A popular Italian chef has come under fire after he likened vegans to members of a sect and claimed he would “kill them all” during a TV cooking show.
Gianfranco Vissani, the chef and restaurateur, made the comments during a discussion on cooking programme In Onda about molecular gastronomy, The Local reports.
Mr Vissani responded to his co-presenter’s description of molecular gastronomy as a “lifestyle,” with the words: “What do you mean, like vegans?”
He then went on to say: “Vegans are like [members of] a sect, they’re like Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
Another chef on the programme, Davide Oldani, told him “don’t say such rubbish”. Mr Vissani responded by claiming: “But it’s true,” adding: “And I mean vegans, not vegetarians. What would I do with the vegans? I would kill them all.”
Many people reacted angrily on social media, with one person tweeting that Mr Vissani was “proof that meat is bad for you”.
Veganism has proven a controversial topic in Italy and legislation has been proposed to imprison parents who impose a vegan diet on their children.
Elvira Savino of the Forza Italia party has called for parents who give their children what he believes to be an “inadequate diet” should face up to four years in jail, while the new Mayor of Turin has said he encourages vegan and vegetarian diets in the city for the protection of the environment, animals and people’s health.
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