Climate crisis activists occupied Gordon Ramsay’s three-star Michelin restaurant in London’s Chelsea on Saturday evening to protest at the “perfect inequality” such high-end dining venues represent.
Members of Animal Rebellion entered Restaurant Gordon Ramsay on Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea at about 6pm.
They sat at tables reserved for guests and held mock menus outlining the environmental costs of items on the restaurant’s menu, including steak and veal.
In a statement, the group said that they are campaigning for a plant-based food system and the creation of a mass-rewilding programme.
Lucia Alexander, a 39-year-old auxiliary nurse from the east of England who took part in the action, said: “This restaurant is the perfect example of the inequality we face in the UK right now.
“While Gordon Ramsay serves food costing a minimum of £155 per person, more than 2 million people are relying on food banks in this cost of living crisis.
“Instead of restaurants making colossal profits at the expense of animals, workers, and our climate, we need to feed everyone by supporting farmers and fishing communities in a transition to a plant-based food system.
“A plant-based food system requires 75% less farmland to grow food, allowing us to feed millions of additional people without the reliance on exploitative and inefficient animal farming industries. This is the answer to the cost of living and climate crises.”
The group said that 14 activists took part in the protest, and added: “At 8pm the restaurant closed for business and the protesters left peacefully through the front door.”
The Metropolitan police said they were called to the restaurant shortly before 6.30pm “to reports of a group of protesters refusing to leave the premises”.
It added: “The restaurant was closed and the protesters left. There were no arrests.”
A spokesperson for Restaurant Gordon Ramsay said that reservations were cancelled and service was so disrupted that the restaurant had to close.
The spokesperson added: “Everyone is entitled to their opinions and beliefs. However, to force your way into a restaurant, disturbing hard-working staff going about their jobs and ruining the evening of guests who have waited months for their reservations is incredibly inappropriate and deeply disrespectful.”
Animal Rebellion describes itself as “a mass movement using nonviolent civil disobedience to call for a just, sustainable plant-based food system”.
This week one of its activists was arrested after reportedly approaching Sir David Attenborough at a Michelin-starred restaurant on the south coast.