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Deutschland (Germany)

M

mlp

Guest
That's cool. and also interesting, in light of the fact that so much of traditional German cooking contains meat - a lot of traditional ways of preparing vegetables, from Sauerkraut to potato salad, involves Speck (pork fat - sort of like bacon, but not quite).

As the article points out - no need to read ingredient lists when shopping there. That would be so cool.
 

Amy SF

Dweller in nature
A couple years ago I read an article in Smithsonian magazine about an endangered profession in Germany: butchers. The article profiled several butchers laboring to keep the profession alive, and worrying that it would die out. One of the weirdest things about the article is that one of the butchers profiled is actually a vegetarian! Go figure that one out. :???:
 
M

mlp

Guest
A couple years ago I read an article in Smithsonian magazine about an endangered profession in Germany: butchers. The article profiled several butchers laboring to keep the profession alive, and worrying that it would die out. One of the weirdest things about the article is that one of the butchers profiled is actually a vegetarian! Go figure that one out. :???:
I found the article!

Not only does Axel sense my ambivalence, he shares it: he is a recent convert to vegetarianism. Axel can’t afford to quit handling meat altogether—he has a family to support—but he has already stopped selling pâté from fattened goose livers and now offers customers an alternative to his homemade sausages: a lunch buffet for “nonjudgmental vegetarians.”
Axel stumbled across his new diet when the stress of 90-hour workweeks in a declining market frayed his nerves. A desperate visit to a nutritionist and a life coach resulted in an examination of his diet and profession, which he feels was partly foisted upon him by his family. “I felt like I was dying,” Axel says. “The pressure was killing me.”

He pauses in front of the sausage trough. “If you start thinking about it, there has been a lot of death in this machine,” he says. “Feelings like that aren’t really allowed here. If I allowed myself to turn the switch on and see everything at once, I might as well put a gun to my head. But it still pains me when I see a very small liver, because I know that it came from a baby animal.” Axel’s eyes grow red and watery. “You can say this is ridiculous—a butcher who cries at the sight of a liver.” He then paraphrases the writer Paulo Coelho’s line: “When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change.”

“People might think it’s funny for a butcher to be vegetarian, particularly in Germany, where everything is so regimented,” he says. “But we live in the modern world and we have more options than before. For me it’s a question of tolerance. This has not been an easy transition for my wife, Dagmar, and me. We are like Hansel and Gretel holding hands in the forest.”

Axel walks back to the refrigerator and pulls out leftovers from yesterday’s vegetarian offerings: a zucchini, leek and tomato quiche. “I am teaching myself to be a vegetarian cook. It is all learning by doing.”
He hands me a spoonful of the quiche. It’s delicious.


Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/For-German-Butchers-a-Wurst-Case-Scenario.html#ixzz2OzGj6MPe
Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter
This surprised me:

Nor does it help that Germans are eating less red meat. Meat consumption per person has dropped 20 pounds in 20 years, to a bit more than 100 pounds, with the citizens of France, Spain and even Luxembourg now eating more meat per capita than Germans.

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/For-German-Butchers-a-Wurst-Case-Scenario.html#ixzz2OzFwhPCI
Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter
 
M

mlp

Guest
And this is how the article ends:

I have little interest in buying “flesh sausage” for my daughter at the supermarket, so I walk over to Axel’s instead. It’s been a few weeks since we’ve bought meat, and to my surprise, Axel’s shop is in the midst of its own makeover. The large menagerie of life-size farm animals that graced the store’s marquee for decades is gone. A Tibetan flag hangs from one of Axel’s upstairs windows, lending the otherwise drab building the air of a college dormitory. In the entryway, framed copies of jackets for Paulo Coelho’s books line the walls, and a cup filled with brochures advertises Axel’s newest passion: shiatsu massage. The brochures feature a photo of Axel dressed in his white overalls, but minus his rubber apron and boots, applying pressure to the spine of a prone human figure.

Axel greets us from behind the meat counter, but gently guides us away from the sausages (which he no longer makes, but buys from a nearby butcher) and toward the steam tray filled with today’s vegetarian offerings: pasta with mushrooms, lentil soup, spinach quiche and a casserole with steamed veggies and smoked tofu. Axel hands my daughter a spoonful of the casserole. She likes it.

“I’m glad you like it,” he tells her with a smile. “It’s good for you.”

She points to the steam tray. “Tofu, Papa!” she demands. “I want more tofu!”


Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/For-German-Butchers-a-Wurst-Case-Scenario.html#ixzz2OzJxD8RR
Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter
 

Andy_T

Addicted Poster
Forum Moderator
There has also been lots of discussion among vegan and vegetarian circles about a traditional Butcher, Mr. Spahn, who has turned vegan and offers a lot of vegan artisan fake meat products:

Vegan Butcher Bio-Spahn Vegan in Frankfurt am Main | Tell it's Green

The reason why this shop is controversial is that he actually runs both an organic (meat) butcher shop and a (smaller new) vegan butcher shop, as he stated a number of times that he feels responsible for his employees and can not guarantee their workplaces by completely changing to vegan products. So many are not sure whether it is a good idea to support a butcher shop, or whether it is great that omnivores now will buy more vegan products.
 

ledboots

Peace
There has also been lots of discussion among vegan and vegetarian circles about a traditional Butcher, Mr. Spahn, who has turned vegan and offers a lot of vegan artisan fake meat products:

Vegan Butcher Bio-Spahn Vegan in Frankfurt am Main | Tell it's Green

The reason why this shop is controversial is that he actually runs both an organic (meat) butcher shop and a (smaller new) vegan butcher shop, as he stated a number of times that he feels responsible for his employees and can not guarantee their workplaces by completely changing to vegan products. So many are not sure whether it is a good idea to support a butcher shop, or whether it is great that omnivores now will buy more vegan products.
I would for sure support it! The more vegan stuff they sell, the fewer animal products they will need to peddle to make enough money.
 

AeryFairy

Anachronism
I've been in Dusseldorf for a couple of days, and I've had a lot of options for food :) There was a restaurant where I had currywurst and chips, and a chocolate and cherry brownie. There are also two veggie takeaways that deliver to my friend's flat, so I've had Chinese food (noodles, fried rice, "chicken" stir fry, "prawn" crackers, and spring rolls), and also a "ham" and mushroom pizza with vegan cheese and tofu nuggets.

And in Köln, there was a stand on the main Cathedral market selling Vegan Gourmet Food, so I had a burger with fried onions and apple sauce, and some vegan lebkuchen.

Also, a lot of the beer is vegan due to the Reinheitsgebot
 

Amy SF

Dweller in nature
It blows my mind how such a hardcore meat-eating country like Germany can become so vegan-friendly. :) Perhaps there's hope for the US. This country is still very vegan UNFRIENDLY in so many places.
 

Andy_T

Addicted Poster
Forum Moderator
Actually all the beer brewed and sold in Germany should be vegan, but I guess the mix drinks do not need to follow this rule.

Good to hear you liked it! Cologne and Duesseldorf are two of my favourite cities in Germany. Granted, they always squabble about everything (for the record: Cologne is always right, of course :D), as they have had some kind of sibling rivalry since 1288.

What the two have in common, however, is that they both do brew their own special beers, Koelsch in Cologne and Alt in Duesseldorf, which are both not as good as the beers from Southern Germany...
 

Andy_T

Addicted Poster
Forum Moderator
@Amy SF , please do not confuse the possibility to have a big number of choices in vegan restaurants (which exists in many places in Germany nowadays) with the chances to get vegan options when visiting a "typical" restaurant. Those are markedly lower, unless you go - like most German vegans and vegetarians - for ethnic food like Italian or Chinese.

When I was still in Germany, my daily meal in my company cafeteria was ... a huge salad. Mind you, I like salad, but after having eaten salad day in, day out, for about a year, I was yearning for something different....
 

AeryFairy

Anachronism
I'm back now (after 14 hours of travelling, starting at around midnight, kill meeeeee). I even managed to find something that I'm relatively certain was vegan at the little 24 hour to-go cafe in the train station - an apple pastry, which was marked as vegetarian and did not contain any milk or eggs as allergens. There wasn't a full list of ingredients, so I can't be 100% sure, but I ate it anyway because it was 2am and I was unbelievably hungry.

I really enjoyed my trip, and can't wait to go back - I'm thinking maybe february for Karneval :D
 

shyvas

Deity
Forum Moderator
Germany is not a popular touristic destination for most people over here, so I've never met anyone who has actually been there. I must admit that it is not on my list of countries to visit.

I know that there is quite a large German ex pat community in Spain because of the sun and booze as they say.

When I think of Germany, discount food stores (Lidl, Aldi) and excellent household appliances ; Siemens, Miele,Neff, always come to mind. Solid, robot cars like Audi and BMW and motorways that have no speed limits.
 
Germany is not a popular touristic destination for most people over here, so I've never met anyone who has actually been there. I must admit that it is not on my list of countries to visit.

I know that there is quite a large German ex pat community in Spain because of the sun and booze as they say.
That seems strange. I have met a few Germans living here (I usually meet them in Irish bars for some reasono_O:D) and they say Germany is quite similar to the UK but it is cheaper to live in German cities, probably because of the housing!

I read about this last year.Creative young Brits are quitting London for affordable Berlin | World news | The Guardian

I would like to go to Italy as I've never been there.:)
 

shyvas

Deity
Forum Moderator
That seems strange. I have met a few Germans living here (I usually meet them in Irish bars for some reasono_O:D) and they say Germany is quite similar to the UK but it is cheaper to live in German cities, probably because of the housing!

I read about this last year.Creative young Brits are quitting London for affordable Berlin | World news | The Guardian

I would like to go to Italy as I've never been there.:)
Why do you think it's strange ?:)

I've been to Italy however never to Rome or Florence.
 
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