The Telegraph reports that Barbara Hendricks, Germany’s federal minister for the environment, has banned all meat from official government functions. The move comes as the country tries to combat climate change. Although the decision is scientifically based, not everyone in the German government is happy about it.
The announcement came by email from a senior civil servant who noted the “negative effects of meat consumption” and the government’s obligation to “set an example.”
The environment ministry said in a statement:
We’re not tell[ing] anyone what they should eat. But we want to set a good example for climate protection, because vegetarian food is more climate-friendly than meat and fish.
Ditching animal products is a great way to fight climate change. In fact, even the United Nations recognizes that animal agriculture is a major contributor of greenhouse gases. According to the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization, carbon dioxide emissions from raising farmed animals make up about 15 percent of global human-induced emissions, with beef and milk production as the leading culprits.
A 2015 report by U.K.-based think tank Chatham House found that by cutting back on meat and switching to a plant-based diet we could keep the earth from warming above 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels. The report also suggested that governments take action and lead the way by warding off animal products.
It’s clear that switching to a vegan diet is best for the planet. But it also protects your health and the animals who suffer immensely on factory farms.
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