By Dr. Kim Bloomer – co-founder of the American Council of Animal Naturopathy
All the years of sharing a whole health, naturopathic approach to animal care. All the podcasts, blog posts, personal experience, and empirical evidence. Not just us of course but SO many others who do this day in and out. Our reward is seeing animals be well. And yet, our animals are still ailing as a whole.
Because people are reluctant to change. Reluctant to move out of the paradigm that clearly shows us why. Also, we are indoctrinated to believe that we are not the authority over our own animals. In other words, we aren’t paying attention to what animals need but to what we want.
I’ll share a few things and hope that we all see the pattern here:
1. But I’m afraid to feed a raw diet, it sounds gross.
2. I gave all these medications but they didn’t help. Do you have a natural remedy to fix this?
3. No wonder my Labrador is fat, he has that “gene” that makes him fat. I knew feeding him kibble wasn’t the real reason.
4. I know cribbing in my horse is from stress (among other things) but there has to something I can do besides let him out. (http://epona.tv/blog/behaviour)
The why is cognitive dissonance and an allergy to personal responsibility at large. I know this sounds very harsh but in light of all the animals are enduring, this needs to be harsh. We make it ALL about us and to assuage ourselves of guilt we buy all the fancy gadgets (cute pet clothing because wearing their fur just isn’t good enough, toys, daycares, etc.) to make ourselves feel better about our choices. The products themselves can also actually be a cause to our animals ailing and behavior issues. We could and probably will write an entire blog post just on all the toxins that are in many of these products.
The real issue is we are making our animals an extension of ourselves rather than allowing them to be themselves as the species they are, living as they need to in order to thrive. We want them for our own glory and benefits over their own all while saying “We love them.” Do we really though if we dishonor their needs over our own?
If you think we are not holding our own feet to the fire here you’d be very wrong. In fact, it was our own animals that led us to follow this path of the most resistance over the one of least. It is also the path that leads to personal growth as well. By allowing our animals to BE animals and care for them according to THEIR species needs, we began to see our own animals rise above the status quo of veterinarian dependency in our attitudes and pockets, to be well. In body. In mind. In spirit.
The real solutions are much simpler and by far less expensive in the long-term but people seem to want to stay stuck while looking at the obvious suffering in their animals and all while declaring their undying love. While I am sure all of us “love” our animals do we REALLY love them? Enough to let go of ourselves and SEE them for who and what they are?
“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.” ~Thomas Paine
Going back to the issues above here are the simple answers that are REPEATEDLY shared. However, folks will go on quests to find the magic bullet instead of implementing the simple steps to solution:
1. You don’t have to eat it, your dog/cat/ferret is going to eat the raw meat, bones and organs their carnivore natures designed them to eat.
2. Reducing our animals to symptoms and masking them with drugs or natural remedies is not a solution. It is head-in-the sand denial. A whole health approach is always what is needed and actually what the animals themselves would tell you they need if they could. In nature they constantly strive to keep a balance through species nutrition, movement, water (sans toxic ingredients like fluoride and chlorine), fresh air, proper rest, sunshine, etc. To share a quote we’ve often shared, “Simple solutions are always considered irrelevant and inconsequential – even when they are true.” ~Chris Tiegreen
3. Ever hear of epigenetics? Or the 21st century? A fat “gene” is definitely NOT the reason for your Labrador being fat regardless of what any “science” study is stating. A good skeptic article to read can bear some of this out for you even it is unflattering to ALL of us and maybe because it is: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/dear-skeptics-bash-homeopathy-and-bigfoot-less-mammograms-and-war-more/
4. Horses are foragers and roamers by nature eating all day long, fleeing for safety, etc. They aren’t meant to stay stuck in a small cage (stall) all day long. That is the real issue and the solution ought to be obvious but then that isn’t convenient for humans is it?
We human beings in our amazing capacity for hubris have forgotten the most important thing: the animals themselves.
“We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature though the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image distorted. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complex than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings, they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.” ~Henry Beston, The Outermost House
“There is no shame in not knowing something. The shame is in not being willing to learn.” ~Alison Croggon