A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 13, 2008
“I didn’t claw my way to the top of the food chain to eat vegetables”

"I didn’t claw my way to the top of the food chain to eat vegetables” was the newsgroup signature of Dwight Tovey in 1991; it is not known if he coined the phrase, which quickly appears on T-shirts, buttons and bumper stickers.

Rudy’s Texas Bar-B-Q trademarked “I didn’t claw my way to the top of the food chain...to eat vegetables!” in 1998, The Salt Lick barbecue had T-shirts with the similar slogan of “I didn’t climb to the top of the food chain to become a vegetarian” since at least 2006. Pluckers (an Austin-based chicken wings restaurant) has used this same slogan on a blog, also since at least 2006.


Google Groups: alt.folklore.urban
Newsgroups: alt.folklore.urban
From: (Dwight Tovey)
Date: 4 Apr 91 15:11:32 GMT
Local: Thurs, Apr 4 1991 11:11 am
Subject: Re: Sugar in the Gas Tank

I didn’t claw my way to the top of the food chain to eat vegetables.
Dwight Tovey

Google Groups: alt.fan.warlord
Newsgroups: alt.fan.warlord
From: Rick McGlinchey
Date: Wed, 29 Apr 1992 16:29:00 -0500
Subject: I keep running, but the sigs keep finding me!!!!

I didn’t claw my way to the top of the food chain just to eat leaves!

Google Groups: soc.bi
Newsgroups: soc.bi
From: (John Flanagan)
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1992 10:15:01 GMT
Local: Wed, Aug 12 1992 6:15 am
Subject: Re: Announcing…

Reminds me of a button I saw on a Bay Area bi activist:
“I didn’t claw my way to the top of the food chain to eat vegetables.”

Google Groups: alt.pagan
Newsgroups: alt.pagan
From: markbr%rad...@natinst.com (mark)
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 1993 17:55:16 GMT
Local: Mon, Aug 2 1993 1:55 pm
Subject: Re: A point.... A point !!

>: My favourite is one I saw on a t-shirt.
>:
>:  “My ancestors didn’t claw their way to the top of the
>:  food chain to eat vegetables.”

Google Groups: dk.chat
Newsgroups: dk.chat
From: Søren Lange
Date: 1996/09/12
Subject: Re: Mission Impossible

I didn’t fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian. 

Pluckers (Texas chicken wing restaurants)
OUR MOTHERPLUCKING BLOG
I DIDN’T CLIMB MY WAY TO THE TOP OF THE FOOD CHAIN TO BECOME A VEGETARIAN
(First blog post is February 3rd, 2006—ed.)

Eternal Sunshine of My Idle Mind
Monday, June 05, 2006
“I didn’t claw my way to the top of the food chain to eat vegetables.”
One of the intimidating things about moving to a new city where you don’t know a single soul is trying to figure out where to eat. The second night we were in ABQ, we still didn’t have any food in the house, so making dinner was out of the question. We were driving home from Walmart with a car full of essential odds and ends and realized it was 9:30 pm and we still hadn’t eaten (this daylight savings thing really throws off my internal clock and sense of time in relationship to daylight. Dammnit.). The Resident looked up and saw a sign for “Rudy’s BBQ,” which is one of my favorite things. 

Globe and Mail (Toronto, Canada)
CITY INSIDER
AUSTIN’S UNEXPECTED CHARMS
JOHN LEE
Special to The Globe and Mail
December 2, 2006
(...)
But for a real Texan blowout, The Salt Lick (Driftwood; 512-858-4959; http://www.saltlickbbq.com), a short drive from the city, is the kind of place where carnivores rule—a staff T-shirt reads, “I didn’t get to the top of the food chain to become a vegetarian.”

Between Past and Future
Monday, February 25, 2008
Impression of Texas
(...)
The most fun place was Salt Lick, their most famous local chain restaurant for Texas BBQ. We actually went to the original place, I mean the restaurant where they had first opened their business. Wow! Their parking lot was almost of farm-size! So you could imagine how popular the place is. There were fun slogans hanging on the wall. Two of the waiters were wearing T-shirts saying “I didn’t climb to the top of the food chain to become a vegetarian.”

(Trademark)
Word Mark I DIDN’T CLAW MY WAY TO THE TOP OF THE FOOD CHAIN . . . . . TO EAT VEGETABLES!
Goods and Services IC 043. US 100 101. G & S: restaurant, delicatessen and catering services. FIRST USE: 19980000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19980000
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 78298576
Filing Date September 10, 2003
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1B
Published for Opposition June 22, 2004
Registration Number 2920091
Registration Date January 18, 2005
Owner (REGISTRANT) Rudy’s Texas Bar-B-Q, LLC LTD LIAB CO TEXAS 1514 Ranch Road 620 South Austin TEXAS 78734
Attorney of Record John J. Arnott
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Thursday, March 13, 2008 • Permalink