The Real Reason Gordon Ramsay Is So Passionate About Plant-Based Cooking

Social media was abuzz in March when Gordon Ramsay took to Instagram to announce he was going vegan. "Hi guys, it's Gordon. I've got a confession. After three decades of cooking, hundreds and hundreds and thousands of hours behind the stove, I'm turning vegan."

But, was he really? Remember, this is the same person that once proclaimed the acronym for PETA, the world's largest international animal rights advocacy group, stood for "People Eating Tasty Animals" and took glee in tricking a vegetarian into eating meat during an episode of "Kitchen Nightmares" (via Totally Vegan Buzz). 

Revealed toward the end of his March Instagram post, which offered a recipe for steakhouse-inspired vegan steak, it turns out Ramsay is not really swearing off eating meat altogether — but, as recent news posts suggest, his previous hardline stance on plant-based eating may be softening. As reported by Delish, Ramsay is beginning to incorporate more plant-based options into offerings at his restaurants as well as his own diet. That's a huge turnaround for the chef who once told the Daily Mirror his biggest nightmare would be if his kids became vegetarians (via Metro).

Ramsay's kids inspired his change of heart

It appears Ramsay's kids and their eating habits were a big factor in getting him to have a change of heart, as reported by Delish. Well, it was his kids plus a burgeoning desire to make healthier food choices during his jam-packed daily schedule. One of his first lifestyle changes was swapping the dairy for oat milk in the smoothies he often consumes in place of full meals — and he now has a partnership with Silk. "With the sort of demanding times in my schedule, cutting dairy out of my diet on a day-to-day basis was absolutely crucial," he told the publication. 

And then there's the financial motivation. According to Plant Proteins, about 6% of the U.S. population now identifies as vegan. That's an increase of 500% since 2014. From a restaurateur's perspective, it makes sense to cater to that growing customer base. Gordon Ramsay Restaurants devotes an entire section to showcasing plant-based options at the chef's signature dining venues. As Ramsay told Delish, "Getting creative with plant based is equally as important as cooking fish or meat ... From a restaurateur's point of view, I could see a more creative demand for it [plant-based cooking]. So it keeps chefs on their toes."