January 28, 2009

Wurst for Worse as Germans Ponder Less Meat

Risking the wrath of its wurst-wolfing citizens, Germany’s government is asking them to eat less meat in an attempt to curb the effects of climate change.

The government’s environmental advisor is urging citizens to adopt a more Mediterranean diet and limit meat consumption to once a week or special occasions, reports the Guardian.

The Federal Environmental Agency said agriculture accounts for 15 percent of Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions, and meat production is a huge part of that.

Agency head Andreas Troge said eating less meat “hardly means sacrificing quality of life,” but the advice may be hard to swallow for most Germans, who eat a great deal more meat than their European neighbors.

Vegetarianism is not widely practiced and meatless dishes are “frowned upon” according to a Germany vegetarian association.

One critic said the decision should be left to individuals, but advocates say a reduction in meat-eating is more effective in fighting climate change than reducing transportation use.

In a related article, the Guardian also reported that British hospitals plan to take meat off their menus in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

–Julia Hengst/Newsdesk.org

Sources:

“Schnitzel off the menu as Germans are told to cut down on eating meat”
The Guardian, January 23, 2009

“Hospitals will take meat off menus in bid to cut carbon”
The Guardian, January 26, 2009

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