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Viva Las Vegan in Maidstone slammed for adding dairy and fish to menu


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Angry vegans have slammed a café for adding cheese, egg and fish to its menu.

Viva Las Vegan opened in Earl Street, Maidstone, at the bottom of the Fremlin Walk stairs, back in November as a 100% plant-based shop.

Viva Las Vegan opened in Earl Street, Maidstone, in November. Picture: Facebook (57337679)
Viva Las Vegan opened in Earl Street, Maidstone, in November. Picture: Facebook (57337679)

But yesterday it announced a new menu which would cater for vegetarians and pescatarians as well.

The decision received a huge backlash online from customers who criticised the café for putting profits over ethics, with some vowing never to return.

Ash Robertson left a scathing review on its Facebook page, saying: "Clearly never a vegan business as they now serve body parts and secretions.

"Abandoning ethics – if you ever had them – for profit is never a good look. These are hard times for small business. Some don't deserve to survive."

While Darren Cox added: "Offering vegetarian options is one thing but fish too is a step too far. My family and I have supported you since you opened but this is very disappointing."

Libra Luna slammed the café for still having "vegan" in its name, commenting: "Wrong on so many levels. Another venue adding to the death and suffering of animals – disgusting. How dare you use the word ‘vegan’ in your name."

Charlie Page predicted a downfall in business, saying: "90% of your business was from vegans that wanted to support a local fully vegan cafe.

"You’re going to lose all of that and have less customers than you did before. This is a mistake."

However, many vegans were quick to offer their support to the café.

Sally Warford argued: "Give these guys a break. We don't know how their business is going. Maybe they are struggling and need to make a few changes.

"I'm sure they will change their name – as they have said – my son and I are vegan and will still be visiting them."

While Julie Wright said: "Crikey give these guys a break. There was me thinking vegans were compassionate souls. Seems I was wrong reading some of these comments.

"I will be visiting you – being a pesky pescatarian. Good luck with your business, I wish you well."

Vegans on Facebook have slammed Viva Las Vegan in Maidstone. Picture: Facebook (57337677)
Vegans on Facebook have slammed Viva Las Vegan in Maidstone. Picture: Facebook (57337677)

While Anthony Tills added: "The hate in these comments. You should be ashamed. Respect people and their opinions you don't have to agree with them but to be one of these forcefully preachy people is just wrong, it's not kind or loving.

"Business is hard especially post Covid. They want to expand their demographic so they can still have a good living.

"If you have a pure vegan café or restaurant you're gonna put bouncers on the door to assess every person coming in ensure your service only goes to vegans?"

A spokesman for Viva Las Vegan confirmed the cafe had recently changed owner and would be removing "vegan" from its name in the near future.

When asked if the decision was a business one, they said: "We don't have a problem with selling, we just want to offer vegetarian and pescatarian people the same opportunity as we do vegan people."

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