Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is not a man known for mincing his words. Whether he's on television or on the internet, you can be sure that the star of aggressively-titled shows like Hell's Kitchen and The F Word is not going to hold back if he sees something that he doesn't like. This often brutal approach to constructive criticism has got him in trouble on more than one occasion. However, his latest social media faux pas appears to have provoked the ire of one of society's more vengeful sub-sects: vegans.
In recent years, Ramsay has enhanced his vindictive reputation by doling out verbal punishment to willing participants on social media platform Twitter. Cookery masochists from across the world regularly send Ramsay photographs of occasionally unappetizing, often inedible looking plates of home cheffing. Inevitably, insults ensue.
However, in one of his more contentious responses to date, Ramsay may well have overstepped the mark. An exchange with a follower who sent the three Michelin-starred chef a photo of her vegan lasagne has exploded across the internet, after Ramsey declared himself a member of "...PETA! People eating tasty animals". Since the tweet was published a few days ago, it has been retweeted over 40,000 times and liked by nearly 150,000 users. Clearly, Ramsay's attitude to veganism has struck a chord.
The tweet has has a polarizing effect, however. Some were quick to criticize Ramsay, clearly angered by his less than progressive views on the food philosophy. One user wrote: "Alright, I love you but hating on vegans has gone far enough (sic)". Another declared the celebrity chef, "...just a desperate individual intimidated by the rise of the #vegan movement", adding that veganism is, "the future...you should embrace it”.
Even notorious animal rights activists PETA have entered the fray, replying to Ramsay's tweet,
"While you’re spending time mocking the future #vegan we’re betting you one day become, most chefs are exploring healthy, animal- and environment-friendly #PlantBased dishes."
The organisation went on to add,
"A real ‘hell’s kitchen’ is full of corpses and secretions from artificially inseminated, castrated, and routinely abused animals."
Despite the protestations of PETA and other individuals, many have flocked to his defence. Many have stated their intention to join Ramsay's proposed PETA alternative, with one going so far as to declare, "People eating tasty animals all the way!" The many and varied responses to Ramsay's attitude just go to show how divisive veganism is as an issue.
As one might expect, this is not the first time that Ramsay has attempted to goad the herbivorous members of society. In another Twitter exchange in 2016, the chef declared that the only allergy he had was to "vegans". He later amended the comment, correcting it to "vegetarians".
Clearly, when dealing with a personality as potentially abrasive as Ramsay, you shouldn't be surprised when you receive a hostile response. While veganism may ultimately have a great many benefits, it also pays to know your audience. Maybe in the future, vegans seeking cookery praise will message a chef who is more likely to say something nice.