Saturday, March 20, was declared MeatOut day by Colorado’s governor, which prompted defiant gatherings supporting farmers in Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, pointed to the health and environmental benefits of not eating meat, as well as animal cruelty and the growing plant-based protein industry when he declared MeatOut Day, reported Fox Business (March 20).
MEAT INDUSTRY’S RESPONSE
More than two dozen counties in Colorado and the neighboring states of Nebraska and Wyoming declared Meat In Day in response to Polis’ declaration. Supporters of the livestock industry celebrated with events like Nebraska’s Meat on the Menu Day.
In a written statement, Colorado’s Weld County Commissioner Chair Steve Moreno called MeatOut Day “a slap in the face to the thousands of ranching and farm families across this state.”
Colorado is home to 13,000 beef cattle producers, 206 feedlots and 24 USDA certified slaughter plants, according to the cattlemen’s association. The state’s livestock and related products account for more than 2.3 million cattle and $3.7 billion in sales each year. Nebraska has a similar reliance on agriculture.
“Agriculture is Nebraska’s number one industry and beef is our largest segment of production,” said Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican, in a press release. “While meat is one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat, there are radical anti-agriculture activists that are working to end meat production and our way of life here in Nebraska. I have designated March 20th as ‘Meat on the Menu Day’ to highlight the importance of meat. …”
The Food Institute reached out to Polis, but he did not immediately respond.
RECORD CATTLE ON FEED TOTALS IN MARCH
Meanwhile, U.S. cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market totaled 12 million head on March 1, up 2% from one year prior, according to USDA. The total was the second highest March 1 inventory since reporting began in 1996.