In Germany, a third of young people aged 14 to 29 declare that they are vegetarian or vegan, according to the Allensbach polling station. While many adults are joining them in this transition to a less meat-based diet, the German government wants to speed up the process and extend it to the entire population. How?’ Or ‘What? By taking measures to encourage the consumption of meat substitutes. In an interview with the German newspaper Der Spiegel, German Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach confirmed the new coalition government’s commitments to reduce the share of meat in Germans’ diets.
According to professor and doctor Karl Lauterbach, reducing meat consumption is essential to achieve Germany’s sustainability goals, Vegconomist reports. But in addition to the environmental argument, the social-democratic minister puts forward the defense of animal welfare and the health risks of excessive meat consumption. The doctor and politician reminded Der Spiegel newspaper that poorer households tend to eat cheap and cheap meat, leading to high rates of cardiovascular disease and colon cancer in the breast of this population. “What’s the point of animal cruelty if we eat so unhealthy and ruin the climate? †Lauterbach said during the interview, as quoted by Vegconomist.
That is why the German Federal Minister of Health proposes several measures to curb this consumption, starting with a fiscal policy in favor of plant-based alternatives. Specifically, he wants to tax meat to make it less affordable and subsidize alternatives to meat products to encourage its acceptance by the population. “One thing is clear: we will have to eat much less meat (…) In the long run, we could reduce meat consumption by 80%. Not only in Germany, but worldwide, because it is simply very difficult to produce meat without massive CO2 waste”he said he supported his proposals.
“A successful policy requires courage”
The new coalition government in Germany, which came to power last year, had already endorsed these commitments in its coalition agreement. For the first time in the country’s history, it put on paper the political will to promote plant-based alternatives to meat, in particular by encouraging innovations in this sector. The Ministry of Agriculture and Food is also entrusted to Cem Özdemir, who is a vegetarian himself.
“I think an initiative that calls for a vegetarian and vegan diet, which provides incentives, is the right choice. I know it’s very controversial, but successful politics also takes courage.”for its part supports the minister Karl Lauterbach.
Before this German minister, Spain’s Consumer Minister Alberto Garzón had also called on his population at the end of December to drastically reduce their meat consumption in order to contain the effects of climate change. Faced with the emergency, some governments are no longer afraid to call for changes in habits, no matter how entrenched they may be.