Why have vets become the blinded soldier of pharmaceutical and pet food industry?
When I was growing up, my teachers often loved to describe the future. They told us vivid stories of fast trains, space travel, aircraft hovering over streets, and buildings looking nothing like what we knew in the real world.
It is now year 2012 and the future that my teachers described is now the past. We use iPhones, computers and Skype as a matter of routine, and instead of being grateful for the miracles of technology, we complain that they are not fast enough. However, in contrast of this space age technology we still drive fume-spewing vehicles like 100 years ago and also rely on an ailing medical system that is chronically stuck in the past and provides no or little solution in treatment of cancer and chronic disease prevention.
Some people may object that we did make a progress because we are able to transplant organs, replace joints and perform a triple bypass, however, most doctors and patients operate within a deeply ingrained dogma that ingesting toxic chemicals called prescription drugs for months and years , they would keep us healthy. It is as if someone was trying to purify drinking water by pouring in sewage.
The most recent reports show that the number of veterinary visits in North America is dropping while the number of pets is rising. The same decline has been registered in the processed pet food industry. To me, this is great news because more people are feeding non-processed, species appropriate food and very likely, our pets are healthier. The less favorable explanation could be that people do not go to the vet as often because they no more believe that processed food, vaccines and drugs.If you were an owner a veterinary clinic or a processed pet food company, you would be rather alarmed by seeing such trend. However if you were a dog lover, the same situation would make you happy.
One may ask, how it happened that most vets still heavily promote processed food, vaccines and drugs and know so little about natural principles of healing? One of the reasons is that drug and pet food companies are the main sponsors at professional conferences, they finance continuing education and provide grants to universities and professors who conduct research. While the consumers have long seen through this clever strategy, most veterinarians simply are not aware that they have become the blinded soldiers of the pharmaceutical and processed food industry.
The processed food situation is only one example of how stagnant the waters of veterinary education are. Many vets are afraid of being sued and that their veterinary association would not defend them or even punish them, if they don’t use conventional treatment and processed food. They are also exposed to peer pressure to following “the science” of processed pet food companies that is in my opinion completely out of line with the basic principles of species appropriate diet. The consumer on the other hands, doesn’t have a license to loose and the practical results of natural diet feeding are so clear that people no more hesitate to feed their dogs as nature intended.
I believe that many vets would love to learn more about natural and holistic therapies, however they not have the option to get away from their practices, take long and extensive courses because they have to support their practice high overhead and even if they could, this change would mean to learn a new “medical languages” all over again. Also, there are not enough teachers with the knowledge natural therapies and veterinary colleges are lagging behind.
New age of education
At first sight, the situation may seem to be daunting but it is not. Until recently, education was available only through universities to people who paid tuition. Today, the internet is here to serve as the ultimate tool of “peer to peer” education and Apple recently announced that anyone who writes a textbook will be able to sell it as an iBook on their store. They also recently opened iU – Apple University, an online university where courses from major universities are offered online for free. In the 21st century, everyone is a student and everyone is a teacher and sharing new knowledge, experiences, research findings and can be done cheaply and fast.
While it may take some time for the dust to settle in a new order of education in medicine, I am sure about one thing; Pet food and drug companies will only change if we stop buying their products and learn how to create a better health with natural nutrition and without drugs. That is where you and others can chip in.
I urge you never stop learning, keep your mind open and question the status quo often. Sometimes it may mean that only 1 person out of 100 will be correct with their recommendation. Recently, I had an interesting experience. My computer had been seriously malfunctioning since I got it year and a half ago. I had it tested at least five times, spent at least 25 plus calls with technical support and everyone was saying it tested fine except it was freezing constantly when I worked on it. One person even changed the whole motherboard of the computer and nothing changed. After hours spent to figure it out, Apple finally agreed to give me a free replacement! While the new computer was on its way, I asked my friend, a computer genius to look at the current one and he discovered that one contact in the address book was somehow causing the computer drain 100% of its memory. One file was deleted it and now the computer is fine! Imagine, all the other people did not find this error.
Going back to medical knowledge, I urge you never rely on 1 person that says something is not possible. Sometimes it means ask many people for their insight, read and learn, be persistent and remain connected with the natural laws of healing.
© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM