Turin, a city known for dishes with succulent meats and cheeses, may soon become Italy's first vegan city.
Chiara Appendino, Turin’s new mayor and acclaimed politician in the Five Star Movement, wants to limit the animal products consumed by the city’s residents. The Five Star Movement supports certain progressive values, such as green energy, environmentalism, and conservation, according to The Guardian.
This is the first time that vegetarianism or veganism has been included as part of a political movement for a local Italian government, as reported by The Local.
"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 council’s program stated.
Over the next five years, the council will educate children about various food issues in order to decrease the amount of animal products consumed in the future.
"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 program continued.
However, as many traditional meals include renowned meat and cheeses, many residents are skeptical of both the necessity and effectiveness of such a program.
"Great foods like wild boar ragu and Chianina steak are already disappearing from the menu once famed for its meats, wines and cheeses," said local resident Elena Coda.
According to Coda, the city has a few dozen restaurants that feature a plant-based diet, most of which have opened in recent years.
"At the same time there are more and more vegan and vegetarian eateries," Coda said. "I'm not sure if the trend will continue and expect there will be an inevitable backlash sooner or later."
Stefania Giannuzzi, the council’s environment assessor, said this initiative is not trying to hurt local businesses and longstanding Italian traditions.
"We have total respect for our food heritage, our restaurants and nothing against the meat industry," she said. "I'm a vegetarian and have been for 20 years. But in reality, this program isn't something I instigated -- it's just an extension of schemes which have been in place for years."