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03rd Jan 2020

UK court rules veganism is a philosophical belief and is therefore protected under law

Louise Carroll

Veganism is a philosophical and religious belief according to a UK court and is therefore protected by law.

The employment tribunal that began on Thursday has today ruled that veganism is indeed a philosophical and religious belief, receiving protection under The Equality Act 2010.

This means ethical vegans (people who choose to eat a plant-based diet but who also avoid leather, wool and products tested on animals or that exploit animals) will receive protections from discrimination.

The ruling comes after ‘ethical vegan’ Jordi Casamitjana said he was dismissed from his job at the League Against Cruel Sports due to his philosophical beliefs.

The charity maintains Mr Casamitjana was dismissed due to ‘gross misconduct.’

Mr Casamitjana, 55, realised the animal charity’s pension fund was being invested in companies that were testing on animals and believes he was dismissed because he made his colleagues aware of this. The League Against Cruel Sports says the former employee’s beliefs were not the reason for his dismissal.

During the landmark case in Norwich, Judge Robin Postle ruled that ethical veganism satisfies the tests laid out to fall under The Equality Act 2010, giving veganism the same protections as religion in the UK. According to Sky News, the judge said veganism was “important” and “worthy” of respect in a democratic society.

This hearing was separate to the hearing that will take place in the near future over the reasons for Mr Casamitjana’s dismissal. The hearing this week does, however, rule that veganism is a protected belief in the UK.

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