LONDON: A British judge ruled on Friday that ethical veganism is a philosophical belief and is protected under anti-discrimination laws.

The ruling came as part of an employment tribunal being heard in Norwich, eastern England, between Jordi Casamitjana and his former employers the League Against Cruel Sports, a group that campaigns against blood sports such as recreational hunting.

The decision “will influence the life of many vegans”, said Casamitjana, who declined to discuss the rest of the ongoing case for legal reasons.

Judge Robin Postle determined that ethical veganism meets the tests required to be a philosophical belief and is therefore protected under the Equality Act 2010.

Ethical vegans follow a vegan diet but also exclude animal-derived products such as wool and leather from their daily lives.

They also try to abstain from using items such as cosmetics that underwent animal testing.

Spanish-born Casamitjana, 55, says he was fired from an animal welfare charity for raising concerns about its pension fund’s alleged investment in companies that use animal testing.

He claims he was unfairly disciplined for making this disclosure and that his dismissal by the League Against Cruel Sports was due to his vegan beliefs.

Published in Dawn, January 4th, 2020