Beastly facts

31. January 2021 — von Nele Günther

Veronika is studying to be a veterinarian. She’s in her 6th year at the veterinary faculty of the LMU München, and there are only a few tests left before she can call herself a veterinarian. Veronika says that above all else, she is creative. This creativity comes out in the form of one or other crazy idea, often one that others end up speaking about… But one idea caught on: the veterinary nude calendar at LMU.

Maybe I’ll just ask directly: why did you do that?

Veronika: Since the beginning of my studies I have heard from time to time about veterinary student calendars from Australia and New Zealand, and I’ve also seen individual pictures. I thought the idea was cool, but I also thought this kind of project would never be feasible in Germany. Sexism is still a big issue here and a nude calendar would be eaten up by the critics. Then the final year made the first move, before we could, and brought out the first Munich vet calendar for 2020. This gave us the confirmation that something like this can also work in Germany – completely naturally and without the debate about sexism. Everything’s done on a voluntary basis, and there is also a girl and a boy version where each picture is coordinated with the students and left as naturally as possible. You can see how much fun we had making this, and that’s the most important thing for us!

Sounds like you all found a new calling? Do stay a veterinarian!

Veronika: Of course! We’re almost already are. I just wanted to continue with this idea because it’s something different – otherwise life is all too boring! Also, it was a completely new experience for all of us: almost none of us had any model experience and we were certainly not naked. So it was bit like jumping over your own shadow and daring to do something – I’m also there in the calendar.

Was it hard to get your fellow students excited about it?

Veronika: In general, no not at all. I think more that many of the students were happy about this new idea and caught onto it at once. There were some people who didn’t see themselves models, but who contributed on the pages with motive ideas and contacts for different animal species – that was of course just as important. In between, it got a bit tricky with having enough males for each photoshoot. But that’s more because 80-90% of the courses consists of women.

Will this happen every year now?

Veronika: I hope so! Despite the amount of work you have to do in addition to the already stressful veterinary studies with this kind of project, it has a lot of added value for each individual involved. And I don’t just mean the beautiful pictures with the cute animals. Friendships developed, you were out in beautiful nature all together in wind and all kinds of weather, experienced a lot of new things, learned a lot about various animals, and there was a great sense of community – after all, we’ve all seen each other naked at least once. So I think that it could be a cool tradition. We can only pass on this feeling of its great importance to the year below us: dare to do it, it’s worth it!

Translated by Maria Kruglyak