A Hindu man who claims he mistakenly ate beef after it was labeled as lamb has asked the supermarket responsible to pay for his flights to India so he can be cleansed by priests.
Jaswinder Paul claims he bought a chunk of meat labeled ‘lamb roast’ and was horrified after discovering that it was actually beef.
The barber didn’t find out until after he had cooked it and eaten it – and he claims his family hasn’t talked to him since.
Mr. Paul, from Blenheim, New Zealand, is now demanding the Countdown supermarket pay for a trip to his native India so he can be purified by priests after he broke his religious vow.
Hindus consider the cow to be a sacred symbol of life.
Mr. Paul, who runs his own barber shop, told Stuff.co.nz: “According to my religion, I have to go back to my country and do sacred things for four to six weeks, and be purified by priests, so I can continue on my religious path. It’s a long process.”
Traveling to Delhi, he said, would require him to close his shop and pay thousands for flights, accommodation, and food.
Mr. Paul said he complained to the supermarket and was offered a $200 voucher as a goodwill gesture.
But he refused and asked the company to pay for his trip instead.
That hasn’t happened and he is not considering legal action as a last resort.
He said: “I understand this looks like a simple matter, but for me, this is very hard. I break my religion [vows] because of someone else’s negligence.
“I know my society back from my home will not accept me with this breach of the religion’s conditions.”
It appears Mr. Paul won’t get his way.
A spokeswoman for Countdown told Stuff.co.nz that an in-store labeling error resulted in a pack of beef mince being sold with both beef and lamb labels.
She said the supermarket was sorry for the mistake and respects Mr. Paul’s beliefs, and that the goodwill gesture still stands.
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