The Four Dog Defense: Distraction and Deception

Today’s Documentary Focus: The Human Experiment

While this documentary is excellent for many reasons (real life examples from various effects of synthetic chemicals in consumer products, for example), today I want to shine light on one topic from this film: the Four Dog Defense tactic. Distraction and deception is the foundation of the Four Dog Defense.


Distraction and Deception: The Four Dog Defense

Let us look more into the Four Dog Defense tactic that companies have been commonly using when scientists, health advocates, and concerned consumers began voicing their concerns for the use of man-made industrial toxic chemicals in consumer products.

First Defense: “My dog does not bite.” The company denies its product is harmful. As consumers, we implicitly trust that companies will be honest and provide safe products. Companies will simply deny and discredit scientists and studies suggesting or proving their products are harmful. Without any relationship being established, a blind trust commonly exists between consumers and companies. We see a product on a shelf, and assume it safely passed all health requirements.

Second defense: “My dog bites, but it did not bite you.” A company will admit their product may potentially be harmful, but the “average person” will be exposed to the harm, so do not worry.

Third defense: “My dog bit you, but it did not hurt you.” The company acknowledges that consumers are exposed to harm from their product, but the amount of harm caused is not enough to kill you. The daily dose of harm from the product is not significant enough to make an impact.

Fourth defense: “My dog bit you, and it did hurt you, but was not my fault.” Companies admit to the harm in their products. Furthermore, companies will put the blame on the consumer for purchasing their product. Companies will shift the blame from themselves to the consumer by saying it was the consumers choice and not the company’s fault that a consumer chose their product.

What Can We Do To Not Get Bit?

Collectively, we need to REFUSE and SPEAK UP. I think sometimes, as consumers, we forget that we have the upper hand over companies. We feel like the little guys with no voices; that is Learned Helplessness. (Click here to be notified when I post about Learned Helplessness). Additionally, we more power than we think! One drop in the water creates a ripple effect.

If we refuse harmful products (chemical cleaning products, furniture with flame retardants, and foods with chemical additives, for examples), companies will shape their model of design and manufacturing to fit consumer demands. If we all voice our concerns with a company, they will eventually change.

Refusal is key. We can complain all we want, but if we keep feeding the problem, it will continue to thrive.


Thank you!

I hope this post shined light on distraction and deception tactics (Four Dog Defense). Please feel free to contact me with any Zero Waste related questions/comments/tips/experiences, etc! Let’s be friends on Facebook,  Instagram , Twitter , and YouTube too!


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