“Hi, Selene. Thanks for this. How about a series on killing vegans, one by one. Ways to trap them? How to interrogate them properly? Expose their hypocrisy? Force-feed them meat?”
A good joke for William Sitwell, senior food editor, to make? Fellow journalist Peter Oborne thought so on BBC’s PM. ‘Vegan educator’ Ed Winters didn’t, but agreed Sitwell needn’t have lost his job; the sacking was “more to do with a business perspective than a moral perspective. Waitrose are worried about their profits dropping.”
Oborn fears that “if minority groups are going to create offence every time somebody jokes about them it’s going to mean we are all on edge … ‘identity politics’, it’s called and it’s suppressing free speech.”
The interviewer asked are vegans an oppressed minority, then? “No vegans are not an oppressed minority. The oppressed majority are the animals who have been murdered needlessly,” Winter responded, and then got to the heart of offence as an expression of outrage: “not because we’re personally offended but we’re not looking at the bigger context these jokes are condoning and enabling, which is the needless slaughter of trillions of animals globally.”
One short interview captured many currents of change.