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Earls pisses everyone off sourcing “humane” meat, but there’s no such thing

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While everyone is up in arms about whether their meat is coming from, they’re forgetting there’s no such thing as humane meat from anywhere.

The Calgary Herald reports that Alberta beef farmers are mad. This week, Vancouver-based restaurant chain Earls announced they’d be the first North American chain to serve only ‘Certified Humane’ beef, meaning they’d be going to great lengths to import the two million pounds they serve each year from the US. The goal is to provide their customer base with beef free from antibiotics, steroids, or added hormones, with the additional pat on the back of knowing their cows meet their death under the specifications of Dr. Temple Grandin. Let that sink in for a second. Canadian beef isn’t humane enough for Earls to serve, and they think American beef is.

The immediate reaction has been of boycott and Canadian beef propaganda-infused damage control by farmers. So while people squabble over Canadian economy and our already sad second-place image when weighed against America, vegans are paying attention to the real problem; this switch means nothing for the cows that are being exploited. Instead, it’s another backwards publicity stunt that looks to give weight and meaning to misused and confused labels. The whole battle will only strengthen the resolve for farmers to find ways to fit the criteria to slaughter more animals, more effectively, in a way that will sell more popularly.

It’s important for people to understand that animals aren’t treated well with or without the “humane” label, and that certifications like it exist to further perpetuate the myths that industry rely on to sell more beef. In a nutshell; it makes people feel better about the slaughter of animals. But this is the work of social reforms in action, and proof that the general public still cares more about whether an animal is treated well before it’s killed, and not that it’s being killed at all. Especially when we talk about antibiotics, steroids, and hormones, we can see the emphasis lying on the effect of meat on humans, and not on the animals themselves. So as we selfishly worry about what’s going in to our bodies, we should be considering the rotting flesh of animal bad enough already, no?

I get it – we’re all lost in a sea of misinformation. But seeking “happy exploitation” is not the answer, going vegan is. Caring about the welfare of animal means nothing while supporting the use of them.

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  • So true! I’m from Alberta, so I wrote about this yesterday on my blog. The whole thing is such a sad farce. Humane meat is a joke, especially “certified humane” meat from one of the largest meat packers in the US (which only got humane designation in January). Moral considerations aside, it seems insane for Earls to be transporting beef from Kansas to Canada. And for anyone who takes these labels seriously, they should take a look at the Canadian beef producers requirements and compare them with those of the humane meat crowd. The guidelines from the humane meat organization are nebulous feel-good nonsense. If Earls wanted to help animals, they’d serve more vegetable dishes, not whitewash their carnism with phoney labels.

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