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Henk Campher headshot

The Quick & Dirty: Kicking the Puppy

By Henk Campher

Before you get too upset, let me make it very clear that you should never, ever kick puppies. Always a bad idea.

But damn ... do companies keep talking about how they kick puppies and then expect us to love them for it. They keep telling us how they do bad stuff but really it isn't that bad, and we should just look away and ignore them kicking the puppy. Burning coal or selling cigarettes are kicking the puppies. It is bad and we know it is bad. These are the companies who simply make their money from kicking the puppies. They don't know how to make money any other way so they either ignore you or try to sell you snake oil while they kick the puppies - like "clean kicking puppies" or telling you how puppies really love being kicked and that it is everyone's right to kick puppies their own way. And they employ so many people while who helps them kick the puppies. And that their only responsibility is to kick more puppies towards their shareholders.

Don't be like them. Don't support them. Don't represent them. Don't work for them. They kick puppies. And kicking puppies is very bad.

But most companies don't make their money form kicking puppies  - but they still kick puppies because it helps them sell more stuff or make stuff cheaper. So they don't want to stop kicking the puppy yet but want to spin how they talk about kicking the puppies.

They want you to understand that they never knew that kicking puppies where bad back when they started their business. Everyone did it back then. And now they kick puppies responsibly by only kicking them where it hurts the least. And they aren't breaking any laws and will only kick puppies the way it is allowed in that country - they will comply to the rules governing how you kick puppies. And their puppies are all at least 16 months old. They even get an independent third party to certify that they kick puppies very responsibly. They are ranked in the most respected puppy kickers list and won many awards for their campaign about kicking puppies ethically. They are still kicking puppies but they have a really, really good reason that you should just listen to and accept. They wish they could stop kicking the puppies but you will never buy the clothes/phones/cars/bank account/snake oil they are selling if they have to charge you the real cost of their product once they stop kicking puppies. They still kick puppies.

But time to celebrate as they are going to stop kicking puppies! Well, not right away but they are going to phase out how they kick puppies over the next 50 years. And their immediate goal is to reduce the number of times they kick the puppies by 20% by 2020 compared to how many times they used to kick puppies back in 1990. And they will also kick the puppy a little softer each year. Isn't that great. They still plan to kick puppies but much softer and less often. Come on - give them a hand. They are the most sustainable puppy kickers of the world. They are the future. And we should love them for it.


No. We have to stop kicking puppies. Companies do bad stuff but most of them do it as a consequence of doing business. It is not their core business but a consequence. And then they want us to applaud them for doing less bad than before. They will reduce the harm they are causing from emissions to employing children to commercial meat farming to chemicals causing cancer in pesticides to ... the list goes on.

Of course we like that companies are cutting down on the bad stuff. But hold the applause - they aren't doing any good stuff. They are only doing less bad stuff. Treat them the way we treat our kids when they stop bad behavior - we don't applaud them but instead we remind them that this is the right way to behave. You don't get rewarded for doing less bad.

We should applaud those companies who go further and adopt the puppy. They cuddle and play and just simply make the life of puppies better. They make the world a better place. They aren't perfect because they are humans and we mess up. We forget to give the puppy a toy to play with or left them in the house for too long so they "did their business" in the house etc. But they love the puppy and make the life of the puppy so much better. You know who they are - the Paneras and Chipotles, the Levis and the REIs, the Clif Bars and the Theo's Chocolates and many more who are out to make the world a better place, large and small - and every B Corp out there.

Stop kicking the puppy. Stop applauding companies who kick the puppy a little less often or a little less hard. We have so many businesses that kick the puppies that we must stop applauding them or associating with them. We need to build up those who adopt and hug the puppies and help them do a different type of kicking. Kicking the asses of every puppy kicking business out there. Kicking them to the curb and out of business.

Time to make the world a world of puppy loving ass-kicking businesses. No more justifying or associating with puppy kickers.

Don't kick the puppy.

Image credit: Pixabay

Henk Campher headshot

A series of quick & dirty opinion pieces by Henk Campher out in the Wild West of San Francisco. Disrupter of purpose. Engineer of big ideas. Slayer of myths. Social media junkie - @angryafrican. He never wears ties. Ever. But always wears an accent with a strategy and opinion in his back pocket. Please note this series will not focus on individual companies and any reference is purely to provide color commentary. He wrote a book once.

Read more stories by Henk Campher