I followed a twitter link today and read a story about chick-fil-A using their profit to support anti-gay organizations. The article suggested a Chick-fil-A boycott.
A while back I suggested eating at Pizza Ranch and was shot down because my friend didn’t want to support that restaurant. They’d read that Pizza Ranch profits went to support a certain Republican candidate in the area and my friend didn’t want to indirectly support the candidate by supporting the food chain. I’ve heard the same about Blue Bunny ice cream.
I get it. I understand that where we spend our money and how we use our buying power makes a difference. If we buy Nikes, we support the factories where the shoes are made. If we buy sweatshop clothing, we are contributing to the terrible work conditions. We are responsible for where our money goes. But I can’t make the leap to candidate contributions when it comes to buying ice cream.
How does the message get through?
If you skip eating at Chick-Fil-A because you disagree with the politics of the owner, aren’t you also boycotting a company that seems to take care of employees and provides nutritious and delicious food? How many local people does Blue Bunny employ? Where do all of the employees spend their money? And Pizza Ranch has some of the yummiest food and kindest employees I’ve seen. Voters are going to vote for a candidate they like. I doubt my eating cactus bread is going to give that extra part of a dollar to a campaign, thus getting him elected.
And if politics are important to you, isn’t it kind of cool that people are choosing to spend their money to support organizations and candidates they believe in? The profits from a pizza chain could go to a zillion things. Are we responsible for all that profit and how it’s spent? I hope people never look that closely at how I spend my money.
I wonder if the people who boycott restaurants or organizations like these support the opposing candidates or businesses. I guess I don’t want to decide where to eat based on how a company uses their profit. Are employees taken care of? Are they happy? Is the service good? Is the food or product awesome?
Maybe I’m just too addicted to yummy Chick-fil-A. Maybe I don’t equate my every other month or so purchase at their establishment as a direct contribution to whatever organization they support.
I don’t have time to research every item I buy. I do try to limit what I buy. I do quit going places if employees aren’t friendly. If a product sucks, I won’t buy it twice. If we look for reasons not to support a business, we’ll find some every time. Sometimes eating a pizza is just eating a pizza. Every time getting actively involved in making the world a better place involves positive action, not another superficial boycott.