I’m not sure how to…

I'm not sure how to handle it on the blog, when my friends' ethical / philosophical beliefs clash with my own. Two areas where this comes up with are meat-eating and weight-loss.

For example, I'm reading Charles Lamb's A Dissertation on Roast Pig this morning, which is full of detailed and lovely descriptions of meat-eating, which I am tempted to quote, and use as a jumping off point for discussions of roasted meat just past and soon to come. But I know that it distresses some of my ethical-vegetarian friends to read such things. Sometimes I feel like I should put warning labels on certain entries, so they can avoid them. It's not that I'm likely to change my own views on the subject, but do I need to cause them additional distress? It's probably hard enough just getting through the mass-media blast of the holiday season without hearing it from their friends too.

And conversely, I've gained about five pounds in the last month, as a result of harried time -- not finding time to exercise, and grabbing whatever I can eat quickly and easily, rather than choosing healthier options. It's tipped me over from the high end of the weight that I'm comfortable with to the other side, to the point where I dislike the way I look in photos and video. Which there are a lot of, this time of year. So I'd like to talk about that here, and make some plans to address the weight in the next few weeks, so I'm in a better place before the Christmas feasting. But a lot of my friends are strong believers in the fat acceptance philosophies, and they find weight-loss talk frustrating / irritating/ triggering / upsetting / etc. And while I'm okay with irritating a friend on occasion, I certainly don't want to trigger anyone with anorexia issues, for example, especially at a time of year when so many others in the population are thinking about the same things, making gym resolutions, etc.

I don't know. It feels awkward and clunky to throw warnings on everything I write that might be potentially problematic. After all, lots of people don't share my views on sex and poly relationships or on writing sexually explicit material, and I don't apologize or bracket those posts. Similarly for political posts about elections, or economics, or education. But somehow that feels different. I don't know if I could say why.

No conclusions here. Just questions. What would / do you do?

5 thoughts on “I’m not sure how to…”

  1. I liked the comment on Facebook about tagging… I tend to title my posts if they are about something specific.

    I don’t know if it helps, but I tend to avoid commercial meats, and go with local/pastured/nutty-crunchy meat, and I talk about that…

    I think its important to talk about weight and being in a good place with weight. There is so much disordered thinking in terms of weight loss/maintenance that I actually think its good to have common-sense blogging about food/weight/self-image. You don’t tend to stray down the disordered-thinking path. You aren’t posting about spending three hours a day at the gym, or doing “cleanses”…

  2. This entry has really made me think. My initial responses are “Caveat Emptor and Life doesn’t come with warning labels”. I can see why you are asking the question – but your style of blogging seems to me to be always questioning, balanced and acknowledging that there are other points of view. I’m a dancer, I struggle with my weight and I try to be healthy in my outlook but it is what it is. Many of us feel that way and reading your writing about it makes me for one feel less conflicted for feeling it. As you said, no answers just more questions but here is my main concern – I would hate for you NOT to write about something because you can’t be bothered to come up with all the right warning tags for it! Its just such a slippery slope because anything could upset anyone. Although, you do specifically mention friends (who must love debating their differences with you?) and people particularly susceptible to triggers. Again, your writing is always done in a sensitive way so if it did trigger an anxiety – likely the anxiety is on the surface anyway?

  3. As you say, you write about many things which are potentially distressing to many people without a blinking. I would say, though, that these types of posts would tend to be considered “enlightened” by the intelligentsia.

    Talking about meat is the opposite. In this case, the intelligentsia would say it is “enlightened” to be a vegetarian and you’re posting the more traditional (and considered by some, backwards) way of thinking.

    This is just a theory, of course, but it does appear to me to be a possible differentiator.

    Posting about weight-loss is different, however. I think you’re just aware that most people only want to hear a limited amount about any other person’s weight. Here I think it’s a straightforward conflict between an old-fashioned fear of boring people and your standard method of blogging whatever you are interested in.

    In any case, my vote is for you to blog about what you want to blog about. You didn’t start blogging for a popularity contest and you aren’t blogging for popularity now. If someone doesn’t want to read something, they can skip it. Even I skip entries on occasion and I love you dearly.

    I would hazard to say that the reason you feel uncomfortable blogging about meat is that

  4. Wow, bad grammar in the previous post. My excuse is that I was deliberately ignoring my 5-year-old insisting that she shouldn’t have to be in bed because she wasn’t tired…

  5. Oh Mary Anne,
    Don’t let yourself get dragged into the turmoil of the rightous vs. everybody else. We hope all the time that those who are so indignant about us who don’t adhere to their way of thinking, take a step back to the periphery of their existance and see how they fail in simple tolerance. How they rail against diversity in life. Life today is tough going as it is without having to explain why we may think and live differently as we do. Move forward and don’t look back.

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