Discrimination Against Vegans

Goals

To provide insights into countries and organizations that are doing interesting things to tackle discrimination against vegans and what can be done to change the discrimination against vegans and vegetarians to inform research on a book on the topic.



Early Findings

2010 Equality Act

  • There have been calls for the 2010 Equality Act to address discrimination against vegans in the workforce. Some demands call for veganism to have the same protections as a religion under the revised act. This would see discrimination against vegans in the workplace outlawed and the security of a "protected characteristic" for vegans in the workplace.
  • A senior lawyer from the firm Monaco Solicitors cites this example, "if ever a Jewish or a Muslim was asked to fetch a bacon sandwich, the public reaction to their obvious denial wouldn't bat an eyelid. In comparison, if a vegan were to be asked to buy a pint and make milk tea, a refuse from the vegan, given the fact how the dairy industry tortures the cow, would fetch him/her laughter."
  • The lawyer, a vegan himself, offers free consultations to vegans claiming they have been discriminated in the workplace due to their beliefs.

UK Ruling

  • At the start of 2020, an Employment Tribunal Judge in the UK ruled that British workers who practice ethical veganism are entitled to legal protection from job discrimination. The Judge went on to say that because ethical veganism is a philosophical belief, the protections afforded by the 2010 Equality Act should be extended to these persons.
  • The Judge found that ethical veganism fell under the same section of the Act that dealt with religious discrimination, and given the legal criteria had been met the same protections should be afforded it.
  • The claim was from a man dismissed from the League Against Cruel Sports after raising questions about pension fund investments in companies that tested products on animals. Judge Postle held "the beliefs of ethical vegans to be worthy of respect, compatible with human dignity and not conflicting with the rights of others."

Chilean Research

  • Research completed in 2018 in Chile found that vegans suffer harassment, have issues at work, and often find little or no vegan food available in social settings. As a result, they are forced to contribute to or participate in animal exploitation against their will and beliefs. The research found that this discrimination is often socially visible, but little is done to stop it.

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