Taking back the narrative

Man working on his laptop

I have been travelling a bit this month, and one of the themes has been taking back the dairy narrative from the people who seem to think 10,000 years of history and farming, plus science, count for nothing when looking at whether or not to eat dairy as a human. I say this mainly because recently on Twitter, after my blog about the Great British Bake Off, someone commented and said the dairy industry had exerted pressure on the producers to have a dairy-themed episode.

I pointed out that there had been a vegan episode in a previous series. I did not watch that particular show and think, aha! There is a conspiracy here to promote veganism. I like to think of GBBO as a broad church catering to all tastes and that vegan and dairy both have a part to play in our diets. I eat vegetables, and I top them with cheese.

If you spend enough time online, you will get paranoid about things. We live a lot of our lives online now, and we warn about children’s exposure to the internet. But really, it’s our own exposure that should also be monitored. Aside from a very few brutish types, nobody should be subject to the kinds of abuse that people regularly dish out online. Facts should not be drowned in a sea of, “but my friend’s friend’s mother didn’t vaccinate her children and almost all of them survived measles”. In fact, we probably shouldn’t be having this conversation in 2019, in my humble opinion.

But here we are. The internet and its attendant social media presence is a funny, strange and cruel world. I am with India Knight in the Times, in saying that we should be kind to one another on it, instead of trying to stage one-upmanship contests in meanness and cruelty. One of my personal mottos is, try not to be an a-hole to people. This includes online, as they are also people.

Behind every keyboard is a three-dimensional human being, and we should do well to remember that. Happy typing, everyone.

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