Court Cases

Know Your Rights


There are only a few cases concerning veganism that have been decided by the European Court of Human Rights. Taking a case to court either at the local or the European level involves a lot of effort, is very time consuming, can be expensive and is likely to involve considerable stress. Although we know that there are many cases involving the unfair treatment of vegans, very few are taken to court for some of the reasons noted above.

• A Swiss citizen was not allowed to join the army because he was vegan.

• A vegan felt that she had to define her ethical lifestyle as Hindu in order to receive a medical test that was suitable for vegans instead of the standard one that used products that come from cows’ blood.

• Vegans have been being dismissed from their jobs because of their belief

• A vegan was forced, by a court, to provide and cook meat for her child.

• An Italian Minister singled out veganism as a dangerous diet and blamed parents to imposing their moral crusade on their children.

• Vegans have been refused vegan food from Public Authorities while they were under their care.

• There are cases in which vegan parents have had their children taken from them because their vegan diet was deemed dangerous for their children.

• Vegans have suffered unfair treatment and discrimination at their place of work.

• Vegans have been legally forced to receive vaccinations made from the use of animals.

• There are divorce cases in which courts have to consider the welfare of the couple’s children when one of the parents is vegan.

• A vegan employee of a Public Authority was refused suitable appropriate safety footwear while the employer allocated a few thousand pounds in order to accommodate the religious needs of a colleague.

• A Public Authority defended its decision to not supply suitable alternative uniform items to one of their vegan employees because they did not recognise veganism to be a qualifying belief for the purpose of human rights or equality law and claimed that it was just an opinion that was not protected under equality or human rights laws.

• In American employment cases, applicants have been dismissed for not accepting vaccination because it was grown in unsuitable, for vegans, culture.

• Legal cases show that veganism is often referred to by the medical profession as an “extreme diet” and has been accused of being a contributing factor in the malnourishment and death of an infant.

• In Canada, a teenager requested vegan food and the request was labelled by a doctor as a “likely manifestation of mental instability”.

• In education, vegan parents requested a vegan alternative to the standard, free provision of cow’s milk only to be turned down and their request denied.

• There are reports of young vegan pupils suffering humiliation in class by their teachers when giving presentations about veganism, and have been forced to perform acts against their beliefs, such as feeding captive animals that were kept on the school premises.

• In Canada, a vegan explained at a tribunal that her postgraduate studies were unfairly affected because her professor rejected the validity of her thesis that promoted the equality of human and nonhuman moral standing.

• A prison official stated that the provision of vegan items is a privilege that can be denied.

• Prisoners are often denied vegan food.

We aim to post more cases concerning veganism as they emerge. Look out for them on our News page.

International Law

United Nations

European Law

European Union

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