Anti-vaxxers in the UK have started to declare themselves vegans on social media, in a bid to avoid any potential compulsory vaccines.
A Twitter thread of a paper which cites legal experts who argue that vegans’ beliefs are protected by employment law, after a 2020 tribunal concluded that ethical veganism was a protected status.
The claim is that because the COVID-19 vaccine has been tested on animals – a legal requirement in the UK and many other countries – some ethical vegans may decide not to get jabbed.
This may make it difficult for companies could to force employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine if they were vegan.
Currently, only a handful of companies are requiring that staff be double vaccinated before they return to the office – but it is expected that more organisations will follow suit. Some government ministers have lent their support to companies wishing to enact this policy, while emphasising that vaccines will never be made mandatory by law.
However, vegan and animal rights activist groups have countered this social media stir by encouraging all people – including vegans – to get the vaccine if eligible. Their argument is that though the drugs have been tested on animals, this is a legal requirement in many places.
So activists are urging people to take the vaccine, and then channel their energy into campaigning to end mandatory animal testing.