Approximately 42 percent of Germans are actively reducing their consumption of meat, according to a new study published in scientific journal Foods. The study was carried out by researchers in Berlin, Bath, and Franche-Comté and found that a growing number of German consumers now identify as vegan (1.9 percent), vegetarian (4.6 percent), pescatarian (5.1 percent), and flexitarian (30.5 percent). For the first time, people who regularly consume meat without dietary restrictions are in the minority—an important tipping point that means meat-eating is no longer the norm in Germany.
“The social implications [of the numbers] here are potentially quite profound,” psychologist Christopher Bryant, who worked on the study, told The Guardian. “The view that being a carnivore is ‘normal’ is part of the lay moral reasoning for continuing to eat meat. But once that is a minority view, and meat replacement options become cheaper and tastier, the trend is likely to continue in one direction.”
Researchers also found that consumers in both France and Germany were interested in cultured meat—where meat is made by cultivating animal cells in a lab-setting. Interestingly, interest in these types of meat alternatives was significantly higher among people who worked in meat processing and production.