If you’ve been online in the last week, I’m sure you’ve seen the storylines about Chick-Fil-A’s stance on marriage issues. Many are calling for a boycott, while others are calling for a day of support, tomorrow August 1st.
No matter where you stand, this issue doesn’t stand alone when it comes to controversy over our food supply and how groups respond to these issues. Recently, social media friend and past guest blogger on this site, Aimee Whetstine (blog, Twitter) shared her thoughts on the Chick-Fil-A topic on the BlogHer site.
The ruckus over Chick-fil-A raises the question: Who’s behaving like the hater here?
Chick-fil-A president and chief operating officer Dan Cathy’s recent comments in Baptist Press should come as no surprise. The company is privately owned. In 45 years of existence, their restaurants have never been open on Sundays. They’ve always supported a traditional, Biblical definition of marriage and family.
“We intend to stay the course,” said Cathy in the article. “We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”
Chick-fil-A uses their resources to support and care for families in ways they see fit. That includes contributing to non-profits that share their beliefs.
Speaking from experience, that also includes family activity nights at their restaurants, refreshing beverages for free, and politely carrying trays to tables for mothers like me who have their hands full. Besides, the food is delicious.
I don’t hate gay people. I don’t believe the Cathy family and their franchisees hate gay people. I don’t plan to stop eating at Chick-fil-A anytime soon. I understand if your convictions differ. You can stop eating there if you want.
You’ll be missing out on some mighty fine chicken if you do.
So this got my wheels turning and turned into an interesting conversation on Facebook. Is boycotting businesses for whatever cause the right way to go about influencing change?
I’ve written about my thoughts on Chipotle, McDonalds, Dominos, and other restaurants who choose to take a stance on animal issues at the begging of HSUS. (Issues of HSUS support also branch outside of food businesses.) As a member of the agriculture community I feel some obligation to direct my support else where in protest.
At the same time, the response of many within the agriculture community can be perceived by customers as negative, defensive, or even “furious” as was the case with NCBA’s response for last week’s USDA newsletter (Page 3) on Meatless Mondays. Many agriculture groups, including farmers, spoke up about the newsletter with disgust. The USDA later retracted the newsletter, saying it was published without approval. Following that incident with the USDA, Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) declared a “Meat Monday” to mock Meatless Monday with a BBQ feast.
On the other hand, money is your vote in this country.
Might be a good time to consider proactive strategies and cultivating relationships.