Anyone who has been reading my blog or Facebook page can see that I am an advocate for raising animals naturally. I have reached this standpoint because of many personal experiences and much questioning, research, evaluation and critical thinking. There are certainly many benefits to feeding raw, skipping the antibiotics, chemical flea preventatives and vaccines. But what is so important to understand is WHY these choices make such a difference in the health of our animals.
So what I want to delve into today is how we perceive the means by which our pet's maintain their health and also identify the mechanisms that allow them to regain their health after illness. The truth of the matter is possibly quite different than what you currently believe.
Now challenging someone's personal beliefs is often met with a defensive stance. This is actually quite a normal reaction. Most of us (most of the time) arrive at our beliefs for a variety of reasons having little to do with empirical evidence and logical reasoning. Rather, such variables as family beliefs, peer pressure, educational experience and social and cultural influences have led us to our beliefs. We sort through the body of data and tend to select those that most confirm what we already believe, and ignore or rationalize away those that do not. Unfortunately this normal process can allow us to believe things that just aren't true, even in the face of compelling evidence. For myself, I find that (for most subjects) I tend to place more value on the truth of the matter rather than holding on to my existing beliefs and therefore I think it has been easier for me to challenge my own beliefs. Once we are aware of this natural tendency we are better able to maintain an open mind and receive new information without feeling the need to automatically oppose it.
The essence of what I want to chat about today is in regards to suppressing symptoms vs. restoring health (aka curing). It is important to understand how to differentiate between the two as they may easily be mistaken for each other.
The temporary remission or modification of symptoms is a suppression of symptoms (not a cure) and an impairment of some kind will remain with the patient. In other words, the problem still remains but methods are used to artificially reduce or inhibit the symptoms. The definition of suppress is to end or stop something by force.
The meaning of the word cure is to get well again, to restore health and eradicate sickness. When a patient has been cured, their normal body function has been completely restored.
We can see how the use of prescription drugs is commonly used to suppress symptoms. A drug is given which alters the body’s normal function resulting in a repression of the symptom. Often when the drug is stopped the symptom returns. So you can see that the problem was not cured, it was still there. But the signs (symptoms) were forcibly absent due to the drug that was taken. This gives the false impression that the sickness has been cured.
In our mainstream healthcare model, the removal or modification of symptoms is heralded as a satisfactory result. In fact this is about the best result that can be expected using conventional medicine to treat an illness. Check out my past blog post Health Does Not Come From A Bottle for more on this topic.
In order to affect a cure the patient needs the appropriate resources and environment that it's species was designed for and removal of any conditions that are in opposition to the species requirements. Healing occurs automatically when the conditions within the body are favorable and the patient has enough vitality remaining to complete the healing process.
A simplified example is a fish removed from its required environment of water will perish quite quickly. Put the fish back its correct environment while it's vitality is still present and it's health is restored. A fish placed in water contaminated with chlorine will show distress. But if it is removed from the harmful chemical laden water and placed into uncontaminated water quickly enough then its health can be fully restored.
Only when the source of the illness has been remedied can the body begin to rebuild its health. Unlike when symptoms are suppressed, authentic healing can take time as the body is busy performing a great many functions to restore its health. As part of the process of returning to complete health the patient's symptoms will abate over time.
If a dog is diagnosed with a cancerous tumor and undergoes surgery to remove it the dog must be cured right? Sure, it may seem like the problem has been taken care of, the cancer is gone from the body after all. But the conditions that led to the cancer developing in the first place are still present. So the state of this dog's health has not really changed. Cutting the cancer out of the body only removes the immediate risk of sickness/death from that particular tumor. This is a perfect example of suppressing symptoms (stopping them by force) and since the conditions that allowed the tumor to form in the first place are still present there is a good chance the animal will be affected with cancer again in the future. This is not back luck or bad genetics, it's because the cause of the cancer has never been addressed! Illness does not just appear with no reason, there is always a cause, usually multiple causes.
Cutting out a tumor to get rid of cancer is like cutting off the dandelion flower to stop the plant from spreading seeds. You can keep cutting off the flower heads to stop further spreading but you will never get rid of the original plant this way. Then BAM one day you miss cutting the flower heads off and they all go to seed and you are over-run with no way to get them under control ever again. The situation could have been avoided if only you would have made the effort to dig up the first few dandelions that appeared and continue to do so from time to time.
Choosing to care for your animal in a way that provides for its species specific needs is how you build the foundation to good health. For our carnivore pets a raw food diet, exercise, fresh air, exercise, pure water and experiencing normal social encounters along with removing or minimizing exposure to toxins, chemicals and unnatural environments is a great place to start.
I choose to dig my dandelions up, how about you?
Author - Jennifer Lee
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