Hey, look! I baked you a cake!
I live my life on the principle that if I wouldn't like someone doing something to me, I won't do it to them.
If I see a man having a discussion with a woman that I know in the street, I wouldn't barge in and start haranguing the man, because I wouldn't like it if someone did that to me.
So, why is it that on the Net, obnoxious arseholes think it's O.K. to do it? No, it's not! There's something called Netiquette. Observe it.
Yes, Man and Bali. I'm looking at you! When someone is commenting from the safety of their computer keyboards (or Smartphone touch-screens), they can turn into obnoxious arseholes. In real life, they might get a punch in the chops, which they'd richly deserve.
Addendum: On a Facebook status, far far away, the following conversation occurred (the beginning has been redacted):-
Me: I've liked some of their comments, too. That's why it's odd that they're playing up now. They seem to be "White knighting" Jane.
Kade: And now the plot thickens. You see, this might be something entirely different.
As an amused onlooker with no real interest in this drama, or the anonymous actors, I'll offer two educated explanations.
1. As you've already touched on, this might be a simple case of plain 'White Knighting', which isn't all that uncommon on the internet. Case closed.
2. If one were to really consider where the various moving parts of these dietary arguments -- and their actors -- find their home ground, Jane would actually be someone who'd get considerable sympathy from the plant-based or plant-centred crowd. Her general theories and ideas espouse a very low animal product intake paired with a puritanical focus on non-refined plant foods. Considering this avenue, one could see where this is going and why those individuals would like my comments and support her regularly. It's one of those areas where they find considerable overlaps of agreement.
Too bad they didn't realise that even *you* share in those overlaps and that much of your exchange with Jane is actually harmless and over a truly minor disagreement. Unfortunately, the relative anonymity of the internet not only makes individuals rambunctious, but also extremely presumptive of things they cannot gauge, such as tone and intent behind comments. This might prompt certain hot shots into White Knighting for someone in a friendly disagreement, which they can't decipher as being friendly, *because* that someone also happens to relatively champion their outlook in a highly volatile environment where even mild disagreements are far too often perceived as polarising.
Me: I couldn't have put it better myself!
Would it be a good idea to put what you just wrote in an addendum at the end of my blog post?
Kade: Up to you, Nige. Go for it if it is any good to the point you're making. ; )
As a result of the above conversation, I've changed my mind about Man & Bali. They're not obnoxious arseholes.
Further addendum: We seem to getting on O.K. now!
Cooperation is so much better than endless squabbling.