Letter: Blunt headline condescending to vegans

Dear Editor,

Thank you for printing the letter from Patricia Tallman about the Whole Hog Roast [Hog feast offends vegan, Aug. 12 Letters, Langley Advance].

I also want to acknowledge the Fraser Common Farm for hosting a family-friendly community event [Senses go hog wild at Langley fundraiser, Aug. 7, Langley Advance]. In today’s hectic and mechanized world, it is more important than ever to have these face-to-face connections with family and neighbours.

However, I do agree with Ms. Tallman that what seemed like an otherwise life-affirming event (music, farm foraging, a community sharing a meal together) was marred by the legacy of pain and suffering that comes with using animals for food.

I challenge Ms. Winkelman to make the next event fully life-affirming and joyful for everyone involved, including the animals. You may lose some customers, but you will gain others.

The headline on the letter, “Hog feast offends vegan,” seems a bit blunt and maybe even condescending. To say it offended Ms. Tallman makes it sound like she felt personally attacked. Judging from her letter, her concern was for the pig, not for herself.

I think a more accurate title would have read, “Hog Feast Concerns and Saddens Vegan.”

And then there is that word: Vegan.

Admittedly, vegans are self-labelled, but sometimes a label can take away from the whole person. Why not “Langley resident”?

Are you choosing to highlight “vegan” in an attempt to discredit or dismiss her comments? When non-vegans see “vegan,” they may think of an angry, sign-carrying protestor, probably with piercings. This is the image, because this is what gets on the news.

In reality, there is a whole spectrum of vegan personalities from every walk of life, just as there is with animal-eaters.

Not that I’m knocking the protestors. If it wasn’t for vocal, visible activism, women would not be able to vote.

In fact, without the pain-in-the-neck protestors to wake us up from our self-induced comas of drink, drug, and food, many of us would not be enjoying the freedoms that we have today.

Given that most of us have experienced oppression or injustice of some sort, even if minor, and given that most of us are grateful for being able to live in general peace and safety, wouldn’t it be the ultimate act of intelligence and understanding to now extend those freedoms to others?

Carie McGregor, via email

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