Butcher’s ‘vegie’ item sparks vegan feud
A butcher's unique take on "carrots" has surprisingly been a huge hit with customers - but not vegans.
Tom Samways, 36, from Wales in the UK, became the target of angry vegans after he recreated the root vegetable using mince pork.
To help give it the full effect, Mr Samways finished his creation off with an orange glaze for colour and parsley for leaves.
His unusual take on the orange vegetable started as a cheeky way to retaliating against plant-based food that's named after meat.
However customers loved his he bizarre "vegetable", selling over 300 of them in just one day.
Ms Samways admitted it was just a gimmick and started out as a "bit of a joke" but customers have been loving them.
"They have gone down well and we'll be making more," he said.
"The idea came from the fact that a lot of vegan food is named after meat products, like vegan sausages and vegan chicken.
"I just thought, 'Well, let's make a meat version of vegan food'."
Mr Samways described them as "pork kebabs".
"They're made from high-quality minced pork meat and are glazed with an Italian herb dressing to get that orange look. Then they're finished off with a bit of parsley," he explained.
Since the butcher posted a picture of his carrots on Twitter on February 22, it's been retweeted more than 12,000 times and liked by more than 64,000 people.
"My dad has been a butcher for over 50 years and made this exact remark the other day," one Twitter user said. "Also, why would vegans want to eat something with a name associated with animals?"
"They look amazing, and I'll bet they taste as excellent as they look. Well done, sir," another added.
BACKLASH FROM VEGANS
But poking fun at vegan offerings that are made to replicate meat, has meant Tom has faced some serious backlash from the meat-free community.
Both his Twitter account, where the carrot creation was originally shared, and the Facebook page for T Samways High Class Butcher have been shut down after being flooded with angry messages.
"I have had a lot of backlash over it, including some not very nice comments. But at the end of the day it's just a joke," Mr Samways explained.
"The reaction has been mental. It's been shared thousands of times, which isn't bad for a little butcher from Wales.
Mr Samways said he didn't have "anything against vegans" or businesses that changed their products to suit demand.
"You have to do what works for you. But people who come to my butchers are meat eaters," he said.
He also revealed sales haven't dropped despite an increase in the number of people following a plant-based diet.
"I don't know if veganism is a fad or not, but I haven't noticed a drop in sales. At first I was a bit concerned, especially during Veganuary, but if anything I've seen an increase in sales. We're definitely up every month," Mr Samways said.
He attributed the surge to customers becoming a lot more aware of where their food comes from.
"A lot of customers come in wanting high-class meat from a Welsh farm. They don't want to get it from a supermarket anymore," he said.