Young, female, vegetarian

The hunger for meat is still great. The critics of industrial animal husbandry are now particularly hoping for one population group.

Meat counter in a supermarket

Ob Christmas goose, duck or potato salad with sausages – even if many households celebrated last Christmas differently than before, the menu is likely to have been similar in many places: rich and meat-heavy. According to statistics, every German eats almost 60 kilograms of meat a year. A number that is tending to decline, but only to a small extent. There are many critics of German meat consumption. In addition to doctors who warn of health risks, these include the Greens and nature conservation organizations, which are primarily concerned with protecting the climate and animals. Deforested rainforests for the cultivation of animal feed, emissions from animal husbandry, excessively high nitrate levels in the groundwater due to the liquid manure: the environment would be better off in a world of vegetarians and vegans.

But such is still a long way off, as the meat atlas presented on Wednesday by the Böll Foundation, close to the Greens, and the nature conservation organization BUND shows. In Germany alone, almost 653 million chickens, 55 million pigs, 34 million turkeys and 3.4 million cattle were slaughtered in 2019. Not all of it is consumed in Germany, but at the same time Germany also imports meat from other countries, which ultimately leads to an average consumption of around 60 kilograms per inhabitant per year. The Americans and Australians even weigh more than 100 kilograms a year. In emerging countries such as China and on the African continent, the quantities are even lower, but the hunger for meat is growing even stronger there. For this reason, too, experts expect further growth in meat consumption internationally.