Ask Surly Amy: Nit Pickin’ About Chicken

Surly Amy

Dear Surly Amy,

I am addicted to Chick Fil A. I know, not the worst thing in the world. I go by there at least twice a week. I have always known they were a Christian run business, but never thought much of it. However, after hearing they are donating food to an antigay marriage group, it suddenly becomes a little more of an issue. So should I continue eating there, or go with the less delicious chicken at other fast food establishments?


Dear Justin,

Good chicken is good chicken but what they are doing is foul. Or should I say fowl? (Terribly sorry… I will behave now.)

If you are aware that a company is funding something that goes against you what you feel is morally correct then yes, I think that the socially responsible thing is to stop supporting that company. It’s one of the few things we as a consumer society can do to to make a palpable difference. Ultimately, you can’t control how that company chooses to spend its money but you can guarantee that they aren’t using any of your money in the process. Perhaps you can find ways to help let other people know that this establishment is anti gay rights. Start a petition or set up a facebook page to help get the word out. If you can get enough people to stop spending at that particular establishment you might convince them to change their funding policy and then you can go back and eat there. And who knows, in the mean time you might just find yourself a better restaurant to support!

Got a question you would like some Surly-Skepchick advice on? Send it in! We won’t publish your real name, unless you want us to and creative pseudonyms get bonus points! Just use the contact link on the top left of the page.

Amy Roth

Amy Roth

Amy Davis Roth (aka Surly Amy) is a multimedia artist who resides in Los Angeles, California. She makes Surly-Ramics She is the fearless leader of Mad Art Lab and cohost of Makers' Hustle Podcast Support her on Patreon. Follow her on twitter: @SurlyAmy or on Google+.

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  1. February 7, 2011 at 3:24 pm —

    There’s an odd bit of Christian theology that teaches the faithful that if they are following the will of their god they will suffer trials and tribulations. Were Chick Fil A. to get some grief for their choices they may just see it as a feather in their cap. Tidy way to view the world if you’re a dick.

  2. February 7, 2011 at 3:25 pm —

    Tried Chick-Fil-A once when I was down in Georgia in ’09. Wasn’t overly impressed, I’ve had better chicken sandwiches at the local Arby’s. That said, I won’t be going back (which is doubly easy considering I’m in Michigan and there are no Chick-Fil-A’s here).

  3. February 7, 2011 at 3:55 pm —

    You could always make your own. I’ve tried this a couple times and it’s pretty close.

  4. February 7, 2011 at 4:05 pm —

    There’s always Taco Bell….

  5. February 7, 2011 at 4:13 pm —

    Back when I was in grad school, the local Domino’s made a point of donating to Planned Parenthood to show that they were effectively independent as a franchisee.

  6. February 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm —

    @Zapski: There’s always Taco Bell….

    This raises an interesting point. Has anyone determined that there actually is chicken in a Chick-Fil-A sandwich? I’ve learned not to assume.

  7. February 7, 2011 at 4:37 pm —

    When I was in college, around 1983 or so, The Domino’s ‘Parent Company’ was known for donating to Operation Rescue. – Some groups in college did have an organized Boycott for that reason.

    The Human Rights Campaign has a list of LGBT friendly companies. — I knew Chick a Fil was Christian because the local franchise always closed on Sunday, but I didn’t know they were Anti-Gay.

  8. February 7, 2011 at 4:42 pm —

    >> blasted the restaurant chain for donating free food
    >> to a Pennsylvania organization opposed to gay
    >> marriage.

    >> “While my family and I believe in the Biblical
    >> definition of marriage,” the statement continued, >> “we love and respect anyone who disagrees.”

    Hello, I’m an organization of 1, and I’d like you to put
    your money where your mouth is, and donate a free

  9. February 7, 2011 at 4:50 pm —

    So should I continue eating there, or go with the less delicious chicken at other fast food establishments?

    Ahem. Any empiricist can determine through direct experimentation that the chicken at KFC is much tastier.

    They have dark meat, too, which last I checked Chik Fil A did not.

  10. February 7, 2011 at 4:50 pm —

    @davew: Soylent-Fil-A! Now available in Barbecue or Classic Chicken!

  11. February 7, 2011 at 7:07 pm —

    My husband has Celiac disease. Chik-fil-a is one of about 5 places he can eat in town. I duly respect people who vote with their wallets, but it isn’t something I can afford to do with my groceries nor something I have the luxury of doing with my dining dollars. Mmmm food privilege. I’m sure that just opens me up to more bi-erasure.

  12. February 8, 2011 at 12:45 am —

    There are 2 related petitions if you feel like signing on:

    Disclosure: I am a long time skeptic and occasional commenter here, but am also employed by I work here because of this sort of thing and the way we can bring attention to it (and, in this case, making the media notice).

  13. February 8, 2011 at 1:16 am —

    @kylev: Thanks for the links! is a great resource!

  14. February 8, 2011 at 3:11 am —

    @WhatPaleBlueDot: ah, yes. Food privilege. Having a few dietary restrictions, I can empathize… especially having a very low budget.

  15. February 8, 2011 at 7:13 am —

    Our local diner serves a better chicken sandwich and at a lesser price, too. I also like supporting local, independent small businesses.

  16. February 8, 2011 at 10:52 am —

    Maybe I’m an outsider, but it’s odd to me that anyone would care about the ‘beliefs’ of an organization like this. To me it’s down to whether or not they have good food, and what they do with their profits is none of my concern. If they tried to convert me to some belief or another I would certainly take issue, but to me every company out there can probably be found to have financial ties to undesirables, so I’d prefer to judge them solely on their product.

  17. February 8, 2011 at 1:17 pm —

    Also, apparently someone has threatened to start sending sammiches to the offices. I, for one, am looking forward to free lunch.

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