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This post is a rant because I need to get a few things off of my chest today. But before I start pointing fingers, I want to be 100% transparent. In the past, I have bitched about brands and people for a variety of reasons. Sometimes I felt justified in my opinions or disappointment. But other times I was just gossiping with a friend over drinks. I'm going to lay all that down in this post because I can't point fingers at others without first addressing my transgressions.
So here we go.
The Honest Kitchen
The following is my opinion of The Honest Kitchen based on interactions with the company, not with their food. Although I no longer endorse The Honest Kitchen or their products, I believe that their food is great for pets.
I'm embarrassed by how much I loved The Honest Kitchen back in the day. I wrote a book, my first isn't A Novice's Guide, that was simply an advertorial for The Honest Kitchen and didn't teach anyone a thing. If you have a copy of this book, do me a favor and burn it. BURN IT!!!!
Although I was offered coupons in exchange for encouraging people to buy The Honest Kitchen products, it was clear that our relationship had come to an end because I no longer fed their food. Last year, The Honest Kitchen sent an email to a friend of mine that inspired a video response. Basically, they called my friend, who is a female business owner who has the highest level of integrity, a liar and questioned her character.
I was not amused.
I am loyal to my friends.
These experiences serve to remind us that we're all human beings and we're not always going to get along and our messages aren't always going to align and that's okay, so I moved on. But before moving on, I did some major bitching to friends because complaining to friends is a stress reliever and it also prevents me from doing my complaining openly on social media (although I've done this in the past too – Big mistake. HUGE!).
My Personal Hit List
The Honest Kitchen isn't the only brand that I spoke up about. I wrote about a blogger who called Wellness Raw Rev a raw food diet. I pointed out “dried bakery products” in a kibble that said “no fillers” on the bag. And I share that the Pet Food Institute doesn't think pet parents should read the ingredients in pet food.
I'm fessing up to all of this because I want you to know that although I'm unhappy with a few things I'm seeing in the pet lover community, I'm not innocent.
Vague-booking is a take on Facebooking and it's when someone posts a vague status update with someone in mind and the goal of making someone ask “is that about me?” Now there are people who think every status update is about them, that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about this…
I don't send screenshots when I have an issue with someone; instead, I speak directly to the person because I'm an adult. But I guess SOME people can't handle adult conversations.Someone who got busted talking shit about someone. #ShakeItOff
Today, I'm very careful about posting negative things on social media about friends, non-friends, or brands. It's tempting at times, but I know from first-hand experience that this behavior attracts the wrong type of attention and the wrong type of people.
Yes, for a day, you get a ton of attention from people who feel the same and together you complain-complain-complain about someone or something. People may even thank you for being brave enough to take on the person/brand. People will call you passionate, they'll tell the world that you really care for the animals.
What you don't see are the people following along and having the exact opposite reaction.
- OMG, this _____ is crazy!
- Now I know who NOT to trust with my brand.
- I had a question, but she's going nuts and now I'm afraid to say anything to her.
- She is always so NEGATIVE!
- Methinks she protests too much, what is she hiding?
Complaining vs. Educating
It's important that I make one clarification. I'm not talking about the people who are educating us about brands. The Truth About Pet Food is a great example. Susan Thixton has opened our eyes to the dealings of pet food brands, AAFCO, and the FDA. She does this in a journalistic fashion by researching her topic, providing resources and proof, and staying unemotional.
Constant complaining, on the other hand, is when people never have anything positive to say about anyone. They take every opportunity to attack someone's character, call someone names, or spread rumors with no proof. I have an issue with this because I don't see how it helps our pets, which is why we're here.
Complaining About Competition
I want to see the raw feeding community as this hippy-dippy love fest of pet parents who figured out the secret to raising healthier pets. Sadly, that's not always the case. There are going to be people who simply don't connect and that's okay. We're human. But when people are constantly complaining about their competition, it doesn't turn me into a loyal reader/follower/customer, it makes me wonder “what are they hiding that they have to distract me with drama?”
Eons ago, I dated this loser who used to follow me around Seattle to catch me cheating on him. He'd constantly accuse me of cheating and finally dumped me because although he couldn't prove that I was cheating, he was positive that I wasn't being true and couldn't deal. I wasn't cheating, but it turns out that he was screwing everything that moved.
A year later, he was dating someone else and following her around too. She contracted two STDs from him and I realized that I dodged a bullet, two of them.
Because of that experience, whenever someone is constantly pointing fingers at someone without proof, I immediately think “oh, so it's YOU who has shady sourcing.” If someone is always pointing fingers, run! Because if you stick around, you're bound to catch something.
Competition vs. Collaboration
So what's the answer? Collaboration!
I met Scott Jay Marshall II (Dog Dad, Raw Feeding 101) because someone posted a list of “negative” things about him and I thought, “wow, we have a lot in common.” When I began collaborating with Ronny LeJeune (Perfectly Rawsome, RFU – Raw Feeding University), people asked me why I would work with my competition. I didn't see her as competition, I saw her as a valuable resource and she hasn't let me down.
But here's a secret, Ronny, Scott and I didn't always like each other. It wasn't until we started talking to each other that we realized how much we have in common and now we have THE BEST conversations and I reach out to them all the time for advice, guidance, and to celebrate.
Collaboration is so much better than focusing on the competition. My friendship with Scott and Ronny has inspired me, it hasn't taken away from me. Because of them, I began vlogging (video blogs), I feed my dogs more whole raw, and I fast my dogs too.
I'm happiest in our community when I'm learning something that will help me raise healthier pets. I love sitting down with pet parents who share the same values, trading tips, and celebrating all things dogs and cats. There are always going to be days when we don't see eye to eye, but disagreeing can serve to help us learn more; it doesn't have to tear us apart.
Thanks for reading.
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