What’s it worth to you to have good vegan recipes? Would it bother you to pay money to a publishing company run by an abuser? (more info here; linkdump here.) This cookbook has gotten a lot of positive reviews, but I won’t buy it because I can’t stomach giving money to Microcosm.
Probably a lot of people reading this blog, who may have this cookbook or be thinking about ordering it, won’t know the story behind its publisher. Given that people have been speaking up about this recently, I thought it would be good to add my voice to theirs. I am thankful for the bravery of people speaking out. Because there’s backlash. There’s always backlash. I know the arguments that will be used to dismiss any concerns about Microcosm here; I have been hearing them for years, in the largely non-public discussions about the issue of abuse in zine/activist/punk rock/whatever communities in general & Joe Biel in particular. And every excuse given to defend Joe Biel & denigrate those critiquing him I’ve seen used before to defend other abusers.
People say, have said, will say: who cares, they sell good zines! We can’t boycott everybody! Every company has something bad about them! The good done by these zines outweighs any bad done by Joe Biel! He said he’s sorry! Are we really sure Alex is telling the truth? It’s one person’s word against another! (& why, why should we believe women who say they have been abused?) She’s just jealous! It’s just blown-up zinester drama! Blah blah blah ad nauseum.
I’m going to moderate comments to this post pretty closely: if you are thinking of throwing out any of those trite dismissive arguments, your comments are subject to deletion.
Sure, some of Ploeg’s recipes sound delicious. But do I need to have them at the cost of supporting a company whose head purports to support anarchist & feminist ideals, yet enacts precisely the opposite?
No. That cost is too high. As Alex says:
So, the question is do I think people should support Joe Biel and Microcosm? If you think survivors of abuse should be believed, supported and respected and you believe abusers should be held accountable to their community and those they have hurt then I think you know my answer.