Vegan slams cancer walk sausage sizzle

Set an example, says Bridget Murphy. PHOTO: PHILIP CHANDLER
Set an example, says Bridget Murphy. PHOTO: PHILIP CHANDLER

A Queenstowner is sizzling with rage that a cancer charity-organised walk gave away potentially cancer-causing sausages at the finish line.

Breast Cancer Foundation NZ attracted about 450 people to its inaugural Pink Star Walk fundraiser in Queenstown last Sunday.

Bridget Murphy, who’s a vegan, says sausages are “the worst possible meat you could eat”, and points out the foundation’s own website posts a warning about processed meat and the risk of cancer.

“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.”

But Breast Cancer Foundation NZ’s research and communications manager Adele Gautier bites back at Murphy’s criticisms.

Gautier says 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.

“It’s a fine idea to have an occasional sausage sizzle - we don’t see a problem,” Gautier says.

Breast Cancer Foundation NZ says sausages like other processed foods can be enjoyed as part of a...
Breast Cancer Foundation NZ says sausages like other processed foods can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet. Photo: Getty Images
Murphy says when she spoke to the foundation’s representative at the event, in Queenstown Gardens, she was “nothing but defensive”.

“She said, ‘well, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says you can have a little bit of processed food, and I said, ‘what, so we can get a little bit of cancer?’

“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.”

Murphy accepts that sausage sizzles and BBQs are a Kiwi tradition.

“Just because it’s something we’ve always done doesn’t mean you have to continue doing it.”

She denies she’s being a bit extreme - “so is cancer extreme”.

However she does commend organisers for also handing out apples at the finish line.

Gautier says: “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.”

Managing weight is paramount, she says, as obesity is a risk factor for breast cancer.

“We also recognise that as part of a balanced diet, a treat food is a part of that, and that’s how we see a sausage sizzle."

Gautier also notes that participants were offered apples and gluten-free chips, too.

“If, say, you were going to eat an apple and a sausage, it feels like balance to me.”

Murphy says she had no problem with The Hits radio station representative who ran the sizzle.

“Once I pointed it out he was like, ‘you know what, I had never even connected those dots’.”

Gautier, meanwhile, is delighted with the success of Queenstown’s first Pink Star Walk.


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"I feel it’s so bad for you".

Key point there. She *feels* it is bad for you - WHO has clear ideas on the chances of cancer emerging as a result of processed meat consumption and it increases when you increase the intake. Comparing it to giving everyone a cigarette is disingenuous, given sausages have nutritional value. A poor family can feed their children with a pack of sausages, cigarettes offer nothing positive.

Context. Don't get a nice banger encased in sheep intestine.

Oh for the love of . . . , no one is forcing her to have a sausage! They had other options to eat. Typical vegan. Can't be happy unless they are preaching the evils of the dietary world upon non-vegans.

Why do people like Ms. Murphy think they are entitled to preach to other people about their lifestyle choices? Ms. Murphy needs to recognize that her lifestyle choice is not mine! Veganism is a lifestyle choice. Like many people, I am sick and tired of the holier than thou vegans demanding that the rest of us follow their lifestyle choices. Maybe the meat-eaters should start reminding the vegans that they are destroying the plants that provide the oxygen for our bodies. It is a scientific fact that many vegans – no offense – are some of the most unhealthy people in the world, effectively shortening their lives and courting illness, which in turn increases the burden on the rest of us. I suggest people like Murphy focus a little more on their own problems before they start lecturing the rest of us!

Bizzare, but not quite as bizarre as the SPCA having a sausage sizzle (which it's done in the past).

Ms Gautier is in denial land — waffling about not having sausages every day and totally missing the point about sending an inappropriate signal.

Nothing wrong about eating bits of dead animals.
Pretty typical though of vege's and vegans trying to hassle those who do enjoy eating dead animals.

It's funny how our reactions to almost everything have polarised and become more extreme in recent times. Chill out people, a divided populous plays right into the hands of extremists of all stripes.

Vegans don't have the energy to slam anything

Man. I'm a really careful ovo-lacto-veggie (I do eat eggs and milk). I agree the more processed things are the higher the risks they carry... but hells bells, besides the fact Bridget's possibly messaging this from a device surrounded by wifi radiation, which I'd consider equally likely to be detrimental... a fundraiser at which people who are carrying grief over related loses is NOT the place for her personal soapbox. Very insensitive of her and possibly she's done more damage for those choosing to remove animal products from their diet than good.

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