Blog post by Marica Micallef
In his article of July 19th, journalist Johnathan Cilia of LovinMalta decides to blame a closure of a unique vegan restaurant in Malta on the non-vaccinated clients. According to Cilia, the vegan restaurant “Vegan Choco Kebab Cafe In Bugibba Closes Down Due To Many Customers Being Unvaccinated”.
On reading the article, however, one can easily detect many shortcomings and lack of evidence. This is because Johnathan Cilia fails to give proof as to why he came to the conclusion why this restaurant was closed due to non-vaccinated customers. Did he carry out a survey? Did he ask the customers who were recently visiting the restaurant, if any, took the vaccine or not?
More importantly, if one reads the reasons that the owner Gerald Lewis himself gives, the blame basically goes to the lack of tourists we have currently on the island. “Vegan tourists see my sign, and they’ll come every day until they leave the island,” Gerald Lewis, the owner, and chef behind the place, told Lovin Malta. “In Bugibba, the locals aren’t enough”. Cilia himself further explains that Lewis had no choice but to shut down operations AS LESS AND LESS TOURISTS VISIT THE ISLAND THIS YEAR.
So, am I right to say that the headline of this article should have read “Vegan Choco Kebab Café in Bugibba Closes Down Due to Lack of Tourists on The Island”? Considering that restaurants like this and others are already suffering due to the lockdowns we had in this past one and a half year, am I right to say that the latest straw that broke the camel’s back was when the Health Authorities decided to quarantine tourists? With tourists quarantined, tourists cannot eat out, right? In addition, some foreigners who took a different kind of vaccine outside the EU and in UK, are not being allowed to enter the country.
So why didn’t Cilia blame the lack of tourists on bizarre measures that have been put into place by the Health Authorities which led to the closure of such a unique restaurant? Moreover, I am sure Cilia is aware that lately only vaccinated tourists are allowed in the country, so we can easily assume that only vaccinated customers would have visited the same outlet. So we can easily conclude that maybe these vaccinated customers, do not lead a vegan lifestyle, meaning, they do not eat any meat and dairy products.
Isn’t it dangerous for such an article to have such a headline, and blaming non-vaccinated people for the closing down of a business? Isn’t it dangerous for a news portal, which carries a lot of responsibility, to instigate more discrimination and hatred towards the non-vaccinated?
Isn’t it dangerous to have such a headline, when there are many people who just read the title and jump to conclusions, without resorting to reading the whole article?