Open discussion: Veganism is a creed, and a creed is a human right! Right? »
Oh, Canada. Camille Labchuck, a Toronto law student, says that “a person’s right to live a vegan lifestyle … is a right that all people should have,” and therefore should be protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code, which is meant to “prevent discrimination and harassment” because of many reasons, including “creed (religion).”
Camille says “creed” is inexactly defined by the legislation, and so including vegan and vegetarian beliefs as protected under the OHRC is possible. I think that’s cool. San Francisco prisoners are supposed to get vegan meals, when requested, but where else are your dietary practices legally protected?
Considering veganism a “religion” makes me feel culty and uncomfortable. But if the legal definition of “creed” matched the dictionary defintion—“a set of beliefs or aims that guide someone’s actions”—I would be all right with that. Because yes, being vegan affects basically everything I do, and I would like my fellow vegans’ right to follow their beliefs protected under law. Even if it is only in one Canadian province (and Britain!). Today Canada, tomorrow the U.N. Human Rights Council!
What do you think? Should the rights of vegans to observe a vegan lifestyle be considered analogous to religious and political groups’ rights to exist? Of course, right?
Unrelatedly, did you know that Canada has a Vegan Danish Bakery?! Ô je t’adore, Canada!
[photo by cacaye via Flickr]