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Is everyone going veggie?

Controversy has erupted in Germany about sustainable consumption. These are the different positions.

Martin Orth, 12.06.2019
Going vegan is the latest trend. But is it healthy?
Going vegan is the latest trend. But is it healthy? © Goran Bogicevic/

Against the background of discussions on climate protection and animal welfare, the debate on the right form of nutrition has reached a new dimension.

How did this debate begin?

In the run-up to the 2013 Bundestag elections, Alliance 90/The Greens called for the introduction of a Veggie Day in public canteens. This drive to reduce meat consumption received considerable approval in the media and social media, but was then largely forgotten. Against the background of the discussions about climate protection and animal welfare, however, the debate on vegan nutrition is now raging all the more intensely.

What are the arguments in favour of a vegan diet?

Vegans argue it is good for health, environmental protection and animal welfare. Many modern lifestyle illnesses, such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even cancer, are the result of high meat consumption. It is also responsible for one seventh of all greenhouse gases. Furthermore, intensive livestock farming is unjustifiable.

What arguments do its critics use?

Above all, its critics reject being dictated to about what they should eat. In addition, they point out that a vegan diet is not balanced. For example, the German Nutrition Society (DGE) warns that it can lead to deficiency symptoms. It says humans need animal protein.

What are the numbers?

It is estimated that in Germany some 1.3 million people are vegans and 6.3 million vegetarians, but these figures are steadily increasing. The trend is linked with a growing range of vegan products in supermarkets. Sales have now reached the billion-euro mark.

Our tip

Simply take a closer look at food production and animal husbandry and then define your own attitude towards sustainable consumption. And pay attention to your own body. You will then soon discover what does you good and what doesn’t.


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