UK Lawyer: Vegans Should Be Exempt from ‘Discriminatory’ Work Tea Rounds

Lindsay Rajt (R) and Ashley Rose (L) of PETA, dressed in lettuce bikinis and known as a 'Lettuce Ladies,' hand out free Subway vegan sandwiches to promote eating vegan outside a Subway store in Washington, DC, December 1, 2014. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty …
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty

A lawyer has said that vegans should be exempt from the great British tradition of making tea for your colleagues because it is discriminatory to ask them to handle or buy milk.

Vegan lawyer Alex Monaco has said that being a vegan should be treated as a legally ‘protected characteristic’ like gender, race, religion, disability, or sexuality under the Equality Act 2010, and therefore vegans should not be asked to make other people tea with cow’s milk.

“If you were Jewish or Muslim and told to get a round of bacon sandwiches in, no one would bat an eyelid if you refused,” Mr Monaco told The Sun.

“But if you’re vegan and refused to buy a pint of milk to make tea because you believe the dairy industry is torturing cows, then you would be laughed out of the kitchen,” he continued, explaining that many vegans struggle to find “plant-based” food in work canteens or that the “sandwiches all have butter in them”.

The lawyer is offering free legal consultations to fellow vegans who claim they have been discriminated against because of their dietary orientation. He told the tabloid of his own experiences of being “bullied” while on holiday because he “couldn’t eat anything from the butcher’s or pizzeria”.

“I’m not even particularly vulnerable — so how do you think a vegan on a building site could be treated?” Mr Monaco said.

While a number of vegans may be considering the legal route to have mockery of their diet or wilful failure to provide plant-based foods deemed a matter of discrimination, activists are protesting at restaurants and supermarkets in an attempt to turn people off of eating meat.

Direction Action Everywhere has staged a number of demonstrations over the past few weeks including at a McDonald’s in Brighton where activists in pig masks smeared fake blood over the restaurant; at a Nando’s — also in Brighton — where diners were said to have simply laughed at the protesters wearing chicken masks; and a sit-in at a butchers in a Sheffield shopping centre.

However, in the case of Sheffield, shoppers became frustrated with the disruption and retaliated. The Times reported last week that residents had wanted to help defend their local businesses and intervened when Direct Action Yorkshire sat on the floor in a line outside of the meat stalls.

The vegans filmed the shoppers as tempers flared, with one shopper holding up a sign that read: “Sorry we killed the cow… but it was eating your dinner.”

While another local said: “Want to see my meat balls?”

Others shouted back at the protesters: “Meat is not murder” and “get a job!”

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