Why does everyone seem so intent to hate on Alberta lately? From pipelines to Alberta beef, prominent individuals, Canadian political leaders, advocacy organizations, and even national political parties, have been taking turns holding up the finger to our province in recent weeks.
The latest slap in the face comes from a Canadian owned high-end restaurant chain Earls, who declared last week they would no longer supply its restaurants with Alberta beef, but rather head south to Kansas to truck in so-called “humane beef.”
Outside of the fact that “humane beef” basically means “organically certified, free range beef,” which Alberta has in good numbers, the only difference is it is slaughtered according to the specifications of one so-called animal welfare expert Dr. Temple Grandin. Apparently it means putting a blinder on the animal and cutting its throat instead of using a bolt gun at a meat packing plant; that somehow, according to Grandin, makes it more “humane” for the animal being slaughtered.
Earls’ excuses for the move were paper thin and beneath contempt. That somehow there wasn’t enough “organically certified, free range beef” in Alberta where all beef is free range and many producers are choosing not to use hormones or antibiotics. It’s not like they even tried to ascertain if more supply could be gotten. They made no calls to the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association or other producer organizations in the province. And even if they couldn’t fill their entire order here, why didn’t they keep the portion they could have gotten of these types of animals in Alberta instead of, as they did, sole-sourcing with an American company to serve Canadian consumers? This smells of being an ideological decision rather than, as they seem intent on phrasing it, a practical matter of supply and demand.
Earls is a private business and has the right to serve what it wants. However, this over-priced restaurant chain has also gotten rich and fat off of Canadian and Albertan consumers. So consumers have the right to make a choice too: To walk away and go up the road to another high end restaurant which does serve Canadian beef and gives something back to local communities other than a “we are better than thou” preaching attitude on animal ethics and unfounded smear campaigns against Alberta farmers.