After nearly 50 years, Volkswagen will no longer serve its famous made-in-house sausage at its Wolfsburg production plant. The German carmaker is pulling its beloved Currywurst from about 150 recipes at the restaurant over at its Wolfsburg headquarters, according to Automotive News.
Volkswagen is cutting its meat production for the sake of sustainability, and it makes sense, but people are losing it over the announcement. As Politico put it, for some folks, this is just “the Wurst!” It flies in the face of decades of sausage-eating tradition. Currywurst production has been ongoing at VW since 1973, as Richard Hammond tells us in this video from Discovery UK:
The sausage is such a VW staple, that it actually has a Volkswagen part number. The sausage casing reads “Volkswagen Originalteil” which roughly translates to “Volkswagen Original Part.” So, it’s not surprising that the company pulling sausage from the Wolfsburg menu would inspire some detractors.
The former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder took to LinkedIn to express his anger with VW’s decision to kill the currywurst. Schröder said that if he had any say, the sausage would stick around at the plant. Here are his words over the wurst, translated by LinkedIn:
If I were still on the supervisory board of #VW, there would have been no such thing:
Vegetarian diet is good, I do it myself in phases. But basically no currywurst? No!
And whether the employees at VW really want that? In 2019, the Volkswagen butcher’s shop still produced 7 million curry sausages.
Currywurst with fries is one of the power bars of the skilled worker in production. It should stay that way.
When I’m in Berlin, my first path usually leads me to one of the excellent currywurst stalls. Also in Hanover there are excellent curry sausages.
I don’t want to do without that, and I think many others don’t want that in their company canteens either.
But Schröder is living in 1998 (having been chancellor from ’98 to ’05) if he isn’t hip to the impact that food production, and meat especially, has on the environment.
Carbon emissions from global meat production are a huge problem, arguably bigger than emissions from combustion cars so cutting some of that anywhere, really, is good. Herbert Diess, the CEO of Volkswagen, plans to abolish all of the carmaker’s factory-farmed meat by 2025, according to AN, and vegan and vegetarian alternatives will take its place.