Following the news that Bunnings is ramping up health and safety regulations for its iconic weekend sausage sizzles – by recommending that onion be placed underneath sausages to prevent any falling out and creating a slipping hazard – PETA has written to the hardware chain to point out that the onions aren’t the real snag for health and safety.
Stray onions on the floor may cause the occasional slip, but it’s the sausage meat that poses the real danger: The World Health Organization has classified processed meat as a carcinogen in the same category as cigarettes.
Researchers estimate that in 2020, 2.4 million people globally will die of causes associated with the consumption of red or processed meat, while the health-care costs for red meat–related illnesses will hit US$285 billion (AU$395 billion). And according to the Cancer Council, around one-third of cancer cases in Australia each year – that’s 37,000 cases – could be prevented through lifestyle change.
Switching to vegan sausages would not only benefit Bunnings’ customers’ health but also spare the lives of animals in the meat industry, who are subjected to daily misery and endure a terrifying and agonising death.
Cows are gentle giants – large in size but sweet in nature. When they’re still quite young, farmers typically brand them with hot irons, cut or burn their horns off, and castrate males by ripping their testicles out – all without painkillers. Curious and clever, cows have been known to go to extraordinary lengths to escape from abattoirs.
Australian farmers also clip or grind down many piglets’ teeth and cut their tails off, without any pain relief. After female pigs give birth, they’re confined to farrowing crates so small that they can’t even turn around, let alone fulfil their strong urge to build a nest as they would naturally do. They’re forcibly impregnated over and over again, and each litter of piglets is torn away from them after only a few weeks and transported to fattening pens before eventually being sent to slaughter.
November is World Vegan Month, so what better time for Bunnings to make this healthy change? There are many meat-free alternatives you can throw on the barbie that have all the flavour of their fleshy counterparts with none of the cholesterol or cruelty to animals.