Daryl works out of his home as a trader (whatever that means) but really only wants to raise money to put it to use toward vegan causes and resources. He's been involved with animal rights since he was a young man. He's almost 60 now, but I don't think it will surprise anyone to learn that this long-time raw vegan looks about 20 years younger. Even though he's this progressive person who has worked to eliminate animal agriculture and environmental destruction for many years, dude's actually pretty uptight! That's something I can relate with quite a bit. Animals don't actually move him personally and he doesn't seem to have had many close relationships with them. Like me, he came to veganism from a sustainability angle first, though, unlike me, it didn't awaken in him a deep love for non-human animals later. But that's OK. In fact, that seems to indicate that he is a man who is deeply committed to his principles without any sentimentality.
|Daryl showed me all the activist posters he'd saved over the years. Here's an anti-vivisection one. I wish I could show you all the different ones I took pictures of that he had!|
We spent a long time at Red Rock Canyon, a place Daryl regularly takes couch surfers. We actually went there once each day I stayed! He's incredibly devoted to efficiency in all different aspects of his life, and he clearly knew which spots were best and which were avoidable. We did a lot of easy climbing and he took pictures of me standing among all these awesome rocks.
|We were quite high up when this picture was taken!|
|I look pretty cool here, don't I?|
|Yeah, I crawled into a cave.|
You may recall from a past posts that I love raw food! My favorite restaurant in Pittsburgh is Eden, which was where I had my very first raw meal and learned how full I get from eating it even though it barely raises my blood sugar, a clear benefit. Daryl took me to his favorite regular restaurant, Go Raw Cafe, which has an incredibly expansive menu and gives you just amazingly huge portions. We ordered and shared three things.
First, we got a HALF ORDER of the house salad and split it between us and it was still lots and lots of salad. Plus, it's seriously the greatest salad I've ever eaten. I want your house dressing, Go Raw, please tell me what it's made out of, I want to make it every day of my life!
We also got the "Salmon" Sushi, which was good, but the worst of the three things. I liked those crazy enoki mushrooms you can see over on the right. I would have liked this better if it had pickled ginger to put on it, but maybe picked ginger is somehow not raw? Some regular old raw ginger diced up would have been fine as well. Still, we ate all of it, no problem. What you see in this picture is only half the plate! They had quite large portions, as I mentioned.
We also got a half order of the Mexi Wrap. That's right, what you're looking at is a half order. Plus, the best flax crackers I've ever had.
Care to see the inside of the wrap a bit better, with its mysterious and delicious mixture of "nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices"? Sure you do.
What an electrifying, energy-promoting, real-food-delicious meal! I loved every bite. Was it any wonder that, later on, when Daryl took me to go see the famous Las Vegas strip, a place neither of us would really belong or enjoy but we both agreed I ought to check out, that I was full to the brim with goofy energy?
Because Daryl takes people here all the time, he knows a couple places people can go that are free and kinda neat. For instance, there's this outdoor tank filled with two species of tuna and also some sharks. The tuna go around and around and around the circular tank and I don't think they can possibly have a satisfying life in there. However, I also know that tuna are hunted so thoroughly and ruthlessly that their extinction is imminent. So, as is often the case for vegans, I felt both a deep shame for the way humans treat non-human animals and thrilled that I got the chance to look at them.
Anyway, there was one tuna in there who was clearly the tank's elder. Tuna have very long lives if they're not hunted while they're still juveniles, and they only become more and more fecund, or fertile, as they age, which is why it is so important to stop hunting them so thoroughly and give them the chance to age and reproduce strong offspring to stop their inevitable extinction. Is it possible that old age also gives tuna wisdom, as in humans? I only wonder this because this one fish in the tank, who was clearly larger and older, was the only one who chose not to swim around in relentless circles, but instead looked out at us looking at her (or him). She looks grumpy and I both love and pity her. Who knows how long she's been on this planet and where she was born and what all she's seen? Was she bred in captivity or captured in the wild? Does she have many offspring? Maybe she just looks out at the people with curiosity, but there's a part of me that believes she's angry about the limitations imposed on her.
Another free, weird thing we did was go take our picture in front of a million dollars in cash. I thought this was pretty hilariously vapid, so I insisted that Daryl get into the picture with me (he's pretty averse to being photographed) and then I put on my best, "Money, biatch!" face and had a go. I'm thrilled with the result -- both my absurd posturing and Daryl's straight-faced uncomfortableness.
So that was Las Vegas! Next, LA, vegan Mecca.