“Who doesn’t know them, these suburban fathers, with a bottle of beer in one hand and grill tongs in the other, roasting 70 cent sausages on a 700 euro grill.” Here Daniel Cox, of the German branch of the American organization People for the Humane Treatment of Animals (PETA), published in their press release.
What grilling in Germany is a purely male occupation, has been known for a long time. The PETA employee does not dispute this. In addition, he calls men in Germany “grill champions”. But what follows later in the text touched the German public, politicians and the media. Leading German publications published reports in the wake of same press release titled “PETA Demands Sex Ban For All Male Meat Eaters”. Needless to say this isn’t the first scandalous action on behalf of the organization. In order not to get lost in suspicion, DW Daniel Cox himself decided to ask if the latest publication of the German section of PETA is fake.
Daniel Kox: We are completely serious. We picked up the main conclusion of the Plos One study (an international interdisciplinary scientific journal – Ed.). The bottom line is that men leave a bigger carbon footprint, lead a more damaging lifestyle. climate. Overall, the difference between men and women in this regard is 41 percent. So we took the opportunity to show that our lifestyle not only results in endless animal suffering for our temporary pleasure, but that our eating habits add fuel to the climate crisis.
Deutsche Welle: But you have practically created such an image of the enemy. The father of the family who stands behind the grill and roasts his sausages. It is a classic in Germany. Have you gone too far?
– No, we don’t think so. For men who grill and eat meat on their expensive brazier at home, buy cheap sausages in discount stores, destroy the very basis of the lives of their own children or unborn offspring. They are destroying the planet, heating it up and causing the suffering and death of two million animals a day. Only in Germany is such a quantity slaughtered daily for the sake of meat consumption. On average, a German eats 1500 animals in his life, which is almost unimaginable. After all, no one could grill or have sex on a dead planet if it became uninhabitable. Such men play with the future of their children.
– The press release also refers to unborn children. “Each unborn child saves 58.6 tons of CO2 emissions per year.” This sounds very heavy. Why do you talk about children like that?
– Of course we want to wake people up, wake them up, make them think. We hope that thanks to our exaggerated demands, people will think about their nutrition and become vegan because only a vegan lifestyle can stop the killing of defenseless creatures and prevent the climate crisis. 20 percent of human emissions come from the consumption of animal products. This is more than the fault of the transportation. Even if we all switch to electric cars, we will not be able to solve the problem of the climate crisis. But each of us can decide three times a day: eat plant foods and keep animals alive, or continue to eat animals.
– Do you eat meat?
– No, I don’t eat meat, I’m vegan.
– That is, it turns out that you can have sex, but men who eat sausage can’t.
– Right. If you’re exaggerating, that’s it.
– Then why only men? When people today talk about gender equality and oppose all forms of discrimination, is this really appropriate? I think now many men have felt the discrimination. Women also eat meat and love barbecue.
– If you look at the research to which we refer, a very clear picture emerges. It looks at food preferences, how we eat. It turns out that men are 41 percent more harmful to the climate than women. If there were other conclusions of scientists, we would be talking about women. It has been scientifically proven that men consume a lot of animal products. The proportion of vegetarians and vegans is significantly higher among women than among men. Unfortunately, the men still have to catch up here.
– It’s just one study. You don’t think that, for example, the German Food Association (DGE) can say that you only have black or white.
– Maybe, of course. There are many studies in the field of nutrition. For us, it was a study that we could use in the interest of our business to set the right requirements.
– That’s almost a publicity stunt.
– You got attention, it worked well for you, but also criticism. I think most people have misunderstood your message. You’re already being criticized.
– Yes correct. It always is. Anyone who tells the inconvenient truth that we need to change our eating habits, and that we need to do it quickly, isn’t being heard. People don’t like to listen to the fact that we have to save gas, that we have to drive less cars. This is a normal reaction. Change is always painful, it is a process.
– You are still demanding a tax on meat, 41 percent. How do you imagine that?
– We have long demanded the introduction of a tax on meat, we demand the abolition of VAT on products of vegetable origin. For example for grains, vegetables, products, because they are more favorable for the climate than animal products. This has been scientifically proven. And we demand an increase in the tax on products of animal origin – meat, butter (this product generally causes the greatest damage to the environment), eggs and others. Now the German government is discussing measures to increase the cost of meat products so that the population does not buy so much meat. And since men are 41 percent more harmful to the climate than women, we propose a tax on men that can be felt immediately and lead to change.
– The research you refer to was published last year. Why are you bringing up this topic now?
– The French politician Sandrine Rousseau called this study (the politician of the Green Party demanded a reconsideration to prevent grilled meat from being a symbol of masculinity. – Red.)
– But German politicians have already reacted, and rather harshly.
– I saw the comments in Bild (German tabloid – Ed.). They, of course, questioned the politicians of the Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union (two conservative parties in Germany – Ed.). I understand they are not happy.
– So you’re ready for criticism? And even when offended grill aficionados take to the streets and say you’ve damaged their image, do you still stand your ground?
– Oh sure. Eating, eating cannot be a personal matter for everyone if meat consumption has such consequences. We are flying at full speed towards a climate catastrophe. It cannot be a private matter whether or not to grill meat if it is to kill and suffer. Consider the conditions in which animals are kept. They only live so short that they are killed. And the “order” for this is made by the person standing at the grill, because he goes to the store and buys this meat. It cannot be a private matter.
– But you’re not just talking about food, you’re still rushing into the bedroom to see them. You demand a ban on sex for such men. Are you crossing the borders here?
– Well, politics will never go to pass the ban on sex. This is our message: if you continue to grill meat, consume meat in such quantities as before, then you should be subject to the prohibition of sex. Then your carbon footprint, which is already catastrophic, won’t be compounded by the fact that you’re about to have children. Here’s an idea. This should wake people up. People are of course outraged now, but they are already thinking.
Who are you saving the planet for? Not for kids? Your message may be read that it is better for you than the carnivore will fry the meat, but not have sex or procreate. You don’t think a young man can say, “I can’t refuse meat, but I can live without children.” Could this be a compromise for you?
– No, in our ideas – the veganization of society. It is better for us if someone produces offspring, but stops killing animals. Today it is so easy to replace meat in your diet.
– But imagine a specific man? What if he gives up the idea of having children?
– Then it’s a personal decision. I don’t think anyone will decide this question for themselves. This is one such “Trojan horse” to make people think. Provocation.
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