HELENA — Montana governor Greg Gianforte has proclaimed Saturday, March 20, as “Montana Meat Day” following Colorado governor Jared Polis declaring the day as “Meat Out Day.”
Polis has called on Coloradans to skip meat on Saturday via a proclamation that supported the idea of removing animal products from diets to reduce the risk of various ailments, including heart disease, high-blood pressure, stroke, various cancers, and diabetes. His proclamation also claimed a plant-based diet can help protect the environment by reducing the carbon footprint.
Gianforte’s proclamation fires back at the call for a more plant-based diet: “Meat is part of a healthy, balanced diet, providing pure protein with no added junk; and, meat is produced more sustainably than ever, with innovations in animal nutrition, genetics, and management that reduce carbon footprints.”
The New York Times noted that although Polis’s proclamation was largely ceremonial, governor Pete Ricketts of Nebraska took notice, and on Monday he declared March 20 to be “Meat on the Menu Day” in his state.
The Denver Channel reports that the debate over Gov. Polis’ proclamation calling on Coloradans to skip meat this Saturday has sparked nearly half of the state’s counties to sign "meat-in" proclamations of their own.
Montana’s livestock production is valued at around $1.5 billion each year. There more than 25,000 farms and ranches across the state, with the state ranking 6th in the nation for total number of beef cattle. The state is currently in the midst of spring calving season and cattle outnumber people in Montana by nearly 3 to 1.