Nebraska declares pro-meat day on Colorado meatless day

Gov. Pete Ricketts proclaims March 20 ‘Meat on the Menu Day’
Published: Mar. 15, 2021 at 3:00 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts is railing against a proclamation by the governor of Colorado that encourages people to avoid meat for one day a week, calling it a “direct attack on our way of life” and signing a pro-meat declaration of his own.

The move comes after Colorado Governor Jared Polis declared Saturday to be “MeatOut Day,” a day which was started by the Farm Animal Rights Movement and encourages people to cut meat and animal products from their diets, citing health and environmental benefits.

“If you were to get rid of meat in our country, you would be undermining food security, an important part of our healthy diet, and also destroying an industry here in our state that is very important. Beef is the No. 1 industry,” the governor said.

Ricketts surrounded himself with top officials from Nebraska’s meat, agricultural, and restaurant industries on Monday as he declared Saturday “Meat on the Menu Day” in Nebraska.

The day was chosen to coincide with Colorado’s “MeatOut Day,” a nonbinding proclamation signed by Gov. Jared Polis late last month and backed by an animal rights group. “MeatOut Day” was started in 1985 by the Farm Animal Rights Movement and seeks to encourage non-vegetarians to consider a plant-based diet.

Ricketts signed his proclamation Monday morning at Frank Stoysich Meats near 51st and Q streets. Joining him were members of the Nebraska Farm Bureau, Department of Agriculture, the Nebraska Grocery Association, Nebraska Cattlemen, and the Nebraska Restaurant Association.

“I’m here to remind you that 100% real pork is raised by 100% real farmers — farmers from Nebraska,” said Al Juhnke, executive director of Nebraska Pork.

Amber Pankonin of the Nebraska Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics was also there Monday to show support and encouraged Nebraskans to continue to include local meat in our diets.

“Something that I’ve seen in my experience is when we take something out of our diet, we’re usually replacing it with something else. And some of those alternatives aren’t as nutritious as lean animal protein,” she said.

Continuing to eat meats that are raised and produced locally are vital to our health and our state’s economy, Ricketts said.

Reporter Emily Dwire and The Association Press contributed to this report.

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