Fake Meat Is Like 'Transgender Vegetarianism' Says Politician

A British politician has been slammed by trans rights activists for calling fake meat "transgender vegetarianism."

Baroness Ruth Deech, who is a crossbench member of the House of Lords, made the comments on a BBC Radio 4 program when asked if she would eat vegetarian food resembling meat.

"No, I don't think I would especially if this thing is being done up to look as if it's bleeding," said the former Principal of St Anne's College, Oxford, and ex chair of the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, a UK body which regulates treatments such as IVF.

"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," she said.

Her comments were met with a backlash on social media. Users questioned Baroness Deech's use of the term transgender, particularly as they were made a day after Transgender Day of Visibility, which has been marked annually on March 31 since 2009 to celebrate transgender people.

Baroness Deech did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.

"It's an example of how trans people are brought up in relation to something that has absolutely nothing to do with them," trans activist Owl Fisher told Newsweek.

"Trans people aren't a punching bag for your bad and ignorant analogies. On the surface this comment might seem very random, but it's born from a very prejudiced discourse around trans people's authenticity.

"What she is essentially saying is that trans people aren't really the gender that they know themselves to be, just like 'fake' meat isn't really 'real' meat. It shows a level of disrespect towards trans people, and it's absolutely bizarre and just plain rude to bring trans people into a discussion that has nothing to do with them. We have enough to deal with, let alone be compared to 'fake' meat."

Playwright Shelley Silas tweeted: "It's offensive to the transgender community, just as anti-Semitism is offensive to you and me. Please think about what you say. @bbcpaddy #broadcastinghouse."