Very Important News: Vegan Refused Citizenship For Being ‘Annoying’

A Swiss town decided the left-winger had a “big mouth”

Time To Read: 5 mins | January 13, 2017

I’ve spent an inordinate amount of my 20s in digital news curation. You know how, if you Google ‘brexit results’ or ‘watch kanye meltdown on stage’, there are hundreds upon hundreds of results on as many different websites, all with the exact same information about the same story? Well, someone has to write all those microscopically modified articles. To make this practice sound more legit at class reunions, we call it ‘curation’.

Now, if you worked as a banker for twenty years, chances are that, after retirement, you still occasionally read the Wall Street Journal. Same principle here. I still troll the internet’s backwaters for bonkers stories and, when one strikes a nerve, I quickly write it up here.

 Meet Nancy Holten. She’s Dutch (that means from the Netherlands), but lived in Switzerland (where those little knives come from) since she was 8-years old. Nancy, now 42, has two children of her own, both of whom were born Swiss nationals.

So it was only natural for Nancy to apply for a Swiss passport. Thing is though, after reviewing her case, local officials rejected her outright. This wasn’t because of a paperwork discrepancy or bureaucratic technicality – rather, they told her no because she was judged too annoying.

Nancy’s a vegan and, by the looks of things, she’s the reason for the stereotype. If you don’t know what I mean, the common joke is,

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How do you find a vegan at a dinner party?

Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.

Or, as the president of the local Swiss People’s Party bluntly and hysterically described Nancy, she/they have got a “big mouth.”

In this particular case, Nancy’s been fighting for cow’s rights. She thinks that the bells they wear are too heavy. “The animals carry around five kilograms around their neck. It causes friction and burns to their skin.”

What’s more, according to Nancy, “The sound that cow bells make is a hundred decibel. It is comparable with a pneumatic drill. We also would not want such a thing hanging close to our ears?”

— I’m going to call shenanigans here. 100 decibels is roughly equitable to a helicopter hovering 100 feet over your head, or a large motorcycle revving hard just a yard or two away from you. That old school brass bell is not as loud as my tiny dicked neighbor’s crotch rocket blasting down the street at 11pm on a school night. Ugh, fucking Dave.

And Nancy’s not limited her activism solely to future hamburgers. She’s also protested the local’s hunting practices, the town’s church bells (lady really doesn’t like bells) and — I’m about to search for this on Youtube — the traditional pig races.

But really, whether the cowbells are too loud (they’re not) or too heavy (not likely) or the pig races are too cruel (unimaginable) isn’t the point. Nancy’s asking to be officially made part of a community, yet constantly complaining about that community’s traditions. If you’ve worked as a janitor in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory for years, and you’re finally campaigning to be made an official Oompa Loompa, you probably shouldn’t bitch about how much you hate chocolate and orange face paint.

In most countries, the federal government handles questions of passports and citizenship. But that’s not the case in Switzerland, where towns and local citizens make the first round of decisions. This was unfortunate for Nancy – below is a real sign, made by the locals and distributed while her application was being debated:

Today I learned WordArt is still huge in Switzerland.

Now, a higher level of government can overrule the local’s decision, but the country is notorious about denying citizenship applications, regardless of one’s feelings on bovine rights. And Nancy’s case isn’t helped by the very simple argument made in the initial ruling: she shouldn’t be a citizen “if she annoys us and doesn’t respect our traditions.”

Which, frankly, is fair.

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photo: actual poster distributed by a small town to protest the vegan’s citizenship application (color version embedded below)

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Malcolm Freberg
Malcolm Freberg
American writer living permanently on the road. Believes rye whiskey is superior to bourbon, Belle is the best Disney princess, and that selfie sticks should be snapped in half on sight. Hosted a travel documentary for AOL & played Survivor a few times.
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