Last updated: 11:35 AM ET, Thu January 12 2017

Vegan Woman Denied Swiss Passport for Being Outspoken Animal Rights Supporter

Destination & Tourism Patrick Clarke January 12, 2017

Vegan Woman Denied Swiss Passport for Being Outspoken Animal Rights Supporter

PHOTO: A Swiss passport can be awfully tough to come by. (Photo via Flickr/eurok)

As if being a vegan wasn't tough enough, it turns out that it may cost you a shot at obtaining a Swiss passport.

According to the Local, a Dutch woman living in Switzerland has been denied Swiss citizenship for a second time because of her efforts to campaign against popular Swiss traditions, including cowbells and piglet racing.

Forty-two-year-old Nancy Holten—a vegan and animal rights supporter—has lived in Switzerland for more than 30 years, speaks the language and has two children who are Swiss citizens. However, local residents, who have a say in citizenship applications, are annoyed that she's so outspoken with her unpopular beliefs.

The president of the local branch of the Swiss People's Party, Tanja Suter told local media that Holten has a "big mouth" and added that "she annoys us and doesn’t respect our traditions."

Holten said she can see why people are upset, but won't apologize for the sake of becoming a citizen.

"I think I was too strident and spoke my mind too often," Holten told the Local. "Many people think that I am attacking their traditions. But that was not what it was about, it was never about that. What primarily motivated me about the cowbells was the animals' welfare."

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While Holten admits she'll be disappointed not to come away with a Swiss passport, she has no plans to change her approach.

"I am still committed to what is important to me. Especially for the animals in particular. Their well-being is important to me," Holten told the Local. "If I stop doing it any more, I am not being genuine and honest. So I will not stop just for the sake of the Swiss passport."

There's still some hope for Holten, though, since the local government could ultimately decide to overlook her neighbor's frustrations and grant her a passport.

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