The Vegan Sausage Roll Conspiracy: A Lesson in Correlation

I can’t believe I’m writing about sausage rolls on my mainly-paranormal blog, but okay. The UK bakery giant, Greggs, recently went viral on social media when they launched a vegan sausage roll. Nasty hack Piers Morgan didn’t like this and there was much banter online following his outraged tweet.

Following this and the attention the vegan sausage roll launch gained, many of my skeptic friends started sharing this post from a blog called Zelo Street. In it, the blogger claims that the Piers Morgan anti-vegan sausage roll tweets were part of an orchestrated publicity stunt. The evidence? Apparently, Greggs and Piers Morgan use the same PR firm – Taylor Herring.

The result [of the twitter exchange] was all that a PR agency could wish … So which PR agency might that have been … the finger of suspicion has come to rest on Taylor Herring … Look down their list of clients and there is Piers Morgan … Now scroll up almost to the top and there is Greggs … So where is my Occam’s Razor pointing me right now? This is faux outrage, just to sell a product.

Piers Morgan Greggs Rant A PUBLICITY STUNT | Zelo Street blog, Jan 2019

When so many people in the skeptic movement started sharing this blog post as evidence that we’d been duped, it really piqued my interest, but when this was the only evidence presented I was more than disappointed. Mainly because this evidence isn’t compelling at all. But also because so many of my friends from the skeptic movement had forgotten that fundamental rule that is so often preached at believers:

Correlation does not imply causation.

As first pointed out by Brian Eggo of Glasgow Skeptics (on his personal Facebook page), Piers Morgan was a client of Taylor Herring back in 2005 because the publishers of his book ‘The Insider’ hired them to promote the book. On the other hand, Greggs plc. are a current client of theirs. There is no evidence that I can see to suggest that there is any joint effort between Greggs and Piers Morgan to co-promote a vegan sausage roll through outrage. Morgan has form for being a bit of a knob, and using his outrage as a promo tool seems as though it would be a really bad move, too, when you consider the sort of right-wing gutter-dwellers that seem to follow Morgan and his ilk. Why would a high street bakery chain want to encourage the wrath of people who probably love the occasional steak bake?

The blogger at Zelo Street claimed that they’d used Occam’s razor to arrive at this conclusion, and this is surely just evidence that, as I’ve stated before, Occam’s Razor isn’t fool-proof and can be used to reach irrational conclusions as well as rational ones. Ultimately, the reasoning used to arrive at the conclusion that Piers Morgan was working with Greggs to promote vegan sausage rolls is just illogical. Skeptics need to stop promoting this idea just because it sounds like it could be true and because they don’t like Piers Morgan. Where have your critical thinking skills gone?

A sausage roll conspiracy? The evidence is… flaky 😎

About Hayley Stevens 448 Articles
Hayley is a ghost geek and started to blog in 2007. She uses scientific scepticism to investigate weird stuff and writes about it here while also speaking publicly about how to hunt ghosts as a skeptic.

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