Our Health, Our Choice

A couple months ago I was in email conversation with a group of Fell Pony enthusiasts about a topic having to do with the natural health of our ponies. I had asked a pretty simple question regarding breeding for good feet and therefore avoiding some well-known foot problems in the future. While I was met with several good responses by people who were aware that good feet can, in fact, have an indirect affect on the health of the feet, what I found interesting, at least in the beginning, was that I did receive a few responses from people who attacked the very idea that breeding for good feet could possibly have an affect on thrush or other “bacterial” issues. Well, it does, BUT that wasn’t even the most surprising part of the whole encounter.
For many years, I have researched the journals and studies in order to determine how to keep my horses as natural and yet as healthy as possible. There are many vets and other scholars who have written extensively on the idea of reducing our use of inoculations and keeping horses (and other companion animals) in a more naturally healthy state. Our use and overuse of drugs has hindered our and our pets natural immune systems and actually created much more virulent strains of viruses and disease.
In that email conversation I spoke of above, I was asked if there was a pill to cure or prevent cancer, would I take it? It was assumed then that of course I would and it was the same with the horses. I responded that actually I would not take that pill and think that the idea of a magic pill is exactly the reason that this country has such health issues. We are constantly trying to put our responsibility for our health onto other people. We have a headache and we take an aspirin before we even think about why we might have a headache. We get a cold and we take a medicine. We get the flu and we go to the doctor and get a shot, or we get a shot before we even have the flu, to prevent it. All of these pills and shots are just another way to not take responsibility for our own health.
Don’t misunderstand, I do think there is a time and place for medicine and medical intervention, for both humans and their pets. But we are responsible for our health and when we accept that, even embrace that, we begin to see all the ways we can jeopardize our health and all the ways we can enhance it. It is not a secret anymore that a vast majority of our illnesses are either brought on or exacerbated by what we consume or the environment we live in.
When we live next door to a nuclear waste disposal site, can we really blame fate for our child’s third ear? When we smoke a pack or more a day for a few years, can we be sincerely surprised that we are diagnosed with lung cancer or any other cancer? Can we eat every chemically flavored, artificially colored, unnaturally packaged, ready-to-eat-right-now, “food” and expect to live a long, healthy and productive life?
I think it is pretty clear, and there is a great deal of scientific study and research to back me up, cancer and other diseases don’t just happen out of the blue. There are many warning signs between “I feel great,” and “Cancer? Really?” But our country is so indoctrinated into this line of thinking that when you have a headache simply take an aspirin. If you have flu symptoms, get a shot. If you have a stomach ache, eat something bland. If you are constipated, drink some water with a fiber powder. But very few actually take a moment to think about the cause of their headache or stomach cramps. Even fewer will change their diets to include more high-fiber foods and green leafy vegetables. It is unfortunate that so many people honestly believe that their health is out of their hands and that it has little or nothing to do with their lifestyle. They watch their loved ones suffer the indignity of all sorts of health issues, laying in hospital beds having somebody else wipe their butt, and keeping their pills in little pill organizers, and it never occurs to them that it was all avoidable.
This is not to say that people are to blame for their health issues… but they are responsible, if they are adult. The evidence is just too pronounced to not accept that our health is our choice. Headaches, flues, cold sores and cancer are not what nature intended but are the natural conclusion to shirking our responsibilities. Eat good natural whole food, drink lots of pure water, live an active lifestyle and take care of your emotional, mental and spiritual well-being, and you will greatly increase the odds of living a long, healthy, and productive life.