Ethical veganism is philosophical belief- Equality Act 2010

Indian Summer

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"Religion or belief" is one of nine "protected characteristics" covered by the Equality Act 2010.

The judge Robin Postle ruled that ethical veganism qualifies as a philosophical belief under the Equality Act 2010 by satisfying several tests - including that it is worthy of respect in a democratic society, not incompatible with human dignity and not conflicting with the fundamental rights of others.
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(3. Jan. 2020)

The ruling is part of a case Jordi Casamitjana has brought against his former employer League Against Cruel Sports after he was sacked. The judge has yet to rule on his actual dismissal.
 
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"The judge ruled that ethical vegans should be entitled to similar legal protections in British workplaces as those who hold religious beliefs. " From the first source.

I wonder then what the specific protections implemented would be, any thoughts? The BBC mentions the checkout till example which has been raised regarding people of the Muslim faith or Sikhs and hard-hats. I've taught English to Children and it would be nice if such a change would allow teachers to avoid or abstain from teaching the "friendly farm trope" or normalise meat eating. Allowing us to opt out of corporate-culture dinners would also be nice.

Rather annoyingly the BBC article has invoked a slippery slope, although I do hope that more philosophical ethical positions are given this legal protection. I don't think inclusions to the protection of ethical beliefs is a negative thing (for example zero-waste or deontological ethics).
 

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I don't know how I feel about this. One part of me says yay power on behalf of animals via human rights. I've been seeing arguments supporting this idea for several years.

On the other hand I don't want veganism to be considered a religion. It is of course fundamentally ethical, for example in a future world where plant based diets were the norm due to environmental reasons vegans would still be eliminating all animal products and testing or exploitation, which is different from a plant based diet.

On the other hand veganism as religion leads to weird ideas not grounded in reality that could actually be dangerous to people or wildlife (like my thread on removing predators). It also creates a space for people to dismiss all of the sciencey arguments for veganism.
 

Forest Nymph

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Don't worry they were gonna do that anyway.

If you Google "vegan sustainable" now you get all sorts of anecdotal articles on how plastic isn't sustainable and it's used for pleather or how regenerative agriculture is the answer because clearly raising cows in a different way causes them to use less land, water and emit less methane (spoiler alert: it actually doesn't).

People are desperate like "no you are wearing that polyester shirt vegan so you're not sustainable!" I just don't want it to get worse. "No you just worship the great Chicken in the Sky and His Son Piglet, saying Hail Cows twice a day, you freak."
 
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Indian Summer

Indian Summer

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On the other hand I don't want veganism to be considered a religion.
The ruling is that ethical veganism fits into the "religion or belief" category of the Equality Act as a philosophical belief. So in the law it's clearly different from religion. Of course, we can't know how laypeople and the media will interpret or portray that, but I'm optimistic.

What I don't like so much is this new-ish innovation of so-called ethical veganism, since in my view all actual veganism is ethical. (Environmental reasons for veganism are also inherently ethical, in my view.) This allows for other kinds of veganism to form and become actual phenomena, like religious or dietary veganism. Maybe this split was inevitable as veganism continues to grow.
 

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The ruling is that ethical veganism fits into the "religion or belief" category of the Equality Act as a philosophical belief. So in the law it's clearly different from religion. Of course, we can't know how laypeople and the media will interpret or portray that, but I'm optimistic.

What I don't like so much is this new-ish innovation of so-called ethical veganism, since in my view all actual veganism is ethical. (Environmental reasons for veganism are also inherently ethical, in my view.) This allows for other kinds of veganism to form and become actual phenomena, like religious or dietary veganism. Maybe this split was inevitable as veganism continues to grow.


I think this is a good thing for two reasons.

1) I like that people follow plant based diets for any reason, but I consider purely dietary vegans to be different and I appreciate the warning and

2) it means veganism is getting bigger. There are so many different sects of major religions, but also of non-religious philosophy like feminism. It's become trendy for young women to say they believe in equal rights but aren't feminist - I'm just like SURELY there's a form of feminism you like, we aren't all Lena Dunham, and we don't all wear pantsuits, there are four waves and multiple branches. ...And veganism could be eventually like that. Radical Veganism, Ecological Veganism, First Wave Animal Rights Vegans, Mainstream Veganism etc. Then you know we've made it. There's already an academic field now called Vegan Studies since 2015.
 
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