DENVER – The debate over Gov. Polis’ proclamation calling on Coloradans to skip meat this Saturday has crossed state lines and sparked nearly half of the state’s counties to sign "meat-in" proclamations of their own.
On Tuesday, El Paso County joined Weld, Logan, Grand, Montezuma, Pueblo and 20 other counties across the state to call on Coloradans to eat meat on Saturday, March 20, after Gov. Polis proclaimed it “MeatOut Day” late last month.
While environmental groups have praised the proclamation – which does not set any type of policy in motion – Colorado’s ranchers and farmers say the proclamation is a slap in the face to an industry that brings in more than $3.4 billion to the state economy, according to an Economic Impact of Agriculture analysis by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
In response, a spokesperson for the governor’s office said in a statement to Denver7 on Feb. 25 stating Gov. Polis “gets hundreds of requests for proclamations throughout the year and rarely declines these non-binding ceremonial proclamations that get auto penned by the Governor.”
Among those proclamations, according to the governor’s office: Agriculture Day, Colorado Farm Bureau Day, Truck Driver Appreciation Day, Colorado Ag. Day, and many others.
"We don't think one day a week is too much of a sacrifice for anybody," Roland Halpern, the executive director of Colorado Voters for Animals, told Denver7 Tuesday.
For those wanting to support the state's meat industry, the Colorado Cattlemen's Association has a growing list of "meat-in" events here.