Buffalo Wild Wings refuses to rename its boneless wings, but thanks for asking [Updated]

Illustration for article titled Buffalo Wild Wings refuses to rename its boneless wings, but thanks for asking [Updated]
Photo: LauriPatterson (Getty Images)

Update, 6:30 p.m.: We are pleased to report that our outreach to Buffalo Wild Wings has borne fruit, and in response to the question of whether the chain would honor Ander Christensen’s entreaty to rename its “boneless wings,” representatives have provided the following statement: 

“We serve boneless wings – and we love them! So while we disagree with Ander on his mission, we respect his passion for chicken. So this Labor Day in our sports bars in Lincoln, Neb., we’ll donate $1 from every boneless wing sold to the local Boys & Girls Club. Oh and Ander gets free traditional wings for a year on us.”

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So there you have it, folks! Ander Christensen gets a year’s worth of traditional, bone-in wings in recognition of his struggle against Big Boneless Chicken, the local Boys & Girls Club benefits from his activism, and we move one step closer to a world in which children don’t have to live in fear of bones in their meat.

Original post, 1:07 p.m.: It’s been a long, challenging year, and a great deal of my attention has been dedicated to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many, I need entertainment. I need joy. In the immortal words of Bonnie Tyler, I need a hero. So when Ander Christensen, a chemical engineer from Lincoln, Nebraska, stepped in front of the city council and emphatically stated, nay, demanded, that the city formally rename boneless chicken wings as “Buffalo-style chicken tenders,” “wet tenders,” “saucy nugs,” or “trash,” I knew I had found my champion.

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Christensen’s argument, while incendiary, raises some valid questions. Have we been raising our children to be afraid of having bones attached to their meat? Here at The Takeout we’ve extensively covered the rise of artificial meat (which for obvious reasons is boneless) and the malfeasance of the meat industry, and there’s a legitimate argument to be made that people are already dangerously disconnected from the realities of how our meat-producing animals are raised, slaughtered, and processed. We could all probably stand to be reminded that our meat actually does come from living, feeling animals, and doesn’t just magically appear as trimmed, boneless slabs of ready-to-eat protein.

Christensen’s time at the podium, which in short order went viral, also highlights the ways in which life copies art. His saucy diatribe is immediately reminiscent of some of the best scenes from Parks And Rec, and it highlights how even mundane events like city council meetings can be a source of drama and activism.

As suggested by writer Jason Wilson, it seemed only fair to ask for an official response from that most recognizable of “saucy nugs” purveyors, Buffalo Wild Wings, and we’ll update this story with the company’s take on the situation.

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Jacob Dean is a food and travel writer and psychologist based in New York. He likes beer, less traveled airports, and is allergic to grasshoppers (the insect, not the mixed drink.)

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DISCUSSION

Ordering your wings boneless is on par with ordering your steak well done.