Flat White

Dear vegans, you don’t have more rights than any udders

7 January 2020

5:00 AM

7 January 2020

5:00 AM

Democracy allows choice and freedom. 

From the land that has finally delivered Brexit, the next battleground is as eyeraising as it is surprising. 2020 is already in a league of its own. 

A landmark Employment Tribunal ruling has now decreed that harassing ‘ethical vegans’ at work is the same as abusing people on the basis of their race, gender or religion. Seriously, I am not making this up!!! 

For all us conservative media commentators, I wonder if we can launch a class action against the Trolls who have harassed ‘ethical conservatives’ as we go about our daily work? Just sayin’! 

‘Ethical Vegans’ adhere to a strict plant-based diet, like dietary vegans, but they go further and avoid anything that involves the exploitation of animals. 

And that is fine. I do not have a problem with that. That is their free will that millions fought and died for.  

What I do have a problem with is the Pandora’s Box which will now be opened in this next chapter of political correctness. 

Jordi Casamitjana claimed he was sacked when he warned colleagues their pension fund was being invested in firms involved with animal testing. 

The 55-year old had alleged he was unfairly dismissed by the League Against Cruel Sports because of his deeply held convictions, which he said require him to actively promote his values. 

The judgement means he and his ethical vegan comrades share the same rights provided to people on the basis of characteristics including age, sex, race, disability and sexual orientation. 

The Employment Tribunal Judge Robin Postle said the principles were “genuinely held as well as clearly cogent and worthy of respect” so should be protected under the Equality Act 2010 and said ‘it was clearly a view that meets all requirements of a philosophical belief.” 

Now all this is well and good and is a ‘feelgood moment’ for all ethical vegans but the precedent has wide implications and could include ethical vegans accusing a hotel of not catering to their needs, or complaining about hospital food if they were in there as a patient. It has been also been suggested that ethical vegans may also be able to take action against bosses for failing to stop colleagues from poking fun at them! 

My goodness! Where will this end? 

If you are an ‘ethical vegan’ working in a newsroom, good luck mate! Just get on and do your job. 

If you worked for a British based firm in the Middle East as an ‘ethical vegan’ ex-pat, you reckon you’d even be able to launch a case like this? Of course not! 

Are you going to do the right thing and help put your employer on a level playing field before launching legal action against the person and firm that has taken a chance on you and given you a job helping you to pay your bills and live the way you want? 

Or are you going to hoodwink everyone in that workplace with your beliefs and then turn around and launch a discrimination claim? 

Come on. Grow up! 

What’s going to be next?  

Ethical vegan families suing state government schools for someone who has made fun of their child in the playground? 

Oh yes, and a quick message for Mr Casamitjana– I hate to point out the obvious but I must. 

When you finish work you are no doubt hoping, like your workmates, that you will have a comfortable pension to help you in the future. 

If your action has caused your firm’s pension fund to lose a good investment opportunity for its staff, you may think you have had a win, but for the colleague who may not be able to pay their household bills, how are you going to help them? 

You are more than entitled to your beliefs, more than entitled. But, you do not have the right to impose your ‘ethical vegan’ lifestyle on anyone else. 

Where the company you work for chooses to invest its members’ money is its business. If you do not like it, then when you receive that money, make a charitable donation to your cause instead, but don’t play with other people’s livelihoods. 

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