|Ollie Orangutan by Louise 2005|
Anyway, I recently began to do some research on the products I was using in the bathroom and found out that nearly everything contained (apart from all the chemicals) either animal residue (beef or pork fat) or palm derivatives.
Now, as a vegetarian, I'd rather not be rubbing myself with dead cows and pigs, but the consequences of the palm derivatives are, to a degree even more harmful, especially to the environment. And folks, they are hidden in ways you wouldn't believe (I'll list the pseudonyms later on). So, my client had emailed me asking if I was free for a little marketing content writing and gave me a brief. His line of business is mostly medical marketing for dentists, plastic surgeons and cosmetic surgeons (there's a difference ^^), orthopedics, etc. Unfortunately the brief was to write some promotional content for an on-line store which would be selling beauty products...hmm. After a little research I managed to find the ingredients list for the goods and lo and behold amongst the 'organic' and 'bio' additives were the tell tale palm derivatives. What to do? This was the first time I've come across this kind of situation of 'needs vs doing the right thing'. You'd think it would be easy, but it's not.
After some deliberation about a) How I should decline and b) How to explain my reasons for declining to the client and c) Whether or not this might be held against me for future work, I finally decided to go with gut feeling number 1 'Decline the job politely; explain the real reason; and don't worry about whether or not you get more work because some things are way more important than that!'...Voila!
I carefully drafted my mail and, after hovering over the key for a few seconds while re-checking and re-checking my mail, I hit send.
The most amazing thing happened. The client replied that he was sorry he hadn't known about the palm derivatives and that he agreed what an awful business the palm trade was. Not only that but he even went further to ask how I managed to avoid using palm too...wonderful! And when I replied that it was nice to have a human being for a client he simply responded that although he thought he was human it was just that he wasn't desperate! I'm so pleased to have stuck to my principles, I feel a little bit more grown up because of it, lol.
For those who are interested the list of palm nasties is below - remember thought, a product may say it's 'Organic' or 'Bio' or '100% vegetable' but then palm is a plant; it may even say its made from 'sustainable palm', but it's most probably not. If you want more information and a detailed list of companies which are responsible for the bulk of the palm industry trade then you can also go to this site - http://www.greenthefilm.com/: