Eat More Kale? Eat Mor Chikin? Vermont governor chooses kale

Eat More Kale? Eat Mor Chikin? Vermont's governor has weighed in on what most people would never consider an issue. And he says: Eat More Kale.

On Monday, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin stood literally and figuratively beside Vermont artist Bo Muller-Moore and introduced the formation of Team Kale, which he described as a "simple effort to raise money for Bo's defense fund."

"Chick-fil-A get, out of the way, because we're going to win this one," he said.

Muller-Moore had created a T-shirt emblazoned with the phrase "Eat More Kale." When the T-shirt proved successful, Muller-Moore decided to trademark his work. This appears to have annoyed fast-food giant Chick-fil-A, owner of the already trademarked "Eat Mor Chikin." (The pair have a history, as it turns out, with Chick-fil-A having warned  Muller-Moore some time ago to knock it off.)

Chick-fil-A, owner of eatmorchikin.com, demanded that Muller-Moore stop using the phrase and to give up his website, eatmorekale.com.

Describing Chick-fil-A's stance as an assault on small business and local agriculture, Shumlin, a Democrat, took a combative stance toward the company, saying: "Don't mess with Vermont, don't mess with kale."

And he offered up what he called a "clear message" to the company:

"Don't interfere with buy local. Don't interfere with our agricultural renaissance -- where we're growing local food and selling it locally because more and more Vermonters care about where their food comes from, what's in it and who grew it .... And don't mess with our effort to create jobs, one job at a time."

Shumlin also assured Chick-fil-A that folks in Vermont are quite clear on the differences between kale and chicken.

The company had expressed concern that the similarities of the phrases might cause confusion among consumers, the Burlington Free Press had reported. Shumlin invited representatives of the company to visit Vermont should they themselves need a lesson.

The Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A seemed unimpressed, vowing to continue its trademark protection fight, according to the Associated Press.

It should be noted that "Don't mess with Vermont" is similar to "Don't mess with Texas," an anti-littering campaign in that state. There was no word from Texas on whether the phrase might cause confusion among potential litterers.

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-- Tami Dennis

 

 
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Rene Lynch has been an editor and writer in Metro, Sports, Business, Calendar and Food. @ReneLynch

As an editor and reporter, Michael Muskal has covered local, national, economic and foreign issues at three newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. @latimesmuskal


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