Sorting Signal From Noise
Jen recently voiced a concern I hear fairly often:
I think my biggest struggle is that there is so much conflicting information. It’s seems that you can find information to support or oppose any and all subjects. I am not a vet so making heads or tails becomes overwhelming. Knowing what sources to trust and who to dismiss can get complicated.
Maybe you’ve wondered about this yourself.
On the one hand, you hear Dr. WhiteCoat promoting repeated vaccinations throughout your animal’s life (“Sandy is due for her XYZ vaccinations!” screams the postcard).
On the other, you read people like me telling you that veterinary immunologists have known for decades that there’s no benefit to ongoing vaccinations and that there is a very real possibility of harm if you follow that recommendation.
You’ve been told that heartworm is a deadly disease that is only preventable by giving a monthly pill. Perhaps all year round.
And, contrarily, I’ve been telling you there is a significant risk in using the pesticides sold as monthly “preventatives,” and that there’s a drug free protocol that not only protects against the parasite, but actually makes your animal healthier the longer you use it.
And so on.
Are All News Sources Equally Trustworthy?
Dr. WhiteCoat seems well educated. Caring. Concerned for your animal’s health.
Does he know better than the immunologists who’ve studied how the immune system responds to vaccinations?
Or, is there another agenda behind those recommendations against all scientific understanding?
If real people are reporting sickness and death of their own pets after using popular drugs like Trifexis and Apoquel, are they telling the truth, or are they mistaken? Does it take a double blind study to prove they are right or wrong, or are there enough voices joining that conversation of harm that they deserve your attention?
When Dr. Andrew Wakefield produces a movie revealing how data that showed the link between childhood vaccines and autism was covered up at the CDC, do you believe him and accept his premise?
Or do you buy the loud establishment hew and cry that says any link has been “disproved” repeatedly? How about believing the witch hunt that the British doctors used to discredit Dr. Wakefield and strip him of his medical license?
So much noise, so little signal. How do you decide?
The Buck Stops at Your Mind
Ultimately, you have to sort out the truth and decide for yourself what most reflects reality. And we live in an age where critical thinking is becoming a rare commodity.
The ubiquity of television and internet and Netflix and Facebook brings us easy distraction. As a society, we’ve largely said,
Just make this easy and fun for me. I want sound bytes, not thoughtful discourse.
Much like we’ve said, societally,
We don’t want to see any symptoms of illness. Ever. Make them go away please, and fast.
It comes all the way down to the very food we consume. Crops grown in depleted soil with tweaked genetics fill the grocery store aisles. It’s much simpler to buy that than to garden or make food from fresh ingredients.
And records are broken for the percentages of our population who qualify as obese and likely to die of heart disease or complications of diabetes.
Simple or Thoughtful?
Which do you want? It’s rare that good comes from not thinking, especially when it comes to health choices. If you’d rather hand your health or your animal’s well being over to the experts and their “prescription diets,” so be it.
I’d only ask that you make your choices from a place of understanding. And accept responsibility for the outcomes you’ll face. If you want a quick fix for a chronic problem, there’s a long term cost to that. That cost is far more than an emptying of your pocketbook. It involves a lot of suffering on your animal’s part and a lot of heartbreak for you as you try desperately to shore up her failing health.
If you’ve made the transition to a natural path and have experiences of the “before and after” you can share, the comments below are your chance to shine. There’s nothing like real animals and real outcomes to help you decide who to trust.