Advocate: How to Throw a Tofu Cream Pie
By Jack Rosenberger
to BAKE a Tofu Cream Pie
Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman had just
taken his position behind the podium at the opening session of the National
Nutrition Summit and started to speak when 23-year-old Arathi Jayaram,
a PETA member, jumped on the stage, called Glickman a "Meat pimp,"
and threw a tofu cream pie at him. Unfortunately for Jayaram (and the
assembled press photographers), Glickman duckedthe pie hit only
the back of his jacket.
Before being dragged off stage, Jayaram shouted, "Shame on you,
Dan Glickman, for pushing meat and promoting animal cruelty." According
to a PETA press release, Jayaram was inspired to pie Glickman because
of his "refusal to acknowledge that a meat-based diet is killing
people, despite proof of its links to obesity and nutritional problems."
To Pie or Not to Pie
Some social justice activists are opposed to pie-ing. The two main
arguments against pie-throwing are that its violent and an inappropriate
method of political expression. I disagree. As for the claim of violence,
a person who gets a pie tossed in her or his face isnt physically
harmed. "A pie is not a gun," says one pie adherent. "A
pie is not a knife. A pie is not a rock."
Being hit with a tofu cream pie is nothing compared to what millions
of nonhuman animals are forced to endure every day. "On factory
farms," PETA notes, "chickens have their beaks sliced off
with a hot blade, pigs have their tails chopped off and their teeth
removed with pliers, and male cows and pigs are castrated, all without
Besides, were engaged in a struggle for justice. This isnt
a badminton match. Some clothes are going to be soiled, some egos will
be bruised, some people are going to be hurt.
As a means of political expression, hitting an opponent in the face
with a tofu cream pie is merely one utensil in an animal-rights activists
toolbox. Pie-throwing is an age-old tactic of political theater. Also,
a properly aimed pie is a unique weaponnothing else works quite
so well at visually deflating a wrongdoer.
Pie Throwing 101
Internationally, pie-throwing may be enjoying a resurgence. Several
organizations, such as Pastrymakers Without Borders, are dedicated to
it. In San Francisco, the Biotic Baking Brigade has pied more than a
half-dozen public figures, including economist Milton Friedman, Pacific
Lumber Company CEO Charles Hurwitz, and San Francisco Mayor Willie L.
Brown, Jr. In Europe, Belgian Noel Godin and his band of collaborators,
called LEntarteur, have done in more than 20 persons, including
several French government officials, film director Jean-Luc Godard,
various philosophers and historians, and, most famously, Microsoft chairman
Bill Gates. In the past, PETA has garnered a substantial amount of publicity
by pie-ing its foes, such as Procter & Gamble chairman John E. Pepper,
to protest animal testing or other atrocities committed against nonhuman
How to Throw a Tofu Cream Pie
The recipe for successfully pie-ing an animal abuser involves several
key ingredients: careful planning, proximity, the element of surprise,
and an abundance of pies.
When LEntarteur creamed Bill Gates in Paris, the operation involved
32 persons, many of whom were carrying tarts hidden in camera bags or
under their coats, while they waited for the Microsoft chairman in the
street. "The secret is to have precise information," Godin
has said. "Our friends in Paris knew how the visit was planned
and gave us all the details the day before."
Godin and his followers try to confuse their intended victim, the police
and any bodyguards by appearing as ridiculous as possible. They paste
exaggerated smiles on their faces, utter nonsense poetry and chant "gloup,
gloup, gloup" (an expression that derives from Godins pseudonym
Georges le Gloupier) before descending on their target with whip cream
Jayarams assault was less than 100 percent successful because
she lacked the element of surprise. Glickman saw Jayaram approach and
managed to turn away in time. If she had been accompanied by an accomplice,
Jayaram might have nailed Glickman in the kisser at the podium. Jayaram
and her accomplice could have approached Glickman and when the accomplice,
say, handed Glickman a piece of paper, Jayaram could have struck when
Glickman leaned forward and his momentum prevented him from quickly
Lastly, when it comes to airborne pies, less isnt more, for example,
the Biotic Baking Brigade, which caught San Francisco mayor Brown in
a cross-fire of cherry, tofu, and pumpkin pies.
Probation or Prison?
While pie-throwing is a mainstay of political theater, the pie-ed
party may file charges against her or his assailant. Jayaram was charged
with assault, which carries a recommended penalty of up to a year imprisonment.
(Odds are shell get probation.) The three members of the Biotic
Baking Brigade who hit Mayor Brown were arrested and charged with assault
and battery. A jury found the trio not guilty of assault, but guilty
The prosecution had recommended a term of three-years probation, which
the threesome rejected, saying probation would prevent them from further
protests. Instead, they were sentenced to six months in county jail.
Prior to the Biotic Baking Brigades trial last year, no pie-throwing
case had gone to trial in America in 20 years.
Godin prefers tarts over letters. "Ive always been a
partisan of the insulting letter, in the Dadaist and surrealist tradition,
sent by intellectuals to challenge famous peoples pretensions,"
Godin has said. "But if I sent a letter to Bill Gates, only he
would see it. Instead, I communicate via tarts, in a sort of visual
Carnivores I consider pie worthy: Dan Glickman; any adult member of
the Perdue or Tyson families; Dan Glickman; high-protein, low-carbohydrate
diet guru Robert Atkins; Wendys founder Dave Thomas; Dan Glickman;
New York Times food columnist Molly ONeill; Hudson Valley Foie
Gras co-owner Michael A. Ginor; Dan Glickman; Dan Glickman; Dan Glickman;
and McDonalds CEO Jack Greenberg.
If pie-throwing isnt your thing, contact: USDA secretary Dan Glickman,
200-A Whiten Building, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250;
How to Prepare a Tofu Cream Pie
Karins Incredible Chocolate Pie
1-1/4 lbs soft tofu
3/4 c. semisweet dairy-free chocolate chips, melted
Sliced kiwi, strawberries, or raspberries
1 9-inch unbaked Chocolate Cookie Crust, chilled (recipe follows)
1. In a blender, purée the tofu to a smooth paste.
2. Add the melted chocolate and blend thoroughly.
3. Pour into the pie crust and chill for at least 2 hours.
4. Garnish with the sliced fruit before serving.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Chocolate Cookie Crust
25 vegan chocolate sandwich cookies
1/3 c. margarine, melted
1. Break up the cookies by hand, then grind into crumbs in a blender
or food processor.
2. Pour the crumbs into a mixing bowl, add the melted margarine, and
3. Press the mixture into a 9-inch pie plate.
4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before filling.
From "Cooking With PETA." See www.peta-online.org
for more recipes.