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 Post subject: student takes discrimination against veganism to HR tribunal
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:36 am 
Mispronounces Daiya
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The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario is to decide whether ethical veganism is a creed, as protected by anti-discrimination laws, in the case of a Ryerson University master’s student in social work who claims senior faculty “sabotaged” her career because of her moral equivalence of animals and humans.


Sinem Ketenci, 37, who immigrated from Turkey as a young woman and studied at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay before doing a master’s at Ryerson, alleges a senior professor disagreed with her comparison of maltreated animals with marginalized people, said the connection was “very inhuman and racist,” and pressured Ms. Ketenci’s untenured supervisor into withdrawing his recommendation of her PhD candidacy at other schools, which she called an academic “kiss of death.”


Continued on the link below...

http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/11/08 ... f-ontario/

What do you guys have to say about this? I am really torn....both as a social work student and a vegan.

I do not agree with equating discrimination against vegans to discrimination based on sex/race/class/etc. Vegans are usually folks with a lot of privilege, and comparing it with folks who suffer these oppressions isn't cool. They didn't post her paper in it's entirety, so I can't comment to whether or not it oppresses other groups....but completely disallowing any discussion of the intersection between animal rights and human rights seems misguided.

I do think everyone (including social workers) needs to give consideration to animal rights. It's not my place to bash folks for their choices......we all engage in activities that either directly or indirectly harm others- be it buying products produced with slave labour or eating a hamburger. However, I get so annoyed when I hear people say they can't pay attention to animal rights because they are care about people (and apparently I don't?). This assumption that caring about animal rights means reducing the rights of people is just....argh.

Thoughts?

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 Post subject: Re: student takes discrimination against veganism to HR trib
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:11 pm 
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But anti-discrimination laws don't (and shouldn't) protect only people associated with groups that have faced discrimination. I can't fire you just because you're a woman. But can you fire me just because I'm a man? Why would that be okay? Is it misguided that anti-discrimination laws refer to sex and race, for instance, and not, say, "women" and "people of color"?

That said, I don't know what my opinion on the topic is. The senior professor sounds like a total dick, but I'm not sure the proposed remedy is the best one.

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 Post subject: Re: student takes discrimination against veganism to HR trib
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:45 pm 
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It is an interesting case. If her job was sabotaged because of her personal belief's that is wrong.

And I wish I was privileged, so sick of having to struggle to get by in life!!

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 Post subject: Re: student takes discrimination against veganism to HR trib
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:43 pm 
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I would honestly say that I experienced the same thing in graduate school (speciesism that is. I even had to rewrite a proposal because it wasn't academic enough for them, even though it really was - it was just too radical for them). However, isn't it sort of part of the game that the faculty is allowed to accept or not accept whatever research projects they like? I mean, if they have to accept research based on whether or not it is discrimination, wouldn't that mean they'd have to accept proposals on things like creationism or who knows what?

I could see if they wouldn't accept her proposal because of her personal beliefs that maybe she discussed at a dept wine and cheese party or something. But a research proposal isn't really supposed to be about your religious creed - it is supposed to be scientific research. The burden of proof is on you to convince others that it is worthwhile. Of course I know that is unrealistic, since we're all biased in our own ways, and students are very much at the mercy of the faculty.

The hardest part I found in grad school wasn't necessarily doing the work, it was finding professors who were willing to work with me on what I wanted to do, not what THEY wanted me to do. Ultimately that proved pretty much impossible. Everyone told me, "just find a professor whose work you like and change one variable" for my dissertation. It is very rare that anyone gets to do original research in grad school. You do what the faculty wants you to do. In the end I was lucky and didn't totally compromise myself, and even cited a study on the dehumanization of animals. But it certainly wasn't the original project I wanted to do.

It isn't right, but that's the way it is and I don't think you can say it is discrimination of your religious creed.

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 Post subject: Re: student takes discrimination against veganism to HR trib
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:50 pm 
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She had me at Racialized Ethical Vegan.

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 Post subject: Re: student takes discrimination against veganism to HR trib
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:13 pm 
Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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I would get why they might reject the paper topic (although really, MUST NOT EVER deal with animal rights? What about the tie between domestic abuse and pet abuse?), but if they legit took away her recommendation for a PhD because she's vegan, there might be a case. It depends on what really went down.

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