Put Another Tofu Dog on the Barbie, Baby


You know, I never thought we'd get to the point where I'd have a chance to play identity politics by starting a sentence: "Speaking as a vegetarian," but: Speaking as a vegetarian of 13 years, the idea that there's any outcry over this is truly mindboggling:

A TELEVISION advertisement in which former football star Sam Kekovich says people who do not eat lamb on Australia Day are un-Australian, pot-smoking vegetarians deserving of capital punishment has triggered a flood of complaints.

The Advertising Standards Board will today conduct a preliminary review of the ad, in which the former television satirist says Australia's Diggers were not fighting for "tofu sausages". The advertising watchdog has received "multiple" complaints.

Have there been recent anti-vegetarian pogroms in Australia in light of which this is offensive? People are clearly forgetting the all-important "mockery" rationale for the sacred contract of free speech. In short: there are lots of different kinds of people to make fun of. And there are more of them than of you. So for any particular individual, whatever mental discomfort involved in periodically being the butt of the joke pales in comparison to the benefit of the much greater other-directed mockery we can participate in a free society. This is plainly a tradeoff any rational agent behind a properly constructed veil of ignorance would make.