In support of animal rights I often boldly state, “I will never shop here again”, only to be met with a “tell someone who cares” look. While I may feel better after flouncing out the shop, I know deep down that my statement is not going to make a difference. Now if I could get a whole group of people to boycott a place, that might work. Boycotts, as a form of mass action, are another way of putting pressure on governments and businesses to change a policy or practice.
There must be a significant amount of participants for a boycott to work. This is why I did not even try to organise a boycott of The Firs Retail Centre, where Eric Fischer Furriers is a tenant.
While consumer boycotts played a role in ending apartheid in South Africa, shoppers were not going to give up eating and buying at their favourite mall just because I asked them to.
A success story is the Canadian seafood boycott, which is gaining in momentum.
What’s it all about?
More than 6,000 restaurants and grocery stores, in addition to 800,000 individuals, have joined the Protect Seals boycott of Canadian seafood. This is part of the Humane Society of the United States’ Protect Seals Campaign. To date more than 40 local chefs have joined “Chefs for Seals”. Chefs from other parts of the world are participating by refusing to source seafood from Canada. They are protesting against the cruel practice of bludgeoning and killing seals. This boycott will continue until the annual seal hunt is stopped.
As a consumer you can participate by not buying food products from Canada.