‘No (meat) soup for you!’

I’m sure you’ve taken notice of them… hundreds of them in Monroe Park every Sunday in the late afternoon. Homeless people of course. They congregate in our city’s beautiful park because they are hungry, and the generous Food Not Bombs organization is nice enough to feed them. But I’m not so sure the Sunday supper “meats” our poorer brethren’s approval.

You see, Food Not Bombs refuses to offer our famished friends any real, satisfying cuisines. That’s because all the dinners are derived from the dirt. Or as they put it, they are vegan. Yes, only carrots and brussel sprouts for Richmond’s nutritionally deprived. I think what we have here is another case of imposing one’s personal religion/creed on others while attempting to do social justice. (See “Hungry Anyone?” Vol. 38, Issue 4)

Or maybe the herbavorian organization is just cheap. But nobody is asking for prime rib or filet mignon here. For God’s sake, the broth isn’t even broth, it’s water! After a hard day on the streets, these folks require a vitamin-packed and substantive meal, and it wouldn’t hurt for it to be tasty. Mashed soy with radish patties is just not going to cut it. It wouldn’t be too costly to serve up a nice pot of Campbell’s hearty selection, with some nice chunks of beef, chicken, pork, you name it, something that was once breathing.

That’s why I am swayed to believe this strange clan who somehow puts food and bombs in the same category is hurting the bearded folk because of their own crazy ideologies. They can eat all the hummus they want but if they are really concerned about those less fortunate, then they should listen to their pleas. I, for one, have done just that and interviewed one kind man as he slurped the strange vegan concoction one fine Richmond day in Monroe Park.

“Damn hippies!” he indignantly exclaimed as the mix of greens flew from his mouth. “This is absolute crap, trash. Dogs are fed better than us!” And it’s true, most canines receive leftover succulent roast from their master’s dinner table.

Another interviewee hit on another point as he analyzed his serving, “What the hell is this? It looks like something on the bottom of my shoe!” Others made similar comments with a little bit of sarcasm in their tone, saying there is plenty of tasty grass around and the activists are not needed.

I think the problem is quite clear. Food not Bombs either needs to start distributing some real food as their name implies, or they should stick to the bombs aspect of their club. I admit that it is difficult to multitask.

But nonetheless, another Sunday evening ended the same sad way it began, with a horde of tired hungry men occupying a neglected urban park.

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