Here’s a story which could either grow to be a major faux pas for Amazon or simply fizzle out (it’s too early to tell). TNW reports on a new petition on Change.org:
That didn’t take long – just a little over 24 hours after the Amazon Kindle Oasis officially dropped, the company is already receiving backlash about its charging cover, which comes in exclusively in leather.
A petition on Change.org is asking Amazon to add a vegan leather option for readers who are uncomfortable with genuine leather. The Kindle Oasis comes with the charging cover included, which leaves little choice for animal rights supporters to get a new, tiny Kindle with “months” of charge sans-cover.
The problem here is that some vegans won’t let any leather products in the house. And that means they’re not going to buy the Oasis just to pitch the cover (which is admirable; that would be wasteful).
Edit: In addition to that petition, eBook Evangelist has pointed out that there are similar complaints in Amazon’s support forums. Some say they are sticking with their existing Paperwhite or Voyage, while others are disagreeing snarkily. Some are more eloquent in their support of a boycott:
Also disappointed with Amazon not offering a version that does not support the killing of animals. As a 15 years strict vegetarian (close to vegan) I can’t buy this product. This is a deal breaker and I am saddened and honestly surprised to learn Amazon did not think of this before launching. I expected better from Amazon. This does not only apply to vegans but also vegetarians, of which there are hundreds of millions in the world.
But I’m not sure this is a real story yet. While I had heard from several directions that vegans were unhappy about the mandatory leather cover, that petition only has 185 signatures. Depending on your viewpoint, that is either a tiny number or just the beginning.
Do you think this is that the first of a swelling wave of protest, or simply a tiny disgruntled minority?