• Switzerland's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Vegan recruit declared unfit for Swiss army
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Vegan recruit declared unfit for Swiss army

The Local · 26 Jan 2016, 10:33

Published: 26 Jan 2016 10:33 GMT+01:00

Antoni Da Campo, from the canton of Valais, is appealing the decision, calling it unfair given the growing number of vegetarians in Switzerland, the 24heures newspaper reported on Tuesday.

“What strikes me is that institutions are not taking into account evolution in society,” he told the newspaper.

Da Campo, a business trainee, had passed his physical exam and was otherwise judged apt for the military service that is mandatory for all able-bodied Swiss men under the country’s conscription system.

He said he was looking forward to doing his military training as “an experience that would bring me a lot”, 24heures said.

But the military doctor at the Blécherette recruitment centre in Lausanne determined in December that he was unfit for service, the daily said.

The decision was not solely based on the strict diet he has adopted for more than a year, which prohibits not only meat and fish but also dairy products, eggs and honey.

It was his refusal to wear leather footwear that sealed his fate.

Special treatment cannot be given to every recruit for food and clothing, Gabriela Zimmer, a spokeswoman for the army logistics base, told 24heures.

“The (military) service is a community of interests,” Zimmer said.

Only minor adaptations are possible for medical reasons (lactose or gluten intolerance, for example) or for religious reasons (refusal to eat pork).

“Like vegetarians, these people can put part of the menu to one side and compensate with another.”

Da Camp said when he refused to wear leather combat boots he was told to seek authorization from the military doctor to obtain imitation leather footwear.

Story continues below…

The doctor contacted his superiors before telling the man he was “doubly unfit” for clothing and food logistics reasons.

“Careful, we are not saying that a vegetarian is not able to do his military service,” Caspar Zimmermann, another army spokesman, told 24heures.

“But the army operates from the efficiency of large groups, it cannot adapt itself to each individual.”

Individuals declared unfit for the army are required to pay a military tax amounting to three percent of their income each year until the age of 30.
 

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
US and Russia meet in Geneva for Syria talks
John Kerry with UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Geneva on Thursday for a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

Expert predicts major quake for Switzerland by 2040
A fireman stands in the Italian village of Amatrice, which was badly hit by this week's earthquake. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

The canton of Valais is particularly at risk.

Aggressive deer put down after attacking four in Geneva
File photo: Michal Kosacky

The buck attacked four people in the same area over the course of 48 hours.

Navigation error ends badly for Basel driver

A man accidentally drove his car down a flight of steps after his passenger directed him the wrong way.

Blatter 'confident' as he faces Swiss sports court
Sepp Blatter. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Former Fifa boss Sepp Blatter is back in court on Thursday as he seeks to overturn a six-year ban from football.

Federer teams up with Nadal for new tennis tournament
Federer and Nadal at the Laver Cup launch with Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. Photo: Alex Goodlett/Getty Images North America/AFP

The duo will play doubles together in a new competition pitting Europe against the rest of the world in a tennis team event.

Geneva advises teachers on religion in school
File photo: C Carlstead

The secular canton of Geneva has issued guidelines for teachers on how to deal with religious issues in the classroom.

All you need to know about Switzerland’s strangest sports
Swiss wrestling is the main event at the Eidgenössische. Photo: Ulrich Ackermann/Swiss Tourism

The Local takes a closer look at the unique Swiss sports that are the highlight of the Fédérale, or Eidgenössische, festival this weekend.

Basel woman tied up and robbed in own home
Basel city. File photo: Michelle Kinsey Bruns

The victim was attacked by three burglars in her home in broad daylight.

Swiss sports court upholds Russia ban from Paralympics
Head of Russia's Paralympic Committee Vladimir Lukin. Photo: Yuri Kadobnov/AFP

Russia has lost an appeal against a suspension issued over a vast, state-run doping programme.

Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Photo: Starship
Technology
Swiss Post trials robot parcel deliveries in Bern
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Photo: AFP
Politics
Survey: Swiss optimistic about Brexit effect
Photo: Neil Heritage/Endeavour Fund
Features
Amputee's Matterhorn trek 'makes it more possible' for others
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Photo: EPFL
International
Switzerland tops global innovation table – again
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Photo: Vasily Cotovanu
National
Asylum centre plans shelved after Swiss village protests
Photo: The Local
Politics
Neuchâtel looks to boost rights for foreigners
Photo: AFP
Sport
In pictures: final day success takes Swiss to seven medals
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Photo: AFP
National
Experts debate rail security following Swiss train attack
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
File photo: AFP
Sport
Two basejumpers die in Lauterbrunnen accidents
Photo: AFP
International
Amnesty fears for child migrants at Italian border
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Photo: AXA Winterthur
National
Report: Geneva is Swiss capital of car theft
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Photo: Dani Pozo/AFP
National
Top tips for watching the meteor shower in Switzerland
File photo: Andrew Turner
Technology
Swiss start-up to offer drone service to farmers
Photo: Beat Strasser
National
British quadruple amputee summits Matterhorn
Photo: Judit Klein
National
Switzerland sees rise in child victims of forced marriage
Photo: Michael Schlick/OS Muhr
National
Swiss hiker in Austria rescued after sending SOS to America
Photo: Chris Murphy
Features
14 mistakes foreigners make on moving to Switzerland
Photo: AFP
Lifestyle
Swiss resort unveils huge ‘natural’ fresco on mountain
Photo: C Sonderegger/Swiss Tourism
National
Five great Swiss traditions all expats should try
Photo: AFP
National
Confirmed cases of Zika virus soar in Switzerland
Photo: eGuide Travel
National
Prison for woman who faked Swiss airport bomb threat
Photo: AFP
Technology
Swiss solar plane completes epic round-the-world trip
4,633
jobs available