Chef Laura Goodman felt she’d gone the extra mile to prepare a special vegan menu for a party at her Italian restaurant in England.
Then the customers ordered a simple cheese pizza off the regular menu.
Irked, Goodman posted – jokingly, she now says – to Facebook suggesting that she’d secretly added meat to the meal.
“Pious, judgmental vegan (who I spent all day cooking for) has gone to bed, still believing she’s a vegan,” Goodman wrote in a post early Saturday morning that has since been deleted, according to BBC News. She later posted that she’d “spiked” a vegan, the network reported.
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The post sparked an uproar, with people calling her post “mean” and “disgusting and unacceptable.” One wrote, “This lady should be charged with assault. We are vegan for a reason. To disregard our wishes and boast about contaminating our food is at least a sackable offence,” reported The Telegraph.
Goodman resigned Wednesday from her Carlini restaurant in Shropshire, England, the BBC reported.
Michael Gale, Goodman’s fiance and Carlini co-owner, told The Shropshire Star that Goodman intended in her post to point out that cheese pizzas are not, strictly speaking, vegan. Many vegans avoid not just meat but all animal products, such as milk and cheese.
“This is what she meant by the Facebook comment – in no way does this excuse the comment and we totally understand the anger it has subsequently caused,” Gale told the publication. “No meat was used in any of the dishes.”
Local authorities told the publication they are investigating the incident. The restaurant’s rating on TripAdvisor plummeted, with hundreds of people posting one-star reviews, according to The Telegraph, although a note on the TripAdvisor page for Carlini now says new reviews have been suspended and reviews that do not reflect a first-hand experience have been deleted.
In addition, the restaurant’s website was hacked and Goodman has received death threats, which have been reported to the police, The Telegraph reported. Telford Vegan Action, a group of vegetarians and vegans, threatened to picket the restaurant.
“I am an anti-speciesist and don’t want to harm any being on this planet and the last thing I’d want to do is consume any animal product,” Hope Lye of Telford Vegan Action told the publication.
Gale told The Telegraph that Goodman is “mortified” by the uproar.