THE owner of a vegan café says council officers have ordered him to remove a wall mural at the premises over claims of ‘misinformation’.
The display detailing the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle was part of the recent re-branding of Plant Hustler, previously named Dirty Vegans.
Aaron Bryans, owner of the Boscombe eatery, said during the restaurant’s recent food hygiene inspection a BCP Council officer told him she was going to revisit with a colleague from the trading standards team.
Mr Bryans told the Daily Echo: “They came back on the Wednesday and it was a bit shocking really.
“They came in so heavy handed and were like you need to cover that up, you can’t have endorsement names on the wall.
“They just went a bit OTT really, we can’t use the word cheese on the menu and we can’t use the word prawn because it’s all misleading.
“It’s just like look it’s a vegan restaurant, I don’t think anyone’s going to go in there expecting to be eating a bit of chicken.”
Mr Bryans said in his opinion the issue could boil down to meat and dairy industry pressures.
“There’s a big argument that, for example, you can’t refer to milk or butter unless the product comes from dairy, but coconut milk has always been called that and so has peanut butter,” he added.
“The dairy and the meat industry are trying to claw back at these terms because everybody knows that milk alternatives are selling more than their original counterparts.”
Since being asked to remove the mural, Mr Bryans posted on Plant Hustler’s Instagram and Facebook pages asking customers to share and tag any celebrities, sports professionals, scientists, doctors, data analysts or leading figures in plant-based industry, to help make a new wall mural with a wider evidence base.
He said: “The posts that I put up on Instagram and Facebook have absolutely dominoed.
“It’s been overwhelming I’ve had a lot of people come forward, designers, companies offering to create a new one. Everyone feels very passionately about this.”
A BCP Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of the comments made by Plant Hustler regarding our recent visit to the establishment and are currently liaising with them.
“As this is an ongoing operational matter, we are unable to provide a comment at this current time.”