The Germans and the meat


In Germany the number of vegetarians is growing, and less people regularly eat sausage. Nevertheless, it is still produces a lot of meat and extremely cheap sold. How is that possible? From Berlin, Sabine Kinkartz.

It is summer and in Germany it is grilled. The white of the food retail sector and offers a mass of meat. Whether sliced, processed into sausages or bite-portioned, marinated and skewered In the refrigerated cases in the meat stack mountains. The prices are amazingly low. The Discounter Aldi for a 500 gram sirloin steak is this week – “for connoisseurs of the best Steak,” explains the corresponding advertising – to get for seven euros.

Less Sausage made of pig meat costs. Just amounted to EUR 3.73 per kilogram, the price tag on the Aldi refrigerated counter has. Minced meat, mixed of pork and beef is also get for less than four euros per kilogram. An Exception To This? A special offer?

No. Meat in Germany is one of the foods that are sold in all the supermarkets cheap. This is due to the fact that meat such as bread, fruit or vegetables as a staple food and, therefore, only with the reduced rate of VAT of seven, instead of 19 percent.

A Billion-Dollar Business

It is mainly due to the fact that cheap and in very large quantities is produced. The meat industry in Germany is a major economic sector. The 25 largest German meat companies to set in 2018, nearly 27 billion euros.

Even though more and more meat is sold abroad, remains a Glut on the German market. A business is it anyway. The workers in the farming and slaughter are operated poorly paid. The animals are kept in huge stables in a confined space industrial and without space for movement and stopping in the shortest possible time to slaughter weight fattened.

“Lax” Animal Protection

Although the animal protection act also applies to farm animals in Germany. With the secretly taken photos and Videos of animal document protection organizations, however, is that the animals is often done to great suffering. In Germany, the terms “lax” are, as in other EU States, writes Martin Hofstetter of the environmental protection organization Greenpeace.

Pigs on the way to the slaughterhouse

Farmers in other EU countries would have to give your pigs more space than farmers in Germany. In addition, the requirements for the application of manure are much sharper and also the use of drugs and antibiotics can be more closely controlled. “This development was politically intended, to make Germany an export champion of cheap meat,” says Hofstetter.

Eight tons of meat per year

To eat meat, was also in Germany for a long time as a sign of prosperity. “Sunday roast” – this term stand for something especially Good. Between 1961 and 2011, the consumption of meat rose from an average of 64 to 90 kilograms per capita per year.

Since then, he is falling and is currently around 60 kg. To about 20 kilograms per head and year, which are processed to animal feed in Germany. The world food organization FAO estimated the global average consumption of 40 kilograms of meat per capita and year.

According to the Federal statistical office, were slaughtered in Germany in the first half of 2019 yet, 29.4 million pigs, cattle, sheep and goats, and processed 3.9 million tons of meat. This is a peak value in international comparison. In the meantime, far more meat is produced in Germany, as the Germans consume.

It may be a few cents more?

Nice, most of the Germans will not find it when they are confronted with the shocking shots of tortured animals. In the supermarket the majority of picks, nevertheless, are more likely to approve of meat, and not animal – and environmental-protective Bio-Ware, the cost, on average, four times more.

Space and outlet for the animals in the Eco-agriculture

Would change, if the meat would in principle be more expensive? Agricultural politicians, but also environmental and animal rights activists propose to increase the VAT rate for meat and animal products from seven to nineteen percent. The additional revenue could be used to improve the husbandry conditions for the animals. For example, the conversion of the stables could be financed.

Critics oppose a tax increase as antisocial. The price would be more expensive for all citizens equally, regardless of their income. In fact, the above-mentioned rib-eye steak would be, if the VAT would be increased to 19 percent, not seven Euro cost, but 7,78 euros. The kilogram of Sausage 4,15 Euro instead of 3,73 euros.

Addition of meats, milk and eggs would be more expensive, would at the end of the month, from a few cents to a few euros. This is for some poor family in a rich country like Germany, more than you could financially cope with the criticism is.

An increased VAT applies to all

Expensive Piece Of Cheap Meat

But how the citizens earn enough? Would you reduce your meat consumption for a couple of euros more costs? In politics, there is some doubt. EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger also warns against a purely national approach. Meat was a staple in the entire European internal market. Even if it should increase significantly in Germany, remain in the neighboring countries, equally cheap.

The green politician Renate Künast would prefer to start with the tax advantages for meat producers. “We subsidize with hard-earned taxpayers ‘money farming”, said Künast of the Rheinische Post. In truth, the supposed to be cheap meat much more expensive, because the result would have to be attributed to the effects of factory farming in.

The be about the cost through the burden on the climate because of the high Animal population, for the treatment of health damage caused by too many antibiotics in pork or rising ground water prices because of the nitrate pollution. “That would be the honest comparison to the Ökofleisch,” says Künast.