Mayor Tries to Create Vegan Paradise in Meat-Loving Italy

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By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2016 5:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – Say this about Chiara Appendino, she's not afraid of being unpopular. The Guardian reports the new mayor of Turin, Italy, who was elected last month, has promised to make vegetarianism and veganism a "priority" for her government. “The promotion of vegan and vegetarian diets is a fundamental act in safeguarding the environment, people’s health, and the welfare of our animals," says Appendino's five-year plan, released Tuesday, per the Telegraph. The plan includes teaching schoolchildren about the benefits of eating less meat. “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 Local quotes the plan as saying.

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Appendino's pro-vegetable plan is going to be a tough sell in Italy, especially in Turin, which is the capital of a region known for its meat-heavy dishes. When the World Health Organization ruled that cured meats like salami and sausage cause cancer, Italian meat producers accused the organization of "meat terrorism." Appendino has already been roundly mocked online for her plan, and opponents are planning a meat-lovers demonstration in protest. One Turin resident says she worries the city's traditional meat dishes are already disappearing, as dozens of vegan and vegetarian restaurants have opened in recent years. (A chef was fired after bragging about putting meat in vegans' food.)

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