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Argentina's Famous Meat Industry Grills President Over 'Vegan Mondays'

Beef is a big deal in Argentina. But in the Casa Rosada presidential palace, people (including the president himself) are now going meat-free. What gives?

Argentine cattle
Argentine cattle
Alidad Vassigh

BUENOS AIRES Argentina is steak country. Meat-eating is a pillar of social life, not to mention an engine for the economy.

So there was bound to be a major beef when the country's powerful meat lobby found out — via Facebook — that the cafeteria at the Argentine presidential palace will only be serving vegan food on Mondays. Cattle ranchers were fired up further when the chief administrator of the presidential office, Fernando de Andreis, implicitly linked their sector with global warming.

The Monday vegan fare at the official residence of President Mauricio Macri is being touted as "good for the planet" and will be enjoyed by all employees of the Casa Rosada — "even the president of the nation," De Andreis announced. Argentina's undersecretary of state for livestock, Rodrigo Troncoso , defended the initiative as well, telling Clarín reporter Pablo Losada that "eating more fruit and vegetables is a good thing."

Eat what you want

Among meat industry representatives , however, the government's healthy-eating push chapped more than a few hides. Ulises Forte, the head of the IPCVA beef lobby, dismissed it as a bid to earn sympathy ahead of parliamentary elections, scheduled for October. "They rarely tell you what to eat. You can eat what you want ," he said.

A Buenos Aires protest — Photo: Dandeluca

Forte also insisted that, "No doctor will tell you that fat-free, barbecued or oven cooked meat...is bad for you."

José Luis Triviño, president of the Argentine Feedlot Chamber , an association of cattle farmers, took issue as well, particularly with the government's linking livestock rearing to climate change. "Livestock farming does care for the planet," he said. "Besides, there are a lot of other matters to discuss here. Let's start with the big cities, not the countryside." The debate, over a good meal of your choosing, is sure to continue in Argentina, and beyond.

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Violence Against Women, The Patriarchy And Responsibility Of The Good Men Too

The femicide of Giulia Cecchettin has shaken Italy, and beyond. Argentine journalist Ignacio Pereyra looks at what lies behind femicides and why all men must take more responsibility.

A protester's sign referring to the alleged killer reads: Filippo isn't a monster, he's the healthy son of the patriarchy

Matteo Nardone/Pacific Press via ZUMA Press
Ignacio Pereyra

Updated Dec. 3, 2023 at 10:40 p.m.


ATHENS — Are you going to write about what happened in Italy?, Irene, my partner, asks me. I have no idea what she's talking about. She tells me: a case of femicide has shaken the country and has been causing a stir for two weeks.

As if the fact in itself were not enough, I ask what is different about this murder compared to the other 105 women murdered this year in Italy (or those that happen every day around the world).

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We are talking about a country where the expression "fai l'uomo" (be a man) abounds, with a society so prone to drama and tragedy and so fond of crime stories as few others, where the expression "crime of passion" is still mistakenly overused.

In this context, the sister of the victim reacted in an unexpected way for a country where femicide is not a crime recognized in the penal code, contrary to what happens, for example, in almost all of Latin America.

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