With everyone in town already weighing in on Twitter's tax break, the attention-grabby folks at PETA have figured out a way to insert themselves in to the conversation: by calling for an end to the loosely meat-related name of the city's most notorious neighborhood. Their alternative would be to call it by their safer, vegan name: the "Tempeh District", but they're open to other meatless suggestions. After the jump, PETA's open letter to Temporary Mayor Ed Lee (and forwarded on to us) reprinted in it's entirety.
March 29, 2011
The Honorable Edwin M. Lee
Mayor of San Francisco
Dear Mayor Lee,
I am writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 2 million members and supporters, including thousands in the Bay Area, with an idea that could help revitalize the struggling Tenderloin district: rename it the "Tempeh District." By discarding an outdated moniker that evokes the horrors of the meat trade, you'll be sending a strong message to progressive businesses and health-conscious residents that this neighborhood is ready for a fresh start.
Tempeh, a protein-packed food made from soybeans, is a healthy, cruelty-free meat substitute. In contrast, tenderloin comes from real suffering. In today's intensive meat production industry, piglets have their tails and testicles cut off without being given any painkillers and breeding sows are confined for life to metal crates so small they can't even turn around or take two steps. Cattle are burned with hot irons, their horns are cut or burned off, and males are castrated—all without painkillers.
It's true that the Tenderloin echoes vice and corruption and that slaughterhouses are constantly found to be in violation of the law and more. But now's the perfect time to put the city's past in the deep freeze. San Francisco is now renowned for some of the best vegan cuisine in the world, and the city deserves a neighborhood named after a delicious cruelty-free food instead of the flesh of an abused animal. If Tempeh doesn't excite you, how about Granola Flats or Seitan's Lair? You could even run a contest to choose a veggie moniker.
Executive Vice President
Tenderloin Supervisor Jane Kim's office did not immediately return requests for comment.