Great American Meatout
Also known as
Day Without Meat
Great American Meatout Day
the first day of Spring (since 1985)
The Great American Meatout, observed on the first day of spring, encourages everyone to go meat-free to improve their health, protect the environment, and save animals. Considered "the world's largest annual grassroots diet education campaign," mayors and governors often issue proclamations for it. Events are held in the United States and in a few dozen other countries. Common events include non-meat food samplings, lectures, leafleting, information tables, exhibits, festivals, and video screenings.
The Farm Animal Reform Movement (FARM), now the Farm Animal Rights Movement, created the Great American Meatout. In January 1985, FARM founder Alex Hershaft was gathered with others in his living room, trying to figure out what to do about a recent Senate Resolution for a National Meat Week. One of his associates, Walter Rave, exclaimed, "Why don’t we organize a Great American Meatout? Like the Smokeout?" A few dozen events were organized the first year, and the Great American Meatout was born!
How to Observe Great American Meatout
Some ideas on how to take part in the day include:
- Go vegan for the day, on alternate days of the week, or from now on.
- Participate in an event taking place near you.
- Go to the day's official website to take the MeatOut Challenge/Pledge.
- Write a letter to a local publication about why you went meat-free, or request a public official to issue a proclamation designating the day. Tips for doing both are found on the "Take Action" section of the day's website.
- Post MeatOut memes on social media along with the hashtag #MeatOut. These memes can be found in the "Take Action" section as well.
- Cook some meat-free recipes for yourself, or host a meat-free potluck.
- Donate to FARM or support them by purchasing some of their merchandise.
- Learn about the benefits of a meat-free diet, and share with your friends what your favorite plant-based foods are.