A vegan restaurant in Spain has caused quite a ruckus by posting this on its door: “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.” According to El País, El Vergel de Tarragona’s no-cow's-milk policy bans parents from bottle-feeding their children on the premises. On the restaurant’s TripAdvisor page (where it currently holds a 4.5 out of 5 rating), one customer claimed in a review that has since been removed that she was “humiliated” by a staff member while bottle-feeding her child. The restaurant owner replied to the post, saying staff discreetly left a note on her table reminding her of the restaurant's policy in order to avoid singling her out.
The restaurant’s rule has sparked a lively online debate over whether El Vergel is discriminating against its customers. Some commenters have described staff as intolerant, even going so far as describing them as “Nazis.” Others argue that El Vergel is simply sticking to internal policy since the restaurant’s menu is strictly vegan, completely excluding meat or animal by-products like eggs and dairy from its offerings. “This is not about a fight between a vegan and a non-vegan, or an attack against bottle feeding over breastmilk,” a user wrote on the restaurant's unofficial Facebook page, per the BBC. “This is about complying with the rules of an establishment.” El Vergel plans to keep its policy in an attempt to defend what they call the true “victims” of pain and humiliation, “cows, sheep, and goats, the victims of the bottle you feed your child." (Read more baby stories.)