Sunday, October 11, 2009

A response from Kerry Greenwwood.

Sadly, I think this is what I expected in response to my post about Kerry Greenwood's latest book Forbidden Fruit which was an open letter and an invitation to potluck.

I am quite capable of distinguishing author from book; but I don't like confusing inaccuracy.

I didn't take issue with the Christian extremists because it's not my bag. I am taking issue with the inaccurate and unimaginatively stereotypical portrayal of my own community. Also I reckon I could find far more extremists Christians who fit the bill than vegans who eat Brie muffins and tzatziki.

I don't intend to debate, but I will just note that while extremist websites may well tell young girls that eating meat will give women breast cancer, the link between eating red meat and increased risk of bowel cancer is not an extremist viewpoint at all but well accepted by medical professionals. So it's hardly a ridiculous example to use to illustrate the terribleness of extremist vegans; it's mean and rude but really not so far from the truth as to be completely laughable.

I don't really want to stop reading the books because I enjoy them, but its a bit of a trite answer to tell me to look away if I don't like what I see. Seeing as Kerry says she is denouncing things she thinks needs denouncing, I am really just doing the same about things that I don't like too.

So here, in all it's sighing glory, is Kerry's response:

Dear Rachel
(sigh) here we go again. I do not have it in for Vegans or vegetarians. My best friend really is a veggie. I ate one of the best meals of my life in a veggie restaurant in Bristol. I never met a vegetable I didn't like (except okra. One must draw the line somewhere). You are confusing the author's opinions with the book itself.
However, the animal liberation/extreme vegans do have a lunatic fringe - as do the Christians, to the depiction of which I notice you haven't made any objection. The websites of those extreme people do, in fact, tell young girls that if they eat meat they will get breast cancer. No scientific proof, no qualifications. I read them myself, with increasing horror. Just like I read the Chiristian fundamentalist sites, which told me that unless I sent them a lot of money now I would be going to hell.
I dont like fundamentalists of any sort. I denounce them when they need denouncing. And if you do not like my work, you can always stop reading it.
Thank you for your invitation to dinner. Most civil.



lisa said...

Some of my best friends are vegetarian!!!!

Miss T said...

Not that there's anything wrong with that!

cindyehauser said...

Whoah. Patronising, much?

No-one who's got a cordial bone in their body would start a letter with (sigh).

s-j said...

Le sigh.

I'm not super surprised, just disappointed. (Particularly as your letter was awesome!)

Miss T said...

Yeah, ta. I guess I'm most disappointed that there was no actual engagement with the issues I raised. It was like "Oh, another generic complaint, must be about me being a veg-hater again, so here's my super-defensive pro forma reply". I thought I made it pretty clear that I didn't think that Kerry disliked veg*ns; my issue was with the clumsy vegetarian/vegan dichotomy set up, the unimaginative characterisation, and the confusing proofreading.
I wouldn't mind being patronised so much if the reply actually replied.

Theresa said...

Annoying. Kind of smacks of "I'm not racist, look at my black friend!"

steph said...

Wow, you know you're about to be taken seriously when someone starts with (sigh) at you. :o(

Niki said...

Wow, what sort of reply is that?

I guess I'm not so much surprised by the reply as the manner in which it was done considering your letter was so well written and diplomatic.

And what sort of patronising ending is this? "Thank you for your invitation to dinner. Most civil."

lisa said...

(sigh) Someone let the vegans out!

BrisVegan said...

Sigh. :(

lia said...

yep there is total discrimination against vegans. we run a vegan cafe and openly state what we are (las vegan) and we have meat and ice cream smeared on our shop window every weekend (i suspect they are the bogans who walk past our place on the way to macdonalds on the corner of smith and victoria streets) also our car which has a las vegan logo on the doors and VEGAN number plates has been egged on many occasions and keyed twice not to mention the arseholes on the road who try to side swipe us and run us off the road. the worst thing that has happened to us is that our beautiful sign that hangs above our shop was ripped off this weekend, only a corner of the sign the last three letters of welcome - ome) were left hanging. i am soooo PISSED about this that i now want to completely fill my window with all the pictures of damaged and mutilated factory farm animals that i can find. because another thing that totally PISSES me off is the fact that people don't want to view these images because they find them 'offensive'. offensive they are and everyone should have those images shoved in their face at least twice a day. and then there is the fact that people who don't want gluten in their food are respected and catered for far and wide and so do all other suffers of food allergies, but still vegans are treated like radicals. i tell you what, i am feeling pretty radical right now.