Freya Cox, a contestant on the 2021 series of The Great British Bake Off, has been bullied by trolls online over her passion for horse riding, with critics saying she shouldn’t call herself vegan.
Freya, 19, is not only the youngest competitor on the Channel 4 show this year, but she’s also the first vegan baker ever to compete on the programme.
While avid Bake Off viewers can’t wait to be welcomed back into the famous tent from tomorrow evening, ahead of its launch, some fans have criticised Freya online for horse riding, in light of being vegan.
The psychology student, who lives with her parents at home in North Yorkshire so that she can look after her horse Winnie, said that she will not be using any animal products on Bake Off.
According to The Times, she deleted a page that she had on Facebook dedicated to her horse riding achievements after experiencing backlash.
One person responded to a post Freya made expressing her excitement about competing on Bake Off by writing: ‘The problem people like myself are having is that, yes it’s great that someone is going onto a mainstream programme promoting vegan food. But please don’t say that you are passionate about ethics when you still ride horses.’
Someone else remarked that in their opinion, Freya is ‘not vegan’ but ‘just plant-based’ as some regard horse riding and other sports which involve animals as ‘non-vegan’.
‘If you are still riding you shouldn’t be calling yourself vegan and you most definitely shouldn’t be going on TV calling yourself vegan,’ they said.
The critic added that in their opinion, it’s ‘no wonder people get confused what veganism means when the ethos is constantly being watered down’.
However, others jumped to Freya’s defence, lambasting those who ‘found fault’ in the student.
‘Instead of seeing this as a great step to show non-vegan viewers what they can make and possibly help people eat more plant-based foods AND congratulating this girl, you find fault! Oh to be the perfect vegan, we are all trying,’ one person said.
When the Bake Off cast was announced last week, Freya shared how excited she felt in a post on Instagram, writing in the caption: ‘Honestly can’t believe I am writing this, feel genuinely blessed to share my passion for vegan baking on such an incredible programme with such an amazing group of people.’
Paul Hollywood, one of the judges on the show, recently spoke out against the trolling suffered by stars of the series, emphasising that nasty words can ‘damage people’.
‘I had to come out last year in support of Laura because it was out of order,’ he said, in reference to the harsh comments targeted at 2020 contestant Laura Adlington.
‘I’ve learned to live with it, however difficult it is, but it’s not fair on the bakers because they’re raw, they’re new, they’re not used to this, and you’ve got to be really careful.’
The Great British Bake Off launches tomorrow evening at 8pm on Channel 4.
Credit: Original article published here.