Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Non Restaurant Rant: A Letter to Disney re: Hannah Montana Show

I think that writing to big corporations is a good way to vent and isn't too frustrating if you don't expect much in return. I just had to write this letter.

To Whom It May Concern:

I am watching an episode of "Hannah Montana" on the Disney Channel with my 10 year old daughter and some of the content on the show I found absolutely unacceptable on many levels.

Two of the characters in this "Freaky Friday" episode were dealing with vegetarian food. They were having a discussion about the health aspects of vegetarian food and one of the characters made some very disparaging remarks and went as far as asking another character to belch at him after eating a hot dog.

As a vegetarian I find this reprehensible. Whether or not you believe that vegetarian food is better, healthier, or have had the unfortunate experience in 2009 of tasting vegetarian food that tasted like rabbit food is not the point. It is healthier and if prepared with the least bit of effort is incredibly more complex than "...peas, beans, and jicama in a salad."

What is the point is saying disparaging remarks about healthy or DIFFERENT food choices than those made in the Standard American Diet. If they had a Kosher meal would you have allowed a character to make fun of those food choices? If they had been Hindi or Buddist and not eaten beef would you have allowed those remarks in that situation? So you took a child who just wanted to eat healthier and take care of her body and made fun of it. Once again I ask you, what was the point of that?

People make dietary choices for many reasons in the Vegan/Vegetarian world, some for health, some for compassion and animal rights and welfare, some for the environment, and some just want a break from the daily cuisine of bacon, beef, pork and chicken at every single meal. You really lost an opportunity to show how diversity in many different areas of life should be accepted and welcomed. You really lost an opportunity to gently nudge our youth into opening their minds to a different and healthier food choice. You actually could have had the character say something like, "you know her food was pretty boring and uninteresting like peas, beans and jicama salads until I got her that vegetarian cookbook.

We are very much a Disney family, attending your California parks every year, attending concerts and purchasing Disney theme merchandise. I will not support a company that puts a laugh ahead of the possibility of teaching a lesson that not only can vegetarian food be tasty but also possibly a step in the right direction in fighting childhood obesity and diabetes. Encouraging the scarfing down of junk food is not acceptable corporate behavior from a company which has the potential to positively influence entire generations of children.

I will very much consider attending other theme parks and encourage my child and her friends to spend our discretionary dollars on non Disney items and spend her free time watching non Disney channels.

Marty Krutolow

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