If Ontario's human rights tribunal protects those with deeply-held religious beliefs, why not ethical beliefs too? Say, for example, veganism.
That's what the folks at Animal Justice, a Canadian animal law organization, have spent years fighting for.
Last year, the Ontario Human Rights Commission released updated guidelines on preventing discrimination based on "creed." Although it has no official definition in the human rights code, the commission said:
Creed may also include non-religious belief systems that,
like religion, substantially influence a person's identity, worldview and way of life.
Arguably, that's the case for some people who abstain from animal meat and byproducts due to ethical beliefs.
"Their policy contains exactly what we were hoping for. They said creed can also include ethical beliefs that are very important to a person," said Camille Labchuk, an animal rights lawyer and executive director of Animal Justice.
There have already been incidents where vegans have faced discrimination, she added.
A number of years ago, Labchuk said Animal Justice assisted an Ontario veterinary student who refused to euthanize a dog she had spayed as part of her training.
Lauren Strapagiel is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada.
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