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Free speech, vegan jokes and earthling ed

rogerjolly

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Chef William Sitwell is renowned for his acerbic wit on television appearances as a judge on BBC’s Masterchef. He is, or rather was, editor of an in-house magazine for the supermarket Waitrose.

A vegan writer emailed him asking if she could write a series on plant based meals.

He dismissed the pitch with, “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? Make them eat steak and drink red wine?”

It was a joke. Not at all a funny joke and is even less humorous when quoted out of the original context. It cost him his job because Waitrose are trying to attract vegans to their stores.

Hence the furore about free speech that has erupted in the UK. The majority opinion seems to be that he was stupid and unprofessional but did not deserve the sack.

Some of the media were tempted into the usual stereotypical images of drab vegans devoid of humour. This is where I loudly sing the praises of Earthling Ed. He was interviewed on BBC Radio 4 and asked, “Are vegans a persecuted minority?”

His reply was along the lines of: “No we are not. Vegans are angry not for themselves but towards attitudes that lead to so much suffering and death. Animals are a persecuted majority.”

Well done Earthling Ed. A brilliant response!

Roger.
 

Lou

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Yeah! I saw this in the news yesterday. I was thinking about posting it here but I thought it was really much to do about nothing.

My first impulse is that you don't deserve to be fired for making a bad joke. And I think upon further review I will go with my first impulse. However....

Isn't being smart and professional a job requirement? He wasn't meeting his requirements.

I'm sure the timing of this had something to do with it. Just yesterday they had a shot of people protesting Trump in Philadelphia. One protester held up a sign: Words Matter.

But absolutely, Earthling Ed has exactly the right take on this.

Just a couple of things I'd like to add.
First, the guy wasn't fired. He resigned. And he still has his main job: A celebrity chef on TV.

Second, the Washington Post printed the e-mail exchange. I'll post the link to it at the bottom.

The vegan writer who pitched this is Selene Nelson. And she is getting some backlash for posting Sitwell's reply. Her pitch and her reply were spot on. It was Sitwell's response that was out of line. I hope she gets a job out of all the publicity. Maybe the Waitrose Magazine can hire her as the Vegan Food Editor.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/food/2018/10/31/magazine-editor-suggested-series-killing-vegans-one-by-one-now-hes-out-job/?utm_term=.7d5c9aba326f
 
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Lou

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Yes, it's semantics. but it is still an important distinction.

Have you ever filled out a job app that asked, "have you ever been fired?"
Maybe the new ones say, "or been asked to resign?"

I know some people when they think they are about to be fired on Monday will resign on Friday. But some people just resign for any number of reasons. So resigning does not have the same stigma as being fired.

And to repeat that slogan on the placard, " Words Matter!"

:)