Did you hear that a federal court has ruled that veganism may count as a religion? Sakile Chenzira was fired from her job at a hospital because she refused a flu shot due to eggs used in its production. She is suing the hospital for religious discrimination. This isn’t the first time this has happened, though the 2002 lawsuit was dismissed.
When I first saw the headline about veganism being counted as a religion, I chuckled. I’m happy with my lifestyle and I’m serious about the changes I’ve made, but I can’t help but feel that we vegans sometimes take ourselves a little too seriously. How intense is too intense, though? How does our motivation to be vegan impact our everyday decisions?
Taken from this article: “A person who practices veganism for moral reasons may be protected against religious discrimination, where a person who practices veganism for health or environmental reasons may not be protected.” (from Stand Up For Yourself Without Getting Fired by Donna Ballman)
I agree that the termination was wrong — and I say that as a vegan who got her flu shot without blinking an eye. Now, if I was a strict vegan and got fired for not getting a flu shot, I would definitely sue, even if I did work in a hospital where it’s important that employees do whatever they can to prevent illness. But I’m not vegan for religious reasons.
It can be challenging when people question why I’m vegan or when people are insensitive about it. We’ve all been there and had those conversations or awkward experiences. That said, I’m not as offended by comments on my veganism as I may be about my ethnicity or faith or something I can’t control like my height. Should I be more sensitive? On the other hand, wouldn’t it be a little hypocritical of me to take offense if someone offers me a steak when I used to eat steak whenever I could get it? What would it take — what situation can occur — that would make me stand my ground as a vegan?
Just some food for thought. Let me know what y0u think in the comments!