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Posters mocking vegetarians sees angry responses in Camden Passage

Anti-vegetarian Mr Borzello has a vegetarian daughter

13 September, 2019 — By Calum Fraser

Bob Borzello: ‘My tolerance level for jokes is pretty high.’

A PRINTER who posted a sign in his window mocking “smug” vegetarians has had his display doctored with angry retorts.

Bob Borzello, 82, who lives in Camden Passage, the famous antique parade in Angel, insists he will refuse to take down his poster showing Adolf Hitler with a segment of orange in place of his moustache and the caption: “A reminder to smug veggies, Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian.”

Several other homemade posters ridicule veganism and vegetarianism.

He said: “If 100 people laugh at a joke and five don’t, do you stop making that joke because of those five people?”

Angry passers-by, however, reacted by adding their own notes.

One scribbled down a message and stuck it on the window. It read: “When did public displays of intolerance towards others’ lifestyle become acceptable in Islington?” Another person has added the word “morons” with an arrow pointing to Mr Borzello’s prints.

One café worker said he had watched many people stop and look at the display. He said that some had laughed, but one person had been so infuriated they said they were going to report it to the council.

Mr Borzello ran his printing business in the shop for 40 years. It is now closed but he still uses the window to display an eclectic mix of objects he has gathered over many years. Other targets for ridicule have been the Queen and George Bush.

“My tolerance level for jokes is pretty high,” he said. “People were obviously offended because they put up a poster next to mine. So I put a little card below it which said: ‘Become a vegan, lose weight and your sense of humour’.”

The posters and flyers were originally printed to tease a “fanatical vegetarian” employee of his, Mr Borzello said. He named his fictional group sponsoring the campaign the “Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Fruit and Vegetables”.

One leaflet has a picture of a lemon on a juicer with the caption: “Hug me, don’t squeeze me! Stop fruit and vegetable abuse now.”

Ironically, Mr Borzello’s daughter, who lives in the flat above the shop window, is a vegetarian.

Mr Borzello was born in Chicago and moved to Camden Passage in 1967. His printing shop was originally called Hang Up Posters but then became Camden Graphics, which he eventually sold.

Mr Borzello calls himself an accumulator, not a collector because “collectors want to keep things in perfect condition” while he will use all his old items.

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