Chick-Fil-A. Just the mention of the name gets college students across America drooling. The fast food chain has become famous for its chicken sandwiches, waffle cut fries, and IceDream soft serve. Starting in a small town in Georgia, Chick-Fil-A has exploded in popularity, serving their signature chicken in 42 states. This year, Oregon became the 43rd with its first location in Hillsboro, and in a move to win over the hearts of pacific northwesterners, it will only extend to 10 more restaurants in the greater Portland area, not Eugene. That means us Oregon students will not be able to cut class for crispy chicken, and, unpopular opinion alert, it should stay that way.
Now hold on, before you go to tweet Chick-Fil-Hate mail to me, hear me out. First off, Chick-Fil-A has had its trouble in the past with their CEO Dan. T Cathy. His unfavorable stance on same-sex marriage has led him to make many public comments opposing the LGBTQIA community. In one interview with the Biblical Recorder, Cathy said that “We [Chick-Fil-A] are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit.” Not only that, but after the Supreme Court ruled that allowing the federal government to not acknowledge same-sex marriages was unconstitutional, Cathy quickly tweeted then deleted this tweet, saved on the internet forever by Topsy.
But sure, that was a few years ago, and since then the company has stopped donating millions of dollars to anti-LGBT charities and Cathy has decided to stay out of the spotlight to focus on chicken. And maybe we should take a page from the Bible that Cathy uses and forgive and forget Chick-Fil-A’s sins, but it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth, for the company’s stance on personal matters isn’t the only issue. Chick-Fil-A has followed the path of many other fast food chains and resorted to factory farming.
Mercy for Animals, an animal advocacy group, released an undercover investigation into Chick-Fil-A that revealed their suppliers “violently slammed” baby birds into transport crates and had “their legs and wings broken before being electrocuted and then scalded alive.” Videos of this misconduct can be seen here, but fair warning, graphic images follow. Even after Chick-Fil-A released a statement saying they hadn’t used that supplier “since April 2013,” the investigation called Koch Foods and found that not be true. Mmmmm, all this animal abuse and corporate cover-up definitely makes me want to order a Chicken Deluxe Sandwich with Nuggets on the side.
But hey, who am I to stop someone from getting their fix of fried chicken. All I’m saying is we in Eugene don’t need to get it from Chick-Fil-A when our local options are just as good, or even better. Papa’s Soul Food serves a mean plate of Southern fried chicken (and a not-so-secret Chicken and Waffles). Hot Mama’s Wings is more than just their name, their buttermilk fried chicken is to drool over. Snack Shack, a secret Eugene gem, offers classic diner food that surpasses the hum-drum of plain shakes and sandwiches. Not only that, Cornbread Cafe can provide one of the best vegan gluten-free pieces of fried chicken in the state. And yes, vegan gluten-free chicken is real and oh so authentically Eugene.
But Kyle, how can you knock Chick-Fil-A if you’ve never tried it? You’re missing out on some of the dankest fast food there is because of a misguided personal vendetta, or so social media tells me. While that may be true, that my taste buds are missing out on the finest sandwich America has ever served, I don’t think Eugene needs to let another fast food fad stake claim in our territory. But who knows, maybe I’ll go on a Sunday after a long week of studying — oh wait, it’s closed. Until then, let me know when Burgerville makes its way down to Eugene.