Turin and Barcelona Are Fighting Climate Change by Encouraging Vegetarianism and Meat-Consumption Cutbacks

The announcement last week that Turin—the industrial core of meat-loving Italy—will be making moves toward vegetarianism was met with some groans. According to The Guardian, the meat-reduction agenda introduced by the city’s new mayor, Chiara Appendino, drew complaints of nanny-stateism; one disgruntled Tweeter mocked the proposal, writing: “If you disobey [the mayor’s agenda] in Turin you’ll go to bed without dinner.”

In Italy, where salami and pancetta are the bleeding heart to pasta’s soul, Appendino’s pledge to promote vegetarianism—maybe even veganism—understandably rings as a death sentence. While Turin’s new administration claims its intent is not to eradicate the city’s cultural heritage, residents are disgruntled. The Telegraph relayed one commenter’s response to an article on an Italian news site: “Quinoa is revolting.”But it shouldn’t come as a surprise to Torinesi: as a leader in the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) party, which strikes an odd balance between environmental progressivism and questionable social conservatism, Appendino has been vocal in her support of her party’s focus on green energy and sustainability—which includes dietary modifications.


...it’s growing increasingly impossible to ignore how our carnivorous preferences are tangled up in the fate of the planet. Agriculture and food production currently account for about a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions, 80 percent of which are livestock-related, according to new research from the Oxford Martin School. The study modeled four different global scenarios to predict how those numbers might alter by the year 2050: in one, consumption and production continued at thecurrent rate; another predicted the outcome of adherence to global dietary guidelines, which limit red meat, sugar, and total calories while emphasizing fruit and vegetable intake; the last two modeled the impact of strict vegetarian and vegan diets.

What the Oxford scientists found was striking. Following dietary guidelines—which limit, but don’t exclude, meat—saw a 29 percent reduction in food-related emissions; a vegetarian diet raised that number to 63 percent; and a vegan diet reduced emissions by 70 percent