VW pulls out meat-based sausage, goes mostly vegan in HQ canteen

Global leading automaker Volkswagen, whose headquarters are based in Germany—a country world-famous for its meat sausages (called Bratwursts)—is making a potentially game-changing maneuver, this time in its kitchen.

Vegan sausage will replace Volkswagen’s currywurst, its own sausage brand, supposedly to help in the company’s sustainability efforts. In fact, the carmaker will no longer offer meat at the employee canteen, except for the occasional fish dish.

In an Aug. 13 article of Plant Based News, it was announced that the German automaker—Europe’s largest car manufacturer—would be updating the canteen menu at its headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, to be mostly plant-based. The move is part of the company’s efforts to become sustainable.

“The Volkswagen revolution is not just happening in car factories. It also concerns what the group’s employees in Germany swallow during their lunch break. If many of them are crazy about the famous ‘currywurst’, they will have to get used to the change of era. One of the main canteens in Wolfsburg, at the German group’s HQ, will no longer serve currywurst,” writes the Car News section of Byri.net.

“When you return from the summer holidays, the menus in the canteen will switch to ‘meatless’; 150 recipes that will still include fish a few times.”

It was after the request of a number of employees to have vegetarian and vegan menus that the group decided to remove the famous VW sausage from the plate.

Byri.net added that, according to the German press who had access to internal information: “Realignment also serves the theme of sustainability, as less meat consumption per week also contributes to the environment.”

Such news, however, hasn’t been digested well by everyone. Dw.com reported that former German chancellor Gerhard Schroder was irritated by the omission of what some would consider the country’s national food at Volkswagen headquarters.

“A vegetarian diet is good, and I do it myself in phases. But basically no currywurst? No!” Schroder was shown to have written on his LinkedIn profile, which has about 64,000 followers.

Schroder, Angela Merkel’s predecessor as chancellor, was cited by dw.com as saying, “There would have been no such thing” if he were still on the VW government supervisory board.

This isn’t the first time the maker of the iconic Beetle was linked to veganism. In 2019, it announced that it would launch an electric SUV called the ID. Roomzz with vegan apple leather seats. Volkswagen described it as a “renewable raw material”, and unveiled the car at the 2019 Shanghai Motor Show. Veganlifemag.com reported that the 7-seater vehicle has rotating fake leather seats, as well as a 280-mile range, and would compete with Tesla’s Model X, a luxury electric SUV. Volkswagen, along with Nissan, Audi, Tesla and Volvo, who have all produced electric vehicles with vegan-friendly interiors, are showing that animals aren’t needed anymore for human extravagance or comfort.

And apparently, at the VW kitchen, animals aren’t needed, as well, for human sustenance.

Related reading—This livekindly.co article shows that even as early as 2010, Volkswagen’s vegan currywurst sausages have been a hit among Germans: https://www.livekindly.co/volkswagen-vegan-german-currywurst-sausages/