It might be "Veganuary" and even New Year New Me-inspired carnivores may be swapping their ham sandwiches for quinoa bowls, but so far, January hasn't been a great month for the vegans and vegetarians of this world.
First, it was a Japanese sushi tycoon paying $117,000 for endangered bluefin tuna. Then there was the news that China may be making "owl wine" with live birds and just last week, our non-meat-eating friends had to watch a bowl of their hallowed green, kale, being torched by a vegan-hating SWAT officer.
This week, however, has seen something of a veggie victory as a British burger restaurant was forced to pull parts of its new advertising campaign and issue an apology following complaints from vegetarians and vegans.
Gourmet Burger Kitchen, a restaurant chain with outlets across London, ran its new poster ads at a number of the city's Underground stations. Featuring images of its burgers, the accompanying taglines included: "Vegetarians, resistance is futile" and "You'll always remember when you gave up being a vegetarian." Another depicted a cow with the caption: "They eat grass so you don't have to."
This didn't go down well with London's vegetarian commuters. Complaints were made to the Advertising Standards Agency while others took to social media to condemn the ads, coining the hashtag "#gourmetmurderkitchen"
Twitter user @dariopol posted: "genius marketing, take the piss out of those doing most to heal our planet" and @LucyHRichards pointed out that the campaign may cause the chain to lose customers: "You have also reinforced the stigma behind vegan diets, poked fun at animal suffering and pissed your customers off."
Another commenter on the official Gourmet Burger Kitchen Facebook page was a little more blunt, simply writing: "YOU GUYS ARE WANKERS. ANIMAL LIVES MATTER."
Following this storm of plant-fueled hate, Gourmet Burger Kitchen yesterday confirmed that they would be taking down "some" of the posters in a post on their Facebook page. They added: "The last thing we ever intended to do was offend or alienate vegetarians. [...] So having read all your comments and messages, we've made the decision to take down some of the adverts. We'll still serve beef. We'll still serve veggie burgers. But hopefully we'll not tread on anyone's toes while doing it."
Power to the plant eaters!