In less than 24 hours, since we launched the "Canon Can Save Whales" Appeal, over 15,000 people have sent letters to the CEO of Canon Japan asking him to speak out against whaling. While the sheer number of letters is encouraging, what's even better is the time that some folks are taking to write personally to Canon.
Here's a tiny sample:
"My family and I love canon cameras- they are all we've ever owned, and we will love them even more if you prove to the world that Canon is committed to building a better world for future generations, and does not support the hunting of endangered or threatened species with anything other than a camera.
The earth would be incredibly less beautiful without whales."
"I recently purchased a new Canon Rebel XTi DSLR camera and will return it since I have learned of your unwillingness to denounce the irresponsible killing of whales with harpoons. I may not be able to control your obvious immoral stance on this subject, but I can control what products my friends and I purchase and from whom. I am very disappointed with Canon!"
"As a happy and dedicated owner of two Canon cameras I was disappointed to see the less than stellar position you have taken with regards to the whale hunt. While I agree, in general, that there are many positions to take on a subject, in the current case it is obvious to all but the most willfully blind that the whale hunt is an economic and political concession to a small and out of touch minority from an era best left to the history books. I would have hoped that as a respected member of the business community you would have been happy to state as much.
Over the last number of years I have encouraged many friends and members of my firm to purchase Canon cameras; however, given your recent position I certainly will not be buying anymore of your products and most definitely will not be recommending them either."
"I've been a loyal Canon customer for many years, and I can personally vouch for and regularly recommend the Canon brand to friends and colleagues. In fact when it comes time for me to upgrade cameras, I don't even bother looking at the other brands. As far as I'm concerned Canon cameras are simply the best that money can buy.
Like so many of my colleagues in the photographic community, I am also a passionate environmentalist. There's nothing more wonderful than being able to capture the beauty of this world with a camera. Photography fits so well with my philosophy of 'do no harm to the planet'.
As an environmentalist I'm greatly saddened by the terrible harm that's being inflicted upon the whales in the southern oceans, and I implore you to use the influence you have in the Japanese business community to help to end the slaughter of whales for good.
The whaling industry is not economically viable, or environmentally sustainable, and certainly does not help to maintain a beautiful world for future generations."
"I am a school teacher living in Okinawa Japan. Today is payday and I was just about to go to Deo Deo today and buy a new camera before I got this message from Greenpeace. I really like Canon's line of digital cameras and I am inclined to purchase another, as I've always done in the past. My Canon S40 just recently broke from overuse and I would like to upgrade to a newer model. However now I think I'll put off my purchase until I see if you will agree to this statement that Greenpeace is distributing. I will forward this message that they wrote, but this one is very personal to me!
I really love Japan and I have many Japanese friends here. I also know that Japanese people are compassionate and love the environment as much as I do, so this should not be a difficult position to take. Please do the right thing and support Greenpeace's and the rest of the international community's position on the issue of whaling."
"Before I commence with the standard Greenpeace letter, let it be noted that I intend to boycott Canon merchandise until a positive statement is made."
"Until such time that Japanese whaling has stopped I am urging all of my friends and family to boycott Japanese products including Canon. It is difficult to do this as many Japanese companies make superior products and Canon is a brand I have grown to rely on.
Whales can be studied without killing them – it is a scandal that this so called “science” continues at the expense of Japanese taxpayers. If this continues I feel the ramifications will be felt for all Japanese people who rely on the work generated by companies such as yours."
"MY FAMILY AND I WILL CONTINUE TO BOYCOTT JAPAN ! THAT MEANS WE WILL NOT SPEND ANY OF OUR MONEY ON JAPANESE GOODS AND WE WILL NOT CHOOSE JAPAN FOR OUR HOLIDAY EACH YEAR, SOMETIMES WE MANAGE TO HOLIDAY TWICE A YEAR BUT YOUR COUNTRY WILL NEVER BE ON OUR LIST !
CANON JOINS OUR LONG LIST OF JAPANESE PRODUCTS THAT WE NO LONGER BUY. WE RUN A FAMILY BUSINESS AND OFTEN NEED TO REPLACE OFFICE EQUIPMENT, NEEDLESS TO SAY NONE OF OUR EQUIPMENT WILL BE MADE BY A JAPANESE COMPANY."
"Greenpeace may not support a boycott of Japanese products, but I do, and my friends do. I am not anti-Japanese and I will immediately buy the best Canon camera I can afford if your company speaks out against whaling. I shall then use it to tell the whales to SAY CHEESE."
"Not going to fluff around, just please sign the petition. Whale meat can't really taste that good, can it?"
"I am a cetacean researcher. Part of my research involves photographic identification if individual whales. I will be upgrading my photographic equipment next month. In the past I have used Canon photographic equipment, but this time I am looking at using camera gear from a non-Japanese company.
I am sorry to do this, but my research colleagues and professional photographer friends will all stop using Japanese equipment because we see the Japanese whaling as cruel and unnecessary. It is also hypocritical to take beautiful images of animals, especially vulnerable species, using equipment from Japan.
Japan is a special country, with amazing people and beauty, but whaling is very inhumane and not necessary in this world today.
Please accept my apology for myself, my work colleagues and my friends who will no longer use your products. Please support a ban on Japan killing whales, dolphins and porpoises."
"I apologise do disturb you with this unusual request.
I am using an wonderful Powershot camera, friends of mine use Ixus.
I feel obliged to politely ask you to consider the request by Greenpeace to condemn the whale hunting.
Photography and nature , such a beautiful combination. Raising your voice can make the difference."
"While I realize the battle over harpooning whales versus "shooting" them with cameras probably wasn't the fight or message you woke up looking to address this morning, as a dedicated Canon customer (owner of a 5D, 30D and numerous L lenses) I feel it's important to let you know that your company's commitment to wildlife preservation is important to me."
"You know this is right! And the IXUS Rocks! Would love to shoot them Whales one day with it!"
"I recently bought a Canon (Rebel XTi) and am delighted with it.
I am less pleased with the silence that Canon has shown when taking a position on whaling in the Antarctic.
I had thought Canon was committed to conservation, given the message in National Geographic and other magazines. Here is an opportunity for Canon to DO and SAY something to support the advertising rather than merely posing.
Canon is an important worldwide company that could take a leadership role and show the world that it means what it says. As the CEO of such a company, Mister Mitarai, you could be a leader at a time in history when we need leaders in an important cause like this.
The Greenpeace statement would be an important signal to the world"
Sir, as a monk and one who loves Nature and all that it entails, I plead to you on humantarian grounds to please help preserve the Whales in our oceans. Whales have done nothing to deserve the steady whaling that your country is involved in. Please help sir."
"I've been buying Canons for my entire adult life... in fact, I used a Canon to shoot the photos for my most recent book.
I know that Canon wants to “hand over a beautiful earth for future generations”. Please support Greenpeace's efforts to ban inhumane whaling."
"What would Nikon do?"