The consumption of animal products is not necessary for humans. In Germany, there are hardly any areas that would not be suitable for the cultivation of crops. In addition, the few alpine pas-tures are not necessary for food production if enormous areas are freed up by the elimination of animal husbandry. Animal agriculture is not a necessary component of a nutrient cycle. It is not sustainable because it requires enormous resource inputs while imbalancing various material cy-cles and ecosystems through the emission of metabolic products. The negative effects include (i) unused carbon sinks due to land consumption, (ii) high consumption of fresh water, (iii) high use of energy-intensive chemical fertilizers, (iv) nitrate contamination of groundwater, (v) high emissions of greenhouse gases, (vi) acidification of ecosystems, (vii) increase in particulate matter, (viii) eu-trophication of water bodies, and (ix) use of pesticides. Animal agriculture disrupts a wide variety of biogeochemical cycles, sometimes irreversibly, and thus contributes significantly to global warm-ing and the collapse of biodiversity on land and in water.
Due to the high farming densities and land consumption, animal agriculture is a major cause of zoonoses and pandemics. Furthermore, it requires a high use of antibiotics and thus promotes antibiotic resistance. Animal agriculture thus represents one of the greatest threats to global health.
Economically, agriculture plays only a minor role in Germany. Only about 1% of the workforce is employed in agriculture. Two thirds of the farms are part-time farms. Agriculture is only viable through subsidies. It plays an important role for the security of supply, but in its current form it causes enormous damage to the environment and to the health of humans and animals.
A change from outdated, outmoded traditions and a shift to a purely plant-based agriculture is a logical consequence from an economic and ecological point of view, and only in this way can we be justified to future generations. This change can lead to new and self-sustaining employment in addition to the imperative reduction of environmental pollution and the prevention of health hazards. The framework conditions for this change must be demanded by the stakeholders from the politicians. Politicians must create incentives for this change, in particular by shifting subsidies. Lobbying associations and politicians must also educate consumers about the necessity of switching and highlight the advantages.
A change for farmers is already possible. Some Pioneer farms have already successfully completed the transition to biocyclic-vegan agriculture. There is also a certification body and more and more advisory services for transformations. Although the German Environmental Agency still describes vegan organic agriculture as a niche, it has recognized its advantages and certifies it as highly sustainable and with great potential (, p.36 -39).