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Charity worker claims veganism should be protected, like religion

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Jordi Casamitjana says he was discriminated against because he is a vegan, something the charity denies

A landmark court ruling will decide whether a sacked charity worker’s veganism is a philosophical belief, just like a religion.

Jordi Casamitjana says he was sacked by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) after disclosing it allegedly invested pension funds in firms involved in animal testing.

He says he was discriminated against because he is a vegan, something the charity denies.

Instead, the league says he was fired for gross misconduct.

Now a tribunal will rule on it, and decide whether veganism is a category which is protected in law, akin to religious belief.

Casamitjana told the BBC: "Some people only eat a vegan diet but they don't care about the environment or the animals, they only care about their health.

"I care about the animals and the environment and my health and everything.

"That's why I use this term 'ethical veganism' because for me veganism is a belief and affects every single aspect of my life."

Ethical veganism is crucial to his case, he says, because this belief means individuals have to exclude all forms of animal exploitation, including engaging with companies that carry out animal testing.

When Casamitjana worked for LACS he says he discovered that pension funds were being invested in companies that experiment on animals.

He says he spoke to managers about this – and then to other staff members, before he was sacked.

Casamitjana insists his ethical veganism is the core reason for his dismissal.

In a statement, LACS responded: "Mr Casamitjana was dismissed from his position because of gross misconduct.

"To link his dismissal with issues pertaining to veganism is factually wrong.

"Mr Casamitjana is seeking to use his veganism as the reason for his dismissal. We emphatically reject this claim."

The employment tribunal is due to take place next March.

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