Why I'm Boycotting Amazon

Amazon was once my go-to online retailer. I was a loyal customer for many years, I loved the variety of products offered, the ease of ordering, and the reliability of their service.

I once did most of my Christmas shopping on Amazon.

However, they're not getting a dime of my money this holiday season or ever again until they stop selling dog-fighting and cock-fighting materials to criminals.

Animal-fighting is a disgusting, morally reprehensible, and illegal bloodsport. Dogs and gamecocks are bred and trained to fight each other to the brink of death, under the wild encouragement of a crowd who has bet money or drugs on the outcome. The "loser" in the fight, who is usually seriously injured, is often abandoned by his or her owner and left to die a slow and painful death, or the animal is shot to death on the spot.

Dog-fighting is illegal in every state, and is a felony in 48 states (Wyoming and Idaho, get with the program). Cock-fighting is illegal in 48 states, and is a felony in 35.

And yet somehow, Amazon sees fit to continue to sell magazines and DVDs that promote these heinous activities. And they do so in the face of public outrage, the nationwide condemnation of animal fighting, especially in light of the Michael (May He Rot In Jail) Vick scandal, and a lawsuit from The Humane Society of the United States. Amazon's reason? They believe their right to sell such material is considered freedom of speech and is therefore protected by the First Amendment.

As a freelance journalist, I wholeheartedly support the protections of the First Amendment. However, as a life-long animal-lover and animal activist, my reaction to what Amazon is doing couldn't be more visceral.

It's a shame that Amazon, which was once so cutting-edge and progressive, has devolved to a point where it's catering to the lowest common denominator.

I will not allow my money to boost the revenue of a company who profits from animal cruelty. I love my animals too much to allow this to happen.

Please join me in boycotting Amazon until they stop selling animal-fighting materials.

9 Responses to “Why I'm Boycotting Amazon”

  1. # Blogger kenju

    I have never ordered from them, and I sure won't after reading this!!  

  2. # Blogger Tracey

    I've actually never shopped by Amazon, so my boycotting would be, in essence, non-existant. I feel your outrage, but I stand behind their right to sell whatever they want. No one has to buy it. Just as no one has to buy pornographic materials, cult-oriented books, or other materials that I find extremely offensive. I am not going to boycott or protest Playboy/Playgirl (however much it makes me want to vomit and throw things) for I feel that to do so would definitely be crossing the lines of that freedom.

    You also have the right to protest in boycotting and rallying for others to boycott with you. Again, the freedoms that we have allow you to do so.

    If it isn't against the law for someone to print and sell a book outlining how to make bombs, it probably can't be against the law to print and sell books promoting animal cruelty. Pretty sad what some people will resort to, though, isn't it?  

  3. # Blogger Beagle

    I had no idea, how awful!  

  4. # Blogger Lis Garrett

    Even though Amazon has the right to provide those materials, like Tracey said, you would think they might have a little more tact and be selective about what they choose to offer. There's no way I would dedicate ad space to dog and cock fighting on my own blog, because I see it as a disgusting act. Blech.  

  5. # Blogger Kristi

    Tracey and Melissa- Actually, whether it's legal for Amazon to sell these materials is what's at issue in the Humane Society lawsuit. Congress passed legislation this year making it a felony offense to ship publications containing "commercial speech" for the purpose of promoting or "in any other manner furthering" animal fighting. So, if the courts rule against Amazon, it means that what Amazon is doing is not only reprehensible, it's also against the law.  

  6. # Blogger Binulatti

    Bravo - I am right there with you, telling everyone who will listen to boycott Amazon. Having a first hand window into buying, inventory planning, and dealing with the merchants who sell things through their site, I can tell you much about the motivations and logic behind what SKUs they carry and what 3rd parties they work with. Back in the "old days" of Amazon, they were known as a progressive, forward-thinking company to work for. One that made decisions that most employees could be proud of. With friends who are still employed by them, I would hardly say that's the current state of affairs, with this issue in particular.

    Unlike Playboy or Guns & Ammo magazines, the activity necessary to produce chicken and dogfighting magazines and videos it, as you correctly stated - illegal. While it will hopefully soon be illegal to publish these materials, and the courts of the states out of which this horrific sh!t eminates from draw the dotted lines between magazine/video content and the means of production (uh - to publish the stats of cockfights as they claim to do, you have to CONDUCT them...) I truly hope it's just a matter of time, and actively support the groups who are pursuing legal and investigative action.

    Meanwhile, Barnes and Noble is getting a huge chunk of my holiday shopping.  

  7. # Blogger Editorgirl

    I'm shocked! I had no idea. I'm with you and will not be buying anything from Amazon - they should be ashamed of themselves, plus frankly, their service lately wasn't what it used to be. I'm with you! Just placed a Barnes and Noble order :-)  

  8. # Blogger mrsmogul

    Oh man, is this true?? No way! I was going to look at Amazon tonight to do some shopping. It's like Target, do I still shop there even though they give millions to the Republicans?  

  9. # Blogger Jesser

    le *sigh* ... I am almost done with my xmas shopping and probably a good 3/4 of it was done on Amazon (the STUFF portion of it anyhow). I am way too busy/lazy to take it back and start over, but I am not happy about this and Amazon will be receiving a strongly worded letter (not email) from me.  

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