The culprit du jour is the new UK vegan magazine Off the Hoof, scheduled to debut November 1, which is - ta da! - World Vegan Day. pr-inside.com quoted the editor thusly:
"We've allowed an endless amount of drivel in this magazine's first edition, nothing was censored. We are hoping it's so bad that respected ethical journalists the world over will submit articles for free so that the 2nd edition of the magazine isn't so embarrassing to the international vegan community" says the editor of Off the Hoof, vegan pub landlord Al Slurry from publishers the Yaoh hemp company, Bristol.
Embarrassing drivel I can not and will not defend. Content aimed at adults is another matter. Not everything is designed to be read by children, and not all children need to be protected from content in a magazine for adults.
And yet "a concerned mother and amateur child psychologist" -- in the U.S. that's code for self-appointed nutcase -- already has strong words for the yet-to-be-published magazine:
"There's no way children should be subjected to this kind of filth. It's full of public house gutter language and radical extremist concepts that could lead young minds astray."
The unsigned article manages to omit any reference to any content that might bear the label "radical extremist concepts". Filth is in the eye of the beholder, but as an adult there is very little content in any magazine sold at, say, a Barnes & Noble that I would consider filthy. Is there any here? You be the judge.
The editorial team at Off the Hoof have followed a typically award winning format for their ethical magazine. There is celebrity gossip about vegetarian and vegan celebrities such as Natalie Portman, Chrissie Hynde, Paul McCartney, Chris Martin, Oprah Winfrey and Victoria Beckham. There are the usual recipe features from award winning vegan chefs. Off the Hoof has travel features, new product features and a dreadful jokes page which if nothing else should inspire a fruitful letters page in the next issue. A wide range of topics are covered from cross dressing (up skirt shots) to eating disorders (sword swallowing).
It's barely possible that "sword swallowing" is an English euphemism for an activity more typically featured on porn sites than in vegan magazines, but the odds are stacked high as a pastrami sandwich against it. What upskirt shots of cross dressers have to do with veganism is also beyond me, but knickers are knickers no matter who wears them.
What we seem to have here is the dumb leading the dopey.
Slurry's plans are to be the only independent ethical vegan magazine on the racks in England, the rest of the ethical vegan mags apparently tame affairs put out by charities. No problem there. Magazines should be lively enough to be read. But once you read them, the content should be worthy of your time and attention. Will Off the Hoof ever qualify? Anyone want to make bets on the likelihood of their ever having a second issue?
If they do, I have an article for them that touches all their topics. Here's an upskirt shot of a cross dresser from a movie whose characters are lactose intolerant.
Now where's my controversy in the papers?