Event organizers defend their choice to omit meat from Earth Day vegetarian celebrations as its consumption is not environmentally friendly.
City council members in Kassel, Germany backed a motion that would require environmental group UmweltHaus to serve sausages at its Earth Day vegetarian festival on April 23. Council members cited that the lack of meat—particularly ahle wurst-style pork sausage—at the festival is against German traditions. In addition to pointing out that spaces for vendor stalls were limited at the festival, UMweltHaus responded by stating that serving meat is inappropriate on Earth Day as animal agriculture negatively impacts the environment. On a national scale, a debate between German government officials regarding the consumption of animal products is emerging. Earlier this week, Germany’s Federal Minister for the Environment Barbara Hendricks proposed a ban on meat during official meetings as a way to set a more environmentally friendly example for other government employees. This action angered agricultural minister Christian Schmidt, a longtime advocate for the country’s meat industry, who attempted to ban vegetarian labels on meat-free products such as schnitzel and currywurst. Veganism has been booming in Germany in recent years and, according to a 2016 Mintel report, one in every 10 new products in the country bears a “vegan” label.