New Mayor of Turin to Create Italy’s First ‘Vegetarian City’

A bit of controversy is stirring in Turin. The new administration and mayor of the city are pledging to promote vegetarianism as a priority. This does not sit well with the meat producers in Piedmont where meat dishes have been central to the food tradition of northern Italy for centuries. Chiara Appendino, the new Mayor of Turin and a force in the populist Five Star Movement (M5S), is insistent on the change. The M5S’s 62-page document calls for better urban planning and the protection of public land. Appendino’s surprise victory in June has made the 31-year-old the darling of M5S. But the new mayor’s rallying cry against meat could still backfire. There were many twitter posts decrying the plan. Some of the tweets were humorous (eat your veggies or the mayor will send you to bed without supper) and others were downright hostile! Stefania Giannuzzi, a new councilor for the environment appointed by Appendino said the promotion of vegetarianism was not meant as an affront to the meat producers of Piedmont. But M5S could be underestimating the challenge they face in Turin. Last year, when the World Health Organization labelled cured meats such as ham, sausage and salami as carcinogenic, meat producers in Italy railed against the classification, calling it “meat terrorism.”

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