Letter to Wilkinsons...
I have recently returned home from shopping at the Wilkinsons store in Torquay. I was browsing the toy department (as a mother of 5 children it’s something I confess to doing rather often), and on this occasion was horrified and disgusted to see one particular item on your shelves. The item I refer to is a bright green child’s yo-yo that contained a real scorpion within its see-through plastic casing.
The wording “real scorpion” screamed at me from the front of the packaging and I needed to take a closer look. Thinking that the word “real” would be a little misleading, I turned over to the reverse and was stunned to read that it was indeed a real scorpion. Apparently, it’s absolutely ok as they are raised on sustainable scorpion farms specifically for this purpose.
Well I for one are not ok with it – and my feelings are shared by everyone I have spoken to about it. No one can see a point to such a vulgar item.
Why oh why did the Wilkinsons company feel the need to support such a disgusting abuse of living creatures? Scorpions may not be cute and cuddly, and I can’t say I am a big fan of such creatures – BUT I detest the down right abuse and cruelty of any living thing, for no other reason than to become an exhibit inside a cheap rate toy – which lets face it, will probably be tossed aside into the depths of a toy box within a week of purchase once the novelty has worn off.
In this crumbling society, aren’t we meant to be teaching our children about love and respect for all? I can’t see how handing over a dead scorpion, trapped within a cheap mass-produced tacky toy on Christmas morning, is teaching such values. How are children meant to have any compassionate feelings towards living creatures, when adults are using the same creatures for their own greedy need for mass financial gain. Isn’t it about time this stops and companies such as yours stamp out such wasteful cruelty? Why wouldn’t a life-like model be an acceptable replacement?
If you were going for the shock factor, well it certainly shocked me – it shocked me right out of the store in disgust.
Whatever next? How far will you go in the name of retail and profit? If I go into your store next week, will I see real once living, but now dead koala bears instead of stuffed toys? Or perhaps, one day we will see real babies as opposed to dolls available on the shelves for purchase. I’m guessing that would be ok as long as they come from a sustainable source hey? Just how far are you prepared to go?
I know it’s *only* a scorpion – or a thousand scorpions, or a million, but it was still a once living and breathing creature. I don’t think there is any excuse to kill a creature purely for our entertainment. Educational value – maybe. Clothing – possibly. As a food source – definitely. As a gaudy and tawdry toy for children – never.
Here are 4 of my children’s thoughts on the matter.
Chelsea aged 15 said:
“It’s disgusting and completely unacceptable.”
Joseph aged 13 said:
“I would be very angry if you bought me such a thing mum. I can’t believe they would do that for the sake of a toy.”
Tiegan aged 9 said:
“Urgh, that’s vile. Why would they make such a thing to sell?”
Callum aged 5 said:
“Awww, poor thing. That’s cruel and nasty.”
It appears your target market for such a product doesn’t agree with the company purchaser – perhaps more customer research would be advisable in the future.
I look forward to receiving your response to this matter, and would very much like to hear from the company buyer responsible for such a tragic decision.
Written copy sent to Head Office.
Obviously I've either drunk too much, or my life is such that I have nothing better to do than support scorpion rights 3 days before Christmas....