Sunday, 7 March 2010

A whole new victim group.

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.


Ray said...

It is more likely that vegans might get offended at having to share a space with someone wearing a leather jacket, or eating cheese (vegan see, not just vegetarian). Thus they can take their employer to court to force them to take all non-vegan food off the menu and insist on non leather clothing for all staff.

Otherwise the vegans might get offended and that would be discrimination.

Just a thought

Anonymous said...

"Equality" is but another means of control - disguised.

As for religion, I'll be claiming Jedi on the census form - as proposed on HIGNFY.

And by the way, many of the questions on the census, you're not required to answer. So mine will be mostly blank.

PT Barnum said...

Aaaaaaargh! I am a vegan and it is not an effing religion! Veganism doesn't worship anything or hold anything to be a higher power (though there are some fruit loops out there who become vegan to protect the Earth maaaaaan) and I do not need my rights protected by Trevor Philips or any of the other numpties looking for groups with grievances.

And, for the record, I am not offended by other people's shoes. I am not offended by other people's food choices. If the smell makes me queasy (as it does on occasion) I remove myself. It's my choice (part medical, part ethical) and I have no more to right to force veganism on others than others have the right to force meat eating on me.

Back off, EHRC. Don't you dare co-opt me to your nonsense, even by default.

Leg-iron said...

Ray - it could well be a way to take meat off the menu and blame it on the vegans.

It doesn't need a vegan to complain. One of the professionally offended will complain on their behalf, whether vegans are offended or not.

All the vegans will get is the blame. The real 'offended party' will not be identified. As usual.

Leg-iron said...

Fausty - they won't let you have 'Jedi'. It's down there with 'Christian' as a non-approved religion.

Try some of the Inca or Aztec ones. They had some that allowed you to cut the still-beating heart from a sacrificial victim at dawn.

646 would last almost two years, then there are the devolved assemblies and the EU. Plenty of scope, I'd say.

Leg-iron said...

PTB - well, they're not really doing it to help you.

I don't think any Muslim has ever demanded that nativity plays are banned, nor have I heard of any Hindu demanding that their festivals be celebrated by councils who know diddly-squat about their religion.

Likewise, few vegans will care if people frequent burger bars because, obviously, vegans don't.

They won't take meat off the menu because it offends you. They'll do it because they want to for green, not health, reasons, and because they can do it and blame you.

The real perpetrator is never identified.

Ray said...

Leg-iron: I agree entirely, that is what my comment was meant to suggest, re-reading it it is ambiguous at best.

As in various people being told to remove their crucifix pendants 'in case' it offends muslims, people will be told not to wear leather 'in case' it offends vegans. Where in each case there us almost always no offence, but the proposed offendee group is just an excuse.

Anonymous said...

The Hangman by Maurice Ogden pretty much expresses (at length) where we all feel this bullshit is eventually going to lead to:

Anonymous said...

Leg-Iron, I'll propose Jedi and they'll have to tackle me on that. I expect protracted communications. :)

frapplehok said...

Maybe we could use this to our advantage. I believe Libertarianism satisfies the requirements set out by EHRC.

We can exercise our religious freedoms as libertarians, eg smoking in bars, avoiding paying taxes, etc... I wonder what would be the result?

John Pickworth said...

Fausty: "As for religion, I'll be claiming Jedi on the census form - as proposed on HIGNFY."

I'm afraid HIGNFY is a little behind the times on this one. At the last Census, I and 390,126 other people declared themselves to be of the Jedi faith on the 2001 UK Census.

The Beeb has the story

Tens of thousands of others in Australia, Canada and New Zealand did likewise in their census returns.

Dr Evil said...

Insane? Damn right. The problem is that every nationality appears to be a race under the stupid legislation we have. So if you have a go at say, Albanians, then you can be prosecuted for racism, even though Albanians are caucasians like all native Europeans. Utterly bonkers stuff.

Simon said...

"I went into a vegan restaurant the other day and saw a poster saying save the whale.

Why is it in a restaurant?

I don't go into normal restaurants and see posters saying: Hack the whale to bits."

John Dowie, Hard to Swallow

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Aren't they just setting the scene for a righteous attack on global warming sceptics?

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