October 24, 2017

The Bundesliga: Great for vegans and vegetarians

Most articles about Bundesliga football published outside of Germany note that one is able to get great Bratwurst and nice beer at any Bundesliga ground. In recent years, Bundesliga clubs have also responded to a trend that has seen many in Germany drop animal products from their diet. Nearly 1 million Germans are believed to live a vegan lifestyle these days, and there even more vegetarians within the federal republic’s boarders.

Finally, a Title for Schalke

Animal-rights organisation PETA took it upon themselves to see how well the different teams in the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga are responding to the animal-free dietary trend. Three points were awarded for each easily accessible vegan dish on their stadium menu. Each vegetarian dish earned one point. The only thing PETA wants to be meaty are the tackles that are flying in on the pitch.

Allianz Arena (FC Bayern and 1860 München) and the Millerntor (FC St. Pauli) have done well on these lists, since they began being collected in 2005. This time around, however, it was Schalke’s Veltins Arena that managed to gather the most points in the fight for winning the title of “Most vegan- and vegetarian-friendly stadium.” The Royal Blues, who are headed by meat-loving and slaughterhouse-owning CEO Clemens Tönnies, managed a whopping 37 points on PETA’s ranking, a new record. Finally, Schalke has won a title in convincing fashion.

Vegan fans of Bayern and Dortmund aren’t much worse off, as both clubs scored a great 35 points. The animal-rights organisation even gives Dortmund props for the fact the club introduced an easily accessible veggie stand for their fans who choose to not feast on what the organisation calls “animal cruelty.”

The remaining 15 Bundesliga teams, however, weren’t able to stay in competition with the three top sides. Stuttgart managed fourth-best with a mere 17 points. Bottom side Hoffenheim ended on a meager eight points.

Note: Hannover 96 didn’t bother to answer PETA’s request for a menus of their food offerings.

Here's the final table from a vegetarian and vegan point of view for the 2014/15 season.
Here’s the final table from a vegetarian and vegan point of view for the 2014/15 season.

Vegan Lions and Hip Buccaneers

The football on display during 1860’s matches wasn’t exactly brilliant, however, PETA writes that the Lions’ vegan and vegetarian fans could at least enjoy a number of fine-tasting and delicious dishes at those matches. Particularly, the pasta and the spring rolls are “to die for,” if the organisation is to be believed.

Unsurprisingly St. Pauli finishes well, just five points behind the Lions. The Kiezkickers offer their fans a wealth of animal-friendly dishes. The club’s new caterer, Vincent Vegan, has even introduced six different vegan burgers at the Millerntor.

Most of the other 2. Bundesliga clubs that responded to PETA’s request for menu information would have scored well-enough for a mid-table finish in the Bundesliga table. Surprise package SV Darmstadt 98 were the only negative surprise of the season, offering their vegan fans nothing beyond french fries.

Note: Seven second-division clubs didn’t respond to PETA’s request.

1860 and St. Pauli are two of the most vegan and vegetarian friendly clubs in all of Germany.
1860 and St. Pauli are two of the most vegan and vegetarian friendly clubs in all of Germany.

 

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Niklas Wildhagen

Niklas is a 30-year-old football writer and podcaster who has been following the Bundesliga and German football since the early 90s. You can follow him on Twitter, @normusings, and listen to his opinions on @TalkingFussball and on the @AufstiegPod.