New mayor wants to turn Turin into Italy’s first ‘vegan city’

Turin's new Five Star Movement mayor, Chiara Appendino, presented her new council's five-year political programme on Tuesday, which included plans to reduce the amount of animal products eaten in the Piedmont capital.

New mayor wants to turn Turin into Italy's first 'vegan city'
Turin's new leaders want to make the city "more vegan". Photo: Maelick/Junya Osuar/Flickr

It is the first time the promotion of a plant-based diet has been included among the political aims of a local government in Italy.

“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,” the programme stated.

The council says it will spend the next five years educating the city's children about the issues surrounding food in order to reduce the amount of animal products eaten by future generations.

“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 programme continued.

But the plan has raised a few eyebrows in the city, where most restaurants still serve up traditional dishes made from the renowned local meats and cheeses that have been a staple for generations.

“Great foods like wild boar ragu and Chianina steak are already disappearing from the menu once famed for its meats, wines and cheeses,” Turin resident Elena Coda told The Local.

“At the same time there are more and more vegan and vegetarian eateries,” she said, adding that the city now boasts 30 vegetarian or vegan restaurants, the majority of which have opened in the last few years.

“I'm not sure if the trend will continue and expect there will be an inevitable backlash sooner or later.”

But the new council's environment assessor, Stefania Giannuzzi said the aim was not to damage local restaurants and businesses.

“We have total respect for our food heritage, our restaurants and nothing against the meat industry,” she told Corriere.

“I'm a vegetarian and have been for 20 years. But in reality, this programme isn't something I instigated – it's just an extension of schemes which have been in place for years.”

Elsewhere in Italy, parents have been criticized for raising their children vegan after two recent high-profile cases which saw toddlers being hospitalized due to malnourishment.

Read more: One-year-old vegan weighing 5kg hospitalized in Milan

In spite of, or perhaps due to Turin's well-documented pollution problems, the inhabitants of Turin are fairly green-minded and the city is awash with organic farmers markets and eco-friendly supermarkets.

Each year since 2001 the council has funded a popular festival for vegetarians known as 'Vegfestival'.

“I'm not saying eating meat is bad or wrong, the information these initiatives are based on are from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).”

In recent years a number of high-profile UN reports have revealed the devastating effects of meat consumption on our planet and our health.

In 2006, FAO reported that the meat and dairy industry is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions each year than all of the world's transportation each year.

A more recent, but no less controversial, report from last year suggested that the consumption of meat – and processed meats in particular – was strongly linked to the development of cancer.

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Turin chosen to host Eurovision Song Contest in 2022

The next edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in May 2022 will be held in the northern Italian city of Turin, organisers confirmed on Friday.

Italy's Maneskin performs during the final of the 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 in Rotterdam.
Italy's Maneskin performs during the final of the 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 in Rotterdam. Photo: KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP

“Turin has won the race to become the host city of the 66th Eurovision Song Contest, having triumphed over 16 other competing bids,” read a statement on the contest’s official website.

“The Grand Final will be held in PalaOlimpico on Saturday 14 May with Semi-Finals on 10 and 12 May.”

“We won! Turin has won!” mayor Chiara Appendino wrote in a celebratory post on Facebook.

Italian state broadcaster Rai said Turin had beaten off competition from the cities of Milan, Bologna, Rimini and Pesaro to host the event.

READ ALSO: Italy wins Eurovision: ‘We just want to say to the whole world, rock’n’roll never dies!’

Turin will be the third Italian city to host the event after Naples (which hosted in 1965) and Rome (1991), after Rome-based rock band Måneskin’s victory in Rotterdam earlier this year with the song ‘Zitti e buoni’.

That event, watched by 183 million people, was Italy’s third Eurovision win and its first for three decades.

‘Turin is the perfect Host City for the 66th Eurovision Song Contest,” said Eurovision Song Contest Executive Supervisor Martin Österdahl.

“As we saw during the 2006 Winter Olympics, PalaOlimpico exceeds all the requirements needed to stage a global event of this scale and we have been very impressed with the enthusiasm and commitment from the City of Turin who will welcome thousands of fans next May.”

“This will be the first Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Italy in 30 years and, together with our Host broadcaster Rai, we are determined to make it a special one.’

Turin was home to the 2006 Winter Olympics and is hosting the ATP Finals tennis tournament next month.