When it comes to McDonald’s in India, It looks like not everyone is lovin’ it. Just a few weeks after food delivery app Zomato faced flak for distinguishing some restaurants with a ‘halal’ meat tag, McDonald’s has hopped on to the boycott bandwagon after it declared in a tweet that all its meat is halal certified.
But once other users on Twitter got a whiff of what was going on, the angry replies came charging, with many upset that Ol’ McDonald’s killed its animals using halal, a method often challenged by animal rights activists as causing unnecessary suffering to the animal and which involves killing through a cut to the jugular vein, carotid artery and windpipe, usually carried out according to the Islamic law.
Now, while most people out here are fighting against eating meat entirely or how to kill animals in a more humane way, others, specifically a section of right-wing Hindu extremists on Twitter, are more worried that their go-to burger joint is catering to the minority religion.
It’s ironic enough that the global chain best known for its hamburger is restricted to only chicken and fish options in India, but now people are pissed off that even the meat they get is being cut according to the Muslim norm. That’s why, #BoycottMcdonald’s has been trending on Twitter, with many saying they won’t eat until the restaurant uses the ‘jhatka’ method to instantly kill the animal with a single strike.
While some say McDonald’s is ignoring Hindu sensibilities, others support their argument by saying that such methods are more painful for the animals involved.
Meanwhile, activists point out that this is possibly being used as an opportunity for right-wing Hindus to silently attack the Muslim faith. "It is an absolutely Islamophobic atmosphere which is existing in India now and each and every occasion is used by right-wing Hindus to attack Muslims," Shabnam Hashmi, an activist based in New Delhi, told Al Jazeera.
Even as right-wing groups are vowing to protest and call for a total boycott, a lot of people also kind of don’t care. "As a non-Muslim, I do not care where my chicken is coming from. I am more concerned about the processing it goes through, the packaging, the amount of nutrition and carcinogens it contains," points out New Delhi-based researcher Sushmita. "This everyday pitting of one community against another, in matters that were private earlier, or didn't concern a larger public, is a slow and steady way to try to instil hatred in the very fabric of the society and keep a community always on the edge, so that they feel less and less safe.”
Follow Shamani Joshi on Instagram.