Vegans have the reputation of being loud, self-righteous and strident. Sometimes, they live up to the reputation. Like the woman who has twice, now, been denied Swiss citizenship because she was too outspokenly vegan.
Nancy Holten, a forty-two-year-old Dutch woman, was just denied citizenship to Switzerland for the second year in a row. She's lived in Switzerland for over thirty years, and has, during that time, alienated enough of her neighbors in Gipf-Oberfrick to disqualify herself from becoming Swiss.
Citizenship applications are judged both by government officials and Swiss residents. Bad news for Holten, who has spoken out publicly against hunting, cowbells and church bells, three of the most Swiss things in Switzerland.
According to Urs Treier, a spokesman for the municipal council that denied her, "Shortly before , she had begun to fight against various Swiss values such as church bells, cowbells, livestock farming, hunting, pig racing, eating meat, circus animals, mouse-catching, giving out milk at school, etc. She did this above all in the media."
All That Is Interesting
According to Trier, the rejection decision hinged "on the basis that a person who sets themselves against so many of Switzerland's shared values, practices and traditions, and does this in person, directly and above all loudly, in the press, should not be granted citizenship."
Gipf-Oberfrick has a population of about 3,500. In an interview with CNN, Holten said, "Gipf-Oberfrick is rural and there are farmers and conservative residents here. They aren't used to green topics being discussed so openly. As a vegan, I campaign publicly for animals. That annoys a lot of people."
"It also bothers them that I've been, and continue to be, in the media so much. I do this in order to make people think more about the issue of animal protection. That's my wish."
Holten self-describes as a "freelance journalist, model and drama student." A powerful combination indeed.
Switzerland is a nativist country among nativist countries. Their immigration policies are stringent, and the Swiss are in the news lately due to their zero-accommodation attitude towards Syrian refugees.
In Holten's case, the Swiss authorities didn't even bother trumping up a legal justification for denying her citizenship. Treier told CNN that Holten technically fulfills all legal requirements for becoming a Swiss national. They just don't like her. It's apparently the first time it's happened in Gipf-Oberfrick in twenty years.