Unfair Treatment and Discrimination Reports


The IVRA has been made aware of various incidents of discrimination and unfair treatment against vegans. For example:

• In Hungary, there is a decree that school children eat meat and animal "products".

• In Germany and Austria, legal provisions that protect religious and non-religious beliefs do not cover veganism.

• In the UK, vegans have been excluded from applying for employment, veganism has been cited in a serious case of bullying and a former Justice Secretary ridiculed vegans in parliament.

• In the UK, the BBC permits unlawful comments and "jokes" against vegans.

• A vegan employee was fired because he refused to perform tasks against his vegan belief, despite the fact that he had informed his employer (a company that took an order to manufacture items used for industrial farming) that he is vegan.

• A senior manager of a company stated to a vegan employee that veganism is not protected by law when in fact it is.

• Vegans attending (and volunteering at) a “once a week” vegan café were aggressively informed that they were not welcome when they raised the issue of non-vegan produce being served at the café. Matters escalated to the point where a group of vegans were subjected to abusive verbal insults, contamination of vegan food and a range of targeted harassment strategies designed to exclude their cultural practices and personally threaten the vegan members. The vegan members felt they had no alternative but to leave.

• Despite veganism being recognised within the UK as coming within the scope of human rights protection, a Public Authority refused to accommodate the needs of a vegan claiming that veganism is not a qualifying protected belief but a mere opinion.

• Prisoners are denied vegan food in various prisons within the European Union.

• Termination of employment contract due to non-compliance with a requirement to have an egg-based vaccination.

• A senior manager of a company stated to a vegan employee that veganism is not protected by law.

• An employee of a company brought cakes for their birthday at the place of their work and as a "joke" they offered a ball of bird seeds to their vegan colleague.

• An employee of a company threw a pen at a vegan colleague of theirs in order to draw their attention to the fact that they were ordering "bacon" sandwiches.

• A vegan employee ordered vegan food via a catering company for a meeting and the manager of that employee made a "joke" with the colleagues of the vegan employee by saying that the vegan meal will be delivered by a person wearing sandals.

• The following discriminatory practice has been reported by various vegans and it refers to various (different) companies: a fridge and microwave are provided for non-vegan employees (some times more than one of each) but they do not make such provisions for vegans.

• A vegan employee was called "a freak" by a colleague of his because of his vegan belief and lifestyle.

• A venue cancelled at the last minute the reservation of a vegan group because of their vegan requirements. The venue knew about the requirements for more than a month in advance.

• A catering company says to a vegan that they can provide for vegan diet. They even provide the menu in writing. When the vegan asks for the ingredients of a specific item in the menu, it turns out that the "vegan" menu has animal derived ingredients.

• A vegan reported that he has to cope with various insults at workplace, some of which are: "Being introduced to colleagues as "he's from the planet Veg" , being laughed at and told I need to eat meat to be healthy (after speaking to the waitress about my dietary requirements) by a manager at a Work Team Meal, being told what I am eating is rabbit food, being quizzed in a derogatory manor when people find out I am vegan with ignorant questions about protein and nutrition (despite being 6ft3, 85kg, athletic physique and usually towering over them as they ask this), being called "Special" in a patronising way, being told I am extreme and hippy, being told drinking Soya Milk will make me grow breasts, being refused a request for Soya Milk to be provided in work coffee shops, being smirked at for my meal choice by work catering staff, being told the bullying will stop the day I eat meat, being offered a bite of food containing meat from colleagues who know I am vegan e.g. BLT sandwich"

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