Who planted the seed for the decision of Germany’s environment minister to ban meat from the official functions menu?

Today I want to share with you a story with a great lesson.

I have read the great news about the decision of Germany’s environment minister back in February and I was so impressed!

So, one day I joined for the first time a vegan pic-nic, despite the bad weather. There, with my friend Eleni and he sister Maria, we met a wonderful vegan family from Israel who is living in Auroville, an experimental community in Southern India (if you are not aware about it, please google it). I knew about Auroville so I was so happy to meet at last people who live there!

My friend Eleni invited them the next day for dinner at her place to spend more time with them as they have so much to teach us (their kids are unschooled until -if- they want to go to school!) and she invited me too.

The story that the father of this family shared with us gave me so much courage to keep going and made me think again about my decisions regarding my social life with non vegans which at the moment is extremely poor.

These wonderful people are running an international reforestation project (in Auroville,Kenya,Haiti.Switzerland) and the father, Αviram, is part of an international committee for the environment which had a gathering in Germany on July 2016. The dinner had ONLY meat (ironically as it was a gathering of environmentalists), many different species of animals were on the table…

He is a raw vegan so he was not eating anything. 

The waiter came close to him and asked:

“Why aren’t you eating anything?”.

Aviram explained him his dietary choices and some minutes later the waiter brought him a BIG plate with salad. The other people from the committee thought the salad is for everyone so they were going towards it but the waiter put it in front of Aviram. They asked why and the waiter explained that it’s only for him who follows a specific diet therefore he couldn’t eat anything else.

At this point, Germany’s environment minister, Barbara Hendricks asked him: “Why aren’t you eating meat?” and Aviram explained her that as an environmentalist he cannot eat animals who, in order to be raised, deforestation needs to take place nor he can eat cooked food because unnecessary energy is spent for it to be prepared. 

Seven months later she bans meat from the menu of the official functions. The ministry said it wants to be a “role model” and justified their provision to fight the negative “effects of the consumption of meat.”

Rival German politicians and Christian Democrats didn’t welcome the idea at all and said that this illegal but Angela Merkel supported her saying it is legal and accepted the ban!

Aviram that day was on his way to Montreal from Israel (or India, I can’t recall) and had 3 lay overs. At the first layover in Amsterdam he read the news about the decision. At the 2nd layover in Toronto he read about the reactions of Rival and Christian politicians and when he finally arrived to Montreal he read that Angela Merkel accepted the ban.

Can you imagine how he must have felt that day?

Aviram is not preaching. He never talks about veganism. He only serves free vegan food at his projects and answers if questioned why he is not eating meat and dairy products.

He told us this story when we asked him how he feels when being between meat-eaters and if he is OK with having meat on the table where he eats.

“I love to eat with meat eaters, it’s the only opportunity to educate them.”

He is so right!

Hopefully, one day, we will overcome the sadness that we feel when animal products are on the table and will be able again to eat with carnists.

Elisabeth Dimitras