Meat consumption in Germany

Meat is a piece of vitality - that was an advertising slogan of earlier days. global meat production has almost quadrupled in the last 50 years from 84 million tonnes in 1965 to 330 million tonnes in 2017.

Currently, every human being consumes on average more than 43 kg of meat per year. 87 kg of slaughter weight are consumed in Germany, of which about 60 kg are actually consumed.

Recently, consumption has been decreasing, while the number of vegetarians is increasing. Pork is eaten the most in Germany - just like in China.

The trend in this country is clearly away from pork and beef and towards more poultry meat: in the last 10 years sales of pork have fallen by 12%, while poultry meat has been consumed more. The reason for this is, among other things, the healthier reputation of poultry and the lighter preparation compared to pork or beef. Another reason may also be the increase in Muslims in Germany who resort to poultry because beef is comparatively expensive and sheep and lamb are rare and also very expensive.

10 years ago 62.4 kg of meat was eaten per capita per year, in 2017 the value fell to 59.7 kg, of which 35.8 kg was pork, 12.4 kg poultry, 9.9 kg cattle, 0.6 kg sheep and goat meat and 1 kg other, e.g. game.

Right on the plate or first in the trough?

Animals also eat what people can eat directly - cereals, soya, oilseeds, legumes, potatoes, cassava.

To produce meat, milk and eggs by the detour of feed from the field leads to a high calorie loss. The conversion rate from vegetable to animal calories varies between (ideally) 3:1 and 10:1, and can be even higher with grazing.

This means that on average about 7 plant calories are needed to produce animal calories.

A diet with meat therefore consumes much more cultivated land and energy than a vegetarian diet.

Where animals only eat grass and plants that are not suitable for human consumption (possible with ruminants such as cattle, sheep and goats), they are not food competitors.

According to the Allensbach Institute for Public Opinion Research, 6.31 million vegetarians or people who largely do without meat live in Germany, about 9% of the population. In addition, 960,000 Germans are said to be vegans or to largely abstain from animal products.

Livestock farming accounts for an enormous proportion of the world's land area. Grazing land and arable land used for fodder production account for almost 80% of the world's arable land. One third of the world's arable land is used for fodder production.