A vegan woman’s request for Swiss citizenship has been refused because locals object to her ‘annoying’ animal activism and her campaign against cowbells.
In November last year, Nancy Holten had her second citizenship application turned down.
The 42-year-old journalist and activist made a name for herself among the community of Gipf-Oberfrick, in the canton of Aargau, after she founded a social media campaign against cowbells, claiming they were damaging to cows’ health.
The outspoken mother-of-two was born in the Netherlands but moved to Switzerland when she was just eight-years-old. She speaks fluent Swiss German and her children have Swiss citizenship.
Although she says ‘I grew up here and feel very attached to Switzerland’, Holten has spent the past few years campaigning against many Swiss cultural traditions.
As well as her vendetta against cowbells, Nancy has also objected to hunting and piglet racing, and complained about the noise of church bells in the village.
Her campaigns have seen her regularly interviewed in the Swiss press over the past few years, and it seems her community have taken her liberal stance personally.
In Switzerland local residents often have a say in citizenship applications, which are decided primarily by the cantons and communes where the applicant lives, rather than federal authorities. So, despite meeting all legal requirements for a Swiss passport, both of Holten’s applications have failed.
The president of the local branch of the Swiss People’s Party, Tanja Suter, explained the majority decision, saying that Holten has a ‘big mouth’.
Posted by Nancy Holten on Friday, 6 January 2017
She said the commune did not want to give Holten the ‘present’ of Swiss citizenship ‘if she annoys us and doesn’t respect our traditions’.