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An Italian tragedy: the land without animals

News Icon 27/04/2017

On the panel in the Cappella Farmese

I am thrilled to have had the amazing opportunity to present the findings of Dead Zone: Where the Wild Things Were in Bologna on Monday, 24th April.

The lecture was held in the beautiful Cappella Farmese building, located in the medieval council. The solemn setting was fitting for the subject matter, and I fell to wondering how the occupants of the ancient paintings lining the walls would feel if they were to find out the stark truth of Italy’s famed agriculture today.

As I discovered in my research for Dead Zone, all is not well in the land of gastronomy. Animals have been increasingly taken off the land and confined indoors. Italy is becoming a land without animals, in which even many organic cows are kept indoors and the iconic Parmesan and Grana Padano cheeses often come from animals who have never been outside.

It was an honour to introduce Dead Zone alongside the highly-respected journalist Giulia Innocenzi, a passionate and effective campaigner for animals, who has recently published her book Tritacarne (Mincemeat).

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With journalist Giulia Innocenzi and campaigner Sara Turetta

Her book was written to unveil the reality of how most of Italy’s food is produced, despite its reputation for quality. Giulia published her book a few months ago – and it has already been reprinted 3 times.

More recently, Giulia has been on Italian national TV for her 6 episode programme Animali come noi (Animals like us). This is the first ever Italian programme dedicated to investigating animal cruelty on farms and slaughterhouses.

The presentation was held as part of Gusto Nudo, a festival on sustainable food culture, and was livestreamed on Facebook, garnering over 10,000 views.

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The CIWF Italia team

A huge thanks to CIWF Italia and to Giulia for making the event such a success. I feel blessed to have such a dedicated team fighting for animals and the environment. The urgency for Italy to move away from factory farming could not be clearer, but I feel confident that support for our movement in the country is now impossible to ignore.


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