Limits on Controversial Conversation Topics?

Part of my daily job is to coordinate the work of our social media team and share interesting news and stories on the sustainability issues to our wider network. On most days I love this part of my job, being allowed to spend time reading interesting articles and engaging in sustainability discussions. But what to do when the chosen article for the day relates to a topic I don’t feel comfortable with?

Raising awareness on climate change, sustainability and other developmental topics will include controversial discussion points as well. In our company Linked-In group, we want to initiate discussion on these themes. Typically you get more attention by posting something controversial and especially by formulating the discussion topic or question to be thought-provoking. “Have indigenous people been forgotten on sustainability discussions?” Is nuclear power an option or a necessity?”

I love controversy and provocation, don’t get me wrong. I’ve always loved heated discussions and poking others, provoking people to challenge their perspectives. But I faced a real challenge with my morals when I had to decide on publishing, and formulating a question, on animal cloning for food production. China, (who else) is the front-runner on animal cloning for food production and the article we wanted to re-publish was about a biggest animal cloning factory they are constructing.

Even though I’m against any kind of cruelty towards animals or treating animals solely as products meant for human consumption or entertainment instead of as living, feeling beings, I decided this topic needed attention. Similarly as an earlier article exploring domestic violence as an economic issue. Even if uncomfortable, these topics need to be brought into light. Controversial topics and questions force people to get out of their comfort zones, provoke emotions and finally can achieve a response. Bubbles will burst if poked.

“Animal cloning – Question of ethics/safety or the future of food production?” What would you say?


Published by

Outi Annala

A sustainability-enthusiast with a master's degree in social sciences and experienced working for public and private sectors and for an international Non-profit organization. Writing about life and all that matters in living a life to the fullest. Passionate about engaging the private sector to the development work, promoting partnerships between companies and non-profit organizations and initiating discussion and debates. Excited about life and living it to the fullest.

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