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Billboard sparks meaty debate in Oklahoma

A billboard funded by pro-vegan group, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), has caused a stir after accusing Oklahoma governor, Kevin Stitt, of being a “meathead”.

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The billboard sparked conversation in Oklahoma City around its agriculture industry

The spat started when Stitt declared an “Eat Meat Week” in March in celebration of Oklahoma’s agriculture industries.

PETA bought a billboard which featured a cow with a speech bubble which read: “Oklahoma, home of the meathead gov. Kevin Stitt!”, with the words: “Go Vegan for LIFE, PETA” underneath.

In response to the billboard, Stitt set up a large grill and hosted a BBQ cookout underneath the sign which was located on 15th St in Oklahoma City.

The BBQ included steaks and burgers and speaking to reporters at the cookout, Stitt said: “We’re ‘gonna’ stand by our agriculture industry and our personal freedoms. And the freedom to go vegan if you want or the freedom to eat hamburgers if you want.”

On Twitter, Stitt has used the billboard to promote his support of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, many members of which were present at the BBQ.

Speaking in a video published by Stitt on Twitter, he adds: “The reason this all came about is because we recruited the Cattlemen’s Congress to Oklahoma City. It is the largest cattle show in the nation and we pulled it away from Colorado.

“Governor Polis [governor of Colorado] issued a ‘Meatless Holiday’ and so that’s when we snapped back and said, well we’ll do ‘Meat All Week’.”

A member of the Cattlemen’s Association present at the BBQ, described the billboard by PETA as evidence of the group “not understanding what goes on in the state of Oklahoma”.

According to Stitt, the agriculture industry provides over 110,000 jobs in Oklahoma with the city selling $5.3bn (£3.74bn) worth of products last year.

A report by local paper, The Oklahoman, describes how PETA’s president Ingrid Newkirk responded by saying the group will be sending Stitt a back brace because “he must be in agony from all the bowing and scraping he has to do to keep his meat-industry backers happy”.

If you have any news, please email carys@linkpublishing.co.uk or join in with the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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