On Monday January 11th I attended a PETA DC Work Party. It is held monthly at PETA DC Headquarters on 1536 16th St, NW close to the DC Jewish Community Center and the Scientology building. Although there is no sign on the building, it is hard to miss with the life size elephant statue in the front yard.
I had been meaning to attend a work part for several months but something always came up. Also, I live quite a ways away and driving in rush hour traffic is not something I look forward to. This time, however, I was determined to attend and left early to ensure I’d be on time even with traffic and parking issues. Fortunately, neither were an issue and I arrived a few minutes early and parked right outside the house.
The elephant in the front yard was impressive and although it was dark outside and there was poor lighting, one of my goals this year is to document what I did for animals and post on social media so there was no way I was leaving without taking a shot of the elephant.
When I got inside, there were a few people there (presumably PETA people but I’m not sure) who directed me to a back room where a few tables and and chairs were set up. This month we were to place round tape to the bottom right of the Vegan Starter Kits (VSK) so they can go through the label machine without jamming. Not the most exciting work and not what I was expecting, but necessary so I wasn’t going to complain. I did notice there were only a few people in attendance and figured the crowd was small due to the cold weather. I saw a projector and screen in the middle of the room and took a seat behind the projector so I could get a good view during the presentation.
I sat next to Patricia, a lady who had been vegan a while and confessed her friends knew her as “the Vegan Lady.” Joining us a little later was Ilana who is working on the Hill. We chatted, placed tape on the VSK’s, and eventually it turned out, the place was packed with standing room only. It was fun to see so many Vegans in one place and nobody there was the stereotypical angry, obnoxious, angry hippie.
We also got to eat some amazing Vegan Chili that was catered by 3 Twisted Vegans. When we were about done with the work, we saw a presentation about PETA’s victories for animals exploited in laboratories in 2015. Turns out a lot of good work was done, most of which I had not heard about before that night. In the end, two upcoming events were announced – a protest of the Foie Gras festival on H Street and flyering at the MLK parade near Anacostia Metro Station. I also got advice from Alka Chandna about a VSK stand I was maintaining at Dunn Loring Metro station which wasn’t getting much traffic. She and her husband, Bruce Friedrich, maintain over 40 stands around the DC region so they would be the ones to ask.
After all the work was done, the chili devoured, the new friendships made, I decided to take off, deciding to attend both events in the coming days, and satisfied with how the evening turned out. Glad I came.