Subway, halal meat and inevitable outrage from thick people

1 May 2014

some Subway "subs" earlier. Probably not halal.
some Subway "subs" earlier. Probably not halal.

Whiffy sandwich chain Subway have defended changing the contents of some of its products due to demands by Muslims for meat to comply with Sharia law.

Sandwiches at 185 Subway outlets in Britain and Ireland no longer come with ham or bacon as the pig is regarded as unclean in Islam.

The pork has been replaced by turkey in a move the company hopes will avoid offending Muslim customers. Turkey is halal, or clean, to Muslims.

The branches that have adopted the new policy will sticker such details prominently.

Of course, there are two ways to look at this. One is the 'getting a bit UKIP about it' and writing to the Daily Mail. The other is to look at it from the aspect of Subway being canny and knowing their audience.

Subway is one of the few food chains that seem to have increased its presence on the high street, usually being the only chain in some town centres where even the likes of Costa and Starbucks are still but a fantasy.

That said, should the likes of McDonalds, Burger King and Greggs follow suit?

Halal slaughter can only be carried out by Muslim men, but critics claim it is inhumane as the animal is conscious at the moment of slaughter.

However the EU requires that animals should be stunned before slaughter, but Muslim leaders don't dig that as it goes against the tenets of the Koran.

HEAVEN (OR HELL) FORBID THAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY TAKE A HOLY BOOK SERIOUSLY.

Apparently not stunning something you're about to kill and eat causes unnecessary suffering, but stunning before killing and eating is all very cool.

Ultimately, the animals are the losers and Subway are very much the winners in this scenario regardless of whoever they offend or attract.

Bloody Nora, even we're put off by the idea of meat now, and we LOVE a bit of sausage.

29 comments

  • patrick
    Personally I think kowtowing to religious groups (Jewish/Muslims in this instance) is a bad thing. Subway isn't going to be strictly halal as Subway will be stunning animals prior to slaughter (not allowed under strict halal). Though I guess they've calculated there aren't that many people that'll notice/care that bacon/pork fillings aren't available. I wonder how many muslims are that fussy about eating in strictly halal restaurants - my local McDonalds is always full of muslims despite serving pig based products. Religions (including Christianity) have many outdated rules that people should be gently encouraged to be rational about and ignore. Animal slaughter is a nasty process -- animals can still smell the blood and hear the screams of fear from other animals, so it's still a very stressful process. It's a shame Subway don't expend the effort on coming up with tastier vegetarian options as that'd be a far more effective way of reducing animal suffering.
  • Common s.
    Ian your an apologist idiot. This isn't about UKIP and Daily Mail as you try and stereotype, whats the point in that? Wanting to show how much down with the RMT and socialism are you. Why don't you go to the Guardian comments board if you feel the need to add this drivel to a otherwise very important issue. The facts: The EU says animals should be stun bolted before slaughter - why? Well to avoid cruelty BUT it makes an exception on the grounds of religious reasoning. In short this now becomes a debate ONLY on animal rights and religious rights, to which all people from all sorts of the political spectrum can have an opinion on. Being Halal certified isnt always about slaughter you can buy halal certification on items that don't even contain meat. Halal certification has been linked to organizations that down the chain indirectly support terrorism. ... but yeah long story short, you've clearly just decided to join in the debate to show allegiance and dismissal of certain tabloids... pathetic. If you really want to know about Halal slaughter and why it is disgusting - why people protest it - go watch some slaughter videos on the subject, animals in agony being bled to death! After that then ask yourself is it really just about p***ing off Muslims or is it actually because a large portion of people care about animals. I dont eat any meat now but this was started due to a protest for not wanting to eat Halal meat. Disgusting practice. I'll leave you to decide what paper and party I vote for.
  • Michael H.
    You vote for a paper? Cool.
  • Rob s.
    I think the writer of this articles needs to stare in to the bulging eyes of the animal when it's just had its throat slit and await a painful and fairly slow death.. Nolt to do with Muslims.. It's cruel and should be banned.. I fro want won't touch halal food
  • TVMAN
    Nice one "Common sense"... I gave up eating halal a few years ago and am very happy with this decision I made.
  • warwick h.
    WTF has UKIP got do do with this story ? or is it just fashionable at the moment to slag them off at any given opportunity ?. If subway dont do bacon there are many shops who will welcome you, from today I get mine elswhere.
  • Chiggers
    Actually, around 80% of halal meat in the UK is stunned before being bled. http://blogs.channel4.com/factcheck/factcheck-qa-ban-kosher-halal-slaughter/17877 I know, boring old facts eh?
  • More S.
    Actually, the point is, as usual, being missed here. Customers should be allowed to purchase whatever goods they wish from a store regardless of Religious sidings. Subway should not remove Pork products because it may offend. That is ridiculous. All options should be available, Pork or otherwise. I don't give a shit what Religion people believe in; it's their business but don't enforce them on everyone else. We should all have a choice. What a ridiculous world we live in.
  • Michael H.
    "Common sense" - you do have a choice - buy your unhealthy, tastes like cardboard, unhygenically prepared fast food somewhere else.
  • Mr M.
    There's always been Halal subways throughout the UK for the last 10 or so years, not quite sure why this is a story. You can tell because they put the Halal sticker on the door, easy enough to avoid if your that way inclined. Killing an animal is cruel no matter how you do it, people like to justify their own eating of meat by saying Halal is more cruel, sickening blah blah blah. All meat is murder.... Signed a true meat eater.
  • Geordie
    Truly disgusting that a religious minority can dictated the dietary habits of our once great nation. Enough is enough. Boycott SUBWAY and all barbaric hala outlets. Pork is a basic British food item and supports a huge farming and supply industry. We need to ensure it's future by insisting that out choice of food stuffs is a basic human right. SAY NO TO HALA.
  • Tourism D.
    So how does that smoked applewood (or similar) bacon breakfast sub that's being advertised heavily feature in this plan?
  • Ali B.
    Probably because (like all Subway stores) these are franchise ones that are owned by Muslim owners.
  • Aaron
    Now that 30,000 people are liking a #boycottsubway page and in outrage at subway on their facebook page, I assume you feel a little silly writing this article? And with halal it is worse because they cut the animals throat and let it bleed to death, that's the difference. Rather than a bolt to the head which is immediate and takes place after they have been stunned. It's a million times more humane, that's just the objective truth
  • Furry F.
    TBF the whole industrialised process of murdering other animals is barbaric, whether it is kosher, halal or via "humane" methods.
  • Jake P.
    whilst religious rights and animal rights are both important in modern society the only real losers here are subways profits and the vast pork loving community.
  • Algernon
    Subway is a business, first and foremost. The rest is baloney.
  • Alexis
    Morrisons are the ones to boycott. They sell fully conscious throat-slit killed meat because they "believe in choice". But 'reassure' that their own brand halal is pre-stunned. I don't shop there any more.
  • Alexis
    BTW, I hate UKIP but would vote for them if they promised to ban non-stunned halal.
  • PhilS
    UKIP and the Daily Mail are largely irrelevant to this story really. Setting aside the issue of how animals are killed for a moment, this is just another business decision. These 185 stores, I would take an educated guess at, are in areas that have large numbers of muslims. However, these areas will not be exclusively muslim populated, so it begs a simple question. Why can't Subway serve both sets of people, keeping the foods for each separate? That way, everybody wins. There is a fundamental problem with this particular business decision though that transcends whether somebody it thick or not. That is the fact that this will be seen as a controversial decision and with that in mind, as I have already seen on many a message board, is causing so much consternation that people are going to vote with their wallets and boycott subway outlets. So look at some figures. 4% or so of the population of the UK is muslim. That of course means that 96% isn't and subway may be taking a great gamble with their business model by essentially shutting out the parts of the 96% that live in the areas where the 185 stores are situated. This will result in support from many of those that are sympathetic with being shut out. Regardless of intelligence, the simple fact is that there is a growing resentment of decisions seemingly being made in favour of very small minorities. It doesn't matter whether that is fact or not, it's what people's perceptions are. So subway need to cross it's fingers very tightly as this may end up costing them quite a lot of profit. The public have already shown what they can do with the boycotting of starbucks and have a taste of power. Be very careful they don't use it to destroy the subway business in the UK.
  • Brett
    I love Bacon on my sandwich. I don't like racism or religion. Mmmm bacon
  • JonB
    @PhilS "Why can’t Subway serve both sets of people, keeping the foods for each separate?" Because a premises can't be halal if it serve non-halal food. The company canteen at a previous workplace posted that all chicken was halal, and then someone pointed out that they served bacon from the same kitchen and so annulled the halal-ness of the chicken. You can find more details on halal classification here: http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/y2770e/y2770e08.htm
  • PaulW
    There are 10 Subways in Bradford. If one or two of them are Halal, what's going to happen? The people who must have ham will go to the nearest one that sells ham, the people that don't care will go to the nearest one and the new strict Moslem customers will go to the nearest Halal one. Oh, and a tiny number of people who believe the Daily Mail will go and have a McDonalds. Overall - the number of people eating Subway gets larger - this is a business decision by secular businessmen, nothing more, nothing less. There are 100% vegetarian Subways in India. I assume that that offends anyone who wants to eat cow, sheep, pig, fowl or fish. If not, I suggest you go and look up the word hypocrite.
  • J
    I THINK ITS STUPID AS MUSLIMS DONT EAT THIS AND EAT THAT SO EVERYONE ELSE HAS GOTTA SUFFER FROM IT MAKE IT PURE AND SIMPLE LEAVE IT AS IT IS AS MUSIMS CAN GO ELSE WHERE TO EAT THE FOOD THEY EAT I GO UP LONDON ALOT AND 9 TIMES OUT OF 10 ALL YOU SEE IN RESTRAUNTS AND TAKEAWAY SHOPS IS HALAL WHY CANT THEY GO TERE AND EAT WHAT THEY WANNA EAT INSTEAD OF TAKING IT FROM SUBWAY ITS A FxxKING JOKE THEY WONT GO IN A SUBWAY COZ OF HALAL WELL DONT BNLOODY GO IN THERE
  • Spencer
    So, because a 1400 year old arabic scripture forbids some Muslims from going to their local sandwich shop ... that now the rest of can't either... It's things like this that's driving normally sensible, moderate-minded people into the arms of UKIP. It is public frustration that validates the existence of nationalist movements.
  • Nathan C.
    I don't vote UKIP mand hate the Daily Mail. You might think I am thick but I think people should choose another sandwich if they don't like pork.
  • CRapbag
    @JOnB I was pretty sure that any premises can serve both halal/non-halal, as long as there are separate preparation areas for each to avoid cross-contamination?
  • Big M.
    @JOnB No. Moslem owners are doing this for their Moslem customers. Pretty sure they've done the maths and hope to increase turnover / profit as a result of it. Even if this isn't always the case I just can't understand the, 'Muslims are spoiling this for everyone else' mentality. A sandwich shop has changed its business model - it's hardly the start of Sharia law.
  • Mr M.
    In nearly all Bangladeshi curry houses the chicken will be Halal (less so the Lamb and Beef), are people going to start avoiding these places to?

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