All posts by Philippa Willitts

Philippa Willitts is a freelance writer and campaigner. She has a particular focus on disability and women’s issues, including the language of disability and stigma, and victim-blaming and consent. She believes passionately in the importance of recognising the intersections of privilege and oppression in her own life and applying these to a wider discourse of understanding the world. She has written for the Guardian, Independent, New Statesman and Channel 4 News websites, amongst others, and she is on the blogging collective of The F-Word feminist website. She lives in the north of England and can be found online at www.philippawrites.co.uk and on Twitter @PhilippaWrites

March of the Food Snobs

People get very passionate about food. This is understandable, because when it’s good it can provide valuable nutrients to our body as well as cherished pleasure to our palates. But passion can become zeal and, before you know it, people are telling others how to eat. They are often well-meaning, when they evangelise about how easy it is to cut out gluten or become vegan, or how evil supermarkets or plastic packaging are, but they do not take into account the reality of many people’s lives.

The line between food enthusiasts and food snobs can be a thin one, and when, “It’s easier!”, “It’s cheaper!”, etc. drown out your insistence that the intersecting oppressions of disability, poverty, racism and fat-phobia play a part, then that line has been crossed.

I was vegetarian for many years and I have to admit that I was obnoxious about it when I was a young teen. I would gleefully point out that anyone with meat on their plate was “eating a dead animal” and, although I was half-joking, I’m sure it made me a thoroughly unpleasant person to eat with. Thankfully I grew out of that particularly objectionable habit long before adulthood, but many adults continue to judge others on what they eat as if it was a simple choice between good and bad with no other context.

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