Being an ethical vegan is refusing to eat animals or animal products – putting peace on your plate – and extends into a lifestyle and a belief system grounded in morality. Ethical vegans conduct their lives without exploiting animals in any form or fashion or being complicit in their suffering and abuse.
I practice ethical veganism. It is important to me to be vegan in every sense of the word. As an ethical vegan, I embrace a dynamic respect for all life. Ethical veganism is about what I eat and who I am. It’s about my choices relating to diet but also my choices relating to what I wear, what personal care products I use (NO animal testing and NO animal products in the ingredients), the activities I enjoy, and the work I do. Since ethical veganism pervades every facet of a person’s life, it also colors one’s personal relationships, political beliefs and social attitudes. It absolutely does mine.
I believe animals not only have the right to life, but also to live without pain or exploitation. Included in the philosophy of ethical veganism is a personal commitment to create the least harmful impact on one’s natural environment. Doing what I can to protect the environment or lessen the impact of climate change helps all living things.
Recently, in Norwich, England, a judge ruled that ethical veganism is a philosophical belief, entitled to the same legal protections as a religious belief. A man, Jordi Casamitjana, an ethical vegan, had claimed he was fired from his job because of his veganism. Casamitjana worked for an animal welfare charity called League Against Cruel Sports. Casamitjana claims he was let go because he revealed to his colleagues that their employer’s pension fund was being invested in companies that experiment on animals.
The court’s ruling, that ethical veganism is a philosophical belief protected by law, means that Casamitjana’s discrimination lawsuit can continue. The case will be decided in February, but if the court finds that he was indeed fired for his beliefs, it will be a victory for ethical vegans everywhere.
There will always be those who fear or despise ethical vegans and boast of their pleasure in killing and eating animals. But ethical veganism is what I believe in and how I live my life; what those who oppose think of that doesn’t matter to me at all.