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Protected Belief - Ethical Veganism

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Few will have missed the newspaper reports earlier this month expressing surprise at a tribunal finding that an ethical vegan had a protected belief under the Equality Act 2010.

The written reasons in the case, Casamitjana Costa v The League Against Cruel Sports, are now available.

It is clear from those reasons that Mr Costa is not merely a dietary vegan, but adopts a lifestyle which might be regarded as unusual in society - see paras 20 and 22. The judge's conclusion that he found it "easy to conclude that there is overwhelming evidence before me that ethical veganism is capable of being a philosophical belief and thus a protected characteristic" is, it seems to me, obviously right and wholly unassailable. Yet before overstating the significance of this case, it is necessary to have regard to the relatively unusual facts, and read paras 20 and 22 of the reasons carefully.