A chef has been labelled a ‘cultural appropriator’ by an angry vegan – because they cooked tofu.
In a heated exchange, the chef received a text message from a fan after sharing a recipe for ‘tofurkey dinner’, where turkey is replaced with tofu.
The fan states that they loved the recipe, then asked how long the chef has been vegan – to which they explain that they’re not, or even vegetarian, but just ‘don’t like most meats’.
The texter then replies that ‘tofu is strictly for vegetarians’ and that the chef had been ‘appropriating us’ and ‘stealing what we need’ for his own ‘selfish need’.
The text message exchange reads: “Hey, I loved your tofurkey dinner recipe you shared, how long have you been vegan?”
Chef: “Hey thanks! I love making it haha, I’m not a vegan though, I’m sorry. Glad you enjoyed it.”
Fan: “Oh vegetarian?”
Chef: “No, I just don’t like the taste and texture of most meats haha.”
Fan: “Oh. So you’re like pretending to be a vegan because it’s cool and in? I’ve been vegan for three years now and it was the best decision I’ve made in my life. It’s not hip or cool, it’s important.”
Chef: “Good for you, that’s great! I am not pretending to be a vegan at all, in fact I’m quite open about eating beef on profile. There’s public posts that state that. I just like tofu more than most meats.”
Fan: “Tofu is strictly for vegetarians. You are basically admitting to appropriating us and stealing what we need for your own selfish use. I’m going to request to the admin that you are removed from our group.”
Chef: “With all due respect, I’m not appropriating anything, I’m eating food I like you absolute f**k.”
At that point the chef took a screenshot of the conversation, although there was an ominous three dots indicating the fan was issuing another reply.
After sharing the exchange on Reddit, other internet users were quick to comment and defend the chef.
One person said: “Imagine having nothing better to do than gatekeeping tofu.”
While a second added: “My sister in law tried to pull that shit on me once. She accused me of eating tofu because it was cool, in front of her friends. I reminded her I was Asian and have been eating tofu since I was eating solids.”
And a third wrote: “This person would lose their mind if they found out tofu is a pretty much daily eaten food in Asia.”