Cafe Gratitude Owners Quietly Announce Transition to Farming Beef, Internet Explodes
Cafe Gratitude, just one of the plant-based restaurant chains owned by Matthew and Terces Engelhart, has become the recipient of a spectrum of emotions from vegans spanning from disappointment to downright outrage. Just recently a February blog post on the team’s Be Love Farms blog went viral for its nonchalant announcement that the farm is transitioning to slaughtering cows for beef and bone broth “after nearly 40 years of vegetarianism.”
The post itself includes no segue into this startling turn of events. After a few sentences of rambling about the “inevitability of death” and “open[ing] our hearts further to the presence of love” Terces, the author, suddenly introduces photos of their strained bone broth and a freezer of their packaged beef.
Among the disappointed voices in the community is that of author and cooking show star Jason Wrobel who wrote an open letter to the establishment. He acknowledges the pain felt by those who had been supporting the business for years:
“Yes, I do eat occasionally at non-vegan restaurants and choose to create more demand for vegan options at those establishments. However, it’s different when a business has been fully vegan for 12 years, creates a specific ethical culture as the foundation, and then suddenly chooses to generate a profit from the sale of animal products.”
Last Thursday a post appeared on Cafe Gratitude’s Facebook page explaining that the restaurant would continue to serve “100% organic, plant-based cuisine prepared with ingredients sourced responsibly from vendors and farmers who share our commitment to preserving the integrity of the environment.”
What they fail to understand is that it’s not just about vegans having access to vegan food in restaurants. It’s one thing to patronize a non-vegan establishment with the purpose of encouraging them to provide more vegan meals to the masses and to plant seeds of change. The difference is Cafe Gratitude had already seen the light – and then decided to turn their back on it.
Photo credit: tomatoes and friends