Strong promotion of vegan diet is a central tenet of new mayor Chiara Appendino’s political strategy.
The new mayor of the Italian city of Turin is making headlines for her plans to make the metropolitan capital a vegan city. Thirty-two-year-old Chiara Appendino, a member of Italy’s environmentalist Five Star Movement party (M5S), vowed to make the promotion of meat- and dairy-free diets a priority of her administration—a first-ever inclusion in the goals of local Italian government. “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,” Appendino’s political program stated. “Leading medical, nutritional and political experts will help promote a culture of respect in our schools, teaching children how to eat well while protecting the earth and animal rights.” The five-year program outlines plans to reduce the amount of animal products consumed in Turin, including long-term strategies such as educational projects aimed at children that deal with animal welfare and nutrition. Stefania Giannuzzi, the administration’s new environment assessor (and 20-year vegetarian), said that there are no current plans to disrupt Turin’s meat businesses and hesitates to publically condemn the act of meat eating as immoral, but fired back at the program’s critics, pointing out that “the information these initiatives are based on are from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.”