Nebraska Gov Ricketts claps back with ‘Meat on the Menu Day’ in response to Colorado’s anti-meat move

On Monday, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts hit back hard at Colorado Gov. Jared Polis who declared a “MeatOut Day” on March 20 by creating his own “Meat on the Menu Day.” He called Polis’ move a “direct attack on our way of life.”

Polis is urging Colorado residents to go meatless for one day a week in support of animal rights activists. “MeatOut Day” was initiated in 1985 by the Farm Animal Rights Movement. The group claims that vegan diets promote health and reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses.

To counter that development, Gov. Ricketts held a press conference at a meat shop in Omaha to announce his “Meat on the Menu Day,” which will also take place on March 20. Ricketts highlighted as well that meat is a nutritious, protein-rich food source. Beef production is purportedly Nebraska’s largest industry and he drove that point home. Ricketts was surrounded by top officials from Nebraska’s restaurant, meat, and agricultural industries

“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,” Ricketts noted.

(Video Credit: KMTV 3 News)

Activists have not tried anything similar in Nebraska, but Ricketts said he wanted to take preemptive measures “to make sure they don’t get any traction.”

Nebraska is all about meat. May is “Beef Month” in the state where “Beef State” license plates are sold to drivers. They are proud of their agriculture there.

Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Steve Wellman explained that agriculture supports one out of every four jobs in Nebraska and generates $21 billion each year in revenue. Meat products generate approximately $12 billion in revenue annually according to Wellman.

“When agriculture does well, Nebraska does well,” he said. “Agriculture is the heart and soul of Nebraska, and our 45,700 farm and ranch families keep our state going year after year.”

Ansley Fellers, who is the executive director of the Nebraska Grocery Industry Association, emphasized that the state’s meat producers play an important role in supplying meat to the world as well as to local, independent grocers and households.

“The agricultural industry is so important to the state, and the retail industry benefits in so many ways,” she said.

It’s not just the animal rights activists that Polis is giving support to here. He’s also giving a nod to climate change proponents who claim meat production contributes to advancing climate change ostensibly through cows emitting gas. They also claim that animals grown for their meat are unsanitary and decry what they view as abusive conditions in slaughterhouses.

Ricketts has taken issue with Colorado before over their decision to legalize recreational marijuana. Nebraska is one of three conservative states that have not legalized marijuana in any form. Ricketts, who is an outspoken critic of cannabis, has used statistics from teen suicides and emergency room visits in Colorado to prevent the legalization of the drug in Nebraska.


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