Wednesday August 22, 2018

Turin’s Mayor pledges to turn it into the First ‘Vegetarian City’ in Italy

Turin is one such city of Italy that serves great traditional meat like bollito misto, stew made of beef, sausages and other sorts of poultry

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  • Chiara Appendino, the mayor of Turin, is on a quest to turn Turin as the first vegetarian city of Italy
  • After a long span of 23 years of only left wing politicians turning mayors, Chiara Appendino won the mayor elections with 55% of total votes in June 2016
  • Established in 2009, the Five Star Movement was started by comedian-activist Beppe Grillot which promotes vegetarianism

Italy is a country which is rich in culture and offers the best of fashion- the Milan Fashion Week, heritage- the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and of course cuisine. Not only has Italy given the world its favourite pizza and olives, but also various dishes like lasagna, pasta and riso. With a country that offers some of the best cuisines in the world, it is next to impossible to imagine Italy turning vegetarian.

Turin is one such city of Italy that serves great traditional meat like bollito misto, stew made of beef, sausages and other sorts of poultry. It is a popular destination among Italians during winters due to its vicinity to the Alps.

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Mayor Chiara Appendino. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Mayor Chiara Appendino. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

But Chiara Appendino, the mayor of Turin, is on a quest to turn Turin as the first vegetarian city of Italy. Turin now has more than thirty restaurants that serve vegan food. As an initiative to “protect the environment, health, and animals”, Appendino encourages vegetarianism and vegan diets in her manifesto, reported independent.co.uk.

After a long span of 23 years of only left wing politicians turning mayors, Chiara Appendino won the mayor elections with 55% of total votes in June 2016.

Not only has Ms. Appendino working towards vegetarianism, but various movements have been carried out to promote the same. Established in 2009, the Five Star Movement was started by comedian-activist Beppe Grillot which promotes vegetarianism. This movement was started as an initiative against corruption and for the planet’s environmental issues, but it also has an ambiguous take on immigrants. It is reported that the Five Star Movement would include educating schools students on animal welfare.

Demonstration in support of vegetarianism. Source: Wikimedia Commons
Demonstration in support of vegetarianism.
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Apart from Italy, there are many countries and faiths that work on extreme vegetarianism. All religions have stringent commitments to their values about dealing with violence and non-violence. Same goes for vegetarianism and non-vegetarianism.

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  • Hinduism or Sanatan Dharma, for example, is a faith that constitutes the maximum number of vegetarians in the world. Brahmins, who are usually temple priests in and out of India, are strict vegetarians. Not only does Hinduism promote vegetarianism and have vegan food as ‘prasaad’ but is also strictly against beef eating.
  •  While Buddhism is another faith that preaches the concept of ahimsa, Gautam Buddha asked his disciples to accept any food that gets offered to them. It is conflicting to know that Dalai Lama is himself a non-vegetarian. Buddhist schools of thought indeed teach vegetarianism, but Buddha’s act of consuming meat is debatable even today. Traditions interpret that Buddha died of eating pork, while some believe he ate a poisonous mushroom.
  • Another faith that practices vegetarianism is Jainism. With its inception 6,000 years ago, Jains believe that every creature in this world is here to help another. They believe in non-harmed peaceful coexistence and consider all living beings sacred. It must also be noted that Jains also wear masks to avoid killing the smallest of insects and walk carefully as to never kill an insect lying on their way.

– prepared by Chetna Karnani of NewsGram. Twitter: @karnani_chetna

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Child Vaccination Mandate Still Under The Confusion Reigns in Italy

According to a 2010 survey of 27 EU states, plus Norway and Iceland, 15 countries do not have any mandatory vaccinations; the other 14 have at least one

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A doctor injects vaccine into a patient's arm, in Rome, Italy, Feb. 23, 2018.
A doctor injects vaccine into a patient's arm, in Rome, Italy, Feb. 23, 2018. (VOA)

Italians are divided between those who think parents should have the right to decide whether to vaccinate their children and those who feel immunization programs must be decided by the government, which they believe has better access to information. Vaccine regulations differ widely across Europe, and the current situation in Italy is in limbo.

Italians enrolling their children in state-run nursery schools currently are uncertain if they need to provide evidence their children have had 10 vaccinations required by a law that came into effect in March. A week ago, the upper house of parliament voted through an amendment to remove that obligation. But to become law, it must also be approved by the lower house.

Parents have been told that for the time being they can simply provide a self-signed declaration that their children have been vaccinated. Many remain unclear whether their children will be allowed to go to school if they fail to provide a declaration or other evidence of the vaccinations.

A surge of more than 5,000 measles cases last year – the second largest outbreak in Europe – led the government run then by the Democratic Party to pass a bill requiring mandatory vaccinations. However, in the run-up to general elections this year, the 5-Star Movement led by Luigi Di Maio and the League led by Matteo Salvini said they would do away with the law. Now in power, they appear to be keeping their promise

Speaking at a recent political rally near Florence, Salvini admitted he had vaccinated his own children and said that parents who have the best interests of their children at heart should be able to make that choice. He added that 10 vaccines are simply too many for some children and it is unthinkable that Italian children may not be able to enroll in school because they have not been vaccinated.

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Confusion Reigns in Italy Over Child Vaccination Mandate. VOA

Salvini said a state that requires 10 vaccines must also give parents the certainty that nothing will happen to their children through pre-vaccine tests, which today do not exist. There are 15 European countries, he added, that do not even have a single mandatory vaccine. Noting that Italy now has the most compulsory vaccinations of any country in Europe, Salvini expressed the concern that some multinational or pharmaceutical company may have chosen Italian children as a testing ground.

Italy’s health minister, Giulia Grillo, a doctor and a member of the 5-Star Movement, has made clear the government believes the right balance must be struck between the right to education and the right to health.

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Grillo said the 5-Star Movement is not opposed to vaccines and recognizes their importance and usefulness. She added that citizens need to be informed properly about vaccinations and that the National Health Service must provide support to parents and children before and after they are inoculated.

According to a 2010 survey of 27 EU states, plus Norway and Iceland, 15 countries do not have any mandatory vaccinations; the other 14 have at least one. The most common mandatory vaccine is against polio, followed by diphtheria and tetanus. (VOA)