A regional branch of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party is fighting to keep pork on the menu in public canteens, with many institutions allegedly removing the meat from menus out of concern that religious minorities could be offended.
The proposal will be presented by the CDU’s Schleswig-Holstein group in the state parliament’s session next week. The group’s parliamentary leader, Daniel Guenther, claims that pork products were being taken off the menu in schools, nurseries and canteens across the region.
“The protection of minorities – including for religious reasons – must not mean that the majority is overruled in their free decision by ill-conceived consideration,” said Guenther, as quoted by Deutsche Welle, arguing that tolerance must mean “the appreciation and sufferance of other food cultures and lifestyles.”
Bratwurst sausages and other pork products are at the heart of German cuisine, with pig farming particularly important in the northern state of Schleswig Holstein, where agricultural production is the source of 17% of state revenues.
The move may have been inspired by municipal authorities in Randers in neighbouring Denmark, which recently compelled public institutions to have pork on the menu. The CDU denies it is seeking to legally oblige institutions to serve pork, however the campaign has attracted derision from rival parties.
“Vegetarians, vegans and Muslims are in a Holy Trinity: taking over power in Schleswig-Holstein canteens,” deputy leader Ralf Stegner of the centre Social Democrat party mocked.