Great British Bake Off’s first ever vegan baker Freya Cox has been targeted by cruel trolls over her love of horse-riding.
The psychology student, 19, was forced to delete a Facebook page called Freya Cox Eventing, which had documented her achievements in the sport, after she was slammed online by those claiming it is cruel to animals.
The dressage champion had said she was ‘passionate about ethics’ while posting online about her excitement to join the tent as the show’s first vegan baker – meaning she won’t use animal products.
‘You shouldn’t be calling yourself vegan’: Bake Off’s Freya Cox has been forced off social media by trolls who slam her love of ‘cruel’ horse riding
She penned: ‘The secret is finally out! I can’t believe I’m actually writing a post announcing I am going to be on the Great British Bake Off 2021 baking all vegan bakes.
‘I am so passionate about ethics and feel completely blessed to have the opportunity to share this with the world. To say I am the first completely vegan baker on GBBO feels like such an honour.
‘I will be posting loads of updates, bakes and behind the scenes pics over on my Instagram page if you’d like to follow me on there. Speak to you all soon…the future really is vegan.’
But the post was flooded with mean-spirited comments blasting the teenager for pictures she had posted online showing her riding a horse.
Sad: The psychology student, 19, was forced to delete a Facebook page called Freya Cox Eventing, which had documented her achievements in the sport
Unprecedented: She will be the show’s first vegan baker – meaning she won’t use animal products
Some vegans believe riding is cruel because the horses are not given a choice, and it can sometimes be uncomfortable for the animal.
In some cases, vegans view animal-based sports like horse riding and greyhound racing as ‘non-vegan’ because of their potential for causing pain and cruelty to those involved.
However, it is also widely acknowledged within the vegan community that being vegan can mean many different things for many people.
Controversial: Some vegans believe riding is cruel because the horses are not given a choice, and it can sometimes be uncomfortable for them
Busy bee: Freya explained her recipe to judges Paul Hollywood (centre-left) and Prue Leith (centre-right) and presenter Noel Fielding (right) while taking part in the challenge
But some more hardline vegans believe in a more extreme adherence to the beliefs.
One angry user blasted Freya saying: ‘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.
‘I know she still rides as she replied to someone on her Instagram earlier today saying they should meet for a hack soon!
‘So just say that you’re plant-based and making slow changes to becoming fully vegan in future or something if that is what you’re doing.
Having a blast! Matt Lucas and Freya seemed to be having a whale of a time in the Great British Bake Off tent
Announcement: The dressage champion had said she was ‘passionate about ethics’ while posting online about her excitement to join the tent
‘Saying that you’re passionate about ethics and then riding horses is completely contradicting and confusing.’
A second jibed: ‘Yep, she’s not vegan. Just plant-based obviously.
They added in another post, ‘Removing a pic is just covering it up, not changing the action.
‘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.
‘It’s no wonder people get confused what veganism means when the ethos is constantly being watered down.’
Frustrated: The post was flooded with mean-spirited comments blasting the teenage girl for pictures she had posted online showing her riding a horse
Another questioned Freya on how well she looked after her beloved horse, Winnie, cruelly suggesting the young girl had been hurting the creature’s back.
They said: ‘I think a lot of us would like to know if you give Winnie the necessary exercise without you breaking her spine anymore or whether you continue to do so?’
Freya sweetly replied: ‘I can reassure you she’s absolutely spoiled rotten.’
But the user jibed back: ‘So that’s a yes then, how disappointing.’
Saving the day: As well as the vile hate comments, scores of other veggies and vegans rushed to congratulate the youngster on her incredible achievements – and to blast the trolls giving her a hard time
But as well as the vile hate comments, scores of other veggies and vegans rushed to congratulate the hopeful on her incredible achievements – and to blast the trolls giving her a hard time.
A supporter wrote : ‘Not even an hour and some of your superiority complex kicked in. Damn, just be happy. Wow, many congratulations and good luck to you.
‘Awareness’ is always the first step and you’ve managed to grab yourself the spotlight and I’m so pleased for you, well done!
‘I’m shocked at some of the comments on here, they’re shameful and unnecessary, can’t wait to watch you blow the others out the water.’
A final said: ‘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.’
GBBO’s season 12 will debut on September 21 on Channel 4 at 8PM.
It was filmed earlier this year with the contestants and crew placed in a COVID-safe filming bubble – the second time this has happened amid the pandemic.
A baker’s dozen! The line-up for The Great British Bake Off 2021 has been unveiled, ahead of the show’s season 12 debut on September 21 on Channel 4 at 8PM [L-R: New stars Elizabeth, George, Juergen, Crystelle, Jairzeno, Rochica, Giuseppe, Tom, Maggie, Chirag, Amanda and Freya]
GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF 2021: WHO ARE THE CONTESTANTS?
Dancing her way into the competition: Rochica’s interest in baking developed when she was left unable to dance due to an injury
Bread winner: Lover of traditional baking, Maggie’s favourite recipe is bread
Occupation: Junior HR Business Partner
With a big Jamaican family on both sides, Rochica bakes in a way that reflects her Caribbean heritage. Rochica’s interest in baking developed when she was left unable to dance due to an injury.
Occupation: Retired Nurse and Midwife
Maggie has an impressive collection of classic recipe books and loves recreating traditional bakes. Her favourite thing to bake is bread.
Έτοιμο, σετ, ψήσιμο! George grew up in a close-knit Greek-Cypriot family where food was always a big part of family life
Occupation: Shared Lives Coordinator
George grew up in a close-knit Greek-Cypriot family where food was always a big part of family life. His mum taught him to bake all the Greek classics, a legacy he’s now passing on to his three children.
Revving up the competition: Car Production Operative Lizzie loves baking cakes
Occupation: Car Production Operative
Lizzie lives with dog, Prudence, in an annex in her parents garden and her baking comfort zone is cake. In her spare time she loves dancing.
Life-long dream: Freya has wanted to enter Bake Off since the first series, when she was aged nine and saw the tent in Bakewell
Occupation: Psychology Student
From: North Yorkshire
Freya has wanted to enter Bake Off since the first series, when she was aged nine and saw the tent in Bakewell. She likes to create plant-based bakes.
Pronto, impostato, cuocere! Originally from Italy, Giuseppe was inspired to bake by his father, a professional chef
Occupation: Chief Engineer
Originally from Italy, Giuseppe now lives in Bristol with his wife and their three young sons. He was inspired to bake by his father, a professional chef and loves using Italian flavours.
Black Forest (Gateaux): Jürgen hails from Germany and bakes his own traditional German bread
Occupation: Computer Pro
Originally from the Black Forest in Germany, Jürgen moved to the UK in 2003. Unable to find traditional German bread here he decided to bake his own – and his passion has grown ever since.
Locking it in: Chigs took up baking at the start of the first lockdown in 2020
Occupation: Sales Manager
Chigs took up baking at the start of lockdown in 2020 teaching himself complex techniques by carefully studying online videos.
Bringing the force: Cop Amanda learned to bake with her mum and paternal auntie
Occupation: Met Police Detective
Raised in London with Greek-Cypriot heritage, the mother-of-two’s bakes are heavily influenced by Greece and the Middle East having learned to bake with her mum and paternal auntie.
Midnight baker: Before he moved out of the family home, Tom’s mum says she would often wake up to a sweet treat
Occupation: Software Developer
Tom’s mum has dubbed him the ‘midnight baker’ as before he moved out of the family home she would often wake up to a sweet treat… and a pile of washing up!
Quadrilingual Crystelle! This home baker brings her diverse heritage to the flavours in her baking
Occupation: Client Relationship Manager
Quadrilingual Crystelle is a baker who brings her wonderfully diverse heritage – born in northwest London to Kenyan born, Portuguese-Goan parents – to the flavours in her baking.
‘Baking is like breathing!’ Trinidadian-born Jairzeno spices up his baking with lots of Caribbean flavours
Occupation: Head Of Finance
Trinidadian-born Jairzeno says ‘baking is like breathing’. He loves using lots of Caribbean spices in his bakes. When he’s not baking he loves running.