My first reaction was to have a good laugh at Ziggy. That anyone could be so full of their own self-righteousness as to feel compelled to write about what’s taught in home cookery classes in school is simply funny. Schmidt has obviously taken it upon herself to be the island’s food police representative and is taking her job seriously. If Schmidt wants to deprive herself of one of the great pleasures of life, being a carnivore, that’s her business, but to seek to impose her beliefs, because we are talking about a belief system here, on others is simply intolerance.
On closer reading of the letter however I became aware of just how this kind of bullying actually has an effect. Beniston makes the following concession “while her concerns about the negative sides of fast food and meat eating are valid’. Goodness me, there’s a negative side to everything we do including being a vegetarian or vegan or whatever cult is being espoused here. Whether or not such concerns are valid is open to debate. My concern is that the high school, already known for its political correctness, will be influenced by this sort of nonsense. Teaching boys and girls culinary arts is to be commended and encouraged, not stamped on by an intolerant few.
Political correctness has a pernicious way of seeping into the fabric of society. Only the other day I heard a woman screaming like a banshee at some poor unfortunate soul in the Supermarket who’d committed the mortal sin of putting her food in a plastic bag. The plastic bag police are just the latest in a long line of PC police, all of them intolerant and self-righteous. By all means feel passionately about some perceived problem, bring the matter to the public’s attention through education, but do it with good will and tolerance, not by bullying and screaming and writing silly letters.