Now Selling Personal Empowerment With Each Order: Yeah! Chick-fil-A

A food-lethargic nation briefly awoke from slumber this week to rally for or against gay marriage. The passion and conviction that drew us all to action demonstrates that indeed, we are well aware that our purchases have broader implications than the transaction at the sales counter. Where something comes from, who sells it, how it is made, and what the purchase says about our social convictions all factor into our decision-making process.

Chick-Fil-A  became the ballot booth for gay-marriage when Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee designated Wednesday, August 1, as National Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. The privately-owned fast food chain had taken a clear stand against the issue in an interview:

Dan Cathy, the president and chief operating officer of Chick-fil-A, was invited to appear on the “The Ken Coleman Show,” during when he revealed that those advocating for same-sex marriage will in turn bring “God’s judgment” upon us.

“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,'” Cathy said. “I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”

Cathy explains that the company that his father created and the one that he now runs is possible because of family and the support that families offer.

“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that … We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that,” Cathy said. Read more on The Christian Post…

Throngs of people descended on the fast food chain to purchase chicken sandwiches in support of Dan Cathy’s morals. People recognized what power their purchases give them, and collectively opened their wallets in expression of their convictions.

And it was awesome.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that all people deserve equal rights. Individual interpretation of the bible’s stance on gay-marriage is irrelevant; in the United States, it’s the constitution that is our foundation for civil law.

But whether you super-sized in support, boycotted in protest or simply avoided the food and the issue, we are reminded that nothing is without consequence. We are each very powerful, and what we buy for lunch does make a difference.

Unfortunately, there are no line-item issues. When you vote “yay” or “nay”, it’s a package process. You’re vote may have consequences for which you did not intend. If you made a purchase from Chick-fil-A this week (or any fast food place), you also voted in support for:

    • Factory farming: The industry’s enormous purchasing power is a principle driving force behind factory farming. Factory farms supply vast amounts of animal products (meat, dairy and eggs) at the lowest possible cost by crowding animals together to conserve space, pumping them full of non-therapeutic antibiotics and artificial growth hormones, amputating body parts to avoid unnatural stress-induced injuries, and slaughtering them on “disassembly” lines (often while they remain fully conscious). From birth to death, these animals know only pain.
    • Your child’s unhealthy appetite: The fast food industry spends over 4 billion a year in advertising to make sure that every commercial break, ball park, magazine, bus-ride, motion-picture release, on-line activity, and radio station reminds us that cheap food is delicious.
    • The obesity epidemic: Nutritional researchers and public health agencies both implicate fast food as a major contributor because of the high sugar, fat and calorie content (and low nutritional value) of the products.
    • Environmental destruction: Millions of acres of forest are clear-cut every year to manufacture packaging for fast and processed food, mine and drill for resources to increase production and transportation of food, and to create more space for animal agriculture and the feed crops that support them. Farming practices used in these large scale productions are polluting the air, water, eroding our top soil. The trash generated by the entire system is unfathomable; our landfills are full and our oceans are dying.

Individually, we have created the health and environmental crises that now threaten our collective future. We each must choose for ourselves what issues are of greatest concern, and then cast our ballot accordingly. But before you decide, do your homework. Your vote counts.

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