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Utopia Talk / Politics / Ethical veganism is philosophical belief
Fri Jan 03 14:14:41
Well done Seb!


Ethical veganism is philosophical belief, tribunal rules

3 hours ago

Ethical veganism is a "philosophical belief" and so is protected in law, a tribunal has ruled for the first time.

The landmark legal case was brought by vegan Jordi Casamitjana, who claims he was sacked by the League Against Cruel Sports because of his ethical veganism.

His former employer says he was dismissed for gross misconduct.

The judge ruled that ethical vegans should be entitled to similar legal protections in British workplaces as those who hold religious beliefs.

He is yet to rule on Mr Casamitjana's dismissal - which is due at a later date.

Mr Casamitjana, 55, who lives in London, said he was "extremely happy" with the ruling - which is ongoing - adding that he hopes fellow vegans "will benefit".

The tribunal centres on his claim that he was sacked by the animal welfare charity League Against Cruel Sports after disclosing it invested pension funds in firms involved in animal testing.

Mr Casamitjana says when he drew his bosses' attention to the pension fund investments, they did nothing so he informed colleagues and was sacked as a result.

The League Against Cruel Sports says it is "factually wrong" to link Mr Casamitjana's dismissal to his veganism. The charity did not contest that ethical veganism should be protected.

A vegan is someone who does not eat or use animal products.

Some people choose to simply follow a vegan diet - that is, a plant-based diet avoiding all animal products such as dairy, eggs, honey, meat and fish.

But ethical vegans try to exclude all forms of animal exploitation from their lifestyle. For instance, they avoid wearing or buying clothing made from wool or leather, or toiletries from companies that carry out animal testing.

"Religion or belief" is one of nine "protected characteristics" covered by the Equality Act 2010.

The judge Robin Postle ruled that ethical veganism qualifies as a philosophical belief under the Equality Act 2010 by satisfying several tests - including that it is worthy of respect in a democratic society, not incompatible with human dignity and not conflicting with the fundamental rights of others.

At the tribunal in Norwich on Friday, the judge said in his ruling that ethical veganism was "important" and "worthy" of respect in a democratic society.

He said: "I am satisfied overwhelmingly that ethical veganism does constitute a philosophical belief."

Analysis: Far-reaching effects

By BBC legal correspondent Clive Coleman

Though a ruling from an employment tribunal does not amount to binding legal precedent, this one will have important and far-reaching effects.

Employers will have to respect ethical veganism and make sure they do not discriminate against employees for their beliefs.

So, for example, could a worker on a supermarket checkout refuse to put a meat product through the till?

The implications are considerable, not least because the legal protection will apply beyond employment, in areas such as education and the supply of goods and services.

It could also encourage others to seek similar protection for their philosophical beliefs.

While this is the first case concerning ethical veganism, a previous tribunal ruled that a strongly held belief in climate change amounted to a philosophical belief capable of protecting someone against discrimination in their employment.
Fri Jan 03 18:26:45
This reminded me a a person in Colorado who threatened to sue to smoke pot saying he was Rastafarian. When they informed him he would also be expected to follow the diet he changed his mind so it didn't go to court.
Sun Jan 05 17:04:37
What you said must be lacking a lot of details, I find it difficult to believe that a court decides what parts of a religion you must follow to pass as an adherent. Would be quite the Pandora's box.
Sun Jan 05 23:40:36
It didn't get to the courts. If it had I am guessing he would have lost. Basically he wanted to smoke pot while in jail. One of the county deputies explained to him what the typical Rastafarian diet is and somewhere in the conversation the guy decided maybe the religion wasn't for him.
Tue Jan 07 09:55:19
Someone should explain to him that he is free to create his own religion. Is it possible to write a letter to him? He could just have created his own religion, a new branch of Rastafarian where you can eat whatever you like, but you are required to smoke pot at least three times per day.
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