In April 2023, Germany’s Federal Information Centre for Agriculture revealed that meat consumption per capita in the country fell by around 4.2 kg to 52 kg per person in 2022 compared with the previous year, which is lower than it has been since calculations began in 1989.

The report states that, last year, Germans consumed about 2.8 kg less meat from pigs, 900 grams less meat from cows, and 400 grams less meat from birds. This translated into a net production decline of animal meat (9.8% less from pigs, 8.2% less from cows, and 2.9% less from birds in terms of domestic production compared to 2021.

Separate data from Nielsen published by GFI Europe has shown that sales of plant-based foods in Europe have grown 6% in 2022 (22% since 2020) to reach €5.7 billion, and Germany represents the highest plant-based food sales value in Europe (the Netherlands has the highest average plant-based food spend per capita).

In 2011, the average German citizen ate 62.6 Kg of meat per year, but in 2022 it dropped by 12.3%. Research by ProVeg International conducted in March 2022 suggests that 51% of the German population had reduced their meat intake in the previous year. Also, research from the Smart Protein Project suggested that in 2020, the sales value of plant-based food increased by 97%.  Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said in 2022: “One thing is clear: we will have to eat much less meat,” and, “in the long term, we could reduce meat consumption by 80%. But not only in Germany but worldwide, because it is simply very difficult to produce meat without massive CO2 waste.”

Jasmijn de Boo, Vice President of ProVeg, said about this newsThis is good news for the environment, for people’s health and, of course, for animals. Animal agriculture is responsible for about 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions, along with widespread deforestation, and the pollution of waterways. It is imperative that policies are implemented to ensure that the trend seen in Germany is replicated elsewhere.”

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.