There’s a story in The Times about a Vermont artist, Bo Muller-Moore, who makes T-shirts with the slogan “EAT MORE KALE” printed on them. It’s a small, eco-friendly business that supports food sustainability. Mr. Muller-Moore recently received a cease and desist letter from the corporate fast food chain Chick-fil-A. Their slogan, which you’ve probably never noticed in the midst of your delirious chicken-eating binge, is “Eat more chikin” [sic]. The Vermont artist is now taking on The Man and refuses to back down.
In the words of Mr. Muller-Moore, “This is corporate bullying.”
Now, if you’re like us, chances are you’ve held onto your New York University student ID and at one point found yourself filled with shame, sneaking into the Chick-fil-A at NYU’s Weinstein dormitory, the site of the only Chick-fil-A in Manhattan (these things are hard to come by! The closest one to Mr. Muller-Moore’s home in Montpelier is 120 miles away in Vermont). We get it. They’re delicious.
Their claim, however, that Mr. Muller-Moore’s T-shirts are “likely to cause confusion of the public and dilutes the distinctiveness of Chick-fil-A’s intellectual property” doesn’t say much about us chicken-lovers as free-thinking human beings. The last thing on our minds when we’re eating a delicious piece of fried chicken slathered in mayo is kale, and when we eat kale (sometimes it happens!), we’re not usually doing so anywhere near the sweet, sweet haven of a Chick-fil-A. What kind of danger does a one-man business in Vermont pose to a giant food chain?
Mr. Muller-Moore has received quite a lot of support from the public in his cause. A petition to help Mr. Muller-Moore, which refers to Chick-fil-A as a “corporate goliath,” has (as of this writing) 17,243 signatures.