Chicken is Not Meat

As you are making plans for holiday dinners that may include chicken or turkey, keep in mind that in 1942 they were not considered meat.

Well, okay, maybe they were considered meat, but they were not considered significant enough to aid in the effort to win World War II.

Most people are familiar with rationing during World War II, with citizens receiving ration stamps that were used to purchase a limited supply of meat, gasoline, womens’ hosiery, tires, and other items.  The idea was to consume less so that the military troops fighting overseas could be sufficiently supplied.  It also worked as a way to generate a comittment to the war among the citizens, and to make them feel like they could play a part in the Allies becoming victorious.  Food rationing was just a small part of the entire efforts on the homefront during the war.  You can see an online exhibit that we created showing the activities of Salt Lake County citizens during WWII.

Found among a small amount of ephemera centered around civil defense and rationing is a pamphlet entitled “Share the Meat for Victory,” issued by the United States Office of Defense Health and Welfare Services.  It was printed in 1942, and it describes the amount of meat that each person should be eating per week.  “You can help win the war by using only your fair share of the meats the Government asks you to limit, whether you are eating at home or in public places.”  It specifies: “Poultry, fish, and variety meats – such as kidney, liver, brains, sweetbreads, tongue – do not need to be counted in the (total).  You may use these freely.” 

"Share the Meat" pamphlet, 1942.  Page 1.

“Share the Meat” pamphlet, 1942. Page 1.

Source: “Share the Meat for Victory” (pamphlet).  Series AD-006. Salt Lake County Archives.

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