Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has blasted vegans for 'hating' him in an interview with the Sunday Times.
The chef claims his 'passion for animal welfare' has landed him in hot water with activists.
He said: "They hate me because we do stories about higher welfare meat, which I am deeply passionate about, but for them it is on or off - there ain't no stepping stones, whereas I'm all about stepping stones.
"I am split these days because vegans do annoy me, but I also do care for them."
The chef, who has recently studied for a masters degree in nutrition, certainly believes in the health benefits of a plant-based diet, saying: "The vegan diet tracks better than anything on longevity, health and lower cases of disease."
Oliver discussed a protest held outside one of his restaurants, saying it involved '20 scruffy, weird-looking fellas putting iPads of slaughtered animals in front of kids having spaghetti bolognese on a Saturday lunch'.
He added: "I have done more to push plant-based diets than any of them."
Reaction to the article on social media has been mixed.
Responding to Oliver's claim that he has 'done more to push plant-based diets' than anyone, Facebook user James O'Flaherty wrote: "He's done more to push plant-based diets than anyone?
"Gimme a break. He encourages flexitarianism.
"I appreciate the vegan options he promotes on his website and YouTube but he offsets that comfortably by killing animals himself and paying others to do it for his restaurants."
But another user, Molly Harkness, said: "Why hate him? He has lots of really good vegan recipes on his website."
Alice Martin-Walker added: "I don't hate him. He has a better range of vegan recipes on his site that most vegan bloggers."