Editors note: this post was supposed to be published May 2016 but got caught up in draft status. As a result, 5 years later here's how the post was supposed to appear:

The History of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass through three distinct and recognizable phases, those of Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as the How, Why and Where phases.

For instance, the first phase is characterized by the question How can we eat? the second by the question Why do we eat? and the third by the question Where shall we have lunch?
Earls Restaurant (are they still around?) has created a stir with their decision to stop sourcing beef locally and instead buy it from the United States where it can be "certified humane".
"We did intensive research and testing for over two years trying to use a Certified Humane beef from Alberta, raised without antibiotics, steroids or growth hormones, of which there are some great suppliers in Canada — and we did use it in our Edmonton and Calgary locations as well as our flagship locations across Canada for well over two years," the chain said in a statement.
This immediately started a #BoycottEarls hashtag on Twitter, and while it wasn't nearly as big as #BoycottTims from last year (which is still, if you pay attention to my Twitter feed, ongoing) it's still garnering plenty of attention.

Predictably, the left are attacking this pro-Alberta stance by claiming that inhumane Alberta farmers "aren't keeping up with the times" or aren't being pro-capitalist enough. Then they complain that North Carolina isn't forcing businesses to cater to disgusting alternate lifestyles against their will. Go figure, go pick a lane.

But are the consumers really hankering for "hormone and antibiotic free" food? More importantly, should they be?

First off, there's a simple myth that needs to be debunked right from the get-go: there is nothing "inhumane" about killing animals -- for any reason -- to feed humans. In fact, that's precisely the definition of humane.

With that basic and incontrovertible fact out of the way, let's now go to the second thing: what exactly does Certified Humane mean and how is that different than any random piece of meat you can buy in the store.

Andrew Campbell at realagriculture.com delves into the meat and potatoes behind this organization and what it entails.

The first, somewhat unsurprising, point, is that Certified Humane lies to you. In one breath they claim they "prevent the use of antibiotics", but it turns out that's a meaningless statement.
“On the rare occasion that an animal is sick, the animal can be given antibiotics as prescribed by a veterinarian and the withdrawal times are carefully monitored so that when the animal goes to slaughter there is no antibiotic residue in the animal’s body.” Douglass goes on to say, “So the statement, antibiotic free is quite true!”

Marketing wise, that is a dirty game.

All animals given antibiotics, no matter the production practice, are required to not be slaughtered unless withdrawal times are met. It begs the questions: if you are using a standard that all farmers need to follow, shouldn’t you state that fact instead – or are you trying to build on misinformation that already exists, with the simple goal of out-selling the competition? Plus, does the consumer understand withdrawal times, or are they buying the product because they believe the animal was never treated with an antibiotic? My guess is it is the latter.
So their meat is only antibiotics-free" in the same way that every bit of meat is "hormone-free". So why is Earls' lying and claiming that this is part of "humane" beef that they apparently spent years researching?
“We did intensive research and testing for over two years trying to use a Certified Humane beef from Alberta, raised without antibiotics, steroids or growth hormones
You'd think that such intensive research would at one point spit out the answer that "this no antibiotics thing isn't even true?" Did Earls not Google?

They also, of course, are raised without growth hormones. Hay Lake's Sunworks Farm is one of the hippie farmers who went "Certified Humane", though they specialize in chickens and pork rather than beef. It's even funnier then, because chickens and pork aren't fed growth hormones. That's almost an irrelevant side note, however, since there's nothing "inhumane" about growth hormones.

There isn't anything "inhumane" about antibiotic use, either. In fact, as referenced above, when animals are suffering from illness what's so crazy about treatment? Do we consider giving human beings antibiotics "inhumane" somehow?

But Earl's isn't interested in helping you, mere humans: they're interested in harming you and telling you otherwise. Hence the boycott.