GOOD

Italy Is Now Home To Europe’s First Vegetarian City

There’s already a backlash

This summer, the Northern Italian city of Turin (along with the country’s Roman capital) voted in its first female mayor. Her name is Chiara Appendino, and her five-year municipal plan has a bold component aimed at fighting climate change, improving public health, and decreasing animal cruelty. How? By promoting a vegan and vegetarian diet to the citizens of Turin through municipal campaigning.


Appendino isn’t the only female politician in Italy making waves regarding meat-free eating, however. A few hundred miles away in the town of Forza, city deputy Elvira Sorvino wants to curtail the rising trend toward plant-based eating. In response to recent reports of child malnourishment and neglect by vegan parents, Sorvino has proposed legislation that would criminalize parents who raise their children on a vegan diet. A local Italian report cites Sorvino’s opening statements in the bill where she specifically addresses the growing cultural shift toward vegetarianism as a healthy lifestyle, a shift that she has branded as “reckless and dangerous.”

But in Turin, Appendino’s proposed campaign doesn’t want to directly antagonize meat consumption—its promotion of a plant-based lifestyle is more the byproduct of an already veg-friendly culture. Despite the meat-heavy regional cuisine, Turin boasts 133 restaurants that are either vegan, vegetarian, or are veg-friendly, according to the Veg travel app Happy Cow; with a population under 900,000, Turin’s herbivorous food options rival those in much larger cities like Rome and Milan, where there are 150 and 122 veg-friendly restaurant listings, respectively. Plus, the people of Turin already know a lot about food. The city is the capital of Piedmont, Italy’s second-largest region whose history of gastronomy and food justice makes it good testing ground for the hypothesis that eating your veggies can change the world.

Piedmont is also the birthplace of the Slow Food Movement, a grassroots campaign started by Italian activists in the 1980s that has now spread internationally. The goal? To preserve regional food traditions and help people stay connected with their gastronomic heritage in a time of industrialization and rising fast food consumption. What Slow Food did for the food movement in the 80s could foreshadow what meatless initiatives are aiming to accomplish in 2016—activists who encourage less meat consumption are often trying to help people understand what goes into their food, and to think about how it impacts the environment and their health.

While globetrotting food lovers and wine aficionados likely already have Turin starred on their maps, the city may now become a hub for emerging food activists and policy-makers with Appendino’s plan in place. Though the specifics still need to be ironed out, Appendino’s initiative will likely draw more vegan and vegetarian tourists to Turin, but she may also upend North Italy’s cheesy, meaty cuisine and transform Turin into a sustainable, green city.

Food
Screenshot via Sweden.se/Twitter (left) Wikimedia Commons (right)

Greta Thunberg has been dubbed the "Joan of Arc of climate change" for good reason. The 16-year-old activist embodies the courage and conviction of the unlikely underdog heroine, as well as the seemingly innate ability to lead a movement.

Thunberg has dedicated her young life to waking up the world to the climate crisis we face and cutting the crap that gets in the way of fixing it. Her speeches are a unique blend of calm rationality and no-holds-barred bluntness. She speaks truth to power, dispassionately and unflinchingly, and it is glorious.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

The Trump Administration won't be remembered for being kind to animals.

In 2018, it launched a new effort to reinstate cruel hunting practices in Alaska that had been outlawed under Obama. Hunters will be able to shoot hibernating bear cubs, murder wolf and coyote cubs while in their dens, and use dogs to hunt black bears.

Efforts to end animal cruelty by the USDA have been curtailed as well. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal welfare citations, in two years the numbers dropped to just 1,716.

Keep Reading Show less
Science

The disappearance of 40-year-old mortgage broker William Earl Moldt remained a mystery for 22 years because the technology used to find him hadn't been developed yet.

Moldt was reported missing on November 8, 1997. He had left a nightclub around 11 p.m. where he had been drinking. He wasn't known as a heavy drinker and witnesses at the bar said he didn't seem intoxicated when he left.

Keep Reading Show less
Communities
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
via Gage Skidmore

The common stereotypes about liberals and conservatives are that liberals are bleeding hearts and conservatives are cold-hearted.

It makes sense, conservatives want limited government and to cut social programs that help the more vulnerable members of society. Whereas liberals don't mind paying a few more dollars in taxes to help the unfortunate.

A recent study out of Belgium scientifically supports the notion that people who scored lower on emotional ability tests tend to have right-wing and racist views.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics