Germany’s agriculture minister has called for a reduction in the number of livestock in the country in order to help fight climate change.
Cem Özdemir, a member of the country’s Greens party, said livestock was contributing heavily to climate change in a wide variety of ways, including through the animal feed they need to survive.
Outlining the need to reduce Germany’s national herd, Özdemir said that cutting numbers would lessen the requirement “to cut down rainforests” for additional crop space.
He added that both the land recovered from grazing and that from animal-feed crops could be used to grow more food for humans.
The minister is particularly keen to see German farmers start growing hardier crops that are more able to survive drought and warm weather, advocating for “chickpeas in Brandenburg”.
Angry Belgian farmers have rallied behind the new Farmers Defence Force (FDF) to protest in Antwerp on August 18, echoing earlier demonstrations in the Netherlands. https://t.co/r15hggMW9H
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) August 18, 2023
Özdemir’s comments are par for the course for the politician, who has frequently advocated for Germans to adjust their diets to be more eco-friendly.
Such efforts have proved controversial for many in the country, although the minister has insisted he does not want to prevent people from eating “as much meat as they want to”.
Having previously decried attempts to generate a “culture war” around sustainable farming, he has been militant in his support for controversial restrictions on farmers being made at the EU level, insisting that such measures are not up for negotiation.
Such a sentiment appears to be representative of the country’s Greens party, with officials at both the national and state levels looking to crack down on certain types of farming over environmental fears.
One minister in Lower Saxony has even suggested that the cultivation of strawberries and tomatoes be banned as they require too much water.
The European Commission has confirmed it is funding projects researching how farmers could kill weeds using laser beams. https://t.co/yyd3Zn6jXW
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) August 26, 2023