A vegan’s worst nightmare came true as he realized the meatless pizza he thought he ordered was actually made of real ham.
Patrick Hukins, a child-care worker from Sydney, Australia, had asked Domino’s to make him a vegan pie. The budget pizza chain recently added four new plant-based pizza options to their menu — including a Hawaiian option, with supposedly fake ham.
But Hukins knew right away he was getting the real thing.
“I had a horrible sinking feeling. I had eaten an animal. Not eating animals has become a core part of my belief system,” Hukins told Daily Mail Australia.
“I felt shame and pain for the animal,” said the man, who became ill shortly after eating the entire pizza. “And felt guilt for having unknowingly consumed a product that goes against my endeavors to reduce my environmental footprint as well as harm to other animals … I was shocked.”
Hukins said a Domino’s employee had reassured him repeatedly that the topping was not meat.
“I felt betrayed. I have been vegan for 4 years, and having eaten an animal against my knowledge or consent has real thrown me off as I feel my values,” he said.
Daily Mail Australia reached out to Domino’s, and a spokesman said: “We would like to publicly apologize to our customer.”
He continued, “This was an inadvertent mistake, which will be used as a learning opportunity for our team members. Domino’s has a 100-percent customer satisfaction guarantee, and each of our team members works hard to deliver meals that meet our customers’ requirements, including specific dietary needs.”
Domino’s claims to be “one of the largest sellers of vegan food in Australia” with a variety of plant-based options on their menu, as well as considerations for other dietary requirements, such as allergies.
“In a busy store environment we know that mistakes, though uncommon, can happen,” the spokesman added. “Where this is the case, our local store will refund or remake the order as soon as possible.”
Along with the apology, Hukins said he was offered a coupon for a free pizza at Domino’s. Unfortunately, it only covered the cost of a conventional pizza, and not the vegan one.
Domino’s is among the growing number of fast-food chains that is adding plant-based proteins to their menus. That now includes Domino’s rival Pizza Hut, which just announced that they’ll be trying out “Incogmeato” brand’s meat substitute. However, Pizza Hut has also been known to distress vegans. Earlier this year, a vegan was outraged to find his milkshake was not, in fact, milk-free.