I was not aware that vegans were suffering discrimination. I've never heard of any and as far as I am concerned, I have no interest at all in what other people eat. I'm too busy fending off those who are far too interested in what I want to eat.
So if someone doesn't want to eat meat, that's fine with me, especially when there's only one T-bone left on the shelf.
The Equality and Human Rights commission, possibly scared of losing funding because there aren't enough people being discriminated against, have declared that vegans must be protected from the rampaging hordes of carnivores out there.
Has there been a nationwide ban on non-meat-eating? Are our streets and public places now filled with 'no vegans' signs? Are they arrested for allowing others to not eat meat? Are they ejected from public areas for munching a nut cutlet? Harangued in public by Burger King staff? Subjected to fake scientific studies on secondary veganism? Is Action on Tofu and Health in the news every day describing how they spread disease and cancer wherever they go?
I don't think vegans are discriminated against at all. There is a group currently treated as dirt by those who like to feel superior without having to put any real effort into their lives, but the EHRC aren't interested.
They are interested in extending the scope of their powers. Very interested. They want to boost their ability to define discrimination against religious (except Christian) groups.
“A belief need not include faith or worship of a god or gods, but must affect how a person lives their life or perceives the world,” it states.
Oh, now, we can have a lot of fun with that one, I think. The voices are whispering dark things here. They tell me that hearing them is how I perceive the world, therefore they are a legitimate defence for absolutely anything at all. If someone tries to stop me doing what the voices say, that's discrimination. If the doctors try to tell me the voices aren't real, that's discrimination too.
Based on that one line, we could all start a religion each and we don't even need to have a god in there. I will start the 'Acolytes of the Anglepoise Lamp', I think.
The code says the current definition of “belief” also included “a lack of belief”, giving protection to atheists.
"It is against the law to be atheist, or to allow others to be atheist, on these premises." Ever seen that sign? Neither have I. I've seen one very much like it, everywhere, but it doesn't say 'atheist'. What do atheists need protection from? The only one who's likely to blast them is God and they don't believe in him. If he does exist and if he throws a bolt of lightning at an atheist, the atheist won't believe God threw it, which would make the entire exercise somewhat futile. Perhaps the EHRC are concerned about third hand prayer?
The Equality and Human Rights Commission have absolutely no credibility for me because as a smoker, I have neither equality nor rights. The commission is not remotely interested in my expulsion from every public place, nor the constant abuse I have to endure because to retaliate in any physical form will get me arrested. The commission is not at all concerned that while it is perfectly legal to set up a smoker's club, staffed by smokers, with membership only open to smokers, it is still illegal to smoke in there. Actually that's not absolutely correct. The club could restrict membership to smokers but could not employ only smokers. Discrimination against non-smokers would have the EHRC surging into action.
However, it is just fine and dandy for any business to refuse to employ someone simply because they are a smoker. Even if the job is in the incineration room of an asbestos disposal company, and even though they wouldn't be allowed to smoke in there anyway.
Vegans are the new victims. Even though I have seen no reports of anyone being ejected from anywhere, harangued on the street or arrested for being vegan.
Here's the EHRC reasoning, if you can call it that:
The draft code, currently under consultation, singles out vegans, who do not eat animal products or wear leather, as meriting protection from religious discrimination.
It says: “A person who is a vegan chooses not to use or consume animal products of any kind. That person eschews the exploitation of animals for food, clothing, accessories or any other purpose and does so out of an ethical commitment to animal welfare.”
Okay. I have no quarrel with that definition nor with anyone who chooses to follow it. It does not constitute any form of harassment or discrimination though, does it? It's not a religion either. it might be part of some religions but not all vegans are religious. Some are atheists who, according to the EHRC, must be protected from religion. Well, who else would discriminate against an atheist?
Cigarettes are made of leaves and paper and contain no animal products of any kind. Vegans are allowed to smoke (I'd have to double-check the glue on the rolling papers though). They are allowed to drink, too. They will meet discrimination from all quarters if they do those things but not because they are vegan.
The EHRC, for smokers, drinkers, the overweight and any other group this government has declared 'unclean', is a completely useless organisation. They are searching high and low for new groups to 'protect' from imaginary attack but are overlooking those groups who are, at this moment, under attack from our own government. Keep this in mind when you come canvassing in these parts - I will not vote for any party that has, or will, declare me a non-person.
There is one glint of good news. These latest proposals from the EHRC have proved to be too insane even for government ministers to approve of.
The [Hideous Harman's] spokesman said: "The Equality Bill does not change the existing definition of religion or belief and the Government does not think that views or opinions based on scientific – or indeed on political – theories can be considered to be akin to religious beliefs or philosophical beliefs. Nor was it the intention in introducing the legislation that such beliefs should be covered.”
It doesn't matter. RIPA was not meant to be used on overfilled bins, and Section 44 makes no mention of photography. The original intention means nothing once it gets into the hands of the mindless jobsworths this government have employed at all levels of the civil service. All they want to know is how far it can be taken.
So, EHRC, you can expect to see The Acolytes of the Anglepoise Lamp under 'religion' on my census form. Nobody can object because that would be discrimination.
Now I think I'll light another vegan cigarette and spend a little time denying climate change. Well, if climate change now counts as a religion, that would make me a climate atheist and according to the EHRC, atheism is a religion too. Therefore all those 'flat earth' comments are religious hatred and punishable by law. Arrest the Brown Gorgon at once.
I didn't make the world this absurd but I'm willing to work with what I have.
UPDATE: - The best post title possible on this subject is here.