British vegans may get the same protection against discrimination as that enjoyed by practitioners of traditional religions if legislation championed by the UK's equality minister passes Parliament, reports the London Times. The minister, Harriet Hartman, is following a code of practice drawn up by Britain's Equality & Human Rights Commission, which defines a faith that qualifies for such protection as “any religious belief or philosophical belief” that “affect[s] how a person lives their life or perceives the world.”
The commission says that would include members of cults and “new religions” as well as pacifists, humanists and teetotalers(!).
It would not include adherents of political philosophies such as Marxism or fascism. Nor would it cover religions the Commission deems insufficiently “heartfelt,” such as the International Church of Jediism, an offshoot of the Star Wars films. So feel free to mock the bloke waving the plastic light saber while muttering about trusting in the Force. Just do it from a safe distance.