German Environment Minister Bans Meat At Official Functions

Animal agriculture is aleading source of climate change and environmental degradation, and that’s the reason why a German ministry says its taking a stand for vegetarianism in a fresh and contentious ban.

Barbara Hendricks, Germanys environment minister, declared that her ministry would be serving meat, fish or meat -derived products at official functions. Hendricks said her ministry must function as a role model on environmental and sustainability problems.

We should establish a good example for climate protection, because vegetarian food is more climate-friendly than meat and fish, the ministry said in a statement this week, based on The Daily Telegraph. The prohibition apparently took effect in the conclusion of January.

The ministry mandate also says that meals served at official functions ought to be organically sourced, with a choice for seasonal, local and fair trade products, reported German paper Bild. A short space should simply be transported, the mandate said.

German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks (right) talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (left). Hendrick’s party, the Social Democrats (SPD), are challenging Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) in the coming election. 

In a land known for currywurst and schnitzel, it maybe comes as little surprise the meat prohibition was met with controversy.

Some members of the German government have accused Hendricks, an associate of the Social Democratic Party, of overreaching.

Im not having through the back door. Instead of nanny-stateism and political orientation, I believe in diversity and independence of selection, said Christian Schmidt, minister of food and agriculture as well as a Christian Democrat.

The environment ministry defended its -meat edict. The ministry said in a statement that it wasnt telling anyone what they need to eat, but instead was encouraging sustainable food selections.

Tensions have been running high between the Social Democrats and Christian Democrats in the lead-up to this years German election, which guarantees to be a close fight between both parties. This week the clash over the meat prohibition shows increasing moods, the Telegraph said.

TOBIAS SCHWARZ via Getty Images
Protesters hold a sign reading “Eat less meat” while participating in a demonstration during International Green Week in Berlin, Germany, January 16, 2016. Vegetarianism is apparently increasing in the state.

Research is broken up on the dilemma of vegetarianisms environmental advantages. Some studies indicate the climate impact of vegetables and particular fruits might be as great as some meat products. However, the signs in favor of a reduced-meat diet especially with a number of sorts of seafood and less steak stays convincing from a sustainability view.

Creature agriculture was associated with fisheries depletion, climate change, species extinction, deforestation, land degradation and other environmental impacts. Livestock production alone accounts for nearly 20 percent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. Thats more in relation to the emissions from the complete transport sector, in line with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

A 2015 study indicated that meat eaters might be the top cause of global species extinction, because of livestock generations damaging land impacts. Animal agriculture is, in addition, the worlds leading consumer of freshwater, demanding a mean of 55 trillion gallons per annum, based on a 2015 report in the Stanford Environmental Law Journal.

Steak specifically has been nailed as especially expensive to the surroundings. According to Global Footprint Network, it takes 14 times as much biologically fertile land to make 1 short ton of steak as it requires to make 1 ton of grain.

Some kinds of seafood are debatable. As stated by the U.N., about 75 percent of the worlds fisheries are either used or depleted from overfishing. Greenhouse gas emissions connected with fresh and frozen shellfish generation are the maximum per calorie, compared with other common foods, Carnegie Mellon University researchers discovered in a 2015 study.

Despite Germanys recognitionfor bratwursts and other meat dishes, vegetarianism is apparently on the rise. As stated by the nonprofit European Vegetarian Union, nearly 10 percent of Germanys public picks to go meatless, making it one of the most vegetarian statesin Europe.

Read more: