Germany’s Federal Minister for the Environment Barbara Hendricks recently proposed a ban on meat and fish during official political meetings. In an email to senior political officials, Hendricks’ office stressed that the ministry must set an example to be more environmentally conscious by acknowledging the damaging effects of meat production. “We’re not tell[ing] anyone what they should eat,” the environment ministry said. “But we want to set a good example for climate protection, because vegetarian food is more climate-friendly than meat and fish.” While Hendricks’ proposal would only affect a handful of official events, it sparked controversy amongst fellow politicians, particularly Germany’s agriculture minister Christian Schmidt, who called her proposal a form of “nanny-statism.” Late last year, Schmidt called for a ban on plant-based products that reference meat, citing that terms such as “vegan currywurst” and “vegetarian schnitzel” were misleading to the public.
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