Mar 19, 2021 - News

How MeatOut Day skewered Colorado Gov. Jared Polis

A butcher wraps up a steak

A butcher wrapping a dry-aged steak. Photo: Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis sure stepped in it this time.

  • The Democrat's proclamation declaring Saturday as "MeatOut Day" is generating a national controversy with real economic implications.

Catch up quick: The proclamation says that refraining from eating animal products reduces the risk of disease and helps with climate change.

  • In response, the Colorado Cattlemen's Association launched a campaign to make it "MeatIn Day" and rural counties joined the cause.
  • The governors in neighboring Wyoming and Nebraska declared Saturday "Hearty Meat Day" and "Meat on the Menu Day," respectively.

Why it matters: The agriculture industry is Colorado's No. 2 economic driver behind oil and gas, and beef is the state's most lucrative export.

  • Oklahoma's governor said "the folks in Denver turned their back on the ag industry." He is using Polis' repeated snubs to lure stock shows and other agricultural investments.

What's new: The administration is now in damage control mode.

  • The governor's office is downplaying the proclamation as non-binding and ceremonial.
  • Polis declared Monday as "Colorado Livestock Proud Day."
  • He also shared his own brisket rub recipe and called beef jerky "his favorite snack."

Yes, but: It's not working. Polis even had the audacity to suggest his original proclamation started "a grassroots movement of support" for the beef industry.

This story first appeared in the Axios Denver newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.


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