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When Social Justice Warriors launch a Cancel Campaign on Real Dog Box

  • December 21, 2020
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When Social Justice Warriors launch a Cancel Campaign on Real Dog Box

Do you recall the incident with the Covington kids?

How it was initially reported by media news outlets and everyone went ballistic in the first 12 hours of it dropping?  How Instagram celebrities posted their reactions to this incident talking about how this racist white kid wearing a MAGA hat stood in the way of a Native American man who was banging the drum?  And as the story was presented it certainly looked that way.

Until the truth came out.  The Social Justice Warriors got it wrong.  But the damage was done.

Social Justice Warriors Came After Ruby at Real Dog Box

On Monday night December 14, Ruby went LIVE on Instagram to talk about bone structure in chews.

Now a little backstory – a member’s dog had eaten a chew a few weeks ago.  The owner had two dogs.

Each of the dogs ate one full wing each.

One dog was fine.  The other ended up in the ER from vomiting and diarrhea.  She spent a little over a day in the vet’s care and was discharged for a gastroenteritis.  It cost the member $1600 in vet bills.

Unfortunately the dog ate more than the suggested serving size and wasn’t able to handle its food.

I have a lot of empathy for the member and her dog.  I’ve been to the emergency room it’s not pleasant.

Once Orbit ate the stuffing off a tennis ball.  They gave her fluids and painkillers.  That tennis ball cost me almost $700.

Orbit likes to get into things and on a beach walk she ate something that had cannabis in it.  I noticed she wasn’t looking well so I rushed her to the emergency pet hospital.   They kept her overnight to keep her warm, to monitor her health and put fluids in her.  That was the most expensive sunrise beach walk we’ve ever done and it cost me close to $1700.

It is NEVER easy when your dog is ill.

But I digress … so let’s go back to the member’s story.

Two weeks later she asked Real Dog Box to pay for it and since the vet’s discharge papers stated that it was simple uncomplicated gastroenteritis caused by ingestion of something that was rich or unfamiliar, Real Dog Box assessed that they were not responsible for the bill.

During the LIVE the member’s friends were demanding Ruby to address the turkey wing.

And here’s where the misstep happened.

Ruby repeated what the member wrote in her Instagram (college student with no funds).

And because she said this the Social Justice Warriors were triggered

In cancel culture – there is a main offending event.  This is the event that causes the call out.

They took to their keyboards to call out that:

  • Ruby had called the member a broke college student
  • Ruby was rude
  • Ruby should pay the bill

The self appointed Social Justice Warriors recruited hundreds of others.   And in the space of 48 hours were able to:

  • Share the story on Instagram, Facebook and Reddit
  • Post negative reviews on Facebook
  • Post negative reviews on Yelp (who after noticing the unusual activity closed the account from further review submissions)

They didn’t stop there.  They continued by:

  • Flooding the member support line with their demands
  • Sending DMS to current members to spread the incident and then bullying them if they didn’t cancel
  • Commenting through old posts to contact current members to spread the incident to encourage them to cancel.

By 5pm on Wednesday the reach had resulted hundreds of cancellations.

The Social Justice Warriors had cancelled Ruby.  They had effectively through their smear campaign caused other members to cancel.   And they cancelled Real Dog Box.

The CEO’s Reaction Causes Outrage

Seeing his company targeted , Turk decided to address the unruly online mob.

He went on Instagram to post a video addressed to those that were not members.  His company was under attack and he challenged the Social Justice Warriors to address their concerns to him.  You can watch the video for yourself.

They made fun of how he spoke, how he dressed and the words he used.

They entered this with a pre-conceived idea already to not like him.

Now I know Turk personally and he is a very loud, expressive speaker.  English is also his second language.

How he communicates is culturally normal.

Not everyone saw it as that.

Real Dog Box Contacts Their Members And Presents The Timeline

Late Wednesday night a letter was sent out to the members to present the full story so that members could decide if they wanted to cancel or keep their membership.  The timeline can be found here:

It also gave members a place to leave their public comments in a place separate from Instagram, as well as a way to email Real Dog Box privately for any feedback or concerns.

Rise of the Digital Mob

By this time the mob was furious.

The first wave attacked Ruby.

The second wave attacked Turk.

The third wave attacked Real Dog Box for defending their position, their staff and their members who were also getting harassed and threatened.

They had decided that anything Real Dog Box said was so repugnant that they should take the whole company down at the knees.

They used what is called “ratioing” in which The Mob – the numerator – overwhelms the denominator of one.

They were performative.

  • Posting stories to voice their displeasure
  • Publishing posts to shame and ridicule
  • Virtue signaling to their peers
  • Attacking any supporters

With hate and threats as cornerstones to their strategies the social justice warrior dog mom wokies went scorched earth to write off Real Dog Box.

They were bullies that wanted compliance to their way of thinking.

When the owner of the company started to defend and troll the trolls they mocked and shamed him.

The Social Justice Warriors and the Trolls Set Up Camp

Now … no one had ever seen a CEO stand up to protect his company like Turk did.

It was confrontational.  It was unconventional.  And the video spread like wildfire.

And since the CEO doesn’t believe in censorship he opened the floor for the mob to have at it.

Initially they left the comments up but they have since turned comments off.

The majority of the member base watched.

This was the member base that chose not to be reactive.

This was the member base that understands fresh feeding.

When some of them (myself included) voiced their support publicly both on Instagram and Facebook they were attacked.

Some attacks were micro attacks.  Some were passive.  Some were outright abusive.

So Who Was Right?

I grew up in the time before the internet.  If I heard something that offended me I chose NOT to react I chose to gather my data, evaluate the facts, and then at a later date respond.

I’m not judge and jury.  I was brought up and to settle disputes through the proper channels.

Even former President Obama cautions those to get over this idea of purity.

The older I get – the more I realize that perfection doesn’t exist.

I’ve never had a “perfect” day.  I’ve certainly used the wrong words many times.  And I’ve certainly had my share of mistakes.

So I know I have no place telling other people how to live my life when honestly I’m just here to live my own.

Activism Has A True Place

There are many different examples of when as group activism for the correct causes can be very powerful to help marginalized people.

Have We Forgotten How To Be Human

On the same token, when I see unruly mobs go on a witch hunt to bring a company down, I ask if we have forgotten how be human.

  • Have we become reactionary vs. responsive? 
  • Do we give away our ability to think independently for ourselves when we jump on the bandwagon in the name of justice?
  • Are we doing it for notoriety? 
  • Do we really care about the person we’re defending or are we now just trying to capitalize upon their misfortune?

The Problem With Cancel Culture

“Sometimes the problem with popularity is just a measure of how much people aren’t thinking”. ~ Ayishat Akanbi

It was trending to jump on the bandwagon.  It was easy to be part of the cancel mafia.

I was heartbroken to see the chain of events spiral out of control.

I was sorry to see my friends hurt.  To see them bullied.  To see horrible meme pages created about them.

I know the team at Real Dog Box to be good people.  To be animal lovers.  To have dedicated themselves to the community for the past five years.

I was mad but I chose to sit out the fight.

I saw people I thought to be smart and educated allow themselves to be outraged.  In a way – maybe these attackers already lived in that state – of being “constantly annoyed”.

I saw who I thought to be friends publicly call me out for supporting Real Dog Box.

There was a huge element of public shaming when the mob came after Real Dog Box, Turk and Ruby their staff and happy members.

And I saw people using their platform for the wrong reasons.

Cancel Cancel Culture

Source:  Cancel Cancel Culture

It Hasn’t Ended

The Social Justice Warriors are still angry.  They’ve set up a website to further tarnish Real Dog Box.

Currently the company has lost about 1500 members and $60,000 in revenue.

A simple review of who the loudest are on social media shows that the bulk of the complainers have too much time on the hands.  Have malicious intent and most aren’t even members.

And there’s clearly a group of people who are on a mission to continue to defame Real Dog Box.  I know this because they message other members in their malicious campaign to try to get current members to cancel.

I have never been one to bash others publicly.  I’ve always felt we’re all entitled to our own opinion and in this online world, I always try to remember there are human beings on the other end of the screen.

If I don’t like something or someone I simply withdraw my attention and distance myself, and in the case of a company, I withdraw my wallet.  I don’t feel I have to get on a stage to announce how I feel.

The vindictive energy I see others displacing towards Real Dog Box  is rooted in malice.  And I want no part in it.  To openly use one’s platform to ridicule and shame is toxic.

Should They Have Paid the $1600?

It would have been easy to do so.  But to the CEO that would be saying online bullying is acceptable.

Is Cancel Culture Legal?

In short.  Yes.  It’s protected by our right to free speech.

But it’s a hard no when it turns to defamation.

When influencers use their platforms to state facts – then it’s legal.  But when they say things like “Real Dog Box almost killed a dog (medically the dog didn’t almost die)” and cause others to cancel.  Then that is defamation.

When influencers start to message happy members to do the same and then bully others and cause a business to lose money – then that is defamation.

Is Cancel Culture Addictive?

Based on the fact that the self proclaimed Social Justice Warriors carrying out a cancel campaign in the original dog’s name haven’t let it go and the amount of comments they continue to leave – it sure looks like they are addicted.

They send messages from burner accounts threatening physical harm on members and their dogs.  Not only is this illegal it’s being collected and reported.

Online Bullies Can Be Deplatformed

When influencers use their accounts and groups to coordinate a plan to mock and bully others, they can be reported to Facebook and Instagram and those influencers stand a chance to lose their own audience and accounts.

Sadly what this whole fiasco highlighted is how ugly people can be when they are behind a keyboard.

Interestingly enough …. brands were watching how both sides handled it.  And just as Real Dog Box lost customers … these influencers have lost potential deals and brands and social media managers watching placed the bashers on a “never hire them” list.

Is Cancel Culture Moral and Ethical?

And this is where the gray area resides.

Those that are involved in recreational outrage should probably step away from the keyboard.

Because when you are part of a mob, you’ve lost self awareness.  You start to think you’re perfect and pure.

You appear to be concerned to publicly shame, whine, blacklist, and de-platform others while at the same time boosting your notoriety.

When you start to normalize your lack of awareness as “looking out for friends” you’ve shown who you truly are to be one that causes more harm than good.

Clinical Trials Costs Millions

There’s a reason why there are zero clinical trials in the raw food community.  It costs millions.  A few years ago Real Dog Box met with other fresh feeding companies to open dialogue about how the raw feeding industry with the creator of Pet Fooled could work together better.  Last I heard nothing has progressed in that area.

There’s a reason why only there aren’t that many people that feed their dogs fresh food or raw food.  Start ups like Real Dog Box face an uphill battle as they grow.  I would hate to think of a world where the only choices people have are Petco, Pet Smart and Purina.

Unpopular Realities

There are a lot of things about fresh and raw feeding that is controversial.  Some misconceptions:

  • All raw food is bad
  • Bones are bad to feed
  • Raw food has e-coli and salmonella

The dog food industry is dominated by kibble companies.   I personally think kibble is evil.  And I choose not to feed kibble to my own dogs.

I also think E-collars are bad in the wrong hands.  And too many people who do not have proper training have free access to them.  Have I used them before?   Yes – twice for rattlesnake aversion training.

I’m of the opinion that the rabies vaccine is unnecessary.  But I only have a legal excuse to not give it to one of my dogs.  The other one has no legal excuse since she’s not allergic to it.

I don’t agree with the current practice in getting your dog spayed as a puppy and I feel you should wait until she has matured and has had two heat cycles.  I think early spay is akin cruel to the dog.

This summer Maggie had a case where she couldn’t keep her food down and was regurgitating.  At first the vet thought that Maggie had megaesophagus.  Further tests ruled that out.   But while I was conducting my own independent research I have a suspicion that her Simparica pills caused a reaction.

I’ve only given her Simparica the past two summers and knowing what I know now about this medication I’m of the opinion that it’s poison and I won’t be giving it to them anymore.

Ultimately I’m Responsible For My Dog

I’m responsible for my own dogs.

I’m the one that makes decisions for them.

Sure accidents will happen just as the case when Orbit ate part of a tennis ball.  Sure I may end up in the emergency room, such as the case when she had a reaction to something she ate as well as when she reacted to the vaccine or when Maggie reacted to her flea medication.

In the age of the Go Fund Me era it’s become trending to campaign to get others to help with the costs in raising their dog.

As for myself I continue to approach dog ownership just like everything else in my life I’m ultimately responsible for my own decisions which also means, I’m responsible for the good and bad results around those decisions.

Where Do I Stand On This as A Subscribing Member?

I certainly wish the last week didn’t happen.  It’s horrific to see the level of vitriol from people I know and don’t know directed towards people I care for.

The solution is easy enough to simply put up my boundaries and withdraw my connections to those I no longer want part of my life.

At the end of the day that’s the only thing I can control.  I can vote with my attention and my money.

And I choose to stay with Real Dog Box.  Because one bad week doesn’t discount the years I was happy with their service.

I’ve been a member for three years.

I get two boxes a month.

A lot of my friends or people that trust my recommendations have also signed up for a box.

And that is why I wrote this to share that I remain a member in spite of what happened this week.

Company Response

Critics are appalled at how the CEO handled and continue to address the trolls.

And some people have cancelled their boxes because of it.   They have every right to do so.  That’s how as consumers we vote.  Through our time, attention and through our wallets.

If at some point it matters to me then I can do the same and take my business elsewhere.

Product Quality

I’ve never had a problem in my three years as being a member.  And if I did I know that they would replace things if something ever came up.  Food is food and food has a shelf life.


I’ve bought from the competition and I prefer Real Dog Box to other companies.  They do not come close in regards to the product offering nor the educational support they provide their members.

I feel for these companies.  I for one would not want the monumental challenge in picking up dog owners that aren’t as educated about fresh feeding and volatile enough to want to cancel your company based on one mistake or as simple disagreement on a decision made.

Time will tell if these other starts ups will be targeted by the cancel culture the first time a dog throws up because they ate too much.


I’ve always received stellar customer service every time I reached out to Real Dog Box.  I can text them anytime I have any question and their team have always been helpful and kind to me.


I’m happy to stay a member.  I believe in what they do.

What Changes Have We Seen Go Into Effect?

Real Dog Box has apologized for how they handled the live, rolled out changes that they are making to their operations to address the labeling and selection of chews in subscriber’s boxes.  I trust that they have more changes coming in the weeks to come.

Could this whole event be handled differently?  Certainly.  Had they taken a softer approach it would have been easier.

At the same time … the witch hunt by the mob and outrage for outrage’s sake … wasn’t the best reaction neither.

As for those still carrying a lot of hate in them, I wish they would pause their anger and trolling.

And perhaps to channel their energy to true social justice causes like fighting racial discrimination and sexual harassment.

I invite us all to have a little more humility.

To be more understanding of ourselves before we judge others.

To not write someone off because of one “event”.

To understand we’re all human.

And to be kind.

By, December 21, 2020
On Being Unraveled
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