The Vegan Society and International Vegan Rights Alliance (IVRA) have had evidence published in the form of a statement to the Joint Committee on Human Rights who are holding an inquiry into the Brexit implications for human rights.
Vegans are currently protected under Article 9 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 9 refers to the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. This entails that veganism can be broadly considered under European human rights legislation, with Article 14 stating that all of the rights and freedoms set out in the Act must be protected and applied without discrimination. This means that vegans must not be discriminated against on grounds of their veganism. Brexit means that the government can choose to opt out of the European Convention on Human Rights, and they have already set in motion the repeal of the UK Human Rights Act.
The Vegan Society regularly receives calls from vegans who believe that their rights are being infringed upon. These range from people whose children are not provided a vegan option with their free school meal, something which can have a negative effect on a child’s development. Suitable vegan meal provision can also be a problem in care homes and hospitals, leading to malnourishment and problems with recovery. Other examples include workplaces not providing alternatives to leather or wool in uniforms, or letting workplace bullying go unchallenged, with the knock-on effects being increased stress in the workplace, increased sickness and reduced productivity.
If you are facing discrimination or marginalisation because of your veganism then please speak to our advocacy officer by phone on 0121 523 1737 or email advocacy[at]vegansociety[dot]com. Alternatively, visit our advocacy page here for more information.