Vegan Says Charity Handing Out Free Sausages ‘Might As Well Give Everyone A Cigarette’

by : Emily Brown on : 17 Oct 2019 11:31
Vegan Says Charity Handing Out Free Sausages 'Might As Well Give Everyone A Cigarette'Vegan Says Charity Handing Out Free Sausages 'Might As Well Give Everyone A Cigarette'Bridget Murphy/Facebook/PA Images

A vegan was outraged to learn a breast cancer charity was handing out free sausages at an event, arguing they ‘might as well give everyone a cigarette’. 

The Pink Star Walk fundraiser by Breast Cancer Foundation NZ attracted around 450 people when it was held in Queenstown, New Zealand last Sunday (October 13).

Bridget Murphy was among the crowd supporting the charity, but when she heard the Breast Cancer Foundation encouraging attendees to enjoy one of the free sausages they were handing out Murphy thought they were joking.

Frying sausagesFrying sausagesPixabay

The vegan told the Otago Daily Times sausages are ‘the worst possible meat you could eat’ because processed meat has been linked to cancer.

Recalling the situation, Murphy said:

When the announcer said, ‘Go for your walk, ladies, and come back and have a sausage’, I just burst out laughing in front of my whole group.

I said, ‘Surely he’s joking’. It just horrified me that they had a stage there to educate people, and they just didn’t do their job.

Vegan outraged at cancer charity serving sausagesVegan outraged at cancer charity serving sausagesBridget Murphy/Facebook

The New Zealander approached the foundation’s representative at the event but the woman was ‘nothing but defensive’, Murphy claimed.

The representative reportedly justified the sausages by saying, ‘The World Health Organisation (WHO) says you can have a little bit of processed food’, to which Murphy responded, ‘What, so we can get a little bit of cancer?’

Murphy added:


It’s absolute rubbish. You might as well give everyone a cigarette to go with their sausage.

I feel it’s so bad for you and none of us are waking up to it, and unless we do we are going to be sick and diseased and our healthcare system just cannot keep up.

According to the Otago Daily Times, Breast Cancer Foundation NZ’s research and communications manager, Adele Gautier, hit back at Murphy’s criticisms, saying sausages can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet as the bowel cancer risk is associated with how much processed meat you consume on a daily basis.

Gautier commented:


It’s a fine idea to have an occasional sausage sizzle – we don’t see a problem.

The facts are, yes, the WHO does say that processed meat can cause bowel cancer, and that risk is to do with how much you eat on a daily basis.

Obviously, most of us aren’t doing sausage sizzles every day. We recommend a balanced diet.

SausagesSausagesPA Images

Murphy pointed out the contradictory stance of the charity, who warn about processed meat and the risk of cancer on their own website.

Citing a report from the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) about recommendations for cancer prevention, they write:


Limit your intake of red meat (beef, pork and lamb – no more than 300 gms per week) and avoid processed meat (meat preserved by smoking, curing, salting or chemicals).

‘Sausage sizzles’ and BBQs are traditional in New Zealand but the vegan argued locals don’t have to continue doing it ‘just because it’s something we’ve always done’.

Murphy denied being extreme about the issue, commenting:

So is cancer extreme[?]

Gautier noted participants at the fundraiser were offered apples and gluten-free chips as well as sausages, saying eating an apple and a sausage would have been an example of balance.

The research and communications manager added managing weight is paramount as obesity is a risk factor for breast cancer.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact Macmillan’s Cancer Support Line on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday – Friday, 9am – 8pm).

Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Health, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Charity, New Zealand, Vegan


Otago Daily Times and 1 other
  1. Otago Daily Times

    Vegan slams cancer walk sausage sizzle

  2. Breast Cancer Foundation NZ