Married father-of-two Mr Hashman, of nearby Shaftesbury, is seeking £50,000 for loss of earnings and injury to feelings. Mr Hashman claims that his concern about the environment, animal rights, veganism and, in particular, his opposition to hunting, amount to a philosophical belief under the Employment Equality (Religion and Belief) Regulations 2003. If Mr Hashman succeeds in his claim next year it could open the floodgates to other cases. His solicitor Shah Qureshi, of law firm Bindmans, said: If Joe succeeds, it will give protection to the many people whose belief in animal rights is central to the way they live. Employers would no longer be able to discriminate against them merely because of those beliefs.