In response to the governor's proclamation of March 20 as a day promoting meat-free diets, Douglas County has declared the same day as “Cattleman's Day.”
The county's resolution, unanimously passed in a March 9 meeting, criticized Gov. Jared Polis' proclamation, saying it “erroneously states that eating meat is unhealthy, causes environmental damage and pollution and supports animal abuse.”
MeatOut day was started in 1985 by the Farm Animal Rights Movement to encourage meat-free diets and “honor the animals,” according to the FARM website.
“Animal use is not animal abuse and by financial necessity and natural inclination, livestock producers care for their animals as much as is humanly possible,” according to the commissioners' resolution.
More than 10 people spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting, all of whom thanked the commissioners for the resolution. Miss Rodeo Colorado, Hailey Fredericksen, was one of the speakers.
“I want to thank you for acknowledging such a vital industry in our state. A state that is so embedded in the Western lifestyle,” Fredericksen said. “Thank you for preserving that and continuing our agriculture industry and being proud of something Colorado has so much history in.”
Several speakers represented local ranches or organizations such as the Future Farmers of America and 4H.
“Agriculture is so, so crucial to the well-being of our economy and the lifestyle of a whole lot of people,” said Lori Kelly, the Douglas County Farm Bureau president.
The resolution included information from the most recent dietary guidelines issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recognizing animal and plant proteins as important for a healthy diet.
“The Commissioners express their concern that the Governor of Colorado would call for a boycott, even of one-day duration, of an industry that is key and essential to both our local and state economy,” according to the resolution.
During the commissioners' comments on the resolution, board chair Lora Thomas thanked the crowd for attending.
“We don't want government killing our agriculture and our cattle industry here,” she said.