Monday, June 15, 2015

Down on the farm

Confession time: there's something about George Monbiot that makes him seem rather absurd, even to this confirmed leftist - probably his dog-with-a-bone seriousness and self-righteousness.

Take this recent Guardian piece on farming and food, for instance. He makes some very valid points, for sure - about the relative meaninglessness of the Red Tractor symbol, about the need for people to understand and accept where the food on their plate comes from and how it's produced, and about the influence that fictional portrayals of farming can have.

But you do have to wonder what he's pressing for when he demands that children's authors should stop "repeatedly churning out the same basic story" - does he really want or expect bookshelves to be groaning under the weight of books about battery chickens and abattoirs? Fiction for the young is usually a source of comfort rather than a means of revealing or confronting unpleasant truths. And even then, surely kids are generally well aware that they're being presented with fiction rather than reality - unless they routinely encounter talking, clothes-wearing, anthropomorphised sheep and cows...

(Thanks to Kaajal for the link.)

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