Perhaps, in M. Butterflies Katz's defense, this is my own personal issue since I'm used to reading study results that are presented in accordance with a certain professional standard. To my knowledge, Katz never claims the study is scientific. As I read it, however, I couldn't help but lament over the poor writing and clumsy handling of the findings.
The worst part of the article, in my opinion, was the paragraph dealing with two survey responders who reported battling cancer. Katz uses these people's illness to segue into a rant about the toxic world in which we live and cites vegans that "eat loads of processed junk food." She wags her finger, reminding us all of the importance of eating a healthy, wholesome, and balanced diet. This evoked an audible gasp from me. Katz, unwittingly or not, actually implies that these people are culpable for their illness. I consider this an unforgivable injection of personal opinion that is not only myopic, but in poor taste.
She also makes clear to us all, twice, that she is personally opposed to having children, or as she puts it, "continuing the overpopulation of the Earth." I know this is a hot button issue amongst vegans and environmentalists alike and even as a parent of my own biological son, I can appreciate this perspective. However, I don't want to have it, or any other personal opinion, thrown in my face when reading survey results.
I think this is the crux of my issue with this article. Are these study findings or is it a platform for Katz's personal opinions? Because the two should never catch sight of each other in a scientific survey. But then again, as I stated before, Katz never claims this thing to be scientific. It's good thing, too. If she had, I'm afraid she'd have half of academia after her.
That said, I'm actually happy to see this sort of survey done. I found the results very interesting, even if I had to soldier my way through the article. I recommend that you read it. And if you do, give me your opinion about it. Am I being too hard on Katz here?