Chick-Fil-A Isn’t the Only Evil Fast Food Chain

My Monday column enumerates a variety of reasons why liberals should boycott all fast food chains.

I'd like to defensively preface this column by making it abundantly clear that I'm both a supporter and participant in the boycott of Chick-Fil-A due (in part) to CEO Dan Cathy's contributions to paleoconservative anti-gay organizations. It's not surprising, and more than a little obvious given Cathy's evangelical Christianity and Chick-Fil-A's well-known symbiosis with religious zealotry.

Not to sound like one of those hipsters who always claims to have discovered a cool rock band before everyone else, but I personally haven't stepped foot into a Chick-Fil-A location since the 1990s -- and not just because of its ideological affiliations or the unavoidably creepy Happy Young Christian musak that's piped into its dining areas.

Mass produced fast food is, in a word, bad, bad, bad. And on multiple levels. Therefore liberals who care about civil rights, the climate crisis, healthcare, worker rights and safety, animal cruelty, exploitation of illegal immigrants, genetically modified food, consumerism and corporate greed (you know, many of the marquee liberal causes) ought to be boycotting all fast food restaurants full stop. Continue reading...

  • nicole

    Excellent piece, Bob!

  • Ken Johnson

    I don’t eat at any of the big, unhealthy national chains such as McDonald’s, Taco Bell, KFC, etc. However, there are a few smaller chains that are trying to do things the right way. For instance, Chipotle. They’re building LEED certified buildings and they try to use locally grown organic produce and naturally raised meat when possible.

    And their burritos are damn good!

    • nicole

      Chipotle has a very good rep (and is owned by Liberals).

    • agrazingmoose

      Love Chipotle. They are really trying to do the right thing.

  • Clancy

    In addition to being terribly unrealistic, there’s something absurd about boycotting products, service providers, or stores solely based on the politics of their executives or primary stockholders. There are many reasons to (continue to) do business with people and organizations that do not agree with you politically. For one, they may actually offer a product or service that you prefer. Also, if you haven’t noticed, a lot of businesses seem to be owned by complete asshats. Cathay’s real crime isn’t simply that he’s conservative and supports terrible and discriminatory causes, it’s that he decided he could rub his customers’ faces in it. It’s easier to ignore the politics of jackasses when they’re a little more circumspect about what they support.

    Still, I had a lot of trouble with Chick-fil-a. I had never even stepped into one before 2007 when one opened in my town. Still, I didn’t eat there again until my daughter arrived at the age where chicken nuggets seemed to be the only thing she would eat outside what we made for her at home. The local franchise was minority owned and some investigating indicated that the owner was somewhat active in the Democratic Party and progressive causes. So, I decided that I could justify patronizing HIS restaurant. We weren’t regulars, but I wasn’t beating myself up over the times we did eat there.

    That’s a lot harder to do now. The franchise operator has been rather stuck on this issue, but has decided not to rock the boat with corporate. When asked about marriage equality, he reportedly indicates that he won’t comment and refers inquiries to corporate P.R. Given that other franchise owners have openly moved to break away from Cathay’s statements, this is more than enough for me to stop giving my local franchise the benefit of doubt.

    • ninjaf

      This is not about boycotting a restaurant based on one person’s beliefs. It is the fact that they spend their company profits actively trying to restrict the civil rights of part of the population. Here is an article on HuffPo that pretty succinctly sums it up for me:

      Even though they are not healthy to eat, I love their chicken nuggets and lemonade. Still, I have not spent my money there for 2 years, ever since I found out they were taking profits from the food I was buying and using it in this way.

  • Victor_the_Crab

    The simple fact that the vast majority of fast food chains serve shit on a tray makes it easy enough for me to stay the fuck away from them. Their abhorrent political and religious views just helps bolster my decision.

    • nicole

      Agree completely. I can’t remember the last time I indulged in fast food!

    • agrazingmoose

      Not to mention that their crap is even worse for kids than adults.