A survey was administered during fall 2013 to 163 self-identified adult ethical vegans and/or ethical vegetarians in the United States to determine whether the respondents+ beliefs meet the definition of religion according to U.S. federal law. The data demonstrate that a majority of the surveyed group possesses beliefs concordant with the definition of "religion" according to federal statutes, federal judicial tests, and regulatory law. Since religion is a protected characteristic in U.S. law, and ethical veganism meets various definitions for religion, then ethical veganism should be recognized as a religion and a protected characteristic under U.S. law.

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