Posted on 06-01-2011
My title for this is actually a misnomer; I actually do not consider there to be any controversy about vaccination whatsoever. Of course you should vaccinate your pets. Vaccinations do work well to prevent diseases that can and will kill your pet and they do so with very little risk. There is vastly more risk driving around in your car with your pet than all the vaccines given to your dog in it's lifetime. The whole vaccination controversy is just a bunch of fear mongering by questionable authorities based on extremely dubious research.
Let's look at the big picture of the world. Until the mid 19th century there was about 1.5 billion humans on this Earth, the population well controlled by War, Famine, Plague, and, of course Sudden Death (the Biblical Four Horsemen). Childhood mortality sat at around 50% and life expectancy was about 35 to 40 years of age. We need to understand something about this: a man who died at 40 was NOT an old man; he was a man cut down in the prime of his life. Humans dying in "the prime of life" was extremely common. Something changed around the mid 19th century and now there is over 6 billion humans crowding this globe and our life expectancy is over 70 years of age. Outstanding!!
There are really only three things that have contributed to our gross overpopulation of this poor planet. The first would be dramatically improved sanitation: sewers, clean water, protected food chain and generally better personal hygiene. The second would be vastly improved nutrition and the avoidance of localized famines. With the exception of little communist backwaters like North Korea and the constantly-at-war African nations, global trade has managed to conquer famine for the most part. Can anyone imagine Ireland losing half it's population to famine now? The Irish potato-famine happened less than 200 years ago. Finally, we have conquered most of the childhood diseases that wiped out many of our children: we no longer see Polio, Small Pox, Rubella, Measeles, and Whooping Cough. We did that with vaccination. Our children do not die by the fistfull, gasping through airways clogged with Small Pox lesions, spewing blood from all orifices as the pox line every mucosal path. We can thank only vaccination for that mercy. We also need to remember that the last reported case of Small Pox was in the early seventies; not so very long ago for a disease that plagued our earth for millions of years. The European settlers to North America managed to kill over 50% of the First Nations People, mostly by importing and infecting them with Small Pox (and Malaria); I bet the "Indians" would have appreciated a vaccine.
Then there is the excellent example of the former Soviet Union. Back in the day when the communist government still ran the country they had one of the best public health programs in the world. Childhood diseases such as Rubella and Polio were unheard of. Now, less than twenty years after the fall of the Soviet Union, with organized crime essentially running the show, the public health program is practically non-existant and they are seeing all the old devil diseases come back to haunt them. The story is clear; fail to vaccinate your children and expect many of them to get sick and some of them to die. If you can accept that, then you are made of tougher fibre than I.
The majority of the reluctance to vaccinate our children comes from the suggestion that vaccination may be associated with autism. This suggestion stems from a single study done in Britain in the dying years of the twentieth century. The study has now been completely discreditted; the author had blatently fudged data so it fit his hypothesis. The author of that study actually had ulterior motives: he had patented a "safe" vaccine which he hoped to market in place of the supposed "dangerous' vaccine. The man was just another self-serving crook out to make a buck and we all are going to pay for his crime for generations because many of us now believe vaccines are "bad" for our children (and by extension, our pets) My one reply to the idea that vaccines are "bad" for our children: disease and death is not so very good for our children either.
Then there is the ever amusing idea that by vaccinating our pets (and children) against disease, we are somehow weakening their immune system. Some fool has suggested that by allowing the children to develop natural immunity by contracting the diseases they will be "stronger" in the long run. THINK about this: we had a 50% infant mortality less than 200 years ago, a minimum of ten million Native North Americans died of Small Pox and until the invention of Polio vaccine millions of children worldwide either were cripplied or died of Polio. In the past all the children were "au natural" and many, many of them died. Generations of humans had no vaccines until into the twentieth century and we NEVER developed into a stonger, resistant species. We just contracted the diseases and either survived or died. Nietzche was wrong. He said what does not kill you makes you stonger. Sometimes what does not kill you just leaves you weak and vulnerable for the rest of your life.
Vaccines in general are safe. Of course there are going to be the odd reactions to the vaccines. Some of those reactions are going to be severe and some can be fatal. This is absolutely no different from any other drug you might take. The same thing can happen from eating certain foods for that matter: shellfish, peanuts, and blowfish (improperly prepared) Heck, even water can be toxic if one drinks too much consistently. You cannot live without risk; the difference between life and death is essentially paper thin; we are all just one failed heartbeat away from our maker at any time. Those who would suggest that vaccines pose unwarrented risk to our children or pets are just ignoring world history and modern science.
Vaccinate your pets.
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