In Germany, The World's First Organic Butcher For Dogs

People laughed when Stefanie Fuchs opened her specialty butcher shop in Munich. But little by little, the canine nutritionist’s idea – top quality, custom-made dog food with no chemical additives – caught on. And there's one special bonus at the

In Germany, The World's First Organic Butcher For Dogs


MUNICH -- "What do they put in canned dog food and why does it smell so strange?" Stefanie Fuchs, 28, asked herself precisely this question for years. Her curiosity eventually led to her become a dog nutritionist – and to opening what she describes as "the world's first organic butcher shop for dogs' in Munich's Laim district.

At first, "people just laughed," says Fuchs. Not anymore. Her store, "Beutefuchs," now has over 100 clients from the greater Munich area. Fuchs says the secret to her success is that from "start to finish," she demands rigor in what she does: she buys the meat she sells from organic farms, checking first on site that the meat is raised and slaughtered in sustainable and humane conditions.

From her work with vets, natural healers and physiotherapists for dogs, Fuchs knows that 60%-70% of dogs today get sick because of the way they are fed. Diseases that may be due to poor nutrition include arthritis, hip problems and allergies. To aid prevention, Fuchs creates tailor-made raw food diets for dogs.

After examining and weighing a dog, she comes up with a meal plan with the help of a computer program she created herself. "Menus include meat, fruit, salad, vegetables, oils, minerals and herbs," she says. The food is then either vacuum-packed or put in jars. Fuchs knows her dog food is expensive – per dog it can work out to between 65 and 175 euros per month. But it has clear advantages over conventional store-bought dog food, she insists. "The dog is stabilized at its ideal weight, its skin is healthy, pelt shiny, and behavior more balanced," says Fuchs.

Not only that, but owners enjoy big savings on vet bills. Also, says Fuchs, because fresh meat is more easily digestible, her canine clients produce less excrement – about half of what a dog served conventional chow would make.

Read the full story in German by Verena Maier

Photo - Sugar Pond

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

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What It Means When The Jews Of Germany No Longer Feel Safe

A neo-Nazi has been buried in the former grave of a Jewish musicologist Max Friedlaender – not an oversight, but a deliberate provocation. This is just one more example of antisemitism on the rise in Germany, and society's inability to respond.

At a protest against antisemitism in Berlin

Eva Marie Kogel


BERLIN — If you want to check the state of your society, there's a simple test: as the U.S. High Commissioner for Germany, John Jay McCloy, said in 1949, the touchstone for a democracy is the well-being of Jews. This litmus test is still relevant today. And it seems Germany would not pass.

Incidents are piling up. Most recently, groups of neo-Nazis from across the country traveled to a church near Berlin for the funeral of a well-known far-right figure. He was buried in the former grave of Jewish musicologist Max Friedlaender, a gravesite chosen deliberately by the right-wing extremists.

The incident at the cemetery

They intentionally chose a Jewish grave as an act of provocation, trying to gain maximum publicity for this act of desecration. And the cemetery authorities at the graveyard in Stahnsdorf fell for it. The church issued an immediate apology, calling it a "terrible mistake" and saying they "must immediately see whether and what we can undo."

There are so many incidents that get little to no media attention.

It's unfathomable that this burial was allowed to take place at all, but now the cemetery authorities need to make a decision quickly about how to put things right. Otherwise, the grave may well become a pilgrimage site for Holocaust deniers and antisemites.

The incident has garnered attention in the international press and it will live long in the memory. Like the case of singer-songwriter Gil Ofarim, who recently claimed he was subjected to antisemitic abuse at a hotel in Leipzig. Details of the crime are still being investigated. But there are so many other incidents that get little to no media attention.

Photo of the grave of Jewish musicologist Max Friedlaender

The grave of Jewish musicologist Max Friedlaender

Jens Kalaene/dpa/ZUMA

Crimes against Jews are rising

Across all parts of society, antisemitism is on the rise. Until a few years ago, Jewish life was seen as an accepted part of German society. Since the attack on the synagogue in Halle in 2019, the picture has changed: it was a bitter reminder that right-wing terror against Jewish people has a long, unbroken history in Germany.

Stories have abounded about the coronavirus crisis being a Jewish conspiracy; meanwhile, Muslim antisemitism is becoming louder and more forceful. The anti-Israel boycott movement BDS rears its head in every debate on antisemitism, just as left-wing or post-colonial thinking are part of every discussion.

Jewish life needs to be allowed to step out of the shadows.

Since 2015, the number of antisemitic crimes recorded has risen by about a third, to 2,350. But victims only report around 20% of cases. Some choose not to because they've had bad experiences with the police, others because they're afraid of the perpetrators, and still others because they just want to put it behind them. Victims clearly hold out little hope of useful reaction from the state – so crimes go unreported.

And the reality of Jewish life in Germany is a dark one. Sociologists say that Jewish children are living out their "identity under siege." What impact does it have on them when they can only go to nursery under police protection? Or when they hear Holocaust jokes at school?

Germany needs to take its antisemitism seriously

This shows that the country of commemorative services and "stumbling blocks" placed in sidewalks as a memorial to victims of the Nazis has lost its moral compass. To make it point true north again, antisemitism needs to be documented from the perspective of those affected, making it visible to the non-Jewish population. And Jewish life needs to be allowed to step out of the shadows.

That is the first thing. The second is that we need to talk about specifically German forms of antisemitism. For example, the fact that in no other EU country are Jewish people so often confronted about the Israeli government's policies (according to a survey, 41% of German Jews have experienced this, while the EU average is 28%). Projecting the old antisemitism onto the state of Israel offers people a more comfortable target for their arguments.

Our society needs to have more conversations about antisemitism. The test of German democracy, as McCloy called it, starts with taking these concerns seriously and talking about them. We need to have these conversations because it affects all of us. It's about saving our democracy. Before it's too late.

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