Law, Religions and Food Choices

In today’s multicultural society, religious freedom must also be guaranteed within food-use patterns. The Milan Charter (Expo 2015) focuses specifically on this issue. Each person has the right to determine his diet according to his lifestyle and his cultural and religious identity. The right to feed oneself according to one’s own religious exigencies calls for the enforcing of religious freedom. This might be termed “food-related religious freedom,” and it requires, to begin with, drawing attention to the protection of religious food-related exigencies in prisons, hospitals and schools. The same issue arises in relation to workplaces and transport facilities for long-distance journeys. Is the right to feed oneself according to religious dietary exigencies also guaranteed in these contexts? Law must ensure the exercise of freedom, but it is also necessary to avoid a surfeit of exceptions that hinder the smooth functioning of public and private services.
These issues represent not only a challenge to civilization, but also an economic opportunity for all the companies that might provide services based on dietary restriction requirements. We must strike a balance in our legal systems between public needs and religious exigencies.

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