April 11, 2018 - GruntVeganfeature
Recent decades have seen an increased effort worldwide by animal-rights activists to expose the horrors of the modern carnist food industry practices at the same time as advocating a non-violent plant-based vegan diet.
A new report from the University of California, entitled "Food Ethics" calls to account the "rise of chefs to a position of cultural prominence" in this new age of "increased consciousness of ethical issues pertaining to food, particularly as they concern animals".
Celebrity chefs were defined as those with their own television show on a national network in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada or Australia.
"Thirty cookbooks by 26 such chefs were categorized according to the total number of cows, pigs, chicken, fish and other species they included as ingredients". Their respective cookbooks were ranked according to the minimum number of sentient animals that must be killed to make their recipes.
Mario Batali topped the list with his latest book Molto Gusto: Easy Italian Cooking (2010) which clocked in at 620 total deaths* and an average 5.25 deaths per non-desert recipe. Also in the top three were Susur Lee, with Susur: A Culinary Life (2005) with 268 total deaths* and an average 2.85 deaths per recipe and Gordon Ramsay with 127 total deaths* and an average 1.23 deaths per recipe from his book Gordon Ramsey's Fast Food: Recipes from the F Word (2009).
*The study defines 'Total Deaths' as the minimum number of animal deaths required to make all non-dessert recipes.
Andy Lamey, a professor who co-authored the report, told Macleans that with the exception of the vegan chefs in the ranking, the issue of how many animals needed to be killed in their cookbooks was “not on the radar of any chefs".
However, "Marni Ugar, an animal rights activist, thinks the report will make restaurant-goers think twice about choosing to sit down at a celebrity chef’s establishment".