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  #1   ^
Old Sat, Jan-04-20, 02:30
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
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Default Veganism is a philosophical belief? Bad news for leather sofas, good news for freedom

This just happened in the UK



Veganism is a philosophical belief? It's bad news for leather sofas, good news for freedom

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-...ofas-good-news/

Quote:
If you’re the kind of employer who runs a mandatory staff trip to a bear-baiting pit, you’d better check the news. An employment tribunal has today found that ethical veganism is a philosophical belief, rather than just an opinion. The judge accepted that, in this case, veganism could be protected by the Equality Act. His judgement does not bind other tribunals, but it has been hailed as a significant victory for veganism.

Being a vegan, I have some skin in the game – non-leather-based skin, to be clear – but this is an important ruling for employers, employees, and, ultimately, the animals themselves. And on balance, it will be a good one, though it may pose some difficulties along the way.

First, a recap. The case was brought by Jordi Casamitjana, who said the League Against Cruel Sports – probably not an organisation in favour of bear-baiting – unfairly sacked him. He had told colleagues that its pension fund was being invested in companies involved in animal testing, and claimed that not only was he sacked for this disclosure but that the sacking was against the law.

Sure enough, the court ruled that ethical veganism satisfies the tests required for it to be a philosophical belief, and is therefore protected by law.

The ruling could still be appealed, but should it stand, employers may have to be more flexible in their pension schemes. Veganism coherently and reasonably rejects the abuse of animals, whether indirectly or directly. It is fair for vegans to object to their money being invested in animal testing, in the same way an environmentalist might object to funding big polluters, or a pacifist might object to their money being invested in arms. Pacifists are protected by the act; it is right that Britain's 600,000 vegans are given the same treatment.

The ramifications of the judgement could extend further than investment. Take the ways in which Casamitjana has defined his veganism. He doesn’t sit on leather sofas; he doesn’t allow non-vegan food in his home; and he prefers to walk short distances rather than take public transport, since a bus or train might kill insects or birds as it travels.

Casamitjana has been mocked for these strictures, which is understandable but ungenerous. People attempting to expand society’s moral circle should be taken seriously. What’s objectionable about not wanting to kill insects?

Casamitjana’s stance on public transport is unusual even within veganism, so the judgement is unlikely to provoke thousands of vegans to object to their commute. Nor is it likely to prompt fraudulent copycats: employees facing tribunal will still have to prove that their convictions are genuine.

It is certainly possible that employers will be inconvenienced by future claims. Maybe they'll have to provide more vegan lunches or reconsider the cleaning products they use. But given how quickly veganism is spreading, it is better to have this legal reckoning now than later. The question is not whether or not you agree with the principles of veganism, or whether you care about the good that this ruling will do for animals. It's whether you think commonly-held and justifiable moral viewpoints should be respected. Like any important principle, this is worth the likely inconvenience of upholding it.

You might find Casamitjana’s beliefs ridiculous, but lots of moral progress was seen as ridiculous in its time. It’s important that we allow each other the opportunity to make bona fide, evidence-based judgments about right and wrong, and if that means that some companies ensure their next sofa upgrades aren’t leather, then that’s fine by me.

Think about it another way. If, for some monstrous reason, you happened to have a sofa made of dog leather in your house, you wouldn’t make a dog-loving visitor sit on it. That isn’t overweening political correctness; it’s simple courtesy.

Be that as it may, I don’t think campaigning against pre-existing leather sofas is a good use of any vegan’s time or energy. Nor will I tell my employer I herewith refuse to sit in leather seats or use public transport or make tea for colleagues who drink dairy milk. There are much more broadly palatable causes to address, such as alleviating the appalling conditions inflicted on factory-farmed animals.

But if a belief is reasonable, thoughtful, and sincerely held, then we should accommodate it. We do it with religion; we should do it with veganism. Religious discrimination cases often balance the right to religious freedom with other rights, a perennial example being the slaughter of animals. The new judgement, in contrast, will not make any part of our lives any less humane. Quite the opposite.




Quote:
Vegans could legally fight 'unethical' banknotes following landmark ruling

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/20...owing-landmark/

Last edited by Demi : Sat, Jan-04-20 at 02:35.
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  #2   ^
Old Sat, Jan-04-20, 06:06
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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Lawzy. This is such a mess. But then, keto will be protected, too?
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  #3   ^
Old Sat, Jan-04-20, 07:19
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Benay Benay is online now
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I have a friend who insists she will never wear the skin of an animal on her back (she is not vegan)

but I notice she wears leather shoes, belts and carries a leather purse and wallet

There seems to be a disconnect here
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  #4   ^
Old Sat, Jan-04-20, 08:42
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benay
I have a friend who insists she will never wear the skin of an animal on her back (she is not vegan)

but I notice she wears leather shoes, belts and carries a leather purse and wallet

There seems to be a disconnect here


I have always loved animals, and at 12 I signed the Cleveland Amory No Fur Pledge (which I have still abided by all these years.) Later, this drove me to vegetarianism, but not only did it make me fat and sick, I did some research and found out that every book in the world is stuck together with glue. From animal sources.

In fact, it's not possible to be "ethical" by avoiding the cycle of life. Those veggies the vegans embrace can only live with animal products in the soil.

It's a belief system. No less, but no more.
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  #5   ^
Old Thu, Feb-27-20, 02:12
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Demi Demi is offline
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And the saga continues ...

Quote:
Carnivores took over at animal charity, sacked vegan claims

The League Against Cruel Sports was taken over by meat-eaters who stopped providing plant-based meals and condemned pro-vegan messaging on clothing, a tribunal has been told.

The anti-hunting charity began discriminating against ethical vegans at the same time as bosses who refused to eat meat were replaced by omnivores, a sacked worker has claimed.

The campaigning group’s lawyer in turn accused the claimant of prejudice against people who eat meat.

Jordi Casamitjana, 55, is bringing Britain’s first claim of anti-vegan workplace discrimination, accusing the League of sacking him for his beliefs. The charity insists that it dismissed him for misconduct.

Mr Casamitjana said that, months before his dismissal, he was told off by Andy Knott, a boss at the charity, for wearing a hat saying that he was vegan.

Mr Casamitjana, who was head of policy and research, said he never felt discriminated against by his employers until Eduardo Gonçalves, the chief executive and a vegetarian, departed on long-term sick leave.

“All the food organised by the League for staff meetings (such as the office’s Christmas dinner) was vegan, and all the household products used in the office were suitable for vegans,” he said in a witness statement. “In fact the predecessor of Eduardo, Joe Duckworth, was also a vegan, so when I rejoined the organisation I did not expect any discrimination because of my veganism.

“But when Philippa King (who I know was a meat eater) became the interim CEO due to Eduardo’s absence . . . things started to change, and animal products started to be added in the office meals. The problem continued when Andy (also a meat eater) replaced her and became the acting CEO.”

Mr Casamitjana said that in one of their first meetings, Mr Knott “made a comment that worried me”. He added: “He said something along these lines: ‘I have seen you wearing a hat with the word vegan on it, as if you are dictating others what to eat, and although I could do something about it, I will not.’

“I did not reply, but I interpreted this as his expression of disapproval of the way I expressed my veganism. I had regularly worn the hat when going in and out of the office (not indoors) and others also wore clothing with all sorts of slogans.”

Mr Casamitjana was later suspended by Mr Knott for emailing all staff explaining how to switch their pensions from the League’s default fund — which the vegan said invested in companies involved in animal testing — to ethical alternatives. Mr Knott had warned him against providing financial advice to colleagues and he was sacked after a disciplinary procedure.

A preliminary tribunal hearing last month accepted that ethical veganism was a protected belief under equality law, like religion and atheism.

Patrick Keith, representing the League at the employment tribunal in Watford, suggested that, although Mr Casamitjana did not like being judged for being a vegan, he was judging others by describing them as meat-eaters.

Mr Keith said that there had been only an innocuous mention of the hat at the meeting and asked whether Mr Casamitjana’s recollection was coloured by subsequent events.

Mr Casamitjana replied: “I would say on reflection looking back at that meeting [the comment] about the hat became more significant having known everything that happened afterward.”

The hearing continues.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/...laims-g95n9579k


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  #6   ^
Old Thu, Feb-27-20, 03:31
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Dodger Dodger is offline
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As a carnivore, I would have been discriminated against when the meals were all vegan.

I guess the only solution is to not have the organization ever provide food, furniture, or investments.
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  #7   ^
Old Thu, Feb-27-20, 07:05
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BawdyWench BawdyWench is online now
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Quote:
“All the food organised by the League for staff meetings (such as the office’s Christmas dinner) was vegan ...

“But when Philippa King (who I know was a meat eater) became the interim CEO due to Eduardo’s absence . . . things started to change, and animal products started to be added in the office meals. The problem continued when Andy (also a meat eater) replaced her and became the acting CEO.”


First, everyone had to eat vegan foods for his "rights" to be upheld? He couldn't simply eat vegan fare and let others eat meat?

Second, the bold in the quotation is mine. To people like the plaintiff, being called "vegan" is a high honor. Vegans are to be praised. But "meat eater" takes on a whole new connotation in his eyes. "Meat eaters" = Evil.

This says it all:

Quote:
Patrick Keith, representing the League at the employment tribunal in Watford, suggested that, although Mr Casamitjana did not like being judged for being a vegan, he was judging others by describing them as meat-eaters.


It's OK for vegans to judge meat-eaters, but it's not OK for meat-eaters to judge vegans.

Sounds about right. Not.
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  #8   ^
Old Thu, Feb-27-20, 10:24
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GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demi
And the saga continues ...

I find it fascinating that people can spend so much time and focus on confronting these "issues." Their lives must be really uneventful and simple to have to invent conflicts related to others choices and behaviors and then throw one's energy into something that seems to inconsequential to me. But, admittedly, that's just me.
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  #9   ^
Old Fri, Feb-28-20, 03:14
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Ambulo Ambulo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GRB5111
I find it fascinating that people can spend so much time and focus on confronting these "issues." Their lives must be really uneventful and simple to have to invent conflicts related to others choices and behaviors and then throw one's energy into something that seems to inconsequential to me. But, admittedly, that's just me.


It's a personality type. In the UK we call them busybodies. Love poking their nose in other people's business and ordering them about, creating issues where quiet live-and-let-live prevailed before.
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  #10   ^
Old Fri, Feb-28-20, 05:44
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambulo
It's a personality type. In the UK we call them busybodies. Love poking their nose in other people's business and ordering them about, creating issues where quiet live-and-let-live prevailed before.


Sadly, we have them here, too.

Veganism really is more like a cult than an eating system. There's insider terms, difficulty interacting with others who aren't part of the cult, disregard of science and facts, and this belligerent response with ridiculous demands.

Like vegans are becoming so obnoxious to restaurant staff than any request can get some rolled eyes. "Has my soup been cooked in a kitchen with meat in it?" turns out to be an answer that is always YES but they make a fuss anyway.
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  #11   ^
Old Fri, Feb-28-20, 06:37
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cotonpal cotonpal is online now
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It is the sense of moral superiority and entitlement that I find enraging. Lots of people choose to eat in lots of different ways without the expectation that the outer world should cater to their choices.
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  #12   ^
Old Mon, Mar-02-20, 07:10
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Demi Demi is offline
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This just in ...

Quote:
‘Ethical vegan’ wins landmark case over League Against Cruel Sports

An ethical vegan has won a landmark settlement from the League Against Cruel Sports after it admitted sacking him for his beliefs.

The anti-hunting charity accepted that Jordi Casamitjana, 55, did nothing wrong by raising concerns about “unethical” investments in its pension fund, for which he was sacked.

The case established for the first time that ethical veganism is a protected belief like religion and atheism.

Mr Casamitjana was dismissed after emailing all his colleagues at the anti-hunting charity telling them how to switch their pension fund to avoid investing in companies which, he said, were involved in animal testing.

The League claimed it sacked him for misconduct by giving financial advice to fellow workers after being warned by his boss against doing so.

The case was due to be heard for a second week at Watford employment tribunal but was unexpectedly settled this morning.

The evidence which had already come out will have been damaging to the charity’s image, tarnished by troubles in recent years.

It emerged that the charity actually changed its default pension fund to an ethical one only months after dismissing him for raising the concerns.

Eduardo Gonçalves, the League’s own former chief executive, gave evidence that he had been concerned that the investment could contradict the League’s charitable objects and would be a legal risk.

He compared the potential wrongdoing to the Oxfam crisis when it was found that aid workers were involved in sexually exploiting some of their victims of crisis.

The League issued a statement which amounts to a humiliating climbdown after two years of fighting Mr Casamitjana.

The charity effectively concedes that he was absolutely right, going so far as to thank him for the actions for which he was sacked.

The charity said: “We are happy to make clear that Mr Casamitjana was a very valued employee of the League during the two periods he worked with us, showing a great deal of professionalism, expertise and commitment to the protection of animals.

“The only reason for the dismissal of Mr Casamitjana in 2018 was his communications to his colleagues in relation to our pension arrangements.

“Having revisited the issue we now accept that Mr Casamitjana did nothing wrong with such communications, which were motivated by his belief in ethical veganism.

“We are grateful to Mr Casamitjana for having raised the issue of pensions to us, which allowed us to change our default pension fund to an ethical one closer to our values.”

The case has led the Vegan Society to suggest employers should give vegans their own shelf in the office fridge and excuse them from work trips to horseracing events.

The Barcelona-born animal rights activist originally worked for the League on hunting prosecutions after Tony Blair banned the country pursuit in 2004. He returned in 2016. Mr Casamitjana, who ran a crowdfunding campaign to pay his legal bills, said: “After nearly two years of litigation against the League Against Cruel Sports, I am extremely happy with the conclusion that we have secured.

“The case has established that ethical vegans are protected from discrimination, and I have received the acknowledgement I sought that my dismissal was based on my ethical veganism, and was not justified or justifiable.

“In its evidence to the Tribunal, the League’s witnesses conceded that the concerns I raised — about the League’s pension fund investing in companies that test on animals and damage the environment — were genuine and correct.

“They acknowledged that my communications on this issue were motivated by my ethical veganism which expressed itself in three desires: firstly, not have to invest my own pension in unethical funds, secondly that I didn’t want my colleagues to do so without their knowledge and explicit consent, and thirdly to protect the League from the reputational and regulatory risk of making investments in companies that tested on animals.

“I am hopeful that the events of the past few years will prompt the League to learn from its mistakes and enable it to reclaim its position as one of the most important animal welfare charities in the UK. This has been a great victory for all ethical vegans and animal protection.”

His solicitor Peter Daly, principal employment lawyer at Slater and Gordon, said: “The success that we have had is testament to Jordi Casamitjana’s courage, determination and indelible ethical principles.

“He has established a set of protections that will not only benefit ethical vegans, but because of the benefits of ethical veganism to our environment and society, will benefit us all.”

Chris Milsom, of Cloisters Chambers, his barrister, said: “There are many lessons to be learnt here both for the League and more widely to ensure that those guided by protected beliefs are accommodated and valued in the workplace.”


https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/...ports-fz8lbzlw7

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  #13   ^
Old Mon, Mar-02-20, 20:29
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Dodger Dodger is offline
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Vegans need to figure out how to humanly harvest their food. Hacking, cutting, and ripping, along with eating, seem to cause the plants 'pain'.

Quote:
So plants might not feel pain in the way that humans do, but this new discovery shows that they respond to injuries and attacks in a remarkably similar way.


https://allthatsinteresting.com/pla...fense-mechanism
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  #14   ^
Old Mon, Mar-02-20, 20:45
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Bob-a-rama Bob-a-rama is offline
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It's fine for vegans to abstain from eating animals, wearing leather, or whatever, as long as they don't try to force others to do the same thing.

I don't like to eat meat that's been tortured, like lobsters in tanks with their claws bound shut, chickens grown in cages, etc. so I understand their point a bit, but I'm not about to tell anyone else what to do.

I know some vegans who are good friends, not militant about it, and when we meet them for dinner, we pick a restaurant where they can get vegan and I can get omnivore food.

It's a lot easier to get along if we just try to get along and respect each others differences.

Bob
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Old Tue, Mar-03-20, 07:06
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teaser teaser is offline
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If this fellow won't take public transit because bugs might be squished--well, maybe it's a philosophical belief. But--how will the pension fund find anything to invest in, if they're not allowed the use of the wheel? He can say, well, there are practical limits--but I think acknowledging practical limits should have him taking the bus to work.
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