Waitrose has sparked a public backlash after a key figure in its media arm accused vegans of “hypocrisy” and joked of writing articles on how to kill them “one by one”.
William Sitwell, the editor of the retailer’s Waitrose Food magazine, has now announced his departure from the publication after coming under fire for the comments.
The comments in question were sent to journalist Selene Nelson after she pitched a new regular section in the magazine focusing on vegan cooking.
In response Sitwell said: “Hi Selene. Thanks for this. How about a series on killing vegans, one by one. Ways to trap them? How to interrogate them properly? Expose their hypocrisy? Force-feed them meat? Make them eat steak and drink red wine?”
Following the article on @BuzzFeed – and in the interests of transparency – here's my original pitch to the editor of Waitrose, along with my response to his reply. No "triggered vegans" here, thanks! 🙂 #Vegan #Waitrose pic.twitter.com/bjRon1N0bb
— Selene Nelson Ⓥ (@Selene_Nelson) October 29, 2018
His words amount to hate speech.
— Proud Ⓥegan (@GrahamCD62) October 30, 2018
Nelson subsequently published the response, telling BuzzFeed News she had “never seen anything like it,” adding that she had “never had a response like that to any of my articles or pitches.”
Waitrose, which launched a new vegan range earlier this month, was soon hit by a social media backlash condemning Sitwell’s comments.
Waitrose Food Magazine has since stated that it believed Sitwell’s resignation was the “right and proper move”.