WATCH: Chef Thrown Off Chinese TV For Refusing To Cook Meat

The move has been described as 'disrespectful' and 'bullying'

A vegan has been thrown off a Chinese cookery show - because she wouldn't cook meat.

Daphne Cheng - who is known as 'Vegetarian Queen or Vegetarian Goddess' (she says 'there is no word for vegan in Chinese - just 'purely' or 'strictly' vegetarian') explained to PBN what happened.

'Not what was expected'

She said: "I was recently invited to be on China's number one food show - which has 150 million viewers.

"I was invited because I was a vegan chef - and I was really excited about the opportunity to be on this show and show China how good vegan food can really be.

"But what happened on the show wasn't exactly what I thought was going to happen.

Daphne on the show (Photo: YouTube)

Mystery box

The show features a 'mystery box' of ingredients.

"But ours was empty," said Daphne. "They then asked us to reverse roles - they asked the meat chef to cook vegan food, and me to cook meat."

"I said that was impossible - I haven't had meat in 16 years - and I'm not going to change that for a competition.

"So the host asked me if I was refusing to cook meat - and said that meant I would have to withdraw."


Daphne was shocked when she was told to leave the show in what she said was a very curt way.

"They just said 'sorry, goodbye," she explained.

"It was probably the original intent ever since they reached out to me. You know these things are scripted.

"So I was just part of their entertainment story."

The show's hosts confer after Daphne refuses to cook meat (Photo: YouTube)


Support has flooded in for Daphne since the show.

Hong Kong vegan entrepreneur, David Yeung, said: "I am calling your attention to a serious act of bullying and public humiliation of renowned vegan chef Daphne Cheng. 

"On a recent popular TV program in China, the disrespectful TV hosts (led by superstar Nicholas Tse) intentionally asked Daphne to cook meat in the 'cooking competition' because they thought it would be 'entertaining' to the audience. 

"When she outright declined such request, she was immediately disqualified by the 'judge panel' as she failed to comply with the 'rules' of the show."


Yeung says he wants to stand up for all the vegans / animal lovers / environmental activists around the world - as well as Daphne.

He adds: "Such mindless bullying and insults happen every day in schools, at work, at restaurants, or even at home. 

"Many people are afraid to be vegan/vegetarian because they may end up being alienated socially. 

"Yet till this date I cannot recall a more blatantly disrespectful act of asking a 16-year-vegan to cook meat on TV!"

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

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PBN Contributor:

Maria is the Editor of Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers. She was previously the editor of Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.

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