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What Ethical Veganism Ruling Means For Business Owners

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This ruling will have important and far-reaching effects. 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.

SAM RIDER: ‘On 3rd January 2020, a UK employment tribunal found in favour of Jordi Casamitjana, who claims he was sacked by the League Against Cruel Sports because of his ethical veganism. The court ruled that ethical veganism satisfies the tests required for it to be considered a philosophical belief under the Equality Act 2010, meaning ethical vegans could be entitled to protection from discrimination in the workplace.

The Vegan Society’s legal expert Jeanette Rowley told Welltodo she believes the decision will ensure vegans are provided for in the workplace, in public sector institutions and elsewhere. “If attending a catered work lunch a vegan has the right to be served vegan food,” she said. “If in hospital, a vegan has the right to be served vegan food. If leather shoes are required as part of the uniform, the company should look into providing a vegan alternative.”

Rowley emphasised the ruling concerns only ethical vegans “who live according to their deeply held ethical conviction that using animals is wrong” rather than someone following a plant-based diet for Veganuary or someone who follows a vegan diet but uses animals in other ways of life, such as by wearing leather. However, she did suggest the case could encourage people who are looking to embrace a fully vegan lifestyle to do so with conviction…

Vegan principles are influencing major retail sectors ranging from food, fashion, cosmetics and even real estate… “This ruling will have important and far-reaching effects,” commented the BBC’s legal correspondent Clive Coleman. “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.”

Countering, Rowley said: “It’s not about prioritising vegans or putting us on a special pedestal. It’s making sure that vegan needs are accommodated by employers where possible, in a similar way that religious needs are accommodated, for example by building prayer rooms or providing suitable food for Muslims or Jews”… “A society that respects veganism and accommodates vegans also gives expression to the undisputed moral standing and rights of non-human animals,” added Rowley’.  SOURCE…

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