Slate is speaking out of both sides of its mouth -- it is praising Chick-fil-A for its recent decision to switch to antibiotic-free chicken while at the same time belittling its customers as gay-bashers.
Jill U. Adams, writing for Slate, is surprised by the self-proclaimed inventors of the chicken sandwich making this switch for business reasons rather than her higher moral standard of "the sake of public health." But she is still pleased with the company's decision, citing "science-based evidence" that she lists.
Chick-fil-A explains at their site that their customers are responsible for this change: "When the people who matter most to you ask you to do something important -- you listen." And they promise that within five years, they will complete the switch-over to chicken raised without antibiotics. The company's motivation is simply pleasing their customers.
But for Adams, there's the rub: Chick-fil-A's customers, or, as she calls them, "gay-bashing America." These customers are the ones who came out in force to support the restaurant's belief in traditional marriage. These folks, as Adams and others of her ilk surmise, are anti-science because of their belief in God and therefore not quite smart enough to understand the implications of eating meat treated with antibiotics. That these Americans actually do understand a little about the world around them leads Adams to believe "there is hope after all."
In Adams's own words:
If God-fearing, gay-bashing America wants chicken sandwiches without antibiotics, that’s fantastic news. This represents a new level of awareness of the dangers of antibiotic use in agriculture. It suggests that science-based evidence has infiltrated the public awareness. The problem of antibiotic resistance is complicated and multilayered—not to mention dependent on the process of evolution. If the public health message gains such traction that it’s become a concern to customers of a fast-food chain—especially this fast-food chain—then perhaps there is hope after all.