Twisty Faster over at I Blame the Patriarchy has just tipped me off to what may be the dumbest thing I’ve heard of since I found out about the people behind Tapout: a vegan strip club in my home town of Portland, Oregon. (The news articles about the story are stomach-churningly titled, not to mention unbelievably unreflective, but if you want to see them, click here, here, here, and here.) Portland, supposedly a bastion of lesbianism, left-wing sentiment, and several other things that scare the bejesus out of Lars Larson and his merry band of anti-seatbelt half-wit listeners, has no shortage of strip clubs. It also has no shortage of vegans. But where’s the connection? Was there really a vast pool of vegan men and non-feminist lesbian women that were missing out on their chance to degrade and commodify women’s bodies because they were too put off by the smell of buffalo wings? I know my fair share of vegans that are into having sex with women, and none of them are into strip clubs, so that can’t be it.
It seems that the dildo who opened the club, one Mr. Johnny Diablo (I can hear the rockabilly music now), thinks he’s going to use the club to promote his vegan ideals to carnivores. He apparently thinks he’s going to give samples of his Mexican-inspired meatless creations to the clients in hopes that the combination of blue balls and tasty treats will train them, Pavlov’s dogs-style, to want to give up meat. But not all meat: says Mr. D, “We put the meat on the pole, not on the plate.” Fuuuhck. PETA would love that shit. It goes great with their whole “using women’s bodies to tell people not to use animals’ bodies” campaign.
I’m a vegan apostate, but Portland’s vegan community has always impressed me. For a town so small, Portland does seem to have a lot of things going for it, including its own vegan grocery store (which I can’t even find in my own neighborhood in Manhattan) and an abundance of fairly well educated and thoughtful citizens, many of whom have figured out that killing and abusing animals isn’t cool. People in Portland are also much less obnoxiously impressed with themselves than San Franciscans and Seattlites, exhibiting almost none of the pretentiousness that makes me hate urban liberals (of which I am one, so don’t get mad). But maybe some of that pretentiousness would do these motherfuckers some good; somebody needs to point out to this dickwad that there is a bit of an ideological conflict between veganism and the human meat trade. I don’t know how convinced I am that I need to be a vegan in order to be a good feminist, but I do know that being a vegan and not a feminist is one of the most illogical stances one can take. I mean, basically, Johnny Diablo is saying that it’s not only OK to treat women with less respect than cows and chickens, but also that we should abuse women in order to convince people not to abuse cows and chickens.