Perhaps this is the ultimate sign that Echo Park, former home of Mi Vida Loca, has turned a another corner of gentrification:

Animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) this week opened its new West Coast headquarters in the former barrio, reports The Eastsider LA.

The 80-year-old building housing the new PETA digs was updated thanks to the help of …

… former game show host Bob Barker, who donated (no, not a new car!) … $2.5 million to the organization.

PETA peeps will find plenty of Portlandia characters — faux fur and fair-trade types who spend most of their cash on iPad 3G service — in the “new Eastside” that is actually west of downtown (discuss).

But it's still an area at a crossroads, claimed by gangs, occasionally shot up, and home to many a meat-loving, cock-fight enjoying immigrant.

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It'll be interesting to see how these folks fit in. Will they “rescue” abuela's backyard pig (destined for juicy carnitas tacos, no doubt).

We also wonder if the 60 or so PETA employees said to be residing in the new officers will a) ralph, b) run screaming or c) stage an occupation when they realize that they're at the epicenter of such Mexican street food faves as al pastor spit meat and cow's head tacos (mmm, cow).

Perhaps the smells of the plethora of stewed, roasted and barbecued ethnic meats in the neighborhood will convert PETAns to the dark side?

Join us. (Muahahahaha).

[@dennisjromero / / @LAWeeklyNews]

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