What the Greggs sausage roll fiasco shows about attitudes to veganism
I appreciate that I’m probably quite late to this Greggs vegan sausage roll debate. I’ve been on my holibobs, sorry! It has also been extremely difficult to actually get one. We went into multiple different Greggs (all in Somerset, albeit, where a good pastry never goes amiss), all who had sold out. But low and behold, we found one at the service station:
I’m not a fan about jumping into a discussion about something without actually knowing what I’m talking about, so I wanted to try it before I voiced my opinion on the outrage. I’ve had veggie sausage rolls before, so this wasn’t too much of a revelation to me. I’ve handmade them and also had Quorn-branded ones. This sausage roll was great in that it had that sink-your-teeth in texture that often is lacking in veggie sausages. It also had a great flaky pastry – although it does stick to the roof of the mouth a bit. Overall though, for an on-the-go vegan product at just a £1 a roll, I think it’s a fab step forward.
What has been annoying me is how people are reacting to it. There has been this increase of negativity towards vegans, which is largely because of this stereotype of them being preachy hippies that will crack you over the head if they see you crack an egg. With everything though, there’s always an extreme. From drinking pink gin to shopping at Primark, sometimes some people go too far (in both these cases it’s often me). But unfortunately, as veganism has become more popular, with over 600k vegans in the UK alone, it seems the country has been getting more angry about them.
I’m not really sure why it’s on the news agenda to stir up hate against veganism? Maybe it’s because they symbolise something popular with young people. Maybe it’s because the news outlets don’t want people wanting to save the environment. Maybe people just don’t like change. But with articles being published such as anti-terror police tackling the growing threat of vegan violence (??? go away Daily Express), arguably news outlets are adhering to people’s want to see articles against vegans.
As a vegetarian of 12 years, I’m used to people waiting for me to preach to them about why they shouldn’t eat meat. Whether this is a friend gingerly eating a ham sandwich in front of me, or someone asking me loads of questions to provoke a reaction, I know that people just have this image in their heads, subconsciously or not. Despite vegetarianism and even veganism becoming mainstream, it’s ridiculous.
This vegan sausage roll to me is more than just a vegan sausage roll. It’s people using it as an excuse to push their annoyance against meat-free people. Most of the time, we don’t do anything to provoke this reaction. There’s a small minority that do, but I’m sure there’s a small minority of meat-eaters that constantly preach about how good meat is and shove it in people’s faces. Yet they don’t get any attention.
Tough tits, Piers Morgan and co. Veganism obviously isn’t going anywhere. In fact, I’d say, it’s on a roll…