Last month, Colorado declared Saturday, March 20, "MeatOut Day," encouraging residents to go meatless on that day. Now, neighboring Nebraska has declared the same day "Meat On the Menu Day" in a direct rebuttal of Colorado's move. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said the nonbinding MeatOut Day, which came alongside a proclamation from Colorado Gov. Jared Polis encouraging Coloradans to eschew meat one day per week, "a direct attack on our way of life," referring to Nebraska's largest industry, beef production, the Guardian reports. He was surrounded by officials from the state's meat, agricultural, and restaurant industries as he signed his own declaration Monday, ABC News reports.
The Farm Animal Rights Movement started MeatOut Day in 1985 to encourage people to consider a vegetarian diet, and Colorado's own ranching industry has criticized Polis (who does eat meat) for backing the day, as have some local governments and conservative groups. In fact, the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association has declared Saturday "MeatIn Day," per the Denver Post. Polis, apparently in response to the controversy, went on to declare March 22 "Livestock Proud Day," per the Journal-Advocate. Says Ricketts, "If you were to get rid of beef in our country, you would be undermining our food security, an important part of a healthy diet, and also destroying an industry here in our state that’s very important." (Read more Nebraska stories.)