Patrick Mullikin is big on liverwust, corned-beef hash and "greasy fat pork tamales." But it wasn't his affinity for fleshy foods that caused him to print bumper stickers reading, "Eat more meat"; it was his love of poking fun at Montpelier's "hippie back-to-the-earth" types.
When he's not freelancing for the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, Mullikin makes T-shirts and buttons featuring anti-politically correct messages, silly phrases and iconic musicians. A couple of years ago, he noticed that some of the "banged-up Volvos" driving around Montpelier were sporting green circles reading "Eat more kale." More recently, Mullikin printed his counter-sticker; he occasionally slaps one onto a car that has a "kale" sticker, or looks like a promising candidate for one.
Mullikin is notorious for his contrary "campaigns." When folks in the Queen City were fighting to "save Sabin's pasture" from development, he made buttons that read, "pave Sabin's pasture." As he puts it, his political paraphernalia is designed to "rankle some of the bastions of Montpelier."
Bo Muller-Moore, who created the "Eat more kale" logo, isn't offended by the satire, but prefers that people know he didn't design the "meat" sticker. "I'm ultimately flattered, really," he says. In the four years since he first created it, "I've had people suggest 400 different variations. People really love it or want to parody it . . . he actually had the gumption to do it." Muller-Moore, who is not a vegetarian, first created "Eat more kale" T-shirts at the behest of two friends, and soon a bunch of people around town were asking for them. He now sells "hundreds a year nationwide."
The "kale" bumper stickers, which are inexpensive to make, serve as advertising. Across the top they read, "Vermont's One-At-A-Time Original Design T-shirts." You can find Muller-Moore's goods on his website at http://www.vermontprints.com. True to form, Mullikin's "meat" stickers honestly state, "Vermont's Mass-produced, Semi-Original-Design T-Shirts & Buttons." You can find them at Riverwalk Records in Montpelier.