A Ryerson University master’s student is consulting the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario to determine whether ethical veganism is considered a creed, which would grant it protection under anti-discrimination laws. The student, 37-year-old Sinem Ketenci, alleges that a senior professor pressured her supervisor into withdrawing his recommendation for her PhD candidacy based on a connection that she drew between abused animals and marginalized human populations. Ryerson’s School of Social Work argues that research projects within the discipline must be directly related to social work and not to animal rights. A three-year vegan, Ketenci states in her complaint that ethical veganism is similar to a religion in that it deals with moral imperatives and devotional practices, and is seeking $15,000 in compensation.
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