back to article 'Doubly unacceptable' Swiss vegan forces his way into the army

A militant vegan has succeeded in forcing himself into the Swiss Army – and avoided paying extra tax as a result. Antoni Da Campo, a “strict vegan and member of Swiss animal rights organization PEA” had previously been rejected from the Swiss Army because the army would not cater for his vegan diet and because he refused to …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now enlist him in special forces training

    I would like to see him "survive" a survival course.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Now enlist him in special forces training

      To be fair most readers here would not "survive" the survival course.

      Ditto for jumping out of planes with full gear. After 30, this proposition becomes dicey for the ones unused to out-of-sofa lives (and this is not the "status of forces agreement" sofa)

      "Now, I hear if you engage with our good friends of al Nusra, you get to eat the liver of prisoners. Would that be acceptable to your tastes?

      1. Stumpy

        Re: Now enlist him in special forces training

        "Now, I hear if you engage with our good friends of al Nusra, you get to eat the liver of prisoners. Would that be acceptable to your tastes?

        Hmm .. depends. Is it served with a nice Chianti?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Now enlist him in special forces training

          No! Alcohol is totally haram in that club!

          1. Swarthy Silver badge

            Re: Now enlist him in special forces training

            All right, how about fava beans?

            1. MrDamage

              Re: Now enlist him in special forces training

              Stop being sexist. Muva beans need to be represented as well.

  2. tiggity Silver badge

    He only cares about saving tax

    Maybe they will have another referendum and add extra tax for those unpatriotic enough to not consume / enthuse about Swiss dairy products as they tend to be proud of their cheese, chocolate etc.

  3. Chazmon
    Holmes

    'Dispute dealt with sensibly after affected parties actually sit down and talk to each other.'

    Well who would have thought it...

  4. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    Bang

    Seeing as his beliefs preclude him using animal products (c.f. his refusal of leather boots) then I assume that we hill also refuse ammunition for his rifle (pork by-products get everywhere, including the propellant in rifle cartridges).

    In the event of invasion will he repel the marauding interlopers with a rifle armed with a flag with the word "Bang" emblazoned on it?

    1. M.Zaccone

      Re: Bang

      The Swiss don't need to do anything like that. If you do attack them, they'll burn your money!

      (* copyright Jasper Carrot 1980!)

    2. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: Bang

      Their logistics guys are gonna love him.

    3. Anonymous Blowhard

      Re: Bang

      "pork by-products get everywhere, including the propellant in rifle cartridges"

      Untrue. I think this is a misunderstanding based on ancient ammunition, which may have used pork fat as a lubricant and may have triggered the Indian Rebellion, although the content of port fat is disputed.

      There's also this joke ammo (at least I think it's a joke).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bang

        NOT a joke, this is a real company and they are making this pork laced ammo available to the public.

    4. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: pork by-products get everywhere, including the propellant in rifle cartridges

      A quick google reveals a Daily Mail article that says gelatine is used during manufacture of bullets, to transport the propellant into the casing. Can't find any other references to this. I wouldn't take it as gospel if the only source is the Mail....

      But additionally, there are plenty of plant based gelatine substitutes, I'm sure they can get him some vegan bullets if they need to.

      Vegans aren't necessarily pacifists, not harming animals in your day to day life isn't the same thing as not defending yourself when attacked by other humans.

      1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

        Re: pork by-products get everywhere, including the propellant in rifle cartridges

        My reference wasn't the Daily Fail - Was quoting something which I recalled from a re-run of QI (which, to be honest, I probably rely on far too heavily as a source of knowledge)

      2. Dick

        Re: pork by-products get everywhere, including the propellant in rifle cartridges

        ...or by a bear?

    5. Bitbeisser

      Re: Bang

      No, he's gonna carpet bombing them with organic cotton balls...

  5. malle-herbert Silver badge
  6. PerspexAvenger

    I'm confused.

    Given military training assumes some (small) likelihood of having to take a life without the owners consent (either in survival craft, or shooting at the other guy) and I figure would be incompatible on that basis with a vegan lifestyle, why didn't they just process him as a conscientious objector and send him to the civil service?

    I'm figuring civil service neither mandates the wearing of leather nor consumption of specific foodstuffs, right?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: I'm confused.

      "civil service mandates the wearing of leather"

      Unlikely in a country with calvinist traditions...

    2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: I'm confused.

      It depends. If he's a PETA type, he'd be perfectly happy killing humans (or cats and dogs en masse, for that matter).

    3. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: I'm confused.

      It's not tricky. Veganism is about stopping industrial scale animal cruelty, or at least not contributing to it. It's a very different thing if another nation threatens your homeland. There's no reason why a vegan shouldn't defend themselves, it's not pacifism.

      In fact some vegan texts argue that milk production is more cruel than meat production. One involves impregnating an animal and then taking it's child away after a few days, the other just kills the animal. The first results in years of cruelty, the second could represent a year of wandering around a field then a quick visit from a man with a shotgun. Which would you prefer?

      1. agurney

        Re: I'm confused.

        So, there's no problem with wearing leather boots that have been made from a (non-farmed) beast that died of natural causes.

      2. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: I'm confused.

        Quote: sabroni

        "One involves impregnating an animal and then taking it's child away after a few days, the other just kills the animal."

        yeah... No... on most dairy farms the calf is allowed to stay with the mother for a lot longer than that (Since a calf doesn't drink nearly as much as a modern dairy cow produces, a cow gives plenty of milk even when suckling a calf). Raising a calf on it's mothers milk is good for the health of the calf, and on most farms, the calf is important for the future production in the farm. Dairy cows are well looked after and not treated all that cruelly. Anybody who says otherwise has never been to a farm around cows.

        Beef cows are not treated AS gently as dairy cows (mostly because worldwide beef cows tend to be a bit on the "wild side" with little contact with humans, meaning they have more of a natural instict to try and flatten you or put extra holes in you.

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: Anybody who says otherwise has never been to a farm around cows.

          Sorry bud, have to take issue with that. A friend of mine had a house right next door to a dairy cattle barn and complained to me on a number of occasions about the amount of noise the distressed cows made when their calves were taken. They were upset for days. The idea that farmers don't take milk that they could sell to keep the cow happy is a lovely one, but I'd need to see some proper evidence to take that as being the norm, not just an "I know better than you" comment.

          At the end of the day it's often not cost efficient to be kind. A lot of farmers are good people who take their responsibility seriously, but that doesn't mean it's safe to assume all farmers would put an animals happiness above how much money they can make.

          1. uncle sjohie

            Re: Anybody who says otherwise has never been to a farm around cows.

            They will be taken away eventually, so the noise will happen no matter what. And having worked on a dairy farm, in stead of just living next to one, I can assure you those cows make a lot of noise for a lot of reasons, being milked 30m later than normal can cause a lot of grief, and noise for instance.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm confused.

        "One involves impregnating an animal and then taking it's child away after a few days, the other just kills the animal. The first results in years of cruelty, the second could represent a year of wandering around a field then a quick visit from a man with a shotgun. Which would you prefer?"

        It would certainly make life simpler for the Child Protective Services department. If you have to take a child into care, just kill the parent. It will save any expensive legal wrangles later, and really it's kinder to the parent.

      4. Burch

        Re: I'm confused.

        Nobody is ever likely to invade Switzerland.

  7. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Why's that then?

      1. moiety

        It's only not vegan if he eats the people he shoots.

  8. Daedalus Silver badge

    Excused Boots!

    Ah, that takes me back....Where's Snudge when you need him?

  9. DrXym Silver badge

    I'm sure they can still find a use for him

    Peeling vegetables

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: I'm sure they can still find a use for him

      "Peeling vegetables"

      "Oi, stop that! You're supposed to peeling all those potatoes, not eating them!"

      1. harmjschoonhoven
        Angel

        Re: You're supposed to peeling all those potatoes, not eating them!

        @Captain DaFt: Sure,

        Jain monks and nuns are not only strict veganist, both also avoid eating tuberous plants and roots as they are a source of life.

  10. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Vegans in the IDF

    "Veganism has become so prominent in Israel that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has started catering to followers in its ranks by offering vegan-friendly ration packs, non-leather boots and wool-less berets."

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-35400314

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/12/big-in-israel-vegan-warriors/413149/

    http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/12/10/459212839/why-so-many-israeli-soldiers-are-going-vegan

  11. Robert Moore
    Coat

    He is going to be popular.

    I would bet there are more than a few drill Sargents who are practically salivating at the possibility of getting to make his life a living hell.

    The military life is largely about conformity. Those who do not conform tend to find military service unpleasant. He has already shown that he is not a conformist.

    In his place I would have taken the tax hit. Of course I would never be in his place, because I know that Bacon is the food of the gods. :)

    1. frank ly Silver badge

      Re: He is going to be popular.

      Not quite. It's 'bacon' that's the food of the gods. It's 'Bacon' who is the god of foods. Doubly holy, a win-win situation.

    2. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: He is going to be popular.

      Not just dill instructors. Every non-com and warrant he encounters is going to have fun, strictly within the rules, with this lad. And, just to make sure that he can't complain (though he will) his squad and possibly his platoon will get to enjoy some of what he gets, and the non-coms and warrants will be sure to let them know why. Which means that he'll be really popular with his fellow recruits, too.

      And i wonder what his military specialty will be. Probably not infantry or armor, the logistics guys would have a cow at having to cater for him out in the woods. He's a business guy, so not the engineers or artillery, either. He might get to be a logistics guy, except that that would mean that he'd get to hand out Evil Animal Product Stuff (tm). Same for being in catering: he'd have to cook or serve the Evil Animal Product Stuff (tm).

      Ah, well, Arnold the Governator famously managed to get out of doing national service in the Austrian army by being too incompetent to serve; allegedly he broke two tanks and it was cheaper to process him out early than to let him near the controls of a third. Perhaps this youngster can find something valuable and break it and have the Swiss army heave him out, too.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: He is going to be popular.

        There are a lot of cunts around who cannot wait to make people's lives miserable when they make different lifestyle choices than they have. We would all be better off without them.

        1. hplasm Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: He is going to be popular.

          "There are a lot of cunts around who cannot wait to make people's lives miserable..."

          Anonymous Cowards, mainly.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: He is going to be popular.

        Not just dill instructors

        Ah, but they're just the right thing with vegetarians.

        Can't have undisciplined dill with a vegan, no Sir. That weed needs a good talking to!

        :)

    3. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: He is going to be popular.

      "I would bet there are more than a few drill Sargents who are practically salivating at the possibility of getting to make his life a living hell."

      This is the Swiss Army. Their idea of extreme cruelty probably involves filling in a multilingual form in triplicate.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding. How can you have any pudding if you don't eat yer meat?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Stand still, conscientious laddy!

  13. Pointer2null

    No discrimination - or special treatment.

    Let him in and serve him the same food and equipment as everyone else. No discrimination - it's up to him if he refuses to eat it or wear it.

    1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: No discrimination - or special treatment.

      'No discrimination' does not mean 'treat everyone the same', it does actually embrace 'make sure no one is discriminated against.' To say 'treat everyone the same' when (for argument's sake) 96% of soldiers have perfect eyesight and 4% need to wear glasses, is to say 'if we let you alter your helmets to accommodate glasses it's special treatment -- no, you have to have the same equipment as everyone else.' And then to discriminate against 4% of your soldiers because they are not identical to the rest.

  14. jonnycando
    Facepalm

    The dear chap....

    Is going to find out what it is like to march 25 miles in plastic boots and nylon socks. He will beg for leather and wool about 5 miles in, if not sooner.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The dear chap....

      Maybe not - he'll be well ahead in chemical warfare before the day is out.

      Come teargas exposure he'll be laughing..

    2. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Re: The dear chap....

      He'll be expected to polish a pair of black Crocs

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The dear chap....

      I enjoy 25 miles in fabric boots and cotton socks. I expect alternatives might involve artificial materials along the lines of fleece or lycra.

  15. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    He;s under 30. Is his income going to be high enough that a 3% add-on is going to be noticable? Or even applicable? I didn't have a high enough income to pay income tax until I was 29.

    1. Korev Silver badge

      He;s under 30. Is his income going to be high enough that a 3% add-on is going to be noticable? Or even applicable? I didn't have a high enough income to pay income tax until I was 29.

      Swiss income tax is a lot lower than in places like the UK; that 3% could mean that his tax has gone up by a third or quarter. The scales are much more graduated too, so the chance are he'd be paying at least some tax.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Impressive.

    Here's a man who managed to have his steak and eat it.

    Er, wait..

    :)

  17. david 12 Bronze badge

    The objection was --

    That they wouldn't let him do the Conscientious Objector civil-service alternative. It appears that they thought he was a dickhead, and unsuitable for any role.

    That may or may not be the case, but it can't be proven just by a few strange beliefs As anyone who has studied mental health/crazies knows, every crazy belief is also held by a small number of sane people.

  18. John Tserkezis

    It's all gone to the dogs.

    I once met a guy who flatly refused to eat or be around soy products.

    At first I though he was alergic to the stuff, but no, and I shit you not, his objection was that soy was being planted in fields that could be used for more "worthy" (In his opinion) products.

    There should be laws against that.

    1. Jos V
      Happy

      Soy?

      Well John, I'd have to sorta agree with the lad. There's a perfectly good alternative to soy. It's called beef. And those fields could be used for cows to graze on them.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: Soy?

        It's nowhere near as efficient in terms of kilo of protein per hectare though. The deliciousness of that protein is a different matter....

  19. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    "I'm sort of like a post-modern vegetarian; I eat meat ironically." -- Bill Bailey

    Anyway: this guy beat the Swiss bureaucracy, so I wouldn't underestimate him.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Killing Animals a No No

    But killing people is fine thank you. I always find that amusing for animal rights activists who are happy to burn/bomb buildings with people in them.

    I'd like to see this numpty survive a march and dig in on watercress and whatever the chuff else vegans actually eat!!

    I did server in an infantry regiment and during "manouvers" we were told that we can burn upto 12k calories per day, that's an awfully large pile of something to consume if its not standard ration packs!!

    Maybe he's actually hard as nails and is providing peers an excuse to pick a fight. If he's not practised at fighting, I suspect he might be after training!!

    Best of luck to him, I think he might need it.

  21. Noth

    No such thing as a Swiss general ... in peacetime

    By the way, the only time a senior officer gets to become a general in Switzerland is if the country is a war, and he has to get elected as such by the parliament. I kid you not. In peacetime the highest rank is Chief of Army, ie Chief of Staff.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So only men have to serve? As a feminist, I'd like equality please.

  23. jonnycando

    12,000 calories a day....hmmm. That's why I lost 50 pounds in basic training! I am sure I was only eating around 5000 calories.

  24. James 36

    optional

    I though 12000 calories per day whilst training was if you were in the arctic circle ?

    I know sweet FA about this though so probably wrong

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