Thursday, 2 August 2007

Save the whales, bankrupt the Japanese

Having just posted my last, um, post, I remembered that I had meant to tack something onto the end of it.

Here's an idea for community action, which may even work if several thousand people subscribe to it at once but which will make you feel good about something at least once even if it doesn't:

Pick your cause, and for this example we're going to use commercial/research whaling. Clearly, the culprits are Japan and Norway, but we're going to go with Japan because all we really buy from Norway is vacuum-packed salmon (which is cheaper in the supermarkets than Tasmanian salmon is, go figure).

Before buying any Japanese product more substantial than a new battery for your camera, write to the local branch office stating that you are considering their product and would like to know the company's attitude towards whaling, and that their answer will have an impact upon your purchasing decisions.

I can almost guarantee you that you will get one of two responses: Nothing, or No Comment. I even do it myself, at work: "Thank you for your enquiry, but at the moment we are not in the position to formulate an opinion on this issue and respectfully decline the opportunity to respond."

On the other hand, if everybody does it, something might happen. Vote with your wallet - it may be the only effective vote you have left!

I saw this suggestion raised in Australian Motorcycle News, and there was an answering letter from someone stating that he had already voted with his wallet and purchased his first ever non-Japanese bike. Although, considering that his new bike is a Triumph, he's clearly not concerned about UK military involvement in the Middle East.

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