The new mayor of Turin, Italy, wants to make her city a more vegetarian and vegan-friendly city, citing health and environmental reasons for local citizens.
Over the next five years, residents will learn about the merits of eating a plant-based, meat-free diet as part of Mayor Chiara Appendino’s overall plan to reduce meat consumption in the city.
“The promotion of vegan and vegetarian diets is a fundamental act in safeguarding our environment, the health of our citizens and the welfare of our animals,” reads a manifesto from her Five Star Movement party.
According to English-language website thelocal.it, in addition to public awareness campaigns within the community, schools will also teach children about plant-based nutrition and animal welfare.
Backlash from city’s meatlovers
But the announcement has been met with backlash from the city’s meat lovers, with locals taking to social media platforms like Twitter to accuse the new government of creating a nanny state.
Likewise, critics say the promotion of vegetarianism risks eroding the area’s culinary heritage which includes signature local dishes like wild boar ragu, brasato al Barolo, beef braised in red wine, and Carne Cruda, raw beef marinated in lemon juice and olive oil.
The move is also controversial given the emergence of four separate incidents in Italy in recent years, in which children brought up on vegan or vegetarian diets were found to be severely under or malnourished.
While Turin is hoping to become Italy’s first vegetarian city, the town of Palitana in India snagged the title of world’s first vegetarian city in 2014, after it outlawed the buying and selling of meat, fish, eggs, fishing and caging of animals.
The move followed a hunger strike by the area’s Jain monks who believe in non-violence and adhere to a strict vegetarian diet.