Chick-fil-nAy: Evaluate companies’ values before consuming

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By Andrew Bucko, Opinion Editor

Famed for its seven signature sauces, alarmingly polite customer service and poultry-packed menu, Atlanta-based chain Chick-Fil-A has a massive presence across the U.S. with a whopping 2,200 locations across 39 states, with locations in Toronto set to open this year.

It was only seven short years ago that comments from the company’s CEO, Dan Cathy, risked ending that growth entirely. In a June 2012 interview, Cathy stated that changing political sentiment toward gay marriage was “inviting God’s judgement on our nation.” During that same time, Chick-Fil-A’s donation portfolio included millions of dollars to groups like Exodus International, which offers services helping people to “limit their homosexual desires” through means of conversion.

Seven years behind the controversy of Cathy’s statement, does Chick-Fil-A still have hens to reign in the coop?

While I’m always down for a good sandwich and some carnivalesque waffle fries, I can assure you I will not be Eat(ing) mor chikin anytime soon, regardless of how much those adorable cows pressure me to.

I would be a flaming hypocrite to say I am the most conscious consumer in the world. I still used to enjoy the occasional Hot Pocket before finding out parent company Nestle relies on child labor for cocoa production. But more often than not, I take a glance at where my favorite corporations are throwing their pennies.

There is something to be said about allowing your moral compass to guide your shopping cart. Too often, we rely on politicians and activists to evoke change, as opposed to making smaller decisions in our everyday lives that can amount to greatness.

While some may argue that all corporations are socially and ethically negligent in their own ways, this is no excuse for not doing your homework. I found it such a slap in the face when, midbite of a Chick-in-Mini (my final bite, for the record), a friend revealed to me that my money was fueling the degradation and deletion of my people. A little research on your favorite brands can save you a lot of headache and guilt when you unveil where your money is actually going.

In the very year that Cathy first made his scathing criticism of non-traditional marriage, the company saw growth of 12%. U.S. consumers are too busy checking if their food is non-GMO and soy free instead of questioning whether those chicken nuggets are soured by bigotry.

Is it okay to choose Chick-Fil-A? Obviously. But do I suggest evaluating your own beliefs before making your way to the drive-thru? Obviously.