Perhaps a better opening question would be whether or not you even knew that yesterday, March 20, 2021, was “meatout day.” I know that I didn’t even get a card in the mail. Of course, this particular holiday was only announced in one state, so I suppose we’re to be forgiven if we missed it. Colorado Governor Jared Polis proclaimed yesterday to be a day when his citizens were encouraged to “replace meat with a plant-based alternative” for their meals on Saturday. I don’t know how well those “Beyond Meat” burgers are selling in Colorado these days, but this was definitely a curious choice for Polis to make. The announcement didn’t go unnoticed, though. In response, governors of several neighboring states that raise plenty of cattle, along with some county executives in Polis’ home state, responded by declaring Saturday to be some variation of “Meat-In” Day. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, as the Free Beacon announced, the meat wars have begun.
Republican governors representing heartland states are uniting in support of the cattle industry in response to calls from Jared Polis, the Democratic governor of Colorado, to move his state away from eating meat. The herd of Republican governors of Nebraska, Iowa, Wyoming, and Montana has taken issue with Polis’s call for Saturday, March 20, to be observed as “MeatOut Day,” during which residents are asked to replace meat with a plant-based alternative.
All four Republican governors issued proclamations in response, declaring upcoming meat days and even meat months as a show of solidarity with America’s ranchers. Nebraska governor Pete Ricketts declared March 20 to be Meat on the Menu Day, explicitly urging Nebraskans to “purchase and eat beef, pork, chicken, lamb, or another kind of meat.”
In addition to Nebraska, Montana’s governor declared Saturday to be “Montana Meat Day.” In Wyoming, it was “Hearty Meat Day.” Taking it up several notches, Iowa’s Kim Reynolds proclaimed that the entire month of April would be “Meat on the Table Month.”
I don’t know about you, but seeing Nebraska decide on “Meat on the Menu” as the name for their day seemed a bit ill-conceived. All it immediately made me think of was this.
All jokes aside, I’m really not sure what Polis was thinking with this stunt. Sure, he won some praise from PETA (they thanked him for “provoking a nationwide discussion”) but what about his own constituents? This sounds like a case of an elected official looking to commit political suicide. I would assume that the Governor must be aware that Colorado is the tenth-largest beef-producing state in the country. And he chooses to proclaim a day where he encourages his people to basically boycott their own farmers?
At least most of the politicians involved were able to have a bit of fun with this. After Nebraska governor Pete Ricketts declared his “Meat on the Menu Day,” PETA threatened to put up a billboard on the border between Colorado and Nebraska warning motorists that they were entering the home state of “Meathead Governor Ricketts.” This led Nebraska Congressman Don Bacon to break out the puns.
“This Bacon has absolutely zero beef with Governor Ricketts’s meat proclamation,” Bacon said. “Colorado going meatless is full of baloney.”
We’ve covered those plant-based alternative “meat” products here in the past, with particular emphasis on the so-called “Impossible Burger.” After looking into the processes they employ to make them, I decided pretty quickly that I’d be sticking with the real thing. For one thing, the “blood” that they make to give the product a more realistic look and feel is a chemical laboratory horror show. I have friends who have tried them and said they tasted okay, but I’d rather not take my chances on this trend, thanks.
Governor Polis can do as he wishes, of course. But he might want to remember who got him where he is today. (Polis also admits to eating meat himself, by the way.) Next time he’s up for election, some of those ranchers might want a word with him.