PETA Sinks Its Teeth Into SF’s Meatiest Neighborhood

Events, What's New — By Mary Polizzotti on March 31, 2011 at 12:05 am

What are we going to talk/blog/tweet/complain about now that pleasant 70 degree weather has replaced the monsoon in San Francisco? Fortunately, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals saved us with their preposterous letter to San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee on Wednesday. The agenda item? Rename the Tenderloin neighborhood “Tempeh District.”

No joke! Read the letter in its entirety here.

Beef TenderloinPhoto courtesy of avlxyz/Flickr

Maybe some vegetarians and beatniks in San Francisco know what tempeh is, but for the rest of the world, here’s the scoop. Tempeh originated in Indonesia and is a derivative of the soybean, which is then produced into a cake form through fermentation. Sounds gross, but the popular meat substitute is actually quite tasty. Thus, PETA’s Tenderloin/Tempeh deliberation.

But c’mon PETA, you don’t realize the ripple effect this change could potentially have. What would the moniker for Lower Nob Hill turn into, TempehNob? Now that doesn’t make much sense, does it?  PETA also suggests “if Tempeh doesn’t excite you, how about Granola Flats? Seitan’s Lair?” Believe me, you can’t even buy granola, let alone seitan, in the Tenderloin, there isn’t a grocery store!

Speaking as an actual Tenderloin resident, PETA is really pissing me off with this proposal. Do I really need another reason for my east coast family to accuse me of being a hippie living with the fruits and nuts in San Francisco? When I say “I live in Tempeh,” people could think even worse – that I live in Arizona (egads!). Or maybe they’ll think I’m emulating the South Park character – Timmeh! Tempeh!

Tenderloin street cornerPhoto courtesy of Andrew Turner/Flickr

The infamous Tenderloin’s title was possibly coined by police officers who received bonus pay for working in such a violent area and, as a result, could afford the good cut of meat. Another fable suggests the name is a reference to prostitute’s sexual parts (“loins”). Regardless, shouldn’t the name reflect real life today in San Francisco’s red light district? The only restaurants I know there which serve tempeh are Golden Era Vegetarian and Millennium (the latter would probably go to great lengths to debate that it’s actually located in the Tenderloin). PETA, please find some more appropriate suggestions, and inspiration, below:

Bedbug Barrio

Pothole Jungle

Theonly Affordable Rentville

Laundromat Liquor Locale

Feces Kingdom

Pho Parish

Sesame Street (on Crack)

Ho Hamlet

TenderloinPhoto courtesy of Peti_Morgan/Flickr

PETA could be more productive with a letter asking the mayor to power wash the Tenderloin’s shit-filled sidewalks daily. Or rather, to commission extra police on the street so the crack smoking isn’t so apparent in broad daylight (and I don’t think they would prefer extra-firm tofu bonus pay). Have you noticed all the kids in the Tenderloin? I sure have, more so than any other neighborhood in San Francisco (except Noe Valley). How about a “no crazy screaming after midnight” decree? How about installing street signs that say “Please Don’t Use Parked Cars as Toilets”?

The Tenderloin is as colorful a neighborhood as one could get, and all of this Tenderloin talk reminds me of my bus ride to work last week. A smelly guy got on the MUNI 19 and greeted the Tourette’s-like cussing woman sitting two seats away from me. They were happy to see each other and began to discuss their probation time and parole officers. After some time, he asked her “So, where are you going?” to which she replied “Man, I don’t know, I’m just going where I’m going, I’m just killing TIME!”

Well, as PETA would recognize, at least she’s not killing animals.

Tenderloin sidewalkPhoto courtesy of squant/Flickr

Tags: mayor of san francisco, meat, moniker, neighborhood, PETA, prostitutes, san francisco, tempeh, Tenderloin


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