Beware the wrath of vegans. But also, beware the wrath of a chef who doesn't like vegan dietary restrictions.
Throw both of these passionate viewpoints into the hate blender that is the internet, and you are guaranteed to have a flamewar for the ages.
That's exactly what happened earlier this week when 30-year-old Alex Lambert—head chef at the Littleover Lodge Hotel in Derby, England—went on an Instagram rant that ended up costing him his job.
Lambert, who went by the screenname @lambo86alex until he deleted his account, was in the throes of a debate about the merits of veganism. That's when he decided to drop a bomb on flamewar adversary Abby Koopman, claiming that feeding meat products to unsuspecting vegans was his "personal favourite."
"Well you should find a better way to spend your time, my personal favourite is feeding vegans animal products and them not knowing," Lambert wrote. Oooohhh shots fired!
Koopman responded with: "Hope you get caught one day, would love to see that. I know we're a minority and really don't give a shit because that has no relevance. Enjoy the heart disease :)" Wishing a life-threatening disease on your enemy, followed by a smiley face? Abby is just as sassy and ruthless as the macho chef she took on!
That's when social justice warriors began descending upon the Littleover Lodge Hotel's Facebook page to unleash a torrent of one-star reviews and calls for termination of Lambert's employment, on the basis that he abused "the human rights of those who choose not to eat meat products," according to The Telegraph.
Presumably fearing for their livelihood and reputation, hotel management stepped in to diffuse the situation, suspending Lambert from duty in an effort to appease some very pissed-off vegans, who, despite their dietary restrictions, seemed to want Lambert's blood.
However, it took little over a day for the Littleover to permanently sack Lambert, stating that their decision was "due to the comments made by Mr. Lambert regarding specific dietary requirements," while also claiming that they "found no evidence suggesting that any of these practices have taken place within this hotel."
Vegans rejoiced, with comments like "I am proud that the vegan community has spoken up and forced Littleover to make Mr. Lambert accountable for his dangerous, illegal and highly immoral actions," and "Bravo! People like Mr. Lambert should be named and shamed, his dangerous, illegal and immoral actions could easily reflect badly on a business however you have done the right thing in terminating his employment!"
"I lost my temper, which I think is understandable given her comments and said something completely stupid with the sole intention of pissing her off," Lambert later said. "That is basically all it was. I have been a chef for nine years. I have never in this time done anything like feeding a vegan animal products or slipped in contaminated food."
While militant vegans and hardcore meat-eating chefs can both get a little preachy, the latter group has an obligation, as service industry professionals, to cater to the needs of the former, regardless of their opinions. That's a lesson Chef Lambert had to learn the hard way.