I work in marketing.

The job of someone in marketing is to build a story around a brand that is believe-able. A story that resonates and someone can stand behind. For me – those stories need to hold true to my values and they need to hold up over time and the product needs to remain consistent. Otherwise the story is not believable to me and I won’t buy that product.

Take for instance a recent discovery I made, Dogswell, is a pet brand that I enjoy buying for my dogs. It seems to be more natural than buying dog biscuits, their real chicken strips look like chicken, not processed pressed chicken, but real chicken breast dried like jerky. My dogs love those treats.

A few weeks ago, I picked up a competitor brand to Dogswell and looked it over, it was less expensive, the packaging was not as nice – the bag was nearly the same color as the chicken inside the bag. The competitor had not paid as much attention to brand as Dogswell or maybe has bad design sense. Gross.  Anyway, I thought if the ingredients are the same then maybe I can accept bad design. I looked at the back of the package and saw the chicken jerky was MADE IN CHINA.

I turned back to the Dogswell brand and looked at the back. MADE IN CHINA.  Their story unraveled for me. Why am I buying chicken for my dogs, that is produced in China and then shipped here?  I’m not anymore. That’s the answer.

What have we done to our world where this makes any sense?

I normally research a brand, check out what they are about, think through what I want, I’m not much of an impulse buyer, but in this case, I fell prey to marketing. I’m not claiming that Dogswell said one thing and then did another.  In this particular case, I didn’t investigate. I saw a simply designed bag, Dogswell, Vitality, Cage Free Chicken, Flaxseed, Vitamin A and Vitamin E and I thought, that seems more normal than buying biscuits and I went for it. I don’t like the idea of Cage Free Chickens (which means they allow a mass of chickens into one giant cage in area – still no access to outside), but there isn’t much of an option for free roaming chicken treats in the dog food world. Why? Because we haven’t created a demand for it.

In many places we don’t even demand it for humans, in fact in most of the United States we don’t. We turn a blind eye to food production. We eat genetically modified foods filled with high fructose corn syrup. Why? Because marketing tells us it’s okay and a whole host of other reasons I’ll take up some other time.

Here’s what Dogswell has to say about their product.

Why are the jerky treats made in China?
China is a country where dark meat is more popular due to its inherent fat and flavor. DOGSWELL believes it is less wasteful to obtain our white meat in China where it is abundant, rather than sourcing it domestically, where white meat is less available and held at a premium. Not only do we care about your pet’s health by sourcing only the healthiest meat available, we also practice sustainability by reducing as much waste as possible.

I am not buying it. This story is not believable to me.

To change culture we have to create change, if we want something to be different, we have to do something different. Making conscious choices is one way that I create change, starting with ME.

Choose your cause. Be different. Go.