There are many circumstances in which vegans are treated or considered worse than nonvegans, both in the private and the public sphere, either due to the presence of a bias against them (‘vegaphobia’) or for structural reasons. For instance, vegans sometimes suffer harassment, have issues at their workplace, or find little vegan food available. In many cases they are forced to contribute to, or to participate in, animal exploitation against their will when states render it illegitimate to oppose or refuse to support some uses of animals. For the most part this remains socially invisible. Vegans, however, often recognize this as a form of discrimination against them. But they seldom campaign against it, as they regard it as a consequence of another and more important discrimination, i.e. speciesist discrimination against nonhuman animals. If this is correct, discrimination against vegans can be characterized as a form of second-order discrimination, that is, discrimination against those who oppose another (first-order) form of discrimination. If speciesism really is unjustified and discriminatory, then discrimination against vegans will always be discriminatory and unjustified too. But even if our current attitudes towards animals were justified there would be strong reasons to claim that vegans do suffer several forms of private and public discrimination that are unjustified.
KeywordsDiscrimination First- and second-order discrimination Speciesism Veganism
Many thanks to Max Carpendale as well as to Catia Faria and the participants of the workshop ‘What’s Wrong with Discrimination?’ at Charles University.
- Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated. 2014. Title 17, 3, Art. 1. § 17–316, Interference with rights of hunters.Google Scholar
- Cavanagh, M. 2002. Against equality of opportunity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Chemnitz, C., and S. Becheva (eds.). 2014. Meat atlas: Facts and figures about the animals we eat. Berlin: Heinrich Böll Foundation.Google Scholar
- Code, L. 1991. What can she know?: Feminist theory and the construction of knowledge. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
- Francione, G. L. 2008. Animals as persons: Essays on the abolition of animal exploitation. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
- Hooley, D., and N. Nobis. 2015. A moral argument for veganism. In Philosophy comes to dinner: Arguments about the ethics of eating, ed. A. Chignell, T. Cuneo, and M. C. Halteman, 92–108. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Illinois Revised Statutes. 2014. 720 ILCS 5/48-3. Hunter or fisherman interference.Google Scholar
- International Vegan Rights Alliance. 2016a. European law. Law and cases. http://www.theivra.com/eulaw.html. Accessed 29 Oct 2016.
- International Vegan Rights Alliance. 2016b. Law, prejudice against non humans and human identity. Law and cases. http://www.theivra.com/lphid.html. Accessed 29 Oct 2016.
- IPSOS MORI. 2016. Bullfighting in Spain. Polls and Publications. 21 January. https://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/3686/Bullfighting-in-Spain.aspx. Accessed 6 July 2016.
- Labchuk, C. 2016. Veganism is one step closer to becoming a human right in Ontario. Animal Justice. 12 January. http://www.animaljustice.ca/blog/veganism-is-one-step-closer-to-becoming-a-human-right-in-ontario/. Accessed 14 June 2016.
- Lippert-Rasmussen, K. 2014. Born free and equal? A philosophical inquiry into the nature of discrimination. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- New York Environmental Conservation Law. 2015. Ch. 43 B, § 11-0110, Interference with lawful taking of wildlife prohibited.Google Scholar
- Oakley, J. 2013. Animal dissection in schools: Life lessons, alternatives and humane education. Ann Arbor, MI: Animals & Society Institute.Google Scholar
- Page, D. D. 2004. Veganism and sincerely held religious beliefs in the workplace: No protection without definition. University of Pennsylvania Journal of Labor and Employment Law 7: 363–408.Google Scholar
- Piccinini, A., and M. Loseby. 2016. Agricultural policies in Europe and the USA: Farmers between subsidies and the market. Basingstone: Palgrave MacMillan.Google Scholar
- Ryder, R. D. 2010.  'Speciesism again: The original leaflet'. Critical Society 2: 1–2.Google Scholar
- Sawer, M. 2000. Discrimination. In Routledge international encyclopedia of women: Global women’s issues and knowledge, ed. K. Cheris, and D. Spender, 396–397. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Singer, P. 1975. Animal liberation: A new ethics for our treatment of animals. New York, NY: New York Review/Random House.Google Scholar
- Simon, D. R. 2013. Meatonomics. San Francisco, CA: Conari Press.Google Scholar
- Soifer, S. 2002. Vegan discrimination: An emerging and difficult dilemma. Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 36: 1709–1731.Google Scholar
- The Government of the The Faroe Islands. 2015. Statement from Government of the Faroe Islands on Grindalógin, 2 July. http://www.government.fo/news/news/statement-from-government-of-the-faroe-islands-on-grindalogin/. Accessed 12 April 2016.
- Vegan Society. 2016a. How to handle workplace discrimination. Solutions, https://www.vegansociety.com/resources/solutions/how-handle-workplace-discrimination. Accessed 29 Oct 2016.
- Vegan Society. 2016b. Definition of veganism. Go vegan, https://www.vegansociety.com/go-vegan/definition-veganism. Accessed 29 Oct 2016.
- Veggie Pride. 2016. Why a Veggie Pride. http://www.veggiepride.org/veggie-pride-english-version/#a1. Accessed 26 Oct 2016.
- Wasserman, D. 1998. Discrimination, concept of. In Encyclopedia of applied ethics, ed. R. Chadwick, 805–814. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Wright, L. 2015. The vegan studies project: Food, animals, and gender in the age of terror. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.Google Scholar
- Young, I. M. 1990. Justice and the politics of difference. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar