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Peer faces backlash after saying eating fake meat is ‘transgender vegetarianism’

Josh Jackman April 2, 2018
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(YouTube/house of lords)

A peer has sparked outrage after saying that eating vegetarian meat substitutes was “transgender vegetarianism”.

Baroness Deech made the comments on BBC Radio 4 yesterday, during an interview in which she also said World War Two codebreaking hero Alan Turing was “allegedly gay”.

The peer, who has been a crossbench member of the House of Lords for 12 years, was asked on the BBC whether she would try vegetarian burgers which look like they’re made of beef.


She declined the offer, before launching into a bizarre tirade.

“No, I don’t think I would,” she said, “especially if this thing is being done up to look as if it’s bleeding.

“I imagine if you’re eating meat – and I do eat meat to some extent – you want to feel that you’re somehow getting that protein into you.


“And if you want to be a vegetarian you should just go out and eat lettuce and spring onions and so on, and have done with it.

“I don’t like this crossover really. It’s this sort of transgender vegetarianism.”

The conversation then turned to Love, Simon, a coming-of-age coming out film which is becoming one of the most popular films of the year.


While comparing the film to another blockbuster led by a gay character, The Imitation Game, Baroness Deech said Turing was “allegedly gay”.

Thankfully, the host and fellow guest called her out over this comment, pointing out that the codebreaker was chemically castrated for his homosexuality.

Listeners took to Twitter to express their disgust with the comments, which the peer made the day after the Transgender Day of Visibility.


One person wrote: “#ruthdeech what the hell is ‘transgender vegetarianism’?

“It’s offensive to the transgender community, just as anti-Semitism is offensive to you and me. Please think about what you say.”


Another said: “@BaronessDeech Rather scary the position you are in given the ridiculous kind of comments you make on issues, such as transgender vegetarianism. Sad reflection of the decline of the quality of politics in the UK”.


And one wrote: “Ruth Deech “Transgender vegetarianism” @BBCRadio4 what?

“Dismissive, very poor choice of words when talking about new inventions within the non-meat protein food options especially when yesterday was #TransDayOfVisibility ‍♀️”.


Journalist Esther Webber summed up the general mood of bewilderment when she wrote: “What is going on?


“Baroness Deech on R4 describes meat substitutes as ‘transgender vegetarianism’ and says Alan Turing was ‘allegedly gay'”.

The peer has previously attempted to add on an amendment to the UK’s same-sex marriage law to include cohabiting family members or carers in its provisions.

More: baroness deech, house of lords, Politics, UK

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