A judge in the UK has ruled that, from a legal perspective, vegetarians cannot be victims of discrimination.
A former employee named George Conisbee had filed suit against the Fritton Arms hotel in Suffolk, telling an employment tribunal he faced consistent harassment over his vegetarian lifestyle—harassment he believed should be considered illegal under Britain’s 2010 Equality Act.
According to The Telegraph, Conisbee claimed that hotel employees had been feeding him snacks without first disclosing that they contained meat products, such as a duck fat-basted croissant, and sponge puddings that had been stabilized with gelatin.
Conisbee had quit the hotel after being reamed out by his supervisor in front of customers over a wrinkled shirt. He was unable to file a legal complaint over this poor treatment as, according to UK law, he had not been employed for long enough to qualify for protections. He then pivoted his case to the bullying he endured from his coworkers, claims of which were never investigated by the court.
The presiding judge ruled that despite the fact that vegetarianism is “an admirable sentiment,” it is a lifestyle choice. Because they choose to abstain from meat for a myriad of reasons, their lifestyle is not legally comparable to protected classes based on race, sexual orientation, or religion.
He notes that vegans, on the other hand, could potentially qualify for protection under UK law as they demonstrate “a clear cogency and cohesion in vegan belief.” So if you’ve been getting excited through this article believing that a judge has declared open season on vegan harassment, think again. And also think about your life choices, because vegans really don’t need you being a jerk to them. There’s no way to know if the courts will ever judge you, but it’s guaranteed the rest of society definitely will.