Veganism a protected right
Veganism has been deemed a philosophical belief to be protected by law. In a landmark decision, a judge presiding over an unfair workplace dismissal case in the UK has ruled that ethical vegans should have similar legal protections as people with religious beliefs. The case came before an employment tribunal after Jordi Casamitjana was sacked from an animal welfare charity after raising concerns about its pension fund, which he discovered invested in companies involved in animal testing.
In a press statement, Casamitjana said, “I am not alone. Many people have supported me because they, or their friends, have experienced discrimination for being ethical vegans. Hopefully, from my dismissal, something positive will come by ensuring other ethical vegans are better protected in the future.” As well as adhering strictly to a plant-based diet, ethical vegans also avoid all animal-derived products.
Announcing his ruling, the judge declared that ethical veganism satisfied the measures laid out in the UK’s Equality Act 2010. “Clearly in my view [veganism] meets all the criteria,” said the judge. “It is a philosophical belief, not just an opinion. It is cogent, serious and important, and worthy of respect in democratic society.” The decision means that, from now on, British employers will have to respect ethical veganism and ensure they do not discriminate against employees who hold such views. That right to respect and protection against discrimination will apply beyond the workplace reaching into areas such as education, and the service industry.
“I’m extremely happy with the outcome of this hearing and for the words of the judge who clearly understood what ethical veganism is,” said Casamitjana. “The overwhelming weight of the evidence we have provided seems to have been sufficient for the judge to conclude that I'm the ethical vegan I say I am, and that ethical veganism is a protected non-religious philosophical belief.”
Above Jordi Casamitjana