Giving Credence to Philosophical Creeds
Ethical veganism as a legal religion.
A "religion" for the purposes of law and policy does not necessarily mean the same thing as a "religion" for common-sense purposes. There have been a series of important cases promising that ethical veganism can one day widely be regarded as a legal religion or creed. This essay mounts an original argument, based in both anthropology and philosophy, in favour of precisely such legal protection. It is important to hospital patrons and prisoners who may otherwise be denied vegan diets (and often are, especially in prisons), and students seeking exemptions to dissection and vivisection as just two salient examples. The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) encouraged me to develop a proposal for this paper, and then invited me to present based on the essay at a prestigious legal workshop on religious creed. It was hosted by York University's Osgoode Hall Law School on March 29th and 30th, 2012. I had the pleasure and privilege of interacting with top legal talent and policy-makers and influencers. To see an account of the workshop, please see my blog entry.
Here is the pdf document for the paper "Giving Credence to Philosophical Creeds: the Cases of Buddhism and Veganism".