A woman in Switzerland has been refused a passport because her “annoying” vegan campaigning has rubbed her neighbours up the wrong way.
Nancy Holten, 42, is a vegan and an animal rights activist who was born in the Netherlands, but has lived in Switzerland since she was eight years old. She’s fluent in Swiss German and her kids are Swiss citizens.
Holten has twice tried – and failed – to get a Swiss passport, because other residents in the community of Gipf-Oberfrick, in the canton of Aargau, don’t like her outspokenness on animal rights issues.
In Switzerland, locals often get a say in a person’s passport application – and Holten’s neighbours have given her a thumbs down, The Local reports.
Her opposition to local traditions, like hunting, piglet racing and cows wearing bells, and her complaints about the village church bells, have seen her branded “annoying” by locals.
In 2015, her first attempt at naturalisation was approved by authorities, but 144 out of 206 village residents rejected it.
Her second effort was rejected in November.
However, Holten has appealed to the provincial government, which could overturn the locals’ vote.
“Many people think that I am attacking their traditions. But that was not what it was about … What primarily motivated me about the cowbells was the animals’ welfare,” Holten told The Local.
Residents said Holten’s causes weren’t the issue – it was just that she’d been so vocal about them, making regular comments to the media.
Local political figure Tanja Suter said Holten has a “big mouth” and residents wouldn’t support her citizenship “if she annoys us and doesn’t respect our traditions”.
A spokesman for the local government, Urs Treier, suggested Holten wasn’t wanted in the community.
“The reason why they have yet again clearly rejected the naturalisation is that Nancy Holten very often expresses her personal opinion in the media, and also gathers media coverage for rebelling against traditional [Swiss] things within the village.
“It can cause the community to not want such a person in their midst.”
This article was originally published on Stuff.co.nz. Read the original here.
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