Spring officially started on March 20, and with it, the vegan crowd also proposed that date, “The Great American Meatout Day.” Meatout Day is a national movement that calls on people to eat vegan on the first day of every spring. Folks are encouraged to avoid all meat products for a full week from March 23-29, in what activist groups are calling "Meat Free Week."
According to an article on Oregonlive.com, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales encouraged his city to go meatless last week. Hales said that, “If the population of Portland skipped meat for a day, not only would more than 300,000 animals be saved, but more than 90 million square feet of rainforest and 2.2 billion gallons of water would be preserved.”
Meanwhile, Moorhead (Minn.) Mayor Del Rae Williams proclaimed Friday “Great American Meatout Day in the city of Moorhead,” and although Williams is neither vegan nor vegetarian, she is sympathetic to the cause, she said in a recent interview.
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In her proclamation, Williams wrote that “a wholesome diet of vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole grains promotes health and reduces the risk” of many illnesses. The vegan diet also reduces pollution, the suffering of animals, and the greenhouse gases that lead to global warming.”
Social media is already buzzing with talk about the benefits of a meat-free diet. You can see for yourself by checking out the hashtag #MeatFreeWeek
However, there are plenty of ways we can reverse the trend. Here are three suggestions:
First, we need to debunk the misconceptions that are being talked about this week. I’ve included several links in this blog that explain why beef is good for our health, how ranching is good for the environment, and ways producers are excellent animal stewards. Share these links with your friends and family on social media.
Second, we need to share our personal testimonies, beef recipes, beef photos and ranching stories. A picture is worth a thousand words. Let’s keep folks craving for beef by showing pictures of steaks sizzling on the grill. Use the hashtags #eatbeef #foodchat and even #meatfreeweek with your photos.
Third, know that the vast majority of people probably won’t participate in this movement that agweb.com calls “utterly pointless yet mildly annoying.” However, we can still be proactive in promoting our industry, correcting the misinformation and being advocates for healthy, delicious beef.
What do you think about this Meat Free Week promotion? Will it find much participation? What should livestock producers do to stand up for their livelihood? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of Beefmagazine.com or the Penton Farm Progress Group.
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