Germans should go vegan to save environment, proposes Green party faction in Bremen

The proposal followed calls by Germany’s federal agriculture minister for a meat tax to force lower-income families to cook vegan

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Thomas Brooke
The parliament of Germany's smallest state Bremen, northern Germany, holds a meeting Friday, June 29, 2007.(AP Photo/Joerg Sarbach)

The population in the German city of Bremen must drastically reduce its meat consumption and start only cooking vegan meals to help fight climate change, the Greens group in the state parliament has urged.

In a position paper, local Green politicians called for a reduction in meat consumption of around 75 percent, insisting it was essential that the wider population began taking the fight to save the environment seriously and make personal sacrifices with regards to their diet.

The proposal also calls for half of the meal options offered by restaurants, bars, and market stalls in the state to be vegan in the near future.

The local Greens party insists that vegan food is “the most environmentally friendly way of eating,” and claims that poor nutrition, which in its view includes eating meat, has damaging “consequences for climate change.”

“In all areas, cooking without animal products must become the standard,” the paper outlines.

The proposals have been rejected by members of the local gastro community, who believe that politicians should not be interfering so intrinsically in the lives and the diets of its citizens.

“You have to convince people if you want to do business even more sustainably and ecologically. This cannot be achieved through bans or legal requirements,” claims Thorsten Lieder, a spokesman for the local food industry. “Prohibition has already shown that this does not work.”

The local Greens party in Bremen followed recent calls by the party’s federal agriculture minister, Cem Özdemir, who accused Germans of eating the wrong food, a move that should be remedied with a meat tax.

“We should eat less meat overall and make sure it comes from animals that are kept in a species-appropriate manner,” he said last month.

Özdemir said those who eat less meat are having a positive effect on society, adding, “It is healthier, good for the climate, and helps the global food situation because areas get freed up that we previously needed for cultivating animal feed.”

The minister put forward a proposal to discourage meat consumption and fund improved care for animals with a tax.

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