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Germany's Pork Consumption at Record Low

The once sausage-loving country has been ditching pig products for a decade in favor of plant-based meat alternatives.

New research compiled by Agriculture Market Information Co. (AMIC) found that Germans have steadily reduced their consumption of pig products in recent years. Traditionally, Germany has been the largest pork-producing and consuming country in Europe, but according to AMIC, consumption has dropped from 86 pounds per person annually to approximately 79 pounds per person annually—a change that media outlet Bloomberg explains comes from a growing awareness about the environmental damage caused by animal agriculture and a subsequent increase in consumption of plant-based foods. According to another market research study conducted by Euromonitor International, overall meat consumption in the country is at its lowest since 2006. Last year, one in 10 of all new products released in Germany—including meat alternatives—carried a vegan label, and vegetarian and vegan food options increased by 633 percent in the last five years. To set a better example for citizens, Germany’s Federal Minister for the Environment Barbara Hendricks implemented vegetarian-only meals at official government functions earlier this year. Meanwhile, the meat industry and those who support it are feeling the pinch of the plant-based revolution in the country. Last year, German Minister of Agriculture Christian Schmidt proposed a bill that would ban the use of terms such as “vegetarian schnitzel” and “vegan currywurst” in an effort to eliminate plant-based competition to the meat industry, and called for pork to be mandated on school lunch menus—despite an influx of Muslim refugees whose children do not consume the animal product for religious reasons.

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