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A pasta restaurant in London has come under fire from vegetarians after posting a picture on social media showing a grouse being prepped for a ragu.
Padella, which serves some of the best fresh pasta in the city and often has queues snaking out of the door and into Borough Market where it’s located, posted a picture of the partially plucked grouse on a chopping board, with the head still attached, with a knife next to it and the caption “Grouse soon to be ragu.” It’s worth noting that Padella has a number of vegetarian options on its menu, while also being famous for its two-day-cooked beef shin ragu.
The image, which has been marked as sensitive by Instagram and thus requires a click to reveal it, has provoked a barage of criticism.
Commenting on the post, @dancoen says: “I love your food but this photo is just appalling, I’m sure even ardent carnivores don’t want to think of a dead bird when they eat your ragu. Gratuitous and weird."
While @meachagramm says: “Seriously?! My partner is a huge fan of Padella and we visit regularly. She’s a vegetarian and she’s appalled that a restaurant with so many veggie options thinks it’s ok to post this. As a meat eater, I strongly believe we should face to reality of what we eat, but for those who don’t, companies like yours should be sensitive to other people’s preferences. Your social media team should be aware of that and if they aren’t, they really should review what they’re doing and why. Your lack of sensitivity has marginalised your vegetarian and pescatarian customers. We won’t be visiting Padella again.”
Another user called @emlouisesqueeze adds: “Surely there’s a more original/intelligent/sophisticated way of creating a buzz about your restaurant without going for the shock factor and offending half your followers/customers in the process?! Disappointed @padella_pasta!”
However, many have leapt to the defence of the restaurant, which prides itself on its traceability, for not shying away from the reality of where our meat comes from.
@ jez__k says: “Oh dear, this has upset quite a few people. But I think we all need to be less squeamish about where our food comes from. Visceral? Yes. Offensive? No.”
While @drakeitrain said: “If a person chooses to eat meat then they can’t be ignorant about where it comes from, if you eat meat and photos like this offend you then you should seriously be considering why you choose to eat meat in the first place. If you’re a vegetarian (which I am) or vegan and you’re offended by something like this then you can’t follow a restaurant (who serve meat)’s social media not expect to see something like this when it’s at the core of what they do.”
We feel the restaurant has done nothing wrong in this instance and the picture is by no means gratuitous, and we have to wonder, as others have, if there would be such a furore had the picture shown a fully plucked bird, without its head, but what do you think? Should the restaurant apologise? Let us know over on our Facebook page.