I have been following the #Februdairy debate over the last few days with great interest and I have one question…
When did freedom of speech end and tolerance to the views of others end?
At what point did it become ok to tell people what they should eat, and shout down, threaten and abuse those who choose not to follow your views?
I am not normally one to wade into the middle of a national debate but you cannot miss the out and out war that is happening between farmers and those who believe that only plant-based foods should be eaten (vegans) on social media platforms and even national TV right now.
Before I write further I will state my case and say now I am #teamdairy all the way. I have friends involved in the industry and have seen, and experienced first hand what goes on on dairy farms. I have never seen the cruelty to animals that extremists would have the public believe is happening. Quite frankly, I love cheese, cream and meat and there is no way I would ever give them up! I like to know where my food has come from and how the animals have been treated.
So why am I writing if I am clearly on the farmers’ side?
We live in Great Britain where tolerance and freedom of speech is possible. This is why I am writing as tolerance seems to have disappeared from the mindset of some people and the sad fact of the matter is that some people believe that there should no longer be freedom of speech. If you express yourself on a social media platform right now, you are shouted down, threatened, your image is photoshopped into something quite awful and you are called every name under the sun.
When did we become a nation that was so intolerant to other views? For many years farmers, vegetarians and vegans existed alongside each other. None would choose to swap lifestyles but they did not attack each other. There maybe have been some brief exchanges of views but it was done in a debating style with the right to reply on both sides.
Now it appears that this balance has become one sided and that he who shouts loudest is right and everyone else is wrong and there is only one way – the plant-based diet way!
I have no issues with anyone who chooses to eat a plant-based diet, if that is what they want to do, fine, go do it. Do I shout about being a meat eater? No, I just get on with my day, much like I am sure many plant-based eaters get on with theirs.
The beauty of living in Great Britain is choice. We have the freedom to choose how we want to live. So what has happened to our right to choose? Why are we having this option taken away from us and why are the extreme views of others being pushed upon us?
The way that the militant section of the plan-based diet community is going about their business is not to dis-similar to those who spread religious hatred! They have one view and are set on spreading the message they want people to hear, taking away their right of personal choice. This may seem an extreme view but it is how I see it. It is my right to think this, it is my freedom of speech that allows me to write this.
What ever happened to being able to debate an issue with both parties putting their side of the argument and it being carried out in a fair and quite frankly an adult way?
As you can probably tell, I am sad, I am sad that I have to see people that I know work hard day in and day out to put food on the tables of Great Britain abused and vilified. I am sad that a small group of individuals can stir up so much hate and upset to push their point!
We all know that social media can be a dark place at times but for me right now it feels that the sun has set and the lights are well and truly off.
I would love to know what you think about the current #Februdairy campaign. Do you think it has exposed a dark side of social media or have I just been lucky enough to not have seen it and its always been there?