The Sun newspaper reports Alex Monaco on vegan discrimination at work
The Sun newspaper’s June 2019
article features our own Alex Monaco on vegan discrimination at work:
‘DON’T HAVE A COW Vegans should be legally exempt from work tea rounds because it’s discrimination to make them handle milk, claims senior employment lawyer Alex Monaco
By Phoebe Cooke
‘Campaigners want to change equality law so discrimination against plant-based eaters in the workplace is banned.
‘Activists claim veganism should be respected as much as religion, and as such should be recognized as a “protected characteristic” under the Equality Act 2010.
‘Alex Monaco, from law firm Monaco Solicitors, said: “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.
“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. Many vegans go to the work canteen and find there is nothing there to eat which is plant-based. Or you’ll go on an away day, and you’ll find the sandwiches all have butter in them.”
‘Mr. Monaco, who is a vegan himself, is now offering free consultations to all vegans who believe they have been discriminated against at work because of their beliefs.
‘The 38-year-old added:
“Vegans do get bullied – I was even bullied on a holiday with friends when I couldn’t eat anything from the butcher’s or pizzeria.
“The tide is changing now. It’s a movement. If we can get the law changed, people’s views may follow on from that.”
“I’m not even particularly vulnerable – so how do you think a vegan on a building site could be treated?”
‘The Londoner believes the younger generation is more tolerant in this respect – but thinks a change in the law could still help challenge discrimination.
‘The Equality Act 2010 protects people from discrimination in the workplace as well as in wider society. It replaced several pieces of legislation with one act and covers discrimination against sex, race, and disability among other forms of unlawful treatment.
‘Mr. Monaco’s call comes after a number of vegan protests across the country hit the headlines. Last week a gang of vegan protesters sent a blind man crashing to the floor as they clashed with butchers at a shopping center in Sheffield. And in Brighton, diners were left reeling after vegans wearing chicken masks stormed a Nando’s to play the footage of birds being slaughtered.
‘The number of vegans in the UK has now soared to over half a million as Brits attempt to lessen their impact on the environment amid a climate emergency. While one in five UK adults follow flexitarian diets of reducing the amount of meat they eat.’