I didn’t hear the discussion you had on Vegetarianism but it was brought to my attention through a few of your vegetarian listeners. They claim that you were insensitive and disparaging towards vegetarians and vegans and although I cannot find the podcast to hear it for myself, judging from the response on Facebook it’s plain to see that this was the stance you took.
I am neither vegan nor vegetarian. So I’m not writing to you to tell you all the ethical, health related, agricultural and sustainability related pros that vegetarianism provides – of which there are many. Nor am I writing to defend my lifestyle choices over theirs.
I am writing to you because in your position as radio presenters you have an ethical responsibility regarding what you broadcast to the public. You hold influence. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be on the radio. So I find disparaging an entire group of people absolutely deplorable. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Let’s imagine the same ‘jokes’ were being made about gays, Jews, blacks, women, or, say, fat people. Does that just seem wrong? I bet you wouldn’t dare. How is it in any way justifiable to make fun of vegetarians? Are they for some reason less deserving of respect? Are they not allowed to make their own choices?
You may go so far as to think, “Well, being gay or black is not a choice.” But why are you promoting bigotry on any level when you should be preventing it at all costs? You may think me overly-sensitive and that the conversation was in jest so I should lighten up. There was a time that black people were systematically ridiculed. I wonder if anyone ever told Mandela to lighten up? Yes, I am using hyperbole to make a point. You have the power to spread tolerance, in a country that so desperately needs you to do so and yet you choose the path of denigration. Shame on you.
I do not write to you as an animal activist, or to promote or defend vegetarian, non-vegetarianism or any other lifestyle choice. I write to you in the hope that you bring educational value to the topics you present in the future so that listeners are encouraged to make informed decisions instead of blindly following your personal agenda. I write to you to defend the right of people to make their own choices and not be arbitrarily judged for doing so. I write to you in the hope that you think twice before making it seem that derision of any person’s race, lifestyle, caste or creed is anything other than abhorrent. I write to you in the hope that you use your platform to be advocates of tolerance in the future.
Thank you for your time.