In the wake of an attack which has left top TV chef Anthony Worral Thompson hospitalised, there have been renewed calls for the government to crack down on vegetable rights activists. The chef suffered a suspected ruptured spleen after being hit in the abdomen with a large marrow, which was hurled from a moving car just as Worral Thompson emerged from the Ready, Steady, Cook studios. Witnesses have described how a balaclava-clad figure leaned out of car’s rear passenger window as it approached the chef. “He was half out of the car, one hand holding onto the door frame, the other clutching this huge marrow,” recalls street cleaner Bill Tickhead. “He hurled it like it was a rugby ball – poor ‘Wozza’ didn’t stand a chance, he went down like a ton of bricks, clutching at his stomach!” Doctors have confirmed that the vegetable was thrown with such force that, if it had hit its target a few inches lower, Worral Thompson could have been castrated. This heinous attack is just the latest in a series of such vegetable-related assaults aimed at Britain’s best known celebrity chefs. Already, Gordon Ramsey has been felled by a bunch of carrots thrown by a masked youth on a bicycle in a so-called ‘ride by’ attack outside his restaurant, whilst Ainsley Harriott avoided serious injury when a frozen turnip apparently dropped from a roof top narrowly missed him as he walked down London’s Oxford Street. Responsibility for the attacks has been claimed by the shadowy Vegetable Liberation Front (VLF), an organisation opposed to the exploitation of vegetables. In a video released to the press, the VLF accused the TV chefs it had targeted of glorifying the torture of innocent vegetables. “These bastards regularly attack and dismember innocent vegetables, live on camera,” a masked VLF spokesperson claimed in the video. “I’ve even seen these so-called chefs dropping live vegetables into boiling water! Don’t they realise how sensitive these plants are? If you listen carefully, you can actually hear them scream as they are chopped up or scalded to death!”

The VLF reserve special ire for TV chef and mockney tosser Jamie Oliver, who they claim is acting as an evangelist for the evils of vegetarianism. “Not only does the sick bastard encourage his fans to subject vegetables to the most horrific of tortures with kitchen implements, but he also keeps them in virtual bondage in his own garden,” claimed the VLF video. “They’re kept immobile twenty four hours a day – buried up to their necks in dirt! It wouldn’t be allowed if they were animals.” But worst of all, in the eyes of the VLF, is Jamie Oliver’s indoctrination of school children. “His disgraceful campaign to get schools to serve supposedly healthier meals is nothing more than an attempt to convert our children to vegetarianism by stealth,” according to the VLF video. “Every one of the meals he suggests involve the maiming and execution of vegetables in their preparation. Imagine the carnage if his suggestions were to be adopted by schools nationwide! This fiend must be stopped!” Consequently, the cooking star has suffered a series of attacks by the VLF, including a raid on his garden, during which veggie-terrorists attempted to ‘free’ imprisoned vegetables. “Bleedin’ heck, these nutters dug up my garden, uprooting all my vegetables and throwing them over the wall into my neighbours,” Oliver later told BBC News. “He wasn’t best chuffed to ‘ave his rose beds smothered with artichokes and broccoli, I can tell you!” The VLF quickly responded to the chef’s claims that, far from rescuing his vegetables, they had instead condemned them to death by digging them up. “It’s not our fault that these poor plants were so institutionalised by their captivity that they were incapable of running more than a few yards from this evil bastard’s garden,” a spokesperson told Radio Four’s Gardener’s Question Time. During their raid the VLF also broke into Oliver’s kitchen and filmed the atrocities they found there, including a full grown cabbage boiling in a pot. In a chilling message accompanying the video when it was posted on the web, the VLF threatened to pay the chef back in kind. “Bloody ‘ell, these guys are proper loonies! I mean, that can’t be normal, can it? Threatenin’ to cut off my ‘ead and boil it just because I’ve cooked a few veggies!” says Oliver. “Love a duck, I’m havin’ to ‘ave police protection everywhere I go now, in case they try and assassinate me with a parsnip, or summat!” Many have questioned the VLF’s methods, pointing out that its attacks on alleged vegetable-abusers involve the actual destruction of some of the very vegetables they are claiming to protect. However, the organisation has responded by claiming that all of the vegetables hurled at celebrity chefs have been volunteers, prepared to die for their cause.

The VLF’s activities haven’t been confined to attacking high-profile celebrities. There have been several reports of masked protestors running into supermarkets and hurling handfuls of loose mushrooms and onions toward the doors, shouting “Run, my children! You are Free!”. In perhaps the most bizarre development, masked VLF protestors last month raided a brothel in Salford where they believed vegetables were being used for sexual gratification. “They burst in an demanded we hand over all our bananas and cucumbers,” a startled prostitute – who wishes to remain unidentified for fear of reprisals. “They physically pulled a huge marrow out of one of our best customer’s arse and forced him to apologise to it and kiss it! He was just a harmless old boy who used to judge local vegetable contests and found that he was turned on by them. It was all just a bit of harmless fun! One of the girl’s did managed to conceal a couple of buttered parsnips from them, though.” Although the VLF claims a theological basis for its campaigns – arguing that as the fall of man was the result of his consuming divine fruit, all fruit and vegetables should be regarded as sacred and off-limits to mortal men – they have found themselves opposed by the popular evangelist Dr Arnold Legsweep. The charismatic minister has been preaching to packed meeting halls up and down the country and regularly denounces fruits and vegetables as being evil and sexually provocative. “You must beware their evil,” he recently told the a rapt audience in Taunton. “It is surely no coincidence that those twisted perverts who seek to have relations with their own sex are referred to as fruits?” With that he collapsed into a twitching heap. After several minutes of convulsive fits he staggered to his feet and continued, ropes of spittle flying from his lips. “The cucumber, the parsnip and especially the banana, they have been devised by Satan himself in the unspeakable image of the male sexual organ! Just like the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, they are devilish temptations to perverted sexual abandon! Only last week I heard of man who had to have his penis amputated when it became infected with evil after he stuck it into a melon! Destroy all fruits and their producers and supporters!” he ranted before collapsing again. Before being stretchered out he was heard to scream, “Beware the banana – it is the Devil’s fruit!”