In this file:


·         Vegan fundamentalism or how to not produce animal protein

·         ‘Ethical Veganism’ Is a Philosophical Belief, British Court Rules



Vegan fundamentalism or how to not produce animal protein


Benjamín Ruiz, WATT AgNet

January 8, 2020


Last week in England, a labor court ruled that veganism is “a philosophical belief or way of life.” As such, it must be protected under the U.K. Equality Act. This was the result of a job layoff considered discriminatory, which the defendant attributes to his firm vegan convictions.


As it was a labor court, the El Pais article I read on the topic mentions possible implications of the ruling: What if a cashier at a supermarket refuses to ring up meat products for the customer? My imagination flew and I thought: What if a worker at a processing plant refuses to cut a chicken's neck? Machines can perform that work, although someone can refuse to turn on the machine.


The defenders of this case speak of a “culture of respect for the convictions of the employees when performing their work.” It makes me wonder, if they don't want the misfortune that undermines their convictions, why did they choose to work there? For example, I would never be a car mechanic, because I know nothing about nor do I like mechanics!  But we need car mechanics! And, there are so many other things I don't like or agree with. But what about the convictions, or hunger, of those who want meat or buy meat?


Animal production cannot compete with a “philosophical belief.” Nor vice versa. Let me explain myself...





‘Ethical Veganism’ Is a Philosophical Belief, British Court Rules

A judge said that ethical vegans are entitled to similar protection in the workplace as those holding religious beliefs.


By Elian Peltier, The New York Times

Jan. 3, 2020


LONDON — A British court ruled on Friday that ethical veganism is a philosophical belief that should be protected against workplace discrimination, in a landmark decision sought by a vegan who claimed he had been unfairly dismissed from his job because of it.


The complainant, Jordi Casamitjana, argued that his employer, the League Against Cruel Sports, fired him after he raised concerns about his pension fund investing in companies involved in animal testing.


In addition to not eating animal products, ethical vegans reject all forms of animal exploitation, and usually refuse to wear wool or leather, or to use products tested on animals.


On Friday, judge Robin Postle at the employment tribunal in Norwich, in eastern England, ruled that ethical veganism qualifies under Britain’s Equality Act as a philosophical belief and that those embracing it are entitled to similar protection as those who hold religious beliefs.


Under the Equality Act, which was passed in 2010, individuals practicing a religion or holding other belief systems are protected from discrimination in the workplace, if those beliefs are compatible with human dignity and don’t conflict with the fundamental rights of others.


Judge Postle’s ruling didn’t determine whether Mr. Casamitjana was dismissed because of his veganism. The tribunal is expected to address that issue in a hearing scheduled for late February.


The League Against Cruel Sports is an animal welfare charity that opposes hunting, fighting and bird shooting. Mr. Casamitjana, 55, is a zoologist specializing in animal behavior who worked as an investigator for the league. He documented cases of violations of the Hunting Act, which in 2004 banned hunting of wild mammals with dogs in England and Wales.


A lawyer representing the league, Rhys Wyborn, called the ruling “an interesting point of law,” but said the league maintained that Mr. Casamitjana was dismissed “due to his misconduct and not to the belief he holds.”


Mr. Casamitjana’s lawyer, Peter Daly, said on Friday that the ruling could lead to more employee protection in the workplace, or in education.


Other experts went further. “Following this decision, employers need to be alert to the risk of discriminating against people who hold beliefs that traditionally might not have been considered to be protected under employment law,” said Hayley Trovato, a legal expert at OGR Stock Denton Solicitors. Besides veganism, Ms. Trovato added, such beliefs could include pacifism.


A growing number of people have become vegetarian or vegan in recent years, citing dietary, environmental and ethical reasons. Those citing ethical reasons argue that humans shouldn’t exploit or eat animals but rather protect them…