Who is Jordi Casamitjana, this animal rights activist who people call the “wasps-man”, the “monkeys-man”, the “zoos-man”, the “bulls-man”, and now the “vegan-rights man”, and who may end up securing the protection of all ethical vegans from discrimination?
, a UK-based zoologist who has worked in animal protection for decades, and has been an ethical vegan for more than 17 years, is currently (2019) in litigation in an Employment Tribunal case against an animal welfare charity which fired him in 2018, and the tribunal will assess if he was unfairly dismissed because he is an ethical vegan and/or he blew the whistle about the charity’s pension fund being invested in companies that test on animals. However, for his case to be heard the judge needs to determine first whether ethical veganism is a protected philosophical belief under the Equality Act 2010, as there has never been a legal case in the UK that tested this. Therefore, if Jordi’s case is successful, he will effectively secure the legal protection of all ethical vegans from discrimination. However, Jordi had no enough funds to pay his legal fees so he started to crowdfund for them using this website
Because of the need to attract more donors for his landmark case that Jordi has recently had many media interviews, but not until this video he has explained “his life” in so many details so we all can understand where he comes from.
Growing up in Catalonia during the fascist dictatorship of the General Franco, Jordi first experience of oppression awoke his empathy towards other oppressed victims, in this case animals. He became a zoologist specialised on animal behaviour (ethologist), and for many years he became an expert on social wasps. When he realised how similar these insects are to humans in so many respects, and how unfairly treated they are, he decided that he wanted to spend his life trying to protect animals.
He left Catalonia and, after trying in different countries he eventually settled in the UK, where, after months of hitch hacking looking for work, he got his first job in animal protection at the Monkey Sanctuary
in Looe (now called Wild Futures
). In there he tried to rehabilitate a colony of captive woolly monkeys back to their him in the Brazilian Amazon. As part of his efforts to fundraise for this project, in 1998 Jordi gave a 13 hour non-stop uninterrupted and unaided record science lecture
at Plymouth University, which gave him notoriety at the time.
After leaving the Sanctuary he worked for the Born Free Foundation
on campaigns against zoos, and he investigated more than 200 zoological collections. His exposés managed to close down five of them permanently (Including Glasgow zoo). It was during this time when, after a work accident in 2001 that made him lose conscience for a while, he decided to write a novel, which he did while spending 23 days in isolation in a North Sea island. The experience of writing this book, which was later published under the pen name J.C. Costa and is titled “The Demon’s Trial”
) made him confront his life choices, and as if he had some sort of “epiphany” he returned from the island as the ethical vegan he is today.
In 2002 he become a freelance Animal Protection Investigator, and he was hired by several organisations to legally expose animal cruelty through undercover investigations. The most important work he did during this time was the exposé of the public aquaria industry . In 2004 he joined the League Against Cruel Sports, where he worked on the first successful prosecutions of illegal hunters under the new Hunting Act 2004. He also started an anti-bullfighting campaign there, which made him travel to all bullfighting regions in the world to investigate the industry and successfully unify the anti-bullfighting movement. He continued doing this when he moved to work for the Dutch anti-bullfighting organisation CAS-International as their Campaigns Coordinator.
In 2009 he became a freelance Animal Welfare Consultant working for several animal protection organisations all over the world, and it was during this time he joined the team that managed to ban bullfighting in Catalonia. In 2013 he became the Campaigns and Enforcement Manager at the UK office of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) where he continued working on hunting (he managed to secure more convictions of illegal hunters), and he wrote the comprehensive report titled Trail of Lies in which he exposed trail hunting as a false alibi for illegal hunting.
He then returned again to the League Against Cruel Sports as their Head of Policy and Research, from which he was eventually dismissed leading to the ongoing legal case which gave him new notoriety. Known for being an outspoken vegan, Jordi Casamitjana can often be seen participating in different types of vegan outreach activism throughout London.
This video was recorded at the London's HQ of Slater & Gordon, Jordi's solicitors firm.
This is a video of the web-tv Veggie Channel.
Director: Massimo Leopardi
Editor: Julia Ovchinnikova