‘Whataboutism’

 

Readers may be familiar with the concept of “whataboutism:” When disagreeing on a certain issue, some people will not use facts to make their case but instead merely argue that it’s wrong to care about the issue at all. “How could you care about this? What about that?” For some reason, the prospect of the return of the Dolphin Discovery attraction in Prospect Reef is particularly prone to this phenomenon, a Beaconite has noticed. There are arguments about why the exhibit should be allowed to reopen: It would boost tourism in the territory, for example, and the dolphins may not be as poorly treated as some claim. However, these arguments are rarely brought up. Instead, people often suggest that it’s wrong to care about dolphins suffering when so many humans are suffering. However, this thinking is predicated on the idea that one can only care about one issue at a time and unless that issue is the “worst” issue out there, it isn’t worth anyone’s time. Of course, this perspective is absurd. Human suffering won’t be alleviated anytime soon, and neither will animal suffering. Caring about one does not necessitate not caring about the other. And unless people work for every cause they believe in, no progress will be made. There is room enough for all causes.

 

 

A humbled reporter

When a Beaconite boarded a Sunday afternoon ferry to Jost Van Dyke to report on the island’s Pork and More Festival, a part of the BVI Food Fete, he expected each of his interviews to be roughly the same. To be sure, he was interested to hear about the different inspirations behind the dishes served by participating restaurants, and he was curious about what the future might hold for the festival, but beyond that he figured that his reporting would largely amount to jovial testimonies from people content with the day’s festivities. After all, what more could be said about a day set aside for eating delicious food on a beautiful island? Many interviews were just what he expected, as happy attendees chowed down on pork and other treats on the beach. But the Beaconite was surprised when he encountered someone with a very different perspective. At a bar in a quieter part of the island, the Beaconite spoke to a business owner who felt that the event was poorly advertised, and therefore it did little to boost revenue of establishments that typically receive a smaller share of tourism traffic. This bar owner felt that businesses participating in the festival were expected to do extra work, but some were not rewarded for the additional effort. When the Beaconite spoke to the man, he seemed eager to share this message in a public forum, along with suggestions for how local leaders might make future improvements. Leaving the bar, the Beaconite felt proud and privileged to have such a respected platform, and to be able to use it on behalf of people whose perspective might otherwise be overlooked.

 

 

Kombucha

A Beaconite recently tried Island Delights kombucha for the first time and was pleased with the product. She has only drunk kombucha a few times, but she could get used to the one that the local company produces. The fermented tea drink apparently has been around for centuries — and maybe even millennia, according to Healthline, an informational website. BBC Good Food reported that the tea contains “scoby,” a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts. Other fermented drinks and foods like kimchi and yogurt have inspired research into such ingredients’ potential benefits to gut health. All of these foods contain live microorganisms. Kombucha is made from green and black teas, which also contain antioxidants, but in spite of all the speculation it’s unclear exactly how much benefit fermented tea might have on human health. The Beaconite will take her chances.


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