering but everyone seemed to enjoy the food.
We all packed into the living room--there were probably about 50 ladies there--to hear from the night's speakers. First up was Jana Kohl who wrote A Rare Breed of Love about her adventures with her three-legged pup Baby and their trek across the nation to promote pet adoption. Baby was rescued from a puppy mill and had to have her leg amputated because it deteriorated so much in the mill. As I am already vegan and an advocate of pet rescue, I didn't really learn anything that I didn't already know about the horrors of puppy mills and eating meat. But one thing Jana said that I was not aware of was that rescue groups that are based around one type of breed (like poodle rescues, lab rescues, etc.) sometimes buy dogs from puppy mills--which is good because it gets the dog out of that cruel environment, but it still lines the pockets of the puppy mill owners. The lesson there is to do your homework before adopting a pet. Here is a cute shot we got of Jana and her Baby:
Mama pajama I would KILL to get a picture of my Hayley (who, by the way, I adopted from an awesome rescue group in my old North Carolina, the BBCRA) with our awesome new prez. In the meantime I'll have to settle for this shot of Hayley with The Food Monster.
Next up was Rory Freedman. I have talked about how much I liked her Skinny Bitch before. I forced my lovely boss Canada to read it at work one day and I suspect it was major factor in her becoming a pescatarian this year. Anywho, Rory was great. She started by admitting that choosing such a sassy title for her book was a total ploy to make people read a book about animal cruelty. Again, I didn't hear anything I didn't already know, but it was obvious that most of the people there were hearing about cruel farming practices for the first time. She ended the night by asking everyone to do a 30 day veg pledge. The April First Tuesday meeting is also going to be vegetarian because hopefully a lot of members will be trying to take meat out of their diets for at least a month! Here's a shot of Rory and I at the end of the night.
I had a great time and met a ton of really cool girls. I definitely recommend checking out both Jana and Rory's books and if you want to hear all about First Tuesday's many events, check out the site!