In a landmark ruling, an employment tribunal in Norwich has ruled it is illegal to fire someone for being vegan.
The court ruled that ethical veganism is a “philosophical belief” and therefore protected by law.
The court was presiding on the case of Jordi Casamitjana, who said he was fired after raising concerns his employer’s pension fund was being invested into companies involved in animal testing. Casamitjana claimed he was unfairly disciplined for voicing his concerns and that he was fired for his philosophical belief in ethical veganism. Though his former employer alleges he was fired for “gross misconduct”.
Judge Robin Postle ruled that ethical veganism satisfies the tests required for it to be a philosophical belief and is therefore protected under the Equality Act 2010.
This means ethical vegans are entitled to protection from discrimination, just like marginalised groups such as people of colour and LGBT+ people.
What counts as a “philosophical belief” in the UK?
In order to be protected under the Act, a belief must pass a series of tests including being “worthy of respect” in a democratic society, not incompatible with “human dignity” and not “conflicting with fundamental rights of others.”
What are people saying about this?
Predictably for a subject as embedded within the western culture war as veganism, the reactions have mostly fallen along partisan lines.
Lots of people think it’s completely ridiculous.
Whereas others think it’s an important safeguard.
The culture war continues...