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Germans Turn To Hunting To ‘Ethically’ Source Food

With her dreadlocks and nose piercings, Shana Wraith doesn’t see exactly part of a camouflaged hunter chase game in the woods.

However, the 28-year-old woman represents a new generation of German enthusiasts who are worried about where to get meat, especially as home cooking revives during a pandemic.

Wraith, who obtained his hunting license five years ago, was a vegetarian for ten years before returning the meat to the plate.

But recently the only kind that goes through her lips is a fresh game, preferably a specimen she killed and prepared herself.





Shanna Reis, 28, represents a new generation of German enthusiasts who are worried about where to get meat.
AFP / Daniel Rowland

“It’s important to me to know where the meat I eat comes from,” she said, on the outskirts of the western village of Aspisheim near the Rhine, with a rifle on her shoulder and one of three dogs. Said with me.

Hunting licenses are becoming more and more popular in Germany, where meat makes up the majority of the average diet.

The National Hunting Federation said there were about 390,000 practitioners at the end of 2020. That’s a quarter of what it was more than 30 years ago, spokeswoman Anna Martins told AFP.

This is well below the number of neighboring France and is estimated to be around 1 million in 2019. However, this number has fallen in half over the last 40 years.

In Germany, 19,000 people obtained hunting licenses last year, four of which were successful. “Twice as much as it was 10 years ago,” said Martinsohn.



Hunting licenses are becoming more popular in Germany


Hunting licenses are becoming more popular in Germany
AFP / Daniel Rowland

Europe’s top economy is the EU’s largest consumer of pork, and its large slaughterhouse industry prepares more than 55 million pigs and 3.5 million beef meat for consumption.

However, after the outbreak of a series of Covid-19s at German slaughterhouses, especially those operated by market leader Toennies, mass meat production has severely affected its image.

Media reports on the spread of the infection, focusing on scandalous working conditions among subcontractors, were often brought in from Eastern Europe for low wages on precarious contracts to secure a supply of discounted meat. It was.



Wraith climbs a hunting observatory in Aspisheim, western Germany


Wraith climbs a hunting observatory in Aspisheim, western Germany
AFP / Daniel Rowland

“In the long run, people say they don’t want to eat such meat,” said Nicole Romig, a 47-year-old high school teacher in Offenbach, a suburb of Frankfurt.

With the help of her family friend butcher, she cooks a variety of meat dishes using the games she killed, such as grilled steaks, sausages, and liver patties.

Another hunting enthusiast, 55-year-old Ulf Grether, says he makes his own boar sausages and is so demanding that they sell out “even before I make them.”

Those unfamiliar with hunting are interested in “understanding the relationship between forests, fields and animals,” said Alexander Polfers, director of a hunting school in Emsland, northern Lower Saxony.

Wraith said he was interested in wiping out the cruel image of hunters with the help of social media.

“It’s about protecting the biotope, talking to farmers and protecting the forest economy,” said Wraith, who has more than 20,000 followers on her Instagram account dedicated to the hunting lifestyle.

The 25- and 22-year-old brothers Paul and Gerold Reilmann, as well as enthusiastic hunters, have over 30,000 subscribers on Facebook.

But snapshots of their trophies don’t just attract fans in a country where animal welfare groups are a powerful lobby.

“Killing an animal has nothing to do with respecting its life,” said Sandra Franz, a spokeswoman for the NGO Animal Rights Watch.

“There is no rational discussion about hunting, except for the desire to kill and collect the displayed trophies.”

Hunters also comply with regulations on wildlife habitats supported by forest managers and farmers who tend to support large-scale selections to prevent deer from eating young tree buds and hordes of wild boar trampling cornfields. Have to.

“We are always at war with forest rangers. Hunters are happy when there are a lot of animals,” Grether said.



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