My girlfriend and I ventured to Cambridge’s Democracy Center for the vegan potluck with our tofu stir fry dish in hand. We arrived punctually at seven o’clock, but the hall looked vacant, only a few people with patches, and a theatre group lingered about. If you have ever been to a show, you know normal time and punk time are usually not in sync–the latter typically takes place many minutes (or hours) after the former. We did not fret, but went to Charlie’s Kitchen to get a drink and wait.

By eight o’clock, more people arrived, via skateboard, bike, moped, and a cramped hatchback. The Cesar Chavez and Rosa Parks rooms were filled with conversation, vegan food, and ironically…leather. A television sat on a table and played a live DVD of the almighty DISCHARGE, next to an impressive spread of donated vegan food, some of it homemade–vegan pizza, rice and bean dishes, banana bread and fruit salad, while some of it was not–V8 Splash, soy milk, coffee, swedish fish (the vegan go-to gelatin-free candy). Everything with honey was marked and everyone had their fill.

This was the second vegan potluck at the Democracy Center, and the turnout was remarkable for a late night event in Cambridge on a Sunday, but people had their reasons to come, “Free food,” remarked one attendee, Scud Vile.

The event’s coordinator Ellie, a vegan tattoo artist, wanted to create an event similar to a basement show, but instead of everyone consuming alcohol, cruelty-free food was the main course. Many of the participants weren’t vegan, but that was the function’s intended function. No preaching to the proverbial choir.

Food was the main order of business, but record selling also took place. The climax of night was a guest-speaker. One might concede that the punk subculture is derived from the alienated, and many a vegan might feel (at times) alienated. So what better person to speak to room full of punk rock vegans, than an expert on, aliens!

For the last hour, veteran UFO investigator Chris Pittman from the television series Ancient Aliens, spoke before an eager crowd about his eerie experiences with UFOs, and his supernatural encounters. His grim exhortations were peppered with bits of black humor, and his stories, although bizarre, took on a believable tone. But this is a discussion for a different post on a different blog. Nevertheless a unique way to end the night.

Hopefully this will be the second of many succeeding successful vegan potlucks! The kids had their say, and their fill. No qualms, just aliens.

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