Protestors from Animal Rebellion caused a scene when they occupied the tables of Gordon Ramsay’s three-Michelin-star Chelsea restaurant on Saturday evening.
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The protestors, who sat at tables at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, brought green menus with them to highlight the environmental cost of fine dining. Next to the starter of roast veal sweetbread, a main of 100-day-aged Cumbrian blue grey (a steak), and a dessert of hazelnut soufflé, the group lists the costs as: “The lives of innocent farmed animals, the destruction of the climate, the extinction of our wildlife, and £155”.
Instead, Animal Rebellion calls for the transition to a “plant-based food system”, with support given to livestock farmers and fishing communities during this shift. The group claims that it would “spare the lives of 1.2 billion land animals, and more than five billion sea animals each year in the UK” and would lower “food-related emissions” by 70%.
An Instagram post from the group also highlighted inequality as a reason for the stunt: “We are at a crucial point of the cost-of-living crisis and climate emergency. Families are struggling to pay their bills and children are going to school hungry across the UK whilst the ultra-rich continue to rake in eye-watering profits. How is this fair?”
The famously-curt chef is yet to respond directly, but a spokesperson for the restaurant said: “Everyone is entitled to their opinions and beliefs…However, to force your way into a restaurant, disturbing hard-working staff going about their jobs and ruining the evening of guests who have waited months for their reservations is incredibly inappropriate and deeply disrespectful.”
The group has a thing for disturbing diners. One of its activists, Emma Smart, was forcibly removed from a seafood restaurant after she confronted 96-year-old natural history broadcasting veteran David Attenborough for his supposed climate inaction.
Though Ramsay has had a highly successful media career on both sides of the Atlantic, he has had his own kitchen nightmares as a restaurateur, cutting 300 staff and losing £12 million due to the pandemic.
This article was originally published by the drinks business and has been shared with permission.