National Comment Comment

Since when were sausage rolls vegan products?

Although it does pain me to say it, Piers Morgan has a point about Greggs' controversial new vegan sausage rolls


I am not anti-vegan and I am definitely not Piers Morgan. However, the term “sausage” in Greggs’ new vegan sausage roll that has arrived on campus, is illogical. Why should vegans use an inaccurate term that undermines their ethical principles?

It is amazing that there are over three million vegans in this country and a record number of individuals signing up to Veganuary: moving towards a plant-based diet for the New Year by swapping their sausage roll for a vegan alternative. It is doubly impressive that this is all in order to reduce our negative impact on the environment.Not only do they reduce the number of pigs slaughtered and preserve their population, the mycoprotein (protein substitute to meat) that vegans eat also has a smaller carbon footprint.

There is ten times less carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere from the production of mycoprotein than that of beef, and the average water footprint is 20 times lower than from rearing livestock.But is the term “sausage roll” undermining these heroic acts towards the environment? The Quorn filled vegan sausage roll launched by Greggs across the nation on 3 January and distributed across 950 stores nationwide have influenced people to pursue a dictionary check on their definition of meat substances.

Although a wonderful marketing ploy that has been called: "a master class in public relations" by the industry magazine PR Week, the term “sausage” is defined as: “an item of food in the form of a cylindrical length of minced pork or other meat encased in a skin, typically sold raw to be grilled or fried before eating” definitely not a product found in a vegan recipe book.

Although most of us can read (I hope so, as most of you are reading this article), confusion is going to develop as meat products become substituted on the shelves with a mycoprotein option. Should we turn to the terminology that is being used and form different phraseology to prevent confusion across the nation and help vegans show their environmental footprint?

Greggs is not the only company producing vegan alternatives, with Sainsbury's introducing vegan shrimps that look identical to the meat version. As a vegan are you not put off?

I understand those who are wanting to reduce their meat in-take, and so become vegan to sup-port the environment, buying meat look-alike products to help with their transition. Yet, PETA urges people to “err on the side of compassion” to reduce their meat intake by not experimenting, eating or wearing animals which contradicts people eating protein look-alikes.

Individuals do not want to harm animals but have to have an animal look-alike to enjoy the product. According to this, then: does this mean they are unable to be fully vegan? It is unfair to plaster the words, "sausage", "duck" and "shrimps" on a product made of mycoprotein to satisfy an individual cutting it from their life as it goes against the vegan ethos.

Therefore, terminology should be considered in this new age of healthier living. Products should be re-branded as a "protein roll" or fol-low D-Bar’s example and sell a "vegan roll".

It is important to consider the environment and where our food comes from, but it has to be said  that there are better ways of selling healthier options than sticking the word "vegan" in front of a word that is defined as a meat product, yet contains no meat.

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1 Comment

Angela Posted on Thursday 28 Jan 2021

Are you serious? Vegan and veggie “sausages”, “burgers”, “cutlets” etc have been around for a good 15-20 years that I’m aware of and no one whines about them being described using “an inaccurate term that undermines their ethical principles”. \n\nAs a household who have spent many years being Veggie and Vegan, we do not give two hoots about how these products are described. Some people like the taste of these meat-substitutes, others don’t. It’s no different to how some people like bananas and others don’t. \n\nPeople are too quick to get offended over nothing important, and rubbish like this just propagates it. As a “journalist” you should know better and do better.