January 21, 2016
Hospitals will now have to provide vegan meals upon request, and students cannot be forced to dissect animals.
The Vegan Herald reports that the Human Rights Commission of Ontario recently ruled that veganism is a human right that should be legally protected from discrimination under law similar to how religious beliefs are protected.
What does this mean?
Like a Jewish individual is entitled to order a kosher meal, those who consume strict vegan diets must be granted such if they so desire when eating at certain establishments, such as schools and hospitals.
Animal Justice, an animal rights organization, lobbied for the change so individuals who follow a vegan diet may be legally protected against discrimination. Their efforts resulted in the definition of “creed” in Ontario’s Human Rights Code being modified to include ethical veganism.
Under the new law, service providers and employers may not discriminate against an individual of their requests for being vegan. Hospitals will now have to provide vegan meals upon request, and students cannot be forced to dissect animals.
Said Camille Labchuk, the Executive Director of Animal Justice:
“[R]ecognizing veganism as a form of creed is an important precedent and a clear statement that vegans and their beliefs deserve respect.”
The animal rights organization is now on a mission to change the law in other areas of Canada.