Imagine if you could be fired from your job just for supporting animal rights on your own time. That's what Joe Hashman believes happened to him. The vegan anti-hunting activist was sacked from his job as a gardener at the Orchard Park Garden Centre in the U.K. the day after ghastly TV chef Clarissa Dickson Wright pleaded guilty to charges of attending an illegal rabbit-hunting event. Dickson Wright was brought up on charges in part because of undercover video taken by Hashman. The owners of the garden center are known to be hunting supporters.
Hashman has filed a suit, which has now gone before the court, and a pre-hearing review has been called to determine whether his animal rights positions constitute a "philosophical belief" that's protected under the law. Here's what he had to say—judge for yourself:
"Believing in animal rights means believing in the sanctity of all life."
"I believe that hunting is completely morally unacceptable."
"I don't believe that there can be any justification for the horrible husbandry techniques and slaughter methods which humans employ just to feed themselves."
"I am devoted to the causes arising from my philosophical belief and I will not stop fighting for animal rights."
We're pulling for you, Joe! No one should be afraid to speak out against injustice. Animals have rights—and so do the people who defend them. To find out how to work within the law to help animals, check out PETA's activism guide.
Written by Jeff Mackey