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Eat More... Crow?
November 27, 2011 1:32 PM   Subscribe

The Chick-fil-A corporation doesn't want anybody to ”eat more” anything, unless it comes from them. Not even non-food items — once again they're after the Vermont artist whose t-shirts and stickers have become legendary (in certain crop circles, at least) for extolling the wonders of kale. Kale t-shirts — they taste like chicken, right?
posted by LeLiLo (148 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's simple trademark dilution protection. Chick Fil A already has the "Eat More.." (or is it Eet Mor?) phrase trademarked up and down. It's not like he's selling tires; he's selling a product competing for the same thought process: food.

Think of it this way: Would "Eat More Kale" hold as much power if it didn't have a bunch of (competing!) media surrounding it from which to springboard off of?

This is silly, and he is going to lose.
posted by cavalier at 1:38 PM on November 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Hey Chick-fil-A corporation, you chose "eat mor chikn" as a trademark because those spellings are unique, and make for stronger trademarks. You can't have it both ways.
posted by StickyCarpet at 1:39 PM on November 27, 2011 [19 favorites]


The way corporations defend their trademarks you'd think one tongue-in-cheek usage by someone else will immediately render their marks legally "generic."
posted by basicchannel at 1:39 PM on November 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


To be fair, Chick-fil-A is doing this for Jesus, who famously said, "For I was hungry and you gave me kale chips, and they did verily taste like burnt cardboard."
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:39 PM on November 27, 2011 [10 favorites]


What's silly is that a phrase as common as "Eat more ______" could be part of a trademark dispute.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:41 PM on November 27, 2011 [33 favorites]


Whenever Chik-Fil-A does something a little rotten on a corporate level, I plug my ears with my fingers. My greasy, greasy fingers.

i love you, new hollywood chik-fil-a.
posted by Bookhouse at 1:43 PM on November 27, 2011 [11 favorites]


This guy needs to hire a man in a cow costume to hold a big sign saying "FUK OFF"
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:49 PM on November 27, 2011 [31 favorites]


I think my mind takes a different turn than Chick Fil A would like when I see their ads.

It's supposed to go,
"Hey, what if those animals I eat were desperately hand painting signs in the hope that we will spare their lives at mealtime? That would be silly!"

I think,
"Hey, what if those animals I eat were desperately hand painting signs in the hope that we will spare their lives at mealtime? That would be horrifying!"
posted by Winnemac at 1:49 PM on November 27, 2011 [23 favorites]


Okay, between this and Chik-Fil-A giving gigantic quantities of money to anti-gay organizations, I can't go there anymore. But what are the best alternatives to their delicious, delicious sandwiches and nuggets? They're, like, the perfect grease/salt combination. I prefer other fast food options, but recipes are also OK.
posted by NoraReed at 1:50 PM on November 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Chik-Fil-A is a bunch of religious bigots who work actively to deny rights to people like me.

I quit eating there ages ago.

That they're pursuing a non-threatening trademark "violation" as some kind of brand dilution doesn't surprise me. They're selfish and awful and I wish they'd just fold up and die as a chain.
posted by hippybear at 1:50 PM on November 27, 2011 [52 favorites]


Ah, those people.
New Chick-Fil-A Revelations: Company Gave Nearly $2 Million to Anti-Gay Groups in 2009.

If You're Eating Chick-Fil-A, You're Eating Anti-Gay.
posted by ericb at 1:51 PM on November 27, 2011 [13 favorites]


There are phenomena in the law that seem ridiculous and objectionable to lay folk, things that are "egregious" enough to regularly serve as fodder for pop-culture jokes or eye-rolling but not so egregious that anybody actually feels compelled to get off the couch and spend money on or write letters about to their representatives. So these things do not change. Jokes will continue to be made, and eyes will roll, but lawyers will still advise their clients to do these things every single time without feeling the least bit guilty, and those clients will consequently avoid losses and/or win. This is one of those. Good call, Chick-fil-A Lawyers.
posted by cribcage at 1:51 PM on November 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


Goodenough said there was little likelihood consumers would confuse kale with chicken.

Hmmm. So you're telling me it is unlikely that my kale plants will lay eggs? Goddam it! I thought there was something suspicious when they wouldn't use the coop I built...
posted by lesbiassparrow at 1:53 PM on November 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


EAT MORE OF THE RICH.

yeah, that'll work.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:54 PM on November 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


New York Times:
Nicknamed “Jesus chicken” by jaded secular fans and embraced by Evangelical Christians, Chick-fil-A is among only a handful of large American companies with conservative religion built into its corporate ethos. But recently its ethos has run smack into the gay rights movement. A Pennsylvania outlet’s sponsorship of a February marriage seminar by one of that state’s most outspoken groups against homosexuality lit up gay blogs around the country. Students at some universities have also begun trying to get the chain removed from campuses.

“If you’re eating Chick-fil-A, you’re eating anti-gay,” one headline read. The issue spread into Christian media circles, too.

... With its near-national reach and its transparent conservative Christian underpinnings, Chick-fil-A is a trailblazer of sorts, said Lake Lambert, the author of “Spirituality, Inc.” and dean of the college of liberal arts at Mercer University, where he teaches Christianity.

“They’re going in a direction we haven’t seen in faith-based businesses before, and that is to a much broader marketing of themselves and their products,” he said. “This is possibly the next phase of evangelical Christianity’s muscle flexing.”

The company’s Christian culture and its strict hiring practices, which require potential operators to discuss their marital status and civic and church involvement, have attracted controversy before, including a 2002 lawsuit brought by a Muslim restaurant owner in Houston who said he was fired because he did not pray to Jesus with other employees at a training session. The suit was settled.

The sandwiches that will feed people who attend a February seminar, called “The Art of Marriage: Getting to the Heart of God’s Design,” in Harrisburg, Pa., are but a tiny donation.

Over the years, the company’s operators, its WinShape Foundation and the Cathy family have given millions of dollars to a variety of causes and programs, including scholarships that require a pledge to follow Christian values, a string of Christian-based foster homes and groups working to defeat same-sex marriage initiatives.
posted by ericb at 1:55 PM on November 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's not like he's selling tires; he's selling a product competing for the same thought process: food.

Not even that: in the second link he says, "I’m not a restaurant. I’m not a kale farmer. I’m a T-shirt artist."

Think of it this way: Would "Eat More Kale" hold as much power if it didn't have a bunch of (competing!) media surrounding it from which to springboard off of?

Being from a state next door to Vermont, we just don't have Chick-fil-A restaurants in New England. I think I've maybe seen the "Eat Mor Chikn" ads in national advertising venues a couple of times but those kale t-shirts would hardly remind me of any fast food restaurant.
posted by XMLicious at 1:57 PM on November 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


It's not like he's selling tires; he's selling a product competing for the same thought process: food.

He specifically says he doesn't sell kale, just t-shirts and stickers.
posted by nomisxid at 1:57 PM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The company’s Christian culture and its strict hiring practices, which require potential operators to discuss their marital status and civic and church involvement

How this hasn't come up before the EEOC and been slapped down HARD is beyond me.
posted by hippybear at 2:03 PM on November 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


I've seen the t-shirt but never made the Chick-fil-a connection before seeing it here. And now I'll never forget the connection when I see one of the kale t-shirts.

Which makes me think that these kinds of ridiculous legal actions are branding exercises in themselves if they are sufficiently publicized, virally or otherwise.

Well played, marketing wizards, well played.
posted by swift at 2:07 PM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The kale people are missing the obvious campaign slogan: "How Do You Like It, Veggie-Boy?"
posted by briank at 2:09 PM on November 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Chick-Fil-A owners need to eat more dick.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:10 PM on November 27, 2011 [43 favorites]


Choke more chicken.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:14 PM on November 27, 2011


Better sue Hershey's first.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:15 PM on November 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


What a lovely exercise for my Trademark exam.
posted by leotrotsky at 2:16 PM on November 27, 2011


> The Chick-Fil-A owners need to eat more dick.

Well, if you're eating any mechanically reformed chicken, there's a good chance you're eating chicken dick already.
posted by scruss at 2:23 PM on November 27, 2011 [9 favorites]



The Chick-Fil-A owners need to eat more dick.


I believe I have an EAT MOR DIX 'shoop somewhere.
posted by louche mustachio at 2:24 PM on November 27, 2011


How this hasn't come up before the EEOC and been slapped down HARD is beyond me.

Because they're talking about franchisees, not employees?

When CFA enters a new market, they try to be the fast-food restaurant of choice for that area's evangelical community. It would stand to reason that they'd like their franchisees to at least have some connection to that world.
posted by downing street memo at 2:25 PM on November 27, 2011


I have just trademarked the phrase "I have just trademarked ________"
posted by Avenger at 2:33 PM on November 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Okay, between this and Chik-Fil-A giving gigantic quantities of money to anti-gay organizations, I can't go there anymore. But what are the best alternatives to their delicious, delicious sandwiches and nuggets? They're, like, the perfect grease/salt combination. I prefer other fast food options, but recipes are also OK.

I came here to say exactly this, but knew if I scanned the comments first I'd find another brave, brave soul already did. Chik-Fil-A are assholes, but their chicken sandwich is just too fucking delicious.

It's like that episode of Futurama where Fry is addicted to Slurm and even after learning that the owners of Slurm are evil worm creatures who poo the beverage out of their backside, he continues to drink it.

Where else can I get a chicken sandwich that makes me feel as warm and satisfied and just...as right...as a Chic-Fil-A sandwich? Seriously - I really would like to know so I can start patronizing that joint instead.
posted by windbox at 2:37 PM on November 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Here it is.

Contains dicks.
posted by louche mustachio at 2:38 PM on November 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Unfortunately, you're running afoul my trademarked pronoun, "I". See you in court.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 2:39 PM on November 27, 2011


One can not eat Chik-Fil-a and be considered a good social citizen. The company is actively committed against the ideals of equality and freedom for consenting, informed adults.

If the 99% started using consumerism thoughtfully, it'd help us all.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:39 PM on November 27, 2011 [9 favorites]


More seriously, can Apple now sue anyone in the tech sector for the construction, "I'm a ______"?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 2:42 PM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, are they slow. EAT MORE KALE seems to have been around forever. Followed by all the other bumper stickers I've seen that have similar font and style which say:

EAT MORE MEAT

and

PLAY MORE LACROSSE

and probably others I've missed.
posted by Wuggie Norple at 2:43 PM on November 27, 2011


The kale people are missing the obvious campaign slogan

Insert picture of kale fucking a chicken!
posted by Fizz at 2:45 PM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Chik-Fil-A is protecting their trademark. Their attorneys would be remiss if they didn't shake down "Eat More Kale" dude. I can't blame them for that. And their sandwiches are tasty. And their employees greet you with unnervingly glassy-eyed enthusiasm. And they're really, really efficient -- Chik-Fil-A can flat move some people through that place. I respect the way they run their restaurant: yummy sandwich served quickly, cheerfully, and affordably. Good lemonade too.

It's too bad they use their dollars to support causes that are, in my opinion, flat-out fucking evil.

I try not to eat there. I do. But when they have peach milkshakes, and it's RIGHT THERE, well...

I am weak. I admit it.

But I will, when asked by the chirping drive-thru employee if there's anything else she can do for me, say, "Yes! You can ask the owners of your restaurant to stop supporting foundations that encourage discrimination against my gay and lesbian friends."

I know I should just stop eating there and that my verbal rally at the drive-thru window is weak sauce, but...

Goddamn. It's a fine sammich.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:50 PM on November 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'm glad I managed to muster the willpower (it wasn't easy) not to spend money there anymore. Can't deny the deliciousness, but evil is just flat-out evil, no matter how yummy and salty and greasy it is.
posted by blucevalo at 2:52 PM on November 27, 2011


As if their anti-gay discrimination weren't disgusting enough, they put pickles on fried chicken sandwiches.

Pickles!
posted by Space Kitty at 2:54 PM on November 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


The parent company asks people who apply for an operator license to disclose marital status, number of dependents and involvement in "community, civic, social, church and/or professional organizations."

...

Is it legal? There are no federal laws that prohibit companies from asking nosy questions about religion and marital status during interviews. Most companies don't because it can open them up to discrimination claims, says James Ryan, a spokesman for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Chick-fil-A has more freedom to ask whatever it wants of franchisees because they are independent contractors and not necessarily subject to federal employment discrimination laws. (Employees, however, may sue under those laws.)
http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2007/0723/080.html

We had a Chik-Fil-A in our dorm food court. IIRC, their chicken was utterly forgettable, if not borderline gross. The discrimination is downright gross. Apparently there's no accounting for taste. There's no room for this kind of bigotry in the 21st century.
posted by Skwirl at 2:54 PM on November 27, 2011


It's pretty easy to make Chick-fil-a style chicken, I think.

1. Acquire chicken breast, eggs, flour, salt, pepper, maybe bread crumbs, oil
2. Pour enough oil into a pan that the chicken breast will be partially submerged (maybe like 1/4 inch or so) and heat it on medium/medium-high.
2. Mix salt and pepper with flour or bread crumbs. You can season it, too.
3. Dredge chicken in flour, then eggs, then bread crumbs
4. Fry chicken in oil until it's done. If things are burning, or your oil is smoking, your pan is way too hot.

If you pound the chicken thin, it will cook faster.

There are a lot of variations on this. For example, pound it thin and spritz it with lemon, and you're eating schnitzel (although strictly speaking, you should use veal for this.) You can add different spices to the bread crumbs, or use pre-seasoned breadcrumbs for some variety.

It is also delicious to marinate the chicken in buttermilk before doing this. If you're using breast, marinate overnight, if you're using thighs, I think you can get away with marinating for 30 minutes or so.

You can do all this in like 20 minutes if you have the ingredients on-hand.

Sadly, I can't help you with waffle fries, which are the true genius of Chick-fil-a.
posted by !Jim at 3:05 PM on November 27, 2011 [11 favorites]


I'm gonna be a meanie, OBP, and suggest what you're doing is even worse than unsupportive. Your stated "disagreement" is profitable for them and gives Chik-Fil-a the confidence to act against your friends.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:06 PM on November 27, 2011


When I was in Montgomery Alabama, one of the women hosting our music group insisted on bringing us Chick-Fil-A breakfast in the morning.. when she delivered it to where I was staying, she was telling me why she prefers Chick-Fil-A.. "Ohh, well you know sometimes you go into a fast food place and the person behind the counter is all .."Whaddaya want Whaddaya want?" Well Chick-Fil-A is just nicer.. and cleaner.. more white people there.."

I was dumbfounded.. "More WHITE people??" And she backpedaled like.. "Ohhh I don't mean it like that, of course not, I just mean the people at Chick-Fil-A are NiCER"

haha. not much has changed in Alabama, fucking racists down there
posted by ReeMonster at 3:06 PM on November 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


I going to have this for dinner tomorrow and maybe some kale on the side?
posted by night_train at 3:08 PM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well I used to love Chick Fil-A's food when Iwas a kid, but then the only nearby franchise closed and I didn't have them for years. I'm glad to see now that I was saved from supporting crap i don't believe in by its absence from my community. (Domino's, I knew about.)
posted by localroger at 3:09 PM on November 27, 2011


fucking racists down there

Not that we'd paint a whole population with a broad brush or anything, like those racists down there do.
posted by localroger at 3:11 PM on November 27, 2011 [13 favorites]


Corporate assholes strike again.
posted by freakazoid at 3:13 PM on November 27, 2011


I only ever ate at Chick Fil-A once. I wasn't that impressed. I realize I said something similar in the Waffle House thread. That's two disses of a fast food place in one day. Who am I and what have I done with jonmc?
posted by jonmc at 3:17 PM on November 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


I've met this guy, about three years ago and bought some of his other t-shirts - one that said "WILLIE" and an image of G.W. Bush with MIckey Mouse ears. At that point, he told us that he had made a total of about $30,000 from selling these t-shirts and bumper stickers. There's no way that anyone would confuse this for Chick-Fil-A. Not a chance in hell. He does not sell kale or any other food products. I seriously doubt that Chick-Fil-A even registered on his consciousness when he made the stickers.

Also, people who trademark common phrases and expect nobody else to ever use them are a-holes.
posted by waitingtoderail at 3:18 PM on November 27, 2011


I didn't think Chik-Fil-A was battered/breaded? I could be wrong. It's been at least a decade since I ate there.

As far as the waffle fries go, Ore-Ida has perfectly good waffle fries that are good both out of the oven and out of the deep fryer. They should be available in your local grocer's freezer section.
posted by hippybear at 3:20 PM on November 27, 2011


"The Chick-Fil-A owners need to eat more dick."

"...haha. not much has changed in Alabama, fucking racists down there"

Because MetaFilter's answer to homophobia and racism is... more homophobia and racism?
posted by Blasdelb at 3:20 PM on November 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


Somehow, berating an employee with little at stake other than a paycheck and, yet, still paying good money to their evil employer for a tasty chicken sandwich is a perhaps little less than "weak sauce".

Admittedly, I still patronize (e.g.) Target on occasion, but I don't expect their employees to relay complaints to the corporate office. It seems counterproductive to berate someone tangentially involved just to make yourself feel better.

Anyway, concerning quality -- about the only thing you can say about CFA is that it's better than KFC. :-) That isn't much. After growing up on regular trips to fast food joints, I can't get excited about salty meat candy bars anymore.
posted by smidgen at 3:23 PM on November 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


Not even that: in the second link he says, "I’m not a restaurant. I’m not a ale farmer. I’m a T-shirt artist."

He specifically says he doesn't sell kale, just t-shirts and stickers.

I know that's the line he's dancing on, but he very much explains on his website that he's pushing for people to eat the actual food Kale, and healthier alternatives like it. Hence, whether he wants to believe it or not, he is advertising a product that is food.
posted by cavalier at 3:27 PM on November 27, 2011


I’m not a ale farmer.

I would love to run an ale farm.
posted by jonmc at 3:31 PM on November 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


Is ale harvested, or squeezed out of livestock?
posted by hippybear at 3:33 PM on November 27, 2011


So the guy doesn't even sell kale?

Seems like a golden opportunity for chick-fill-a to capitalize on the marketing the guy did and start offering kale.

Can't imagine the guy would be upset since he says he wants people to eat more of it.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:41 PM on November 27, 2011


It's been a few years for me, but yeah, I remember it as "borderline gross" meat too. Not getting the passion, or is a reverse quality hipster thing like PBR or White Castle?

What are the odds Waffle House and Chik-Fil-A would wind up on the blue within hours of each other, and right around dinner EST?
posted by spitbull at 3:44 PM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]



IAA(NY)L.

Chick-fil-A has an airtight trademark on its name, which is nationally famous, incorporated in a logo and intentionally misspelled so that it is, in trademark terms, "unique." For the same reasons, it also has a strong claim on the tag-line EAT MOR CHIKIN combined with black-and-white cows.

It certainly has no exclusive right to all slogans in the form "Eat More _____," which have been around forever. Equally important, "EAT MORE KALE" is correctly spelled and has no typographic features that might "piggyback" on those of the Chck-fil-A slogan. While both companies sell food, they do not compete and there is no likelihood that an Eat More Kale customer would confuse its products with those of Chick-fil-A.

Chick-fil-A has lawyers on staff, and it costs them next to nothing to send out a blustery "cease-and-desist" letter. In my opinion there is little or no likelihood that they will file a lawsuit, which, in my opinion, would be immediately thrown out.

HOWEVER, the door to the courthouse is open, and the clerk will accept any legal papers marked COMPLAINT as long as the person bringing the papers in pays the court fees. That means that the Eat More Kale owner will have to hire a lawyer, even to make a motion to dismiss at the outset.

While Connecticut has statutes concerning frivolous claims or actions, I am not a Connecticut lawyer and can't say how a Connecticut court would treat a Chick-fil-A claim or a motion to dismiss. It would be a too much of a chance to appear without a lawyer.

The cheapest solution would be a "lawyer's letter" back to Chick-fil-A, thanking them for the thousands of dollars worth of free publicity (including the MetaFilter Link). The letter would point out that their claim is frivolous and that any lawsuit will be met by a motion to dismiss and a claim for attorney's fees and sanctions. Also the immediate dismissal would give Eat More Kale lots more free publicity. Any lawyer would be able to write one relatively inexpensively, or the local bar association to find a lawyer who would do it for no fee.

Or Eat More Kale could simply do nothing.
posted by KRS at 3:44 PM on November 27, 2011 [26 favorites]


Maybe an alewife farm....

Can I support this kale tee shirt maker and still want to banish those stupid "Got (whatever)?" variations?
posted by Morrigan at 3:46 PM on November 27, 2011


Not getting the passion, or is a reverse quality hipster thing like PBR or White Castle?

I'll grant you PBR, but White Castle burgers are heaven.
posted by swift at 3:47 PM on November 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


Preach on, Brother Swift.
posted by jonmc at 3:51 PM on November 27, 2011


FWIW, I've been exposed to plenty of Chick-Fil-A advertising in my lifetime, and I never even made the connection with "Eat more kale". I just thought the shirt was about... eating kale.

Chick-Fil-A is a pretty bad company, but their chicken nuggets with BBQ sauce are too good to boycott...
posted by scose at 3:54 PM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am not disputing the heavenly qualities of crap. Just to be clear. But it is crap food.

I too think they have no case on which to do more than bluster about "Eat More . . ." Clever marketing all around, by CFA and the kale t-shirt guy.
posted by spitbull at 3:54 PM on November 27, 2011


An ice cold PBR is pretty good too. I could go for some PBR, a crave case from white castle and some of whatever chick-fil-a sells. All I got to eat is fucking kale.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:54 PM on November 27, 2011


An ice cold PBR is pretty good too.

Actually, it has a nasty syrupy undertaste. If you want to drink cheap beer, Schlitz is better tasting.

And White Castle isn't quality in the 'this artisan beef was raised by our platoon of genetically engineered dwarf cowhands and fed a diet of grains grown out of the king's asshole.' But it is delicious, which is what quality really is when it comes to food.
posted by jonmc at 3:57 PM on November 27, 2011


PBR is great when served cold from a keg.

Giving money to Chik-Fil-A, no matter how good it tastes, is giving money to an organization which works directly to deny human rights to many people on MetaFilter.

If you think it's too good to boycott, then you have something awry.
posted by hippybear at 3:57 PM on November 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


I solved all my problems worrying about what sort of nasty political stuff my money would support by becoming enamoured of the wonderful fried chicken and fries at a local mom-and-pop Chinese take-out. Maybe they were politically involved in something, but I can't imagine they had time, because they were always working so very hard.

Then I moved far away, and I will never taste that perfectly moist, impeccably fried chicken again. My heart is breaking.

At least I can still get kale where I am, which I learned to love about the same time as I was eating that chicken. I'd never heard of it before living in the American north-east, but I discovered it while looking for the mystery British vegetable known only as "greens." (Seriously - they sell it in bags labelled "greens" with no indication what plant the greens are from. But they are tasty, like kale but a bit more tender.)
posted by jb at 3:59 PM on November 27, 2011


The Chick-Fil-A owners need to eat more dick cock.

FTFY.
posted by Strange Interlude at 3:59 PM on November 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't care about the religious affiliation of businesses, until said business uses profits from products I have purchased to support causes (including legal actions) that I abhor.

I'll be down at the local Mom and Pop restaurant. Eat mor local.
posted by incandissonance at 4:02 PM on November 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


Dunno, one of the places I go has PBR bottles,I like it fine. They also have some sort of no-name Peppermint schnapps they like to pour me shots of. They are also a mere 10-15 blocks from a White Castle. Maybe I'll make it a night, call in sick tomorrow right now.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:04 PM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Damn, y'all, it's not like I eat there every day. More like two or three times a year.

But, yeah, you're right. Point taken.

I hereby swear off Chik-Fil-A.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:06 PM on November 27, 2011 [16 favorites]


If you intentionally misspell the name of the staple ingredient in your restaurant's "food," I will not eat there.

Problem solved.
posted by klanawa at 4:11 PM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


America needs more Nando's. I don't believe there's a chain that does a better chicken fillet sandwich than Nando's.

Plus in many branches the chicken is halal, for your muslim-loving pleasure.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:16 PM on November 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's simple trademark dilution protection....This is silly, and he is going to lose.

I like KRS' take better: it's a classic overreach by a corporation trying to carve out a bigger territory than it has a right to, and is likely to quickly disappear once a lawyer responds with "This is silly, and you, Chik-Fil-A, are going to lose and pay our legal bills if this goes any further."
posted by mediareport at 4:22 PM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I tend to sneer at my friends who are always "boycotting" places on account of their wicked social policies.

That's largely because a boycott is absolutely meaningless unless you write to the corporate overlords and tell them that (a) you're no longer buying their products and (b) why you're no longer buying their products. On the other hand, my queer friends who are now "boycotting" Target on pro-gay grounds or giving me the stinkeye for my occasional Chik Fil-A sandwich think nothing of buying gas from ExxonMobil, which still stands as the only large American corporation to have taken domestic partner benefits away from their employees. A fag with an ExxonMobil card does magnitudes more damage to the cause than someone eating the odd delicious sandwich.

Let me repeat—no mail to corporate means no boycott. To be more precise, no mail just means a person is simultaneously sanctimonious and lazy. If you care, do more than shop elsewhere—tell 'em why.

I held out for a long while. C-F-A is pretty lousy at being modern humans, but they're also a church, just like In-N-Out. As it happens, you're hard pressed to find a piece of decently fried chicken made by life affirming liberals for the same reason that you're unlikely to get a decent plate of Carolina pork barbecue from atheists—some foods just come out of traditions not like ours. C-F-A makes a sandwich that satisfies my most primal sandwich needs in that it's a good piece of meat, well-turned, on an innocuous sort of bread, all untainted by the slathery wretchedness of condiments, which exist almost entirely to hide bad source material. Wendy's will reluctantly make me a single, plain, though I have to be very specific about what I want—I want bread, meat, and bread again, with a little salt. No fucking California nightmare pink "tomatoes," no lettuce, no horror of mayo, no splatter of ketchup, no infusion of cheap mustard, no cheese.

C-F-A was a nice easy quick stop for me on the rare occasions when I'm starving and caught betwixt options. The last revelation finally pushed me over the edge, and so I'm boycotting, and yes, I wrote a terse, cranky letter. For this, I might send a follow-up, though I still freaking hate kale with a vile sexual passion. Nasty, flappy stuff, full of despair and incomprehensible bitterness, but I'm biased from growing up with a giant kale patch in our garden in the seventies/eighties.
posted by sonascope at 4:28 PM on November 27, 2011 [10 favorites]


I was a big fan of Chik-Fil-A when I was in grad school -- it was a reasonably affordable treat. I had no idea of their politics then, and I guess I can never go back now. (Not that I've ever had the chance.)

It was a very long time into eating there that I figured out that I was pronouncing their name wrong, and I still often do that.
posted by jeather at 4:28 PM on November 27, 2011


fag with an ExxonMobil card

Come on, man.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 4:37 PM on November 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've seen "Eat More Kale" around and assumed it was intended as a parody - it looks like that's not what the guy is claiming, though. IANAL and don't know if that would actually work in this situation or not...?
posted by naoko at 4:43 PM on November 27, 2011


The Chick-Fil-A owners need to eat more dick

So that they'll be in a better mood or something? IDGI
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:49 PM on November 27, 2011


That's largely because a boycott is absolutely meaningless unless you write to the corporate overlords and tell them that (a) you're no longer buying their products and (b) why you're no longer buying their products.

That's only true as long as the boycotts remain small.

The goal is to get the boycott snowball rolling downhill enough to make the company hurt. One person in a giant consumer economy won't have any effect, no matter how many letters are written. They don't care about individual people. We're only grist for their money-making mills. The effectiveness lies in numbers. Get enough people to stop giving a business their custom, and the business goes away.

It's not a boycott. It's not giving them money.

I don't want to change Chik-Fil-A's policies. I want to see them gone. If that means I have to work to change one person's mind at a time, then I'll do that. It may not succeed in my lifetime, but I don't care. I'm not giving them my money, and I'm convincing others slowly to do the same. No letter I write to their board will cause them to change. Only dropping customer dollars as the tide turns against them and their bigotry will get their attention, and even then I want them to cease to exist not to change what they do. They wish that on me, so I wish that on them.

At least one mind has been changed by this thread. That's progress as far as I'm concerned.
posted by hippybear at 4:49 PM on November 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


That's largely because a boycott is absolutely meaningless unless you write to the corporate overlords and tell them that (a) you're no longer buying their products and (b) why you're no longer buying their products.

Sure, the assholes at Chick-fil-A are going to really respond to e-mails and letters. Fuck that. Take action and be more direct in your opposition. Be visible. Make a fuss, so that other 'consumers' become knowledgeable and notice the bigotry that underpins this corporation.
Gay Activists Protest Chick-Fil-A Opening in Hollywood.

Group Cancels Chick-fil-A President's Appearance At Event.
posted by ericb at 4:51 PM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Come on, man.

I stand by it. If you're queer and you're holding an ExxonMobil card, you're being played, and feeding a company that thinks you're a harmless little fag, unworthy of corporate benefits. Haven't touched an Exxon or a Mobil pump since they did what they did, and hell, they went ahead and did it again just last year, just in case we missed it in the last decade. I pushed a car the better part of a mile once to get to a station that wasn't actively persecuting people like me.
posted by sonascope at 4:51 PM on November 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Chik Fil A is a shitty company that serves shitty food out from under a heat lamp, and its ultra-conservative 'Evangelical muscle' shtick both aggravates and scares me, and I would never, ever, ever eat at Chik Fil A


if there wasn't one right by my work and if they would stop serving me delicious buffalo wing sauce to dip my sandwich and waffle fries in.

But if I go to hell, it won't be for this.
posted by TheRedArmy at 4:51 PM on November 27, 2011


Eat More Possum is older than either Chickn or Kale. I first saw it as a bumper sticker at least 30 years ago.

I also saw a roadkill possum on my neighborhood perambulation today, but I decided to let it be.
posted by beagle at 4:54 PM on November 27, 2011


As far as the waffle fries go, Ore-Ida has perfectly good waffle fries that are good both out of the oven and out of the deep fryer.

But do we know Ore-Ida's politics? I mean, I suppose supporting an unknown is mildly preferable to supporting a known bad-egg, but I just kind of assume most huge corporations are run by Conservative bigots until evidence indicates otherwise. (I've maintained a kind of 'meh' attitude to Chik-Fil-A's food and fully support boycotting them for their politics, FWIW. I just don't think running to the next mega-corp in line is much of a solution)
posted by Ufez Jones at 4:54 PM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, my queer friends who are now "boycotting" Target on pro-gay grounds or giving me the stinkeye for my occasional Chik Fil-A sandwich think nothing of buying gas from ExxonMobile...

Are these friends aware of your, my and others' knowledge/concern of ExxonMobile's discriminatory
employee practices? Let them know. I think it is incumbent for those of us who are aware of these issues to 'educate' others. Hence, as example, NoraReed, hippy bear, Blazecock Pileon, I and others are hoping that we can educate others of Chick-fil-A's bigotry. Granted, it's a derail ... but in my mind a worthy one.
posted by ericb at 4:59 PM on November 27, 2011


Would "Eat More Kale" hold as much power if it didn't have a bunch of (competing!) media surrounding it from which to springboard off of?

Count me as another person who says yes. These shirts are pretty popular in the local food movement, and I never even heard the Chick-Fil-A slogan, though I love the shirts. Eating more kale is just a good idea, and I interpreted as a very generic way to say "eat more stuff that's good that grows on local farms."

I would be surprised if I'm the only one in this boat, as not everyone in that movement - or who might buy these shirts - who is unaware that there was any similar slogan in a fast food place. As an interest group, we're just not up on that stuff, and in Northern New England, I'm n not sure we even have any Chik-Fil-A stores - certainly not many - and I can't recall even seeing or hearing any advertisements that this would be playing off of.

So I think he's got a case, and at least if he ever makes his way here he has a bunch of people who can testify that they always saw it as a completely independent statement, not a "play on" anything.
posted by Miko at 5:00 PM on November 27, 2011


Ufez, Ore-Ida has been owned by H. J. Heinz since the 60s. I don't know enough about their politics to determine if they pass the sniff test.
posted by emkelley at 5:05 PM on November 27, 2011


As an interest group, we're just not up on that stuff, and in Northern New England, I'm n not sure we even have any Chik-Fil-A stores - certainly not many ...

I had never even heard about this company until a few years ago.

Their presence in New England is tiny. No restaurants in Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island or Vermont. Just two in Massachusetts and one in New Hampshire.
posted by ericb at 5:05 PM on November 27, 2011


As to whether public corporations respond to actual communication—I think there's good evidence they do. They even have metrics for weighting the value of actual mail, because America is a country filled with whining complainers who are perfectly content to blather on at people who don't matter, i.e. friends, family, coworkers, and so on, but who never lift a finger to a phone dial or a keyboard.

Of course, Chick-Fil-A isn't going to respond, because it isn't a public corporation, but when I take a stand, I go on record, and Chick-Fil-A may not always be a private, family-owned chain. In the meantime, your not spending money there doesn't do anything except let you take some (deserved) satisfaction in not participating in the system. If they're still making money, they don't care what you do.

Not giving money to bad people feels good. At the same time, does it really have an effect? If Chick-Fil-A is going gangbusters anyway, that unspent money is meaningless to them. Giving that unspent money to people going after C-F-A, on the other hand, might be a good place to start. Is there a place to contribute to a legal defense fund, or just another petition?
posted by sonascope at 5:07 PM on November 27, 2011


If Chick-fil-A's slogan was "Eat Chickn" could they sue anyone who suggested eating anything at all?
posted by XMLicious at 5:09 PM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've had the opportunity to talk with a reasonable number of high-level executives in major corporations—probably not as many as some folks in this thread, but possibly more than most. Every time the topic of customer letters has come up, I have learned that letters do indeed reach those "higher-ups" and those people do indeed read them and pay attention. It's a big part of why I still write them.
posted by cribcage at 5:17 PM on November 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's not unspent money. It's money I use to feed myself in ways which don't involve Chik-Fil-A.

To think that I'm not spending money to feed myself because I'm not spending it in their houses of bigotry is a bit silly.

I give to legal defense and gay support groups as I can. I'm not rich -- I don't make a lot of money by anyone's standard.

But I also pick and choose who gets my money. I don't play a lot of the consumerism games which are so endemic to American culture. I spend deliberately and frugally, and when I can, I make deliberate choices about who gets my dollar.
posted by hippybear at 5:19 PM on November 27, 2011


Huh. Well here's a great example of unintended consequences. You go after someone for a t-shirt and get some press that sparks online discussion and...

We've used the Skaggsville, MD Chick-fil-a to cater our kids parties (boy do the parents go through that stuff.) But we'd never heard about the donations to hate groups thing. That's new to us and whelp, it's a pretty easy call not to patronize them further.

I'm also pretty sure the other parents we know are unaware of this behavior. At least some of them will be distressed by it.

Thanks, aggressive lawyers, for the heads-up.
posted by EmptyK at 5:26 PM on November 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


in Northern New England, I'm not sure we even have any Chik-Fil-A stores... Their presence in New England is tiny.

I just looked that up myself — when I posted this link, I can't say I'd ever even heard of Chick-fil-A. (The nearest one seems to be about 275 miles from my house.) As opposed to their 0 locations in four of the New England states, the biggest numbers seem to be in Georgia (195), Florida (156), and North Carolina (144) — also of course a major part of Waffle House Nation. Which of course I've eaten at (many years ago, on the road); there seem to be none of those anywhere in New England.

In my head, I was pronouncing the company name Chick-Fill-Aah, which made no sense (but thanks to their Wiki entry, I'm now enlightened.)

I thought the whole controversy was amusing because just the other day, when my wife and niece were in fact eating more kale, I'd said that no one actually really likes the taste of kale. "I like the way it makes me feel," said my niece, and my wife said, "It's not bad." I didn't think that either reply negated my original opinion.
posted by LeLiLo at 5:43 PM on November 27, 2011


Oh, I hated those cows with their wee *beady* eyes, and that smug look on their face. "Oh, you're gonna eat mor chickin! Ohhhhh!"

Dad, how can you hate cows?

Because they put an addictive chemical in their chickin that makes ya crave it fortnightly, smartass!
posted by brevator at 5:45 PM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


> White Castle burgers are heaven

… if your idea of heaven is steamed sick in the world's tiniest bun, that is.
posted by scruss at 5:51 PM on November 27, 2011


You know I'm getting really tired of the idea that Chick-Fil-A should eat more dick/cock because by implication there is something wrong with a dick based diet. Like that, hur hur, they're gay or feminine or sexually submissive and thus bad and worth contempt. Even if it is intended to point out their homophobia, this does it by spreading and legitimizing the bigotry.
posted by Blasdelb at 5:54 PM on November 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


You know I'm getting really tired of the idea that Chick-Fil-A should eat more dick/cock because by implication there is something wrong with a dick based diet. Like that, hur hur, they're gay or feminine or sexually submissive and thus bad and worth contempt. Even if it is intended to point out their homophobia, this does it by spreading and legitimizing the bigotry.

Yep. Same thing goes for spreading innuendo that particular homophobes are secretly gay. Not helping.
posted by downing street memo at 5:57 PM on November 27, 2011


I've not been saying it, but the money I don't spend at Chik-Fil-A goes entirely to help me maintain a dick-based diet.
posted by hippybear at 6:00 PM on November 27, 2011 [9 favorites]


Got my shirt. Fuck Chik-Fil-A.
posted by sutt at 6:01 PM on November 27, 2011


If anyone does want to contact Chick-fil-A, here is a link to their contact form.

If people feel strongly about this, one approach could be to start a change.org petition. I'm not sure if one has access to the info of people who sign up to a campaign (I presume not), but it could be interesting to have a greasemonkey script that auto-fills this contact form with the petitioners info, and just bangs off an email to the Chick-fil-A people. Presumably they do actually read the contact form as it is such a pain to fill in.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 6:13 PM on November 27, 2011


no one actually really likes the taste of kale. "I like the way it makes me feel," said my niece, and my wife said, "It's not bad." I didn't think that either reply negated my original opinion.

I love kale! Seriously. In my house we really dig it. Sauteed with garlic and olive oil, served as a side or mixed with pasta. It is not a food we tolerate but actively enjoy. So at least some of us really do have a love for the stuff. We put in a bunch of plants in our garden every year. On purpose. To have plenty of kale.
posted by Miko at 6:20 PM on November 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


In Seattle, kale is used as a decorate outdoor plant. You can wander around the town and see these giant things with frilly leaves, and then you realize that it is, in fact, kale.

It's a bit daunting. I don't even know if it's edible once it gets that big.
posted by hippybear at 6:24 PM on November 27, 2011


grrr. "used as a decorative outdoor plant"
posted by hippybear at 6:25 PM on November 27, 2011


If you intentionally misspell the name of the staple ingredient in your restaurant's "food," I will not eat there.

No way I'm giving up my Dunkin Donuts!

I live within a couple miles of the guy now, but used to at least have exposure to the chikin folks. It really would never occur to you up here that there is any relationship at all. The sentiment just resonates of farmer's market and a diligent attempt to be 'good' and healthy, even if that means eating something you wouldn't otherwise.

I'll continue to have faith in the system to sort this out, because the alternative is too depressing.
posted by meinvt at 6:33 PM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


True here too, but it's ornamental or flowering kale, not one of the veggie-eatin' varieties (like delicious Tuscan kale or pointy-leafed Russian kale or many other types. I don't know if ornamental is edible but I have a feeling it wasn't bred for its taste qualities.
posted by Miko at 6:36 PM on November 27, 2011


Ornamental kale is as edible as any other variety, provided it has not been treated with pesticides or other harmful chemicals.*
posted by hippybear at 6:38 PM on November 27, 2011


But I will, when asked by the chirping drive-thru employee if there's anything else she can do for me, say, "Yes! You can ask the owners of your restaurant to stop supporting foundations that encourage discrimination against my gay and lesbian friends."

Eat somewhere or don't eat somewhere, the choice is yours - and god knows I make enough moral compromises in my life that I'd never berate someone for going to Chik-a-fil. But don't do this, because it's really a jerk move. These people aren't paid enough to somehow be the magic conduit for you to feel better about eating there. Just get your sandwich and move on.

(Spoken by somehow screamed at once for working in Fortnum and Mason's by a person...who was buying their tea.)
posted by lesbiassparrow at 6:38 PM on November 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Does McDonald's still have the Southern Style Chicken Sandwich? Don't now how widely it is (or was) available but it's a complete rip-off of the Chick-fil-A sandwich. A complete, tasty rip-off.
posted by 6550 at 6:56 PM on November 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


I seriously doubt that Chick-Fil-A even registered on his consciousness when he made the stickers.

Isnt it a The Far Side reference?
posted by five fresh fish at 6:57 PM on November 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I hereby swear off Chik-Fil-A.

[hug]

I'm fortunate as to be in a financial place where I can always choose my consumer purchases. I try to remember to choose ethically.

This gets tricky with subtleties like Asian mfg vs Western mfg::Help flatten global inequality vs retain local inequality.

But when it comes to douchebags like fastfood outlets and Walmrt, I have no problem excising them from my places-to-shop list. Fuck 'em: i know they're bad.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:17 PM on November 27, 2011


The wikipedia entry makes no reference to Gary Larsons. Who ripped off whom here?
posted by five fresh fish at 7:18 PM on November 27, 2011


As it happens, you're hard pressed to find a piece of decently fried chicken made by life affirming liberals for the same reason that you're unlikely to get a decent plate of Carolina pork barbecue from atheists—some foods just come out of traditions not like ours.

This idea of links between cuisine and religious traditions caught my attention. I wonder if there's some empirical truth to this folksy intuition. I would bet there is. Delicious recipes spring forth from the idle minds of the less intellectually occupied among us? If it's true to any extent, what a downer. And a cruel confirmation of the human condition. Our minds and hearts enslaved by our tastebuds. It's a damn fine sammich, unfortunately.
posted by stroke_count at 7:22 PM on November 27, 2011


This is the first I've heard of CFA supporting anti-gay groups. This is sad and wrong and disappoints me greatly. However, even if every person on Earth who agrees with the sentiments on this thread were to boycott CFA, I honestly don't think that would make a big enough dent in their sales or profits for them to go out of business, much less change their wrong-headed support of anti-gay groups.

This is just speculation on my part, but I believe that the majority of CFA's customer base is just fine with their anti-gay stance, sadly. I say that based on what I have observed, living in the South for the majority of my life. ( Born in Florida, 20 years growing up in Alabama, 9 years in Atlanta GA, 10 miserable years and counting in North Carolina. ) Chik-Fil-A is a Southern-based restaurant chain, strongly influenced by Southern culture, and the dangerous, peculiar flavor of fundamentalist christianity that thrives ( like some perversely communicable fever dream ) here in the South.

The problem is much bigger than any boycott is going to fix.
posted by KHAAAN! at 7:29 PM on November 27, 2011


Delicious recipes spring forth from the idle minds of the less intellectually occupied among us? If it's true to any extent, what a downer.

It might not be your intention, but this read as fairly condescending to me. The people who create food, including Southern food, are intellectually occupied...with the creation of food. I doubt we would describe a chef in a nice restaurant as "less intellectually occupied" or having an idle mind. If people are better at producing food the food of their culture, it's because they are deeply immersed in and knowledgeable about that food tradition, it's just as much an intellectual exercise as any other cooking and somehow crediting the tastiness of their food to the fact that they're not (presumably like you) being "intellectually occupied" sounds pretty gross to me.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:45 PM on November 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Back when I lived in Boston, around the year 1978 or so, I was at a friend's house, and noticed a sticker she had in her kitchen. It read "EAT MORE KIMCHEE". That was the night I first learned what kimchee was. I guess that was long before the Chik fil-A corporation existed.

Oh, and now that I know about the draconian anti-gay, anti-progressive culture of the company, I'm especially glad that I never once purchased or ate any of their products.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:47 PM on November 27, 2011


hippybear, I remember that you feel strongly about Chick-Fil-A.
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:55 PM on November 27, 2011


You know I'm getting really tired of the idea that Chick-Fil-A should eat more dick/cock because by implication there is something wrong with a dick based diet.

That's not really how I read it. They should eat more dick because EVERYONE should eat more dick. Presumably, if they ate more dick, they'd spend less effort lobbying for the reduction of dick consumption.

But in any case, while I like a dick a few times a week, you can't live on dicks alone. God knows I've tried.
posted by me & my monkey at 9:09 PM on November 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


I wonder if Chick-Fil-A stays out of New England because they think we're all heathens. Or maybe they know about our witches, who can read people damn quick.
posted by longsleeves at 9:49 PM on November 27, 2011


If you say "gosh, I hate that this company gives money to those awful causes", but still spend your money with said company, YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM. Please stop.

Or at least stop saying stupid shit like "I wish I could stop, but it's SO delicious!"

Please.
posted by weirdoactor at 9:54 PM on November 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


There is a certain kind of comment in these threads. It's worth remarking on because it keeps appearing, including in the very first comment in this thread. That is: some entity has to perform this direct action X for indirect reason Y, and thus this is not worthy of discussion and (sometimes implied, sometimes stated in some form) all of your are stupid for thinking otherwise.

The thing these comments do not recognize is that, even if it is understandable for some entity to do something bad, that doesn't excuse it.

If you say "gosh, I hate that this company gives money to those awful causes", but still spend your money with said company, YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM. Please stop.

There is a basic flaw in this reasoning. If news that Chik-Fil-A had been supporting anti-gay groups never broke, then we never would have known enough to boycott them. This kind of thing probably happens all the time, and thus, you are claiming that we are all part of problems we really have no notion of being involved in.

There are certain problems with boycott culture, not the least of which being, what if a company's revenue source is entirely disconnected from us consumers? Another: sometimes a company provides a good or service that is really irreplaceable, either due to an unprosecuted monopoly, some form of patent, copyright or trademark, or the market being too small to support a competitor. That might work well for a fast food restaurant, but what if your car depends on a part only made by one manufacturer who has problematic business practices? What if only one airline is travelling to your destination? What if only one company is making a kind of software you need?

I think these kinds of situations greatly outnumber those in which people can, or can afford, to boycott. This is why boycotts are not an acceptable replacement for vigorous and strongly-enforced regulation.
posted by JHarris at 10:03 PM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


JHarris, try this exercise: when you have a craving for delicious Chik-fil-A, repeat "they will use my money to spread hatred toward gay people" ten times, out loud.

If you still want to eat there after that, I hope you get the squirts. For a week.
posted by weirdoactor at 10:10 PM on November 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'd consider donating to PETA if they'd run around postering Chik-Fil-A.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:20 PM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Weirdoactor, I actually think JHarris was making a different and broader point. I think what he's saying is that voting with your dollars sounds good, but ultimately you're constrained by the options the market presents you, as opposed to getting involved politically and lobbying for change. I think this is worth keeping in mind -- trying to push for legislation to make discriminatory hiring policies illegal everywhere, or to come up with and advocate changes to intellectual property law, might end up having a bigger impact than just not eating at Chik-Fil-A. Of course, walking/chewing gum/etc., and our political system is also arguably in thrall to the market, and in this case for most people there are almost certainly less terrible alternatives than Chik-Fil-A -- but I think it's a point worth making.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:28 PM on November 27, 2011


en forme de poire: you clarification was appreciated, but unnecessary. I already do work with/support such organizations. I have no illusions about boycotts affecting CFL's support of anti-gay causes. I'm from the south, Texas to be precise. The kind of blind, religion-based hatred that inspires people to financially support such vile causes aren't affected by the likes of me.

My reason for not eating at CFL is more personal; I do not want my money that goes into their cash registers supporting hate focused causes, period. I'm not looking to change CFL. That's beyond my meager grasp.
posted by weirdoactor at 10:38 PM on November 27, 2011


If people feel strongly about this, one approach could be to start a change.org petition.

Looks like there is one up already. I always thought they ripped off Larson and I didn't know the eat more kale stickers were local to me though I guess I should have. You see them everywhere. We don't have CFL in Vermont for whatever reason. Here's a longer article about the whole deal.
posted by jessamyn at 11:02 PM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


C-F-A makes a sandwich that satisfies my most primal sandwich needs in that it's a good piece of meat, well-turned, on an innocuous sort of bread, all untainted by the slathery wretchedness of condiments, which exist almost entirely to hide bad source material.

I have to say I have never understood the appeal of this. I've gone to Chik-Fil-A a couple of times, and always wound up staring blankly at my enthusiastic cohorts who took me there, because what is the point of the bread? Why not just eat the piece of meat? Which is breaded! I mean, sure, your barbecue sandwiches are just meat, sauce, and bread most of the time, but the bread is there to hold it together, it has a purpose. Same with po' boys. But those Chik-Fil-A things, what the fuck.

So basically for me this is one of those easy boycotts, is what I'm saying.
posted by furiousthought at 11:31 PM on November 27, 2011


The Chick-Fil-A owners need to eat more dick.

I propose that we dub this "Chickfillatio".
posted by XMLicious at 11:36 PM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wouldn't that be Chick-Fil-Atio?
posted by DisreputableDog at 11:59 PM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I do not want my money that goes into their cash registers supporting hate focused causes, period. I'm not looking to change CFL. That's beyond my meager grasp.

If you don't believe that withholding money will change anything, why do you do it? Do you have some kind of phobia for economic interaction with reprehensible people?
posted by LogicalDash at 2:01 AM on November 28, 2011


It may not change anything, but at least you're not actively helping them.

In a capitalist system everybody always has to make moral compromises because few companies are completely clean, but sometimes a case is so clearcut you cannot but refuse to patronise the fsckers, even if your "boycott" is ineffective.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:34 AM on November 28, 2011


It may not change anything, but at least you're not actively helping them.

If it doesn't change anything to remove your dollars, then you weren't actively helping anything. Either $3 for chicken nuggets affects Chick-Fil-A's bottom line, or it doesn't.
posted by LogicalDash at 3:43 AM on November 28, 2011


Well, there's a Chick-Fil-A two blocks from my house and I haven't eaten at in at least 4 years. I guess that trend will continue. Heh, I was just reminded that every now and then I like to to to McDonald's for a Fish Fillet sandwich. Maybe McDonald's should sue Chick-Fil-A for their sound-alike name. I wonder who would win? Makes as much sense to me on a copyright infringement basis as the Eat more kale thing.
posted by lordrunningclam at 4:33 AM on November 28, 2011


Either $3 for chicken nuggets affects Chick-Fil-A's bottom line, or it doesn't.

Some of that $3 is spent by the company on causes I actively refuse to support. By not spending money with them, I deprive them of my $3, which means they can't spend some of my $3 on causes I actively do not support.

If enough people do this, it makes a huge difference. If only I do it, it makes a small difference. But to disclaim that it makes no difference is simply untrue. You act as if this is a zero sum game, if I do not spend $3 at CFA, someone else will.

That simply isn't true.

Now, my not eating CFA isn't a huge loss to the company, I'm sure -- but it is a real lost sale (several of them) caused by their political support of repressive causes. Since they are privately held, it means the company needs to reach a point where it's losing enough money to force a sale to get a change in policy, which is harder to do than simply depressing a stock price enough to force a change in management. So, my choice will have even less chance of changing their behavior.

But in the end, I'm not implicitly supporting repressive causes. I'm good with that.
posted by eriko at 5:19 AM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does McDonald's still have the Southern Style Chicken Sandwich? Don't now how widely it is (or was) available but it's a complete rip-off of the Chick-fil-A sandwich. A complete, tasty rip-off.

They do at the ones I've been to in New England. And yes, it's a very close copy of the Chick-fil-A sandwich. It's not exactly right, but it's so close that I'm willing to overlook the slight indescribable difference. Also, since the closest CFA is a 45 minute trip each way, whereas you can't turn around here without finding a McDonalds, the convenience factor is a huge plus.

However, some franchises seem to be using a different chicken slab - instead of a lightly breaded piece of tender goodness, it's a hard-fried hunk of birdlike product. Not at all the same.
posted by neilbert at 5:37 AM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would looove to witness Chik-Fil-A's reaction to these cosplayers I saw at Dragon Con: blood-spattered zombie cows with signs imploring "EAT MOR BRAYNZ"
posted by nicebookrack at 6:24 AM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Same thing goes for spreading innuendo that particular homophobes are secretly gay. Not helping.

In fairness though, these kinds of homophobes are secretly gay often enough to make it a good bet, whereas it's pretty damn unlikely that the Chik-Fil-A chain as a whole is going to eat more dick.

about the only thing you can say about CFA is that it's better than KFC.

The last KFC I was in, on a trip with friends, about a week before the September 11th attacks, was the most disgusting place I have ever seen in my life. Water looked like the only thing safe to consume there and I had doubts about that.

I haven't eaten at a Chik-Fil-A in twenty years, at least. Not out of virtue, necessarily, just because they always seemed gross.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:46 AM on November 28, 2011


five fresh fish: Isnt it a The Far Side reference?

From fundinguniverse (whatever that is) :

The "Eat Mor Chickin" advertising campaign, launched in 1997, became enormously successful. Using a style reminiscent of Gary Larson's Far Side cartoons, these billboards (the company also introduced radio ads with witty scripts) featured cows painting crudely lettered signs encouraging customers to eat chicken--rather than beef.

Does this not raise a big mf'ing question? Does Gary get a piece of all this? What's up with that?
posted by Trochanter at 7:13 AM on November 28, 2011


If enough people do this, it makes a huge difference. If only I do it, it makes a small difference. But to disclaim that it makes no difference is simply untrue. You act as if this is a zero sum game, if I do not spend $3 at CFA, someone else will.

That simply isn't true.


I have no particular position on whether or not the lost sale makes a difference. It's a philosophy-of-science sort of question that depends on what I consider a difference to be. I don't have the energy to defend any particular position, sorry.

However, if you are going to take the position that not eating at Chick-fil-A makes a difference, you should not say that it doesn't.
posted by LogicalDash at 8:40 AM on November 28, 2011


If I lived anywhere near a CFA I would make shirts with "eat mor cok" on them. Then I'd set up a shirt shop cart in front of their store.

Then I'd smite them with lightening bolts.
posted by Hey, Zeus! at 8:55 AM on November 28, 2011


Boycotting shit companies is mostly about me being able to look at myself in the mirror.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:22 AM on November 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Want to EAT MOAR KALE but have trouble actually, well, eating that much of it? Green Smoothies.

Hey Chick-fil-A corporation, you chose "eat mor chikn" as a trademark because those spellings are unique, and make for stronger trademarks. You can't have it both ways.

That was my first thought as well. IANAL, and I also don't know much about trademark law, but it seems like if it's not spelling it "MOR" he has a decent case?

"This looks a bit like an example of over-enthusiasm for brand protection,"

Exactly. If the guy was selling chicken or poultry products, sure. But "food" seems like too large a protected category, and as noted, the guy is just selling merch.

And yeah, as noted, Chick-Fil-A is evil.

So basically for me this is one of those easy boycotts, is what I'm saying.

Heh. Since I'm vegetarian, yeah, pretty easy to "boycott" pretty much all fast food.

Let me repeat—no mail to corporate means no boycott.

That seems remarkably untrue, or maybe just short-sighted.

I actually think it's the opposite. Press and PR mean very little (other than reaching critical mass)--an actual revenue hit is what changes (or ends) corporate misbehavior. I mean the Southern Baptists wasted tons of money and resources pushing their Disney boycott but it went nowhere because, hey Disney doesn't give a fuck about anything but the bottom line.

ExxonMobil

Where does a good progressive person who doesn't use biofuel but really limits his driving as much as possible get gasoline from? Valero was the biggest backer of Prop 23 ... Shell, Chevron ... no way ... I usually take 76, which is ConocoPhilips, or something like that, only because I haven't heard yet about how they murder babies or whatever ...

Boycotting shit companies is mostly about me being able to look at myself in the mirror.

There's that as well: it's the difference between watching the world burn and starting the fires yourself.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:00 AM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ten days later, the t-shirt guy continues to play his David vs. Goliath theme pretty well. Now he’s got The New York Times involved, and the governor of Vermont doing PR for him.
posted by LeLiLo at 11:04 PM on December 6, 2011


I like the McDonald's copycat. It and the Fillet-o-Fish are awesome.

Although McDonald's is not an ethical bastion either, I like that they aren't actively lobbying against equal rights.

Also, McDonalds does not put tomatoes on most of their burgers. That's amoral and sick.
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:36 PM on December 8, 2011


Isn't gasoline kind of a fungible orgy between all the oil companies? IIRC, I heard that gasoline is sold as a commodity to the stations and often not from the same company that brands the stations. I imagine crude oil is also the same way.

So your Exxon gas station could be pumping up BP gas.
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:38 PM on December 8, 2011


mccarty.tim, you are exactly right. The gasoline you buy is coming from the physically nearest refinery no matter who owns the refinery and gas station. The different brands do add their own additives but the raw gasoline itself is a pure commodity.
posted by localroger at 1:15 PM on December 8, 2011


Yep, mccarty.tim.

Crude oil, most definitely. Most folks in Atlantic Canada, for example, have no idea that the majority of their oil is shipped in from Norway, with a huge dollop of anywhere-else-but-Canada, even when they gas up at Petro-Canada or Canadian Tire or Husky or Sobeys or Irving or any other "Canadian" company. (Canadian oil, while a HUGE industry, is mostly relegated to the Western half of the country, and whatever the locals don't use gets piped straight to the US.)

It's generally shipped as crude and refined in Canadian ports, but, like you suggest, it's a select few refineries serving a whole whack of differently-branded gas stations.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:50 PM on December 8, 2011


(That first It's in that last sentence means "Foreign oil", if that was ambiguous.)
posted by Sys Rq at 1:52 PM on December 8, 2011


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