Mission Loc@l: So what’s going on?
Robin Doolin: We’re having a bake sale called Cupcakes for Choice that I co-organized with Laura Hooper Beck of San Francisco Vegan Bakesales. I’m a volunteer of both the SF and East Bay Vegan Bakesales. Most of the baked goods here are vegan and all proceeds will go to Planned Parenthood. Through what we call Baketivism — community activism with baking — we introduce people to the joy and tastiness of vegan foods, support important causes and promote the benefits of an animal-free diet.
ML: What brought you out today?
RD: After the House of Representatives voted to cut all federal funding to Planned Parenthood on February 18, we felt like we needed to do something.
ML: How did you get involved in Baketivism?
RD: I wanted to do something that was more approachable and easier to participate in than a protest or writing angry letters. I thought, everyone loves baked goods, what a great way to draw attention to an issue.
ML: Why Planned Parenthood?
RD: There’s an organization called Cupcakes for Life which I feel very strongly against, not because they’re a pro-life organization, but because they exploit children for their cause. They make kids hand out cupcakes in school and say things like, “Don’t you feel grateful you can eat this cupcake because you weren’t aborted.”
RD: That’s why we had the idea of Cupcakes for Choice, where we would have adults baking and show people that these family health clinics don’t just do abortions. Only 3 percent of the services that Planned Parenthood provides are abortions. The other 97 percent are STD screenings, AIDS prevention, cancer screenings, gynecological exams, birth control, etc.
ML: How far does Baketivism reach?
RD: It’s worldwide and spreading like wildfire. The worldwide vegan bake sale was started by Gary Loewenthal and is in its 3rd year. People are signing up from South Africa, Asia, all over Europe, and it’s growing from there. The next one is happening April 23-May 1.
ML: What other causes do you bake for?
RD: All kinds. Sometimes international organizations, but a lot of local ones. We also try to balance one animal organization with one human organization. For example, two weeks ago we did a bake sale for Home at Last, a local animal rescue foundation, and the Lyon-Martin Health Services for women and transgender people on Market Street.
Gentleman approaching table: I only got 75 cents. What can I get?
RD: Pick a cookie. And help spread the message.
ML: Nice! Do all the proceeds go to these organizations?
RD: Yes, all of us donate all our time and baked goods. Our prices are a little bit higher than at other bake sales, but it’s all going to charity.
ML: Do you have an office?
RD: No, it’s all e-mail, Facebook and word of mouth.
ML: What do you like about this neighborhood?
RD: This neighborhood is so walkable and accessible by public transit, so it makes it easy for people to get here. We’ve done bake sales at Species, Herbivore and now Mission Bicycle. There’s such a great mix of communities here.
ML: What makes you the most happy?
RD: People are coming by and buying cupcakes, and they’re sometimes not even realizing it’s vegan. They often say, “This is the best cupcake or doughnut I’ve ever had,” and then they’re shocked to hear it’s vegan. It’s great to expose people to new foods.