Montreal chef Dominique Rioux was visibly shaken when Global News showed up to interview her at Le Gras Dur in the city’s Villeray neighbourhood on Thursday.
The 26-year-old, who shares provocative photos on social media of the meat she butchers, has been under fire for the last year. She told Global News that it all began after a video of her butchering a pig went viral. Since then, Rioux says, a group of vegans has been harassing her and the places she works.
“I started to have extremist vegans attack non-stop,” Rioux said.
She added that her Instagram account was eventually deleted as a result.
Rick Hinojosa, who has been an active member of Montreal’s vegan community for the last 10 years, said Rioux’s images are upsetting.
“I think it’s a complete disrespect to the animals she uses. I think it’s a complete disrespect to the animal being that’s lost its life to be slaughtered, actually,” he said.
Hinojosa added that he feels no sympathy for Rioux. “Did people take it too far? I think she took it too far. I think people reacted to what she did.”
Rioux said she doesn’t understand why there has to be so much hostility among communities with different viewpoints.
“I’m not really scared, it’s just like I can’t understand now, even after a year, how somebody wants to kill someone else just because they feel differently about something,” she said.
Divisive opinions aside, Rioux said the intent behind her videos and images was to educate people about where their food comes from.
She’s since opened a new Instagram account, but Rioux says she’ll think twice about what she posts online from now on.
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