How to Scare the Shit out of Corporate Food: Eat More Kale

Many reacted with shock when Chick-fil-A sent a cease and desist letter to a dude from Vermont who made t-shirts declaring “Eat More Kale.”  The shirt was allegedly ripping off the fast food chain’s “eat mor chikin” slogan.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/05/us/eat-more-kale-t-shirts-challenged-by-chick-fil-a.html

Over the years I’ve interviewed dozens of executives from companies such as Cargill, Tyson’s, Monsanto, and Syngenta (not to mention dozens more in the corn, soy, and cattle business). I’m therefore not surprised at Chick-fil-A’s action. As I’ve learned, any hint of veganism scares the life out of these companies.  I remember asking a Monsanto representative if he worried about the growing power of the Eat Local movement. He laughed and told me not at all.  It was the potential that veganism would gain the popularity of localism that kept him up at night.

The Food Movement as a whole barely registers with the big guys because the big guys know they can always use their power to co-opt the movement’s defining ideas. Just this morning McDonald’s tweeted about its own “farm to fork story.” Laugh all you want at such cynicism, but McDonald’s knows exactly what it’s doing. The company understands full well that its “farm to fork story” is a sham. But it also knows that in telling that story, the company undermines the exclusive power that the “farm to fork” concept once carried, and thus saps strength from the Food Movement.

Can’t do this with veganism. As I have argued repeatedly, veganism is therefore the most direct and effective action we can take to challenge the corruption and dominance of industrial agriculture.  So, eat more kale (no matter where it was grown), buy a t-shirt from this guy (http://eatmorekale.com/), and if you are not vegan, become one.

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About James McWilliams
I'm a historian and writer based in Austin, Texas. This blog is dedicated to exploring the ethics of eating animals and animal-based products.

2 Responses to How to Scare the Shit out of Corporate Food: Eat More Kale

  1. Anjanette Jones says:

    What outstanding articles. I am so glad to be connected to this. I will be using these articles in my seminars and sessions.

  2. Devil's Advocate says:

    I love kale!

    But… I’m sorry; Veganism is not some magic cloak that will always be able to protect you against corporate co-opting. There is no reason McD’s couldn’t roll out a whole vegan line of GM soy TVP burgers and fungi chicken nuggets, if they ever consider veganism a big enough threat/market. Then, after Organic and Local, you’d just be drawing the, “But that’s not what we meant!” battle line again somewhere else.

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