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Vegans should not be forced to handle cow’s milk at work

Alex Monaco: If you were Jewish or Muslim and told to get a round of bacon sandwiches in, no one would bat an eyelid if you refused. But if you're vegan and refused to buy a pint of milk to make tea because you believe the dairy industry is torturing cows, then you would be laughed out of the kitchen.

ALEX MONACO: ‘Vegans should be exempt from making the tea at work because forcing them to handle cow’s milk is discrimination, a senior lawyer claims. Campaigners are calling for a change in equality law to ‘outlaw vegan discrimination at work’. They say veganism is a belief tantamount to religion and should be recognized as a ‘protected characteristic’ under the Equality Act 2010. This would mean workplaces must allow vegan employees to opt out of tea rounds and provide vegan options in canteens.

Alex Monaco, from law firm Monaco Solicitors, said: ‘If you were Jewish or Muslim and told to get a round of bacon sandwiches in, no one would bat an eyelid if you refused. ‘But if you’re vegan and refused to buy a pint of milk to make tea because you believe the dairy industry is torturing cows, then you would be laughed out of the kitchen… Mr Monaco, who is a vegan himself, added: ‘Employers should have a duty to ensure vegans are protected at work and are offered options. ‘The ultimate aim is to get the law changed so that the Equality Act includes vegans.’

He is offering free consultations to all vegans who believe they have been discriminated against at work because of their beliefs… ‘Religion or belief’ is one of nine protected characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010. Others include age, disability, race and sexual orientation. It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate directly, by treating an employee less favorably than others because of their religion or belief. In recent months vegans have led a string of high-profile protests calling for an end to animal products… The Vegan Society estimates that the numbers of vegans, who eat a plant-based diet, has quadrupled in the UK over the last four years from 150,000 to 600,000′. SOURCE…

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