Taking a Stand
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 24, 2016 01:34AM

The Engleharts have decided to resume eating meat. Their choice. Now they reportedly are catching hell from militant vegans.

The vegans have chosen their own diet; the Englehart's Cafe Gratitude restaurants continue to serve gourmet vegan food.

Therefore the militant vegans should respect the Englehart's decision to choose their own eating patterns at home. Back off.

The Engelharts are rightly dismayed that their free choice in diet is being met with intolerance.

Employees of Cafe Gratitude who choose NOT to participate in Landmark Education training should get the same respect from the Engleharts.

The ideas we want placed in our minds should be just as much our private and uncoerced choice as whether we choose to to eat vegan or non vegan.



Café Gratitude’s owners quit veganism, protests and death threats ensue

Good Food

Erin Magner, April 29, 2016

s famous ex-vegans like The Balanced Blonde blogger Jordan Younger and The Whole Tara’s Tara Milhern can attest, those who leave the meat-free flock should expect some degree of controversy to follow them.

So it’s not exactly surprising to learn that Café Gratitude founders Matthew and Terces Engelhart are at the receiving end of boycotts, protests, and even death threats after revealing that they’ve started eating meat again after more than a decade of veganism—and that the meat in question is reportedly coming from animals raised on their Be Love Farm, which supplies ingredients to their plant-based restaurant empire.

Cowspiracy Revealed?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the fracas started when a group of animal-rights activists got hold of a year-old post from the Be Love Farm blog in which the Engelharts announced they had personally abandoned veganism—published alongside photos of beef broth and a freezer filled with packaged meat from their own pasture. The post offered little explanation for their about-face, saying only: “While I would clearly say we are in transition and that transition is happening deep within our beings, we know it is a necessary and important part of our own growth as well as the sustainability of our farm.”

Critics—Moby included—are, understandably, concerned with the fact that the pair may be actively using their vegan patrons’ profits to buy cows for slaughter and sale. “I feel that my hard-earned money has been used for purposes that are unethical, cruel and out-of-alignment with my values,” wrote raw food chef Jason Wrobel on his personal website. (The post has since been deleted).

“We’ve done nothing but a plant-based diet at our restaurants and we’re being attacked.”

Carrie Christianson, who started a Facebook group dedicated to the controversy, echoed the same sentiments to THR. “You are patronizing a restaurant that you think has that philosophy, and it turns out it doesn’t. Vegans should know that this restaurant has a farm that slaughters animals.”

The Engelharts insist that animals on the Be Love Farm were introduced to fertilize the soil and their main job is to produce milk, butter, and cheese, not meat. (THR writes: “[Matthew Engelhart] claims they’ve ‘harvested,’ or slaughtered, several cows in total and never sold the meat, only shared it with ‘our friends, neighbors and community.’”)

So what does this mean for Café Gratitude?

The Engelharts stress that despite their personal choices, all five Café Gratitude locations, as well as Mexican concept Gracias Madre and the upscale Gratitude, remain resolutely vegan. “I am allowed to change my mind [about my own diet],” Matthew Engelhart proclaimed to THR. “And by the way, I never even told them what my mind was. All I told them was it’s a vegan restaurant. And it still is! And it always will be!”

Though he claims to be “baffled” by the activists’ response, it’s certainly not the first time backlash has ensued against a vegan figurehead who’s renounced the cause. Younger was the subject of hateful comments and, ironically, threats on her life when she re-introduced fish and eggs into her diet, while animal rights cheerleader Ellen DeGeneres came under fire last year for introducing a shoe line that included leather.

Still, there’s no denying that the Engelharts’ positive impact on the vegan cause in LA, until now, has been profound. “I don’t think there’s any organization on the planet that’s done more to promote a plant-based diet than us,” Matthew told THR. “We’ve moved it from a dogma to a genre. We serve 28,000 meals a week in all of our enterprises. We’ve done nothing but a plant-based diet at our restaurants and we’re being attacked.” Whether this fiasco has an equally weighty impact on Café Gratitude’s future is as unclear as a, um, batch of homemade kombucha

Re: Taking a Stand
Posted by: shakti ()
Date: December 15, 2016 09:45PM

No offense, corboy, as i am a huge fan of your posts but i disagree on some points. While i despise radical vegans, landmark, AND cafe gratitude, i do see the vegans point.

1. I dont see it as their business what the engelhardts eat at home. It does expose a certain landmarkian hypocrisy, however.

2. The vegans have every right to be concerned that money from gratitude is going to buy cows used for meat. Cows are not cheap or free. While attacking people on social media personallly (which trolls on ALL sides do these days), is way out of line, boycotting a restaurant that has claimed vegan values for years for diverting money to buy cows is totally appropriate and within the law and their right as Americans. Spreading knowledge about their hypocrisy is also totally appropiate and is not attacking. Trashing them personally on social media in the way that vegans are known to do IS "attacking". So i would advise separating those who are merely sharing info and advocating a boycott from those who are harrassing them PERSONALLY online. Not fair to lump them all together....

They SHOULD have been boycotting the place for years for being landmark connected like i have. (Note: i dont eat at panda express either!) But they probably were either willing to brush it under the rug or just didnt do research on landmark, est, or erhardt.

Re: Taking a Stand
Posted by: shakti ()
Date: December 15, 2016 09:52PM

Bssically this reminds me of the breatharian cult leader who got caught by his followers eating a whopper.

R.I.P Gracias Madre San Francisco
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 30, 2023 05:18AM

Mexican restaurant Gracias Madre says ‘adios’ to San Francisco

Mission Local August 28th, 2023


Comments on reddit San Francisco

SF Mexican restaurant Gracias Madre abruptly closes, blames city


Gracias Madre Went Out on Bottom



Earlier article - Mission Local 2018



Owners Matthew and Terces Englehart started Gracias Madre in the Mission and have since opened one in Los Angeles, as well. Before Gracias Madre, the Engleharts ran Café Gratitude — their first vegan venture, with several outlets in the Bay Area. I wasn’t a huge fan; we found the food rather bland, but I know that many found these cafés a necessity in the Bay Area.

Unfortunately, controversy has surrounded the Engleharts’ businesses for years now. First, employees of the Café Gratitude outposts alleged that they had been made to feel uncomfortable or even discriminated against for not buying into or participating in an Est-based program, Landmark Education — a sort of self-empowering, self-transformative curriculum — that the company supposedly pushed onto its employees.


Then, the Engleharts faced several lawsuits from current and former employees, alleging illegal employment practices. Rather than fighting those lawsuits, the Engleharts chose to close all their Bay Area restaurants, but kept Gracias Madre.

One commenter wrote:


Alicia says:
April 2, 2018 at 11:56 am

Shi Zen and Indochine are fully vegan and located in the Mission with guilt free, delicious menus made even better because they don’t discriminate, underpay, culturally appropriate or mistreat their employees and animals, nor do they create shelter LLCs and close former cafes and entire companies to avoid paying ex employees lawsuit penalties that they are justly and legally owed, as Matthew and Tercie Englehart have done.

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