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I hold the stack community to very high standards in everything from technical discussions to being acutely aware of cultural sensitivities. As a vegetarian and animal lover I found the 'Bacon' simply too offensive. I'm keen to hear what the other stack<*>ians have to say.

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    Your offended by Bacon? This is a joke, right, you can't possibly be offended by the idea that people actually eat bacon – Ramhound Dec 31 '16 at 21:28
  • 'People' also eat dogs, whales and dolphins...your point? – frostbite Dec 31 '16 at 21:31
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    I'm not offended by people eating dogs, whales or dolphins either. – John Dvorak Dec 31 '16 at 21:34
  • I'm just offended by these things showing up on my plate (hats) – frostbite Dec 31 '16 at 21:35
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    You might want to use an image blocker. Opting out of hats might work, too – John Dvorak Dec 31 '16 at 21:37
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    I don't want to disappoint you but this was a similar request on MSO yesterday. You might want to cherry pick from that to help your argument but I wouldn't have high hopes.... – rene Dec 31 '16 at 21:38
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    print them out with soy-based ink – Glenn Randers-Pehrson Dec 31 '16 at 21:39
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    @frostbite Don't place the hat on your avatar. I love bacon. So I have chosen that hat. – Ramhound Dec 31 '16 at 22:42
  • Can't help but wonder if -ve reps are allowed. What happens when people downvote this when I have 0 reps? :) – frostbite Dec 31 '16 at 23:08
  • @rene the post you reference is way more 'spirited' than this one. Enjoyed it much. – frostbite Dec 31 '16 at 23:11
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    @frostbite The min rep is 1. Can't be downvoted past that. – Dan Bron Dec 31 '16 at 23:19
  • @DanBron nice to know we follow a '1-indexed' system. – frostbite Dec 31 '16 at 23:21
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    @frostbite I personally don't like frostbite as it would make my appendages drop off and I love my appendages. Can you please change your name? :) – DavidPostill Dec 31 '16 at 23:36
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    i am offended by your offense about bacon... mmmm bacon... – user347575 Jan 1 '17 at 5:23
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What is considered "offensive" is an interesting discussion, and entire books have been written about this.

However, in the context of a site such as this "offensive" typically means "considered offensive by a significant numbers of its users", rather than "could be considered offensive by some people". Whether it ought to be considered offensive is somewhat besides the point here. We live in a world with over 7 billion people – a staggeringly large number – and it's not practical to make the world (or indeed, this site) a place where we remove every possible thing some person out of those 7 billion finds offensive.

I have no desire to offend anyone – and go out of my way not to – but there are limits to what is reasonable, and removing references to bacon seems well beyond that limit to me, since the vast majority of the users do not find references to "bacon" offensive.


In addition, to give some context to some of the people who have expressed they were truly flabbergasted that someone could consider bacon offensive (e.g. "you can't possibly be offended by the idea that people actually eat bacon").

Among others, two important motivations many people are vegetarians are:

  • Most animals are raised in a "factory farming" setting and have thoroughly miserable lives (e.g. see this). Things have been improving a little bit in the last few years, but it's slow progress.
  • Meat consumption significantly contributes to global warming, pollution, and other environmental issues such as land erosion (e.g. see this).

If you consider those points then you don't need that much imagination to see how someone could consider eating meat as such as unethical (you don't need to agree with these points to understand the reasoning).

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    You missed the "religious" option for why people are vegetarian. – Burgi Jan 2 '17 at 15:06
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    @Burgi Yes, there is also the health reasons. But those aren't really important for the purpose of this answer, and didn't want to convolute things with things that don't really matter. – Martin Tournoij Jan 2 '17 at 15:07
  • Regarding health... How healthy is it to smoke Carpets?? – RaisingAgent Jan 16 '17 at 22:37
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I couldn't disagree more (and I was vegan for 12 years, my wife and most of my family are also vegan or vegetarian) — but there's nothing wrong with that.

You are perfectly within your rights to be offended by whatever you like. And other users, including myself, are perfectly within their rights to completely disagree with you. What we cannot do is start policing based on people's personal beliefs and opinions; if you try hard enough you will find someone who is offended by anything.

A number of other hats are based on religious traditions that may be equally offensive to others... But so what? It's a bit of fun — if you don't like it, turn them off.

Is 'Mmmm Bacon' hat in poor taste?

No.

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    Now this is more like the conversation I expected to have on this forum. I was trying to get a feel of where we are with our sensitivities at the end of 2016. E.g. we do police the forums to guard against hurting religious/racial sentiments. Can't help but wonder if a similar complaint about 'dog soup' hat would've attracted as many down votes. – frostbite Dec 31 '16 at 22:18
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    That's a fair point. Bacon is however (in western culture at least) generally more accepted than dog soup; I walk in to my local store and see bacon every day, if I saw dog soup I would be a little more taken aback. – Cai Dec 31 '16 at 22:30
  • and FWIW I don't think a discussion about a 'dog soup' hat would have had that much of a different response — assuming it was implemented for a reason that is ('Mmmm Bacon' is for Bacon Day after all). – Cai Dec 31 '16 at 22:31
  • Precisely! You hit the nail on the head. You surely are aware about the things that were 'acceptable' in western culture not so long ago? Shouldn't the stack community at the vanguard of driving change? – frostbite Dec 31 '16 at 22:34
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    That's a nice idealistic wish, but relies on (in this case) the specific people in charge of hats (or the people in charge of the people in charge of hats) caring strongly enough about changing attitudes on eating animals; which evidently isn't the case. – Cai Dec 31 '16 at 22:41
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    Agree. I'll save this discussion in a time capsule to revisit in 5 years or so. Happy 2017 to you and yours. – frostbite Dec 31 '16 at 23:13
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    small quibble - this is not a 'forum' – user347575 Jan 1 '17 at 5:28
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    @frostbite It's possible that attitude towards eating meat can change in the next few decades – I hope it does! If we look at how fast the attitude towards smoking changed then we can see this can happen quite fast. However, Stack Overflow (and the SE network) is not a "soapbox" for such social and political change. It's a Q&A site with a heavy focus on reducing noise and drama, and a strong focus on only good quality content. IMHO as a matter of policy, it should really steer well clear of these sort of politics, as it will only invite drama. Good cause, wrong platform. – Martin Tournoij Jan 2 '17 at 8:44
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I find it rather hard to believe that you found an icon of bacon and eggs "simply too offensive." Its not like this is a picture of meat. This is a simple drawing.
mmmm bacon hat icon

I'm not sure how you, a vegetarian, can do anything without getting too offended. Ads on TV from major fast food restaurants quite regularly feature meat (in much more graphic detail than this), any food store will have meat, and on and on.

How is it that this is the one place that goes too far? I don't mean to sound mean but this is a little over the top.

We are not forcing you to eat bacon, wear the hat, or even like the hat - just let it sit in the list of hats you have collected and put one on you do like.

People should not get attacked for their personal beliefs, period, but, that does not mean nobody can get offended.

16

No. The "Mmmm bacon' hat is not in poor taste.

Hats are

  1. Optional

  2. Choosable

Lets put it this way. You walk into a restaurant. The table next to you is eating bacon. You order something besides bacon, eat it, and then leave. Their bacon has not harmed you. You did not harm their bacon. Everybody is happy!

Just because you don't like something, it doesn't mean that others don't like it as well. Bacon is never going to not exist. Ignoring it won't make it disappear.

Also, the 'Mmmm bacon' hat is for educational purposes only, no pigs were harmed in the making of this hat. citation needed

7

I'm a lifelong vegetarian, and I love animals.

I never thought this would be offensive until I read that.

And now that I have... I still don't. There's so many more important things in the world that need outrage and fixing. Winterbash is a spot of fun. It's a bunch of pixels. That could be a pair of glimmering ghostly eyes, wearing a crinkled strip of bicoloured candy as a scarf.

No pigs are harmed (though being Stack Exchange, it's probably unicorn bacon, and unicorn eggs), no animals hurt. No eggs broken. Seems vegan enough to me.

Though I'm vaguely disappointed that apparently it's ooooh bacon.

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