Spanish Restaurant Causes Controversy With Ban On Bottled Milk
El Vergel de Tarragona, a vegan restaurant in the Spanish city of Tarragona in Catalonia, has been accused online of ‘humiliating’ mothers feeding their babies with bottled milk while dining.
Located close to the city’s cathedral, the vegan restaurant has a strict policy in place of not using any processed foods, or any animal products on the premises, which included the dried milk used in baby formula. The restaurant even has a sign on the door stating its views on processed foods and animal products inside the building; “We like mothers, of all species. That’s why we don’t like bottle feeds based on cow’s milk. Please don’t use them in the restaurant.”
When the local daily digital, Tarragona Diari, started to report on the negative reviews found on travel website TripAdvisor, the restaurant found their website inundated with hostile comments from other customers who said they felt unwelcome by staff when bottle feeding their babies.
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One review, which has since been taken down, started simply starting “Humiliated mother”. The review then went on to explain how the mother in question was made to feel rather uncomfortable by staff after a waiter approached her while she was feeding her baby bottled milk, who left a note on the table to ‘remind her of the restaurant’s policy’ and was given a warning.
The owner of the restaurant replied to the bad review on TripAdvisor, stating that he himself had left the handwritten note on her table to remind her of the policy and to avoid publicly embarrassing her in front of other customers who were in the restaurant at the time. He pointed out that “each restaurant has it’s own set of rules” also adding “We do not discriminate against families with children, despite many complaints from other customers asking for them to be banned.”
Following on from the recent media coverage, many more people have come forward to say they are unimpressed with the restaurant’s views on processed foods and have left them numerous bad reviews, with some of the comments describing the owners as ‘intolerant’. The owners of El Vergel has stated that while they are receiving a lot of backlash over their ban on bottled milk, they will stick to their policy of banning outside food, including dried milk formula for babies.
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The owners have also stated that customers are allowed to bring their dogs into the restaurant with them, and mothers are welcome to breastfeed in the restaurant, but they have grown annoyed at parents bringing infant formula, bottled milk and jars of baby food into the restaurant.
One of the owners even went so far as to reply to the mother who felt “humiliated” in the review on TripAdvisor stating “Mothers who have been genuinely humiliated are those raped throughout their lives to have babies that are then stolen and butchered so that humans can take the milk that was for them: these mothers are cows, sheep, and goats, the victims of the bottle you feed your child.”
Do you agree with the restaurant’s views on banning bottled milk for infants? Let us know in the comments section below.
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