Hero: Vegan Army Recruit Who Was Dismissed for Refusing to Wear Leather Boots
We’ve given this Swiss teenager a Hero to Animals Award for sticking to his compassionate principles in the face of opposition from the military.
Nineteen-year-old Antoni Da Campo went vegan because he believes that animals shouldn’t be mutilated, killed and dismembered for a sandwich or a pair of shoes. But when he signed up to join the Swiss Army, he found that the institution was less than understanding – in fact, he was declared unfit for service because of his preference for plant-based meals and vegan footwear.
Rather than compromising his principles, Antoni is preparing to fight for his right to make kind choices in court. In recognition of his determination and commitment to advancing animal rights in Switzerland, we’ve just given him a Hero to Animals Award.
Soldiers who follow vegan lifestyles are likely to enjoy a reduced risk of developing heart disease, strokes, diabetes, cancer and obesity. And as famous vegan athletes such as David Haye and Patrik Baboumian demonstrate, they can be every bit as strong as their meat-eating counterparts (if not stronger!). Of course, they’re also sparing animals the horrors of castration, branding, tail-docking, dehorning and violent slaughter.
We reckon the Swiss Army should take a leaf out of the Israel Defence Forces’ book by taking steps to accommodate vegan service members and providing lentil burgers, grain salads, soy-based products and fresh vegetables in their mess halls as well as non-leather boots for vegan soldiers. Record numbers of young people are choosing vegan lifestyles, and these compassionate recruits should not have to choose between defending their country and helping animals.