Veganism could 'qualify as a protected belief'
Ethical veganism could be given the status of a protected belief in a landmark British employment tribunal, as experts have said "it is more than just a lifestyle choice".
Jordi Casamitjana, an ethical vegan, has claimed that he was fired by the League Against Cruel Sports after raising concerns that its pension fund was being invested into companies involved in animal testing.
He said he was unfairly disciplined for making the disclosure and that the charity's decision to dismiss him was because of his philosophical belief in ethical veganism.
Unlike dietary vegans who just eat a plant-based diet, ethical vegans exclude all forms of animal exploitation by not wearing clothes made of wool or leather and not using products tested on animals.
Mr Casamitjana's lawyers said ethical veganism "comfortably" satisfies the series of tests required for it to be classed as a philosophical or religious belief, meaning it would be protected under the Equality Act 2010.
These tests include being worthy of respect in a democratic society, not being incompatible with human dignity and not conflicting with fundamental rights of others.
Acting on behalf of Mr Casamitjana, Bindmans LLP solicitor Peter Daly said: "[It] is more than simply a dietary choice. It is a particular and well-defined philosophical view about the relationship between humans and animals."