Is This Chicken Tainted?

Chick-fil-a is one of the Americas’ favorite fast food chains. Many claim they sell the best chicken sandwiches in the country. Back in 2012 their reputation was critically wounded as the CEO spoke out about his views on gay marriage. “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.” That was a quote from CEO Dan Cathy while speaking to a member of the media in 2012. Aside from their Chicken, Chick-fil-a is also known for being very religious, adhering closely to Christian values. For example, Chick-fil-a is closed on Sundays because Sunday is the lord’s day. I’ve only been to Chick-fil-a a few times, but I will say that their food is pretty incredible. This brings up a few questions we have encountered in this course so far. If you morally oppose something a business does, is it the right thing to do to stop buying their products?

Yes, Chick-fil-a as an institution has a right to its own views. Not all employees at Chick-fil-a necessarily agree with the comments made by the CEO. For me, it seems that most Americans will consume a product regardless of the ethics of the company supplying that product. As we saw in our readings about Nike and Apple, these companies have managed to become giants and maintain high levels of financial success and growth despite having numerous scandals. It goes back the out of sight out of mind argument. If people aren’t directly affected by an unethical business practice, they won’t do anything to stop it. Although this is a dark view of humanity, I believe it to be true. In classical economics, some of the greats suggested that humans act in their own self interests with rational behavior. If Iphones make a person’s life better or give them status, they will typically ignore whatever negative things were potentially done to make the phone.

Do I agree with Chick-fil-a’s values? No. Despite this, I will still go and eat their chicken. The same goes for Nike and Apple. I have Nike shoes, and I have a few Apple products. To be honest, it’s hard to feel guilty because so many other people are buying these products as well. It sounds like the old fashioned, “everyone is doing it” argument but I think its valid. Sadly I feel that if people do not protest against the companies who do these things, they will continue to be able to get away with them. Chick-fil-a serves any and all customers. If Chick-fil-a decided to not serve anyone who was gay or lesbian, I would start to have more of a problem with it, but for now I say it’s okay to eat Chick-fil-a. Based on the recent success of the company, for better or worse it seems that most of America agrees with me.


4 thoughts on “Is This Chicken Tainted?

  1. I think Chick-fil-a has made bold choices in not serving on Sundays. I agree with Spencer that if the company started to enforce other restrictions based on religious values, I would have a huge issue with it, namely restrictions on service based on sexual preference. For now, though, I think every business should have a right to exercise its values on the way it operates.


  2. I find that Chick-fil-a has a right to exercise its own opinions and operate according to their beliefs. I do believe that halting the purchase of a company’s product is one way to demonstrate that an individual opposes such beliefs or practices. However, I don’t find that tactic realistic. Chick-fil-a doesn’t necessarily shove their morals into the hands of their consumers, yet people are aware of them. I agree with you and @westshepherd that Chick-fil-a would receive serious backlash if they refused service based on sexual preference. For now, consumers (myself included) will continue to eat their delicious food.


  3. I think you have an interesting point Spencer. However, as a Roman Catholic, I think that if a company identifies with a religion that is part of their values just as sustainability is so they should be free to make decisions based on it. Of course, as you said, it becomes tricky when it comes to negatively discriminating customers based on their values and beliefs. There is a very a thin line here.


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