Italian Chef Rages Against Vegans on TV

TV chef Gianfranco Vissani made some comments a lot of vegans aren’t happy about

Wikimedia/Martin Konsek

An Italian chef sparked a controversy this week after comparing vegans to a religious sect on TV.

Popular Italian cookbook author, critic, and TV chef Gianfranco Vissani launched into an animated tirade against vegans this week, and a lot of people were pretty upset about it.

According to The Local, Vissani was in the middle of an explanation of molecular gastronomy on an episode of an Italian TV program called On Air  this week when he suddenly had a lot to say about people leading a plant-based diet. One of the other chefs on the show reportedly referred to molecular gastronomy as “a lifestyle,” at which point Vissani said, “What do you mean ‘a lifestyle’? Like vegans?”

Vissani is a proponent of traditional Mediterranean cuisine, and he’s a big fan of meat. He’s not such a big fan of veganism, which he described as being like a cult.

“Vegans are like a sect,” he said. “They’re like Jehova’s Witnesses.”

One of the other chefs attempted to shush Vissani, but Vissani would not be shushed.

“But it’s true!” he said, according to The Local. “And I mean vegans, not vegetarians. What would I do with the vegans? I would kill them all.”  

That did not sit so well with the vegans of Twitter who took the opportunity to condemn Vissani's words and also to suggest that all the meat-eating had addled the chef's brain. Not everyone was upset, though, and several of Vissani’s more carnivorous fans have been Tweeting back, “Bravissimo!” at him for taking a stand against people who don't eat meat.

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