A fired British vegan is bringing a landmark discrimination case to decide if veganism is a 'religious belief'
- Vegan Jordi Casamitjana claims he was fired for his ethical veganism beliefs and has brought a landmark discrimination case to a British employment tribunal, as reported by the BBC.
- A panel will decide on Thursday, January 2 if veganism is a "philosophical or religious belief" and should be protected under the UK's Equality Act 2010.
- The BBC also reports Casamitjana was concerned that his employers, the League Against Cruel Sports, invested pension funds in firms that were involved in animal testing. When nothing was done about it after speaking to bosses he then told his colleagues, which he claims resulted in an unfair disciplinary and firing.
- The organisation says he was fired for gross misconduct and are not contesting veganism as a protected status, according to the BBC.
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British vegan Jordi Casamitjana is at the centre of a landmark legal hearing on Thursday, January 2, where an employment tribunal panel will decide if the vegan movement is a "philosophical or religious belief," according to the BBC.
If veganism is decided to be a belief akin with religion, it would be the first time the intention of refraining from using animal products could be protected under the UK's Equality Act 2010.
Casamitjana claimed he was unfairly disciplined and fired from the League Against Cruel Sports because of practicing ethical veganism.
He drew bosses' attention to concerns that the charity invested pension funds in firms that were involved in animal testing. When nothing was done about it, Casamitjana shared the information with colleagues and was then fired, the BBC reports.
According to the BBC, the animal welfare charity says he was dismissed for gross misconduct.
Describing ethical veganism in an article on the BBC as something which impacts his everyday life, Casamitjana will, for example, walk instead of catching a bus to avoid any crashes with insects or birds, as well as excluding any products made from animal exploitation like wool, leather, and animal testing.
The BBC also reports ethical vegans refer to pets as "animal companions" and steer clear of going to zoos.
Both dietary and ethical vegans consume a plant-based diet.
An employment tribunal panel in Norwich will determine on Thursday if ethical veganism should be considered a "philosophical or religious belief" and come under the Equality Act 2010 protection which covers discrimination in employment, education and the provision of goods and services in the UK.
Casamitjana's solicitor Peter Daly, of Slater and Gordon, told the BBC: "Ethical veganism is a philosophical belief held by a significant and growing portion of the population in the UK and around the world.
"The case we have prepared sets out how the belief in principle, and how Jordi's particular interpretations of it, comprehensively meet the required legal test."
The league is not contesting Casamitjana's case for veganism as a protected status, with a spokesperson commenting: "The League Against Cruel Sports is an inclusive employer, and as this is a hearing to decide whether veganism should be a protected status, something which the league does not contest, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further."
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