While most contestants embraced the opportunity to try new baking ingredients and techniques, others entered the tent with palpable levels of scepticism.
Jon declared he eats meat with every meal and asked: “Can we have Kebab Week soon?” Meanwhile judge Paul Hollywood even appeared to scoff at the idea of creating a vegan cookbook.
On Twitter, the theme of the show also met criticism, with comments ranging from the disparaging to the downright aggressive.
But for every negative comment about veganism and the episode in general, there was a positive one.
Katherine Garmonsway, a vegan and a member of HuffPost UK’s Facebook group Very Vegan, said: “I think people only behave so angrily if they feel defensive; they are fundamentally uncomfortable with their decision to eat animals so attack those who have made this decision to avoid their own feelings.”
Meanwhile members Kim Eeles, Joyce Dawson and Kyley Edmonds all said they were “disappointed” in how veganism was portrayed in the show itself.
“If handled professionally it could have had such a positive outcome,” said Joyce.
Kyley added: “Prue and Paul are supposedly professionals they showed an incredible amount of ignorance towards vegan food, saying stupid things like it tastes nice considering it’s vegan. Sandy refused to try nutritional yeast, would expect more from a presenter of a cooking show. Noel stereotyped saying one contestant looked like she’d find her way around a vegan restaurant, pathetic really.”
Dominika Piasecka, spokesperson for The Vegan Society, told HuffPost UK she was surprised to see that some people on Twitter felt angered by the episode.
“The number of vegans in Britain has quadrupled in the last four years and there has never been so much interest in dairy-free and egg-free baking,” she said.
“As more and more people are leaning towards a vegan diet to benefit animals, the environment and our health, we are delighted that GBBO viewers had an opportunity to learn more about cruelty-free baking.”