Veganism could be protected by law as a ‘philosophical belief’ similar to a religion, after a vegan claimed he was fired for his views.
Former employee of League Against Cruel Sports, Jordi Casamitjana, argues he was discriminated against for being vegan.
He claimed he was fired after he exposed the charity to other employees for investing its pension funds in firms involved in animal testing.
A tribunal will decide if his vegan beliefs should be protected by law, in a landmark ruling for vegans across the UK.
The League Against Cruel Sports has dismissed the claims of Casamitjana, explaining he was fired for gross misconduct.
Next March an employment tribunal will decide for the first time if veganism is a philosophical belief to be protected by law.
The Equality Act 2010 protects ‘religions and beliefs’ with equal weight as age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, sex and sexual orientation.
It is illegal for employers to discriminate against employees because of their religion or belief.
Louise Davies, head of campaigns, policy and research at The Vegan Society, told Totally Vegan Buzz: “The Vegan Society is supporting the hearing to determine the question of whether Ethical Veganism is philosophical belief under the Equality Act 2010.
“For many people, veganism is a deeply held belief. This could be a landmark ruling that will not only recognise the validity and importance of veganism, but also confirm that the needs of vegans in their employment and their everyday lives must be taken seriously.”
Casamitjana describes himself as an ‘ethical vegan’.
“Some people only eat a vegan diet but they don’t care about the environment or the animals, they only care about their health,” he told the BBC:
“I care about the animals and the environment and my health and everything.
“That’s why I use this term ‘ethical veganism’ because for me veganism is a belief and affects every single aspect of my life.”
The term ‘ethical vegan’ is often used by vegans who, in addition to following a plant-based diet, do not wear clothes made of wool or leather, use any products tested on animals or visit zoos in order to avoid all forms of animal exploitation.
Casamitjana has claimed he discovered the animal welfare charity was investing its pension fund in companies that carry out animal testing.
He said when he informed managers nothing was done, which led him to tell other employees, and he was then fired.
Casamitjana claims he was therefore discriminated against for his veganism.
The League Against Cruel Sports said in a statement: “Mr Casamitjana was dismissed from his position because of gross misconduct.
“To link his dismissal with issues pertaining to veganism is factually wrong.
“Mr Casamitjana is seeking to use his veganism as the reason for his dismissal. We emphatically reject this claim.”
To qualify as a philosophical belief, veganism must be genuine, be a weighty and substantial aspect of human life and behaviour and attain a level of cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance.
It must also be deemed worthy of respect in a democratic society, not be incompatible with human dignity and not conflict with the fundamental rights of others.
Casamitjana’s solicitor, Peter Daly, of Bindmans LLP, told the BBC: “If we are successful, we will achieve a judgment which formally recognises the protected status of ethical veganism and which could then be used as the basis to combat discrimination against vegans in employment, in the provision of goods and services, and in education.”
What do you think of this landmark ruling? Tell us in the comments section below!
Vegan culture, food, beauty & more
- Mohsina Dodhiya
- 13th January 2021
The city ranked just above London, Edinburgh, and Belfast as one of the top cities for vegans. Bristol has earned the top spot of being the most vegan-friendly city in the UK, according to new research. With over 1 million Brits now taking up a plant-based lifestyle – with many inspired by Veganuary- the study …
- Mohsina Dodhiya
- 1st January 2021
“All of us congratulate him on this well-deserved recognition of his achievements and look forward to seeing more of his brilliance in 2021.” Lewis Hamilton has added another feather to his cap after he was knighted in the UK’s New Year Honours List, officially declared on Wednesday evening. The honour, which is in recognition of …
All the quizzes you love to binge!
- Marlon Farrugia
- 10th January 2020
How much vegan knowledge do you have stored away? Do you have to Google your way through a shopping trip, or do you have all the bad E-numbers memorised? Find out now with this quiz. Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a dedicated vegan for many years, and …
- Marlon Farrugia
- 13th October 2019
Spook Season approaches. There will be ghosts, goblins, ghouls, and glucose. You need a costume, and you want to it to show off your personality, which means VEGAN. But what to choose? Take our quiz to find out your perfect outfit. Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a …
- Marlon Farrugia
- 26th September 2019
“If you were a vegetable, what kind would you be?” A question that has tormented humanity throughout the ages – until now. Read: QUIZ: If you score 19/20 on THIS quiz, you’re a Vegan God Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a dedicated vegan for many years, and …