“Racialized ethical vegan” alleges discrimination

Wants $15,000 from Ryerson University


A master’s graduate has filed a complaint asking for $15,000 from Ryerson University because she says she was discriminated against for being a “Racialized Ethical Vegan.” Sinem Ketenci, a 37-year-old from Turkey, says that a senior professor at Ryerson disagreed with her comparison of maltreated animals with marginalized people, which caused another professor to withdraw his recommendation of her for a PhD in social work. “This systemic discrimination and harassment that silences marginalized minority peoples’ voices, such as me as a Racialized Ethical Vegan, is a serious threat towards freedom of speech and freedom of belief,” Ms. Ketenci wrote in her complaint to Ontario’s Human Rights Tribunal, which will now decide whether the complaint should move ahead to mediation. It’s unclear what this has to do with race, but Ketenci told the National Post: “If I were white, born here, this case would not have happened.” Ryerson has not yet responded.


“Racialized ethical vegan” alleges discrimination

  1. Yet another reminder of why Canada’s “human rights tribunals” are a farce. They are a waste of money, an under-appreciated threat to free speech in the guise of political correction, an arena for crusades about obscure or irrelevant causes, and an insult to those who suffer actual human rights abuses.

    Ask an actual victim of human rights abuse — a genocide survivor, a famine victim, or a prisoner tortured in an authoritarian country — what they think about Ms. Ketenci’s “racialized ethical veganism” and they would probably laugh bitterly.

    Real human rights abuses (generally) do not occur in Canada, because Canada already has a rigorous and fair legal system. Any human rights abuses — if they are authentic — should be tried under existing criminal laws.

    Things like hate speech should not be treated as criminal offenses unless they are e.g. part-and-parcel with actual crimes (like a hate-motivated mugging). The right to offend is the right to free speech.

    Canadian human rights tribunals/commissions insult actual human rights victims and cheapen the authority, intellectual rigor, restraint, and majesty of our legal system.

    Furthermore, people like Ms. Ketenci are an embarrassment to academe and give higher education a bad name. They justify all the worst stereotypes that the right throws around about the left and university campuses. It’s a shame for those of us who actually take both liberalism and university education seriously.

  2. What does this have to do with race? Next thing she’ll be claiming it is because she is a woman. Piled Higher and Deep is right…

  3. What is she talking about “If I were white”. She IS WHITE, with white skin privilege! She IS completely and TOTALLY RACIST to compare people of colour to animals. And SHE is filing a Human Rights Complaint! This is ridiculous! An insult and complete waste of resources! Unbelievable.

  4. If her complaint gets through Human Rights,then I will have lost all faith in our system. What does ethical veganism have to do with social work anyway?

  5. She wasn’t comparing animals with people of color. The article says she compared the MALTREATMENT of animals with the MARGINALIZED people. And I think her study of the comparison of the two is a vital one.

    The fact is, the reason so many atrocities inflicted on billions of animals every year, LEGALLY at that, is because humans are more quick to point out how different and superior we are to animals versus reflecting on all of our similarities. So I do NOT believe comparing the mistreatment of animals to the mistreatment of humans (regardless of color, is absolutely necessary so humans will make the connection and stop the madness.

    OPEN YOUR EYES to the appallingly cruel LEGAL practices on factory farms where MOST if not ALL of the meat and animal products you buy comes from. OPEN YOUR EYES to the fact that we use, abuse, colonize, “manufacture”, deplete and destroy the livelihood of animals everyday for mostly vain and unnecessary human purposes. OPEN YOUR EYES to see how we have done this to various races, classes and genders of our OWN species throughout the existence of the earth and have still learned nothing.

    It is not an insult to compare human suffering to the suffering of animals. Make the connection and you’ll realize that the study of race, socialism and veganism TOGETHER is an important one.

    • “Marginalized”, “People of Colour”, “Racialized” whatever term you use, the comparison is definitely a racist one. No question. How utterly offensive. It is so typical of racists like sinem, to start crying about their marginalization and then accuse their accusers of racism or reverse racism or whatever. She’s been accused of racism and is falsly crying racism back. It’s the oldest trick in the book. She should take responsibilty and fess up. She is not a visible minority. She has white skin privilege and does not know what it’s like to live life as a person of colour. She is indeed a racist. Period.

    • I totally agree Melissa! The suffering and exploitation is experienced the same whether the victims have 2 legs or 4.

      Sentient nonhumans are trapped within a culture that commodifies their bodies on a scale equal to any holocaust. I certainly see the similarity of disenfranchisement: Not male. Not white. Not young. Not human. No one should have the right to “own” any life but their own…

      • Well then let her compare the suffering of animals to her own suffering as a white racialized ethical vegan. She’s saying she’s discriminated against, she’s marginalized, she’s oppressed, she’s the wounded one. Oh how she suffers such injustice! If she as a White, non-Jew she compares people of colour and Jews (your reference to holocaust) to animals it’s a pretty racist and anti-semetic thing to do. She is totally misusing and abusing the Human Rights Commission. What a sense of entitlement she has. What privilege!

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