Ten percent of Germans are flexitarians
Share of vegetarians doubled within seven years
More and more people in Germany are critical of unrestrained meat consumption. A representative study by the Universities of Göttingen and Hohenheim comes to the conclusion that the number of vegetarians has doubled in Germany over the last seven years and that a general trend towards less meat has started. Increasingly, consumers would also consciously opt for a temporary meat waiver and significantly reduce their meat consumption.
„Veggie-Days, animal welfare, meat scandals: meat consumption has been increasingly discussed in recent years“, reports the University of Hohenheim in a recent press release. Agricultural scientists from the universities of Hohenheim and Göttingen have now investigated how high the proportion of vegetarians and the few meat eaters (flexitarians) in Germany really is and what motivations they are driving. With an increase to 3.7 percent, the share of vegetarians in the total population has doubled in the past seven years. Flexitarier today is more than one in ten (11.6 percent of respondents). Nearly ten percent (9.5 percent) also said they wanted to reduce their meat consumption. „Overall, 60 percent of Germans say that they are generally willing to eat less meat“, Which is why the German agricultural and meat industry should focus more on smaller quantities and higher quality, the study authors advise. However, some people (13.5 percent of respondents) are still real meat fanatics and would increase their consumption even if it would be cheaper, so the result of the representative survey. Two percent said that regardless of price, they would in future eat more meat than before.
Trend towards lower meat consumption
Professor Achim Spiller from the University of Göttingen explained that „The trend towards eating less meat is likely to continue in the future, as consumer opinion groups are behind it.“ Although three quarters of Germans still regard their meat consumption as unproblematic, consumers are increasingly focusing on sustainability motives, which could lead to a drastic reduction in meat consumption. This is also expressed in the relatively high proportion of flexitarians collected for the first time.
60 percent ready for restrictions on their meat consumption
Professor Spiller estimates that when implementing appropriate measures „such as information campaigns the proportion of Germans who would be willing to limit their meat consumption to 60 percent increase“ would. The driving force behind this is the idea of one's own health, explained Anette Cordts, coordinator of the survey at the University of Göttingen. For those who already eat vegetarian food, animal welfare also plays a special role. Added to this are environmental concerns, which in some people also lead to lower meat consumption. However, large parts of the population have so far been unaware of the environmental problems involved in the production of animal food.
Meat consumption tends to be lower with a high level of education
Two-thirds of people in Germany who are vegetarians are women, which indicates an increased health awareness of the female sex in terms of nutrition. In terms of age, however, no relationship could be found, the researchers report. Vegetarians were found in all ages. In terms of education levels and incomes, however, there were significant differences in the meat consumption of the different groups. Professor Harald Grethe of the University of Hohenheim explained that according to the results of the current survey „the consumption of meat with increasing educational level and higher income“ decreases. (Fp)
Picture credits: Dieter Schütz