THE ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMICAL PROBLEM AND WHY TO EAT A PLANT-BASED DIET

THE ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMICAL PROBLEM AND WHY TO EAT A PLANT-BASED DIET

Introduction

We live in a changeable world. This is especially true in the last decades. The development of industry, harnessing various fuels, scientific discoveries, technological advances — all of these have literally transformed our world. 

I can remember in the late ’60s when I was in graduate school at Washington State University, I lived in a smaller community outside of town and the only choice for a phone service was a 10-party line. There were no cell phones, computers, tablets — all of which are now prominent in our lives. 

Along with these changes are the contributions of chemistry. It was learned how to make incredible new substances that were put to use in various ways. Many of these were marvelous but I wish to point out that these were new chemicals and often cherished because of enhanced qualities compared to natural, similar, material. One example that comes to mind is how often wood was sealed and protected by linseed oil. Then there were the new sealers developed, much more protective, and that lasted a much longer time. There was no longer the need to keep re-oiling wood. You can see why this would be appreciated. 

The part of this development that was not really considered is what effect these new substances would have on our environment. Even today, if you inquire about something you are about to use as to its effects on your health, or on the health of the natural world, you will find there is no information available. 

Another example of this lack of foresight is the embracing of plastic. As we now know plastic contamination is a serious problem. It is killing off much of the life in the sea, and there are recent reports that even our rain now contains millions of microscopic particles. Could this have been anticipated? I don’t know. If I put myself in the planning room for plastic development I doubt the possibility of microplastic accumulating in our bodies would ever enter my mind.

Nonetheless, this is an issue we have to deal with. Not just plastic but the many chemicals that are now part of our natural environment and have become important factors in the quality of our lives. 

In my work as a veterinarian, I think that one of the most important ideas I finally understood is how important these environmental chemicals are in our health. I have come, now, to think that these chemicals accumulating in our bodies is one of the major factors in the development of chronic disease in our animal friends. 

To discuss this with you, I would like to go into why my advice is now to change the way we eat and how we feed our animal companions. To put it simply the suggestion I make is to emphasize a plant-based diet. 

This idea of feeding a plant-based diet to dogs and cats is often met with incredulity, even ridicule. It seems to be going contrary to nature. If you have the patience let’s go into this and I will explain why this makes sense to me.

PLANT-BASED VS MEAT BASED DIETS

What we have discussed above translates to the problem of these chemicals accumulating in our bodies and affecting our health. The difference in eating or feeding a plant-based diet vs. a primarily meat diet is then the issue of chemical dose. 

You cannot avoid exposure to these completely, however, you can reduce the amount coming in by how you eat and this is significant. Understanding how to reduce exposure is best explained by discussing what we call the “food chain” or in the scientific world “bioaccumulation.” 

It works like this. The chemicals spread about in our environment are in the air, water, and soil. They often waft away from factories, industrial plants, the burning of coal, etc. They also enter the water from the sewage water from cities, or from factories dumping into rivers. As these chemicals move around with the wind, water movement, transport (exhaust, tire shedding, etc.) they end up where the plants we use for food are growing. It is even legal practice in the US to use sewage sludge from city water treatment plants, this being the most toxic material in the world. It is used as a fertilizer on food crops, to spread it over the soil for the plants to take up.

FOOD CHAIN

So it goes like this (the food chain). I will use a very simple example of just one of the chemicals and putting the amount in terms of drops, rather than micrograms or milligrams, so this is easier to understand. Let us say the plant growing in the soil gathers one drop of the chemical as it grows. That is how much it contains. 

The steer that is feeding on the plants, eats the plant and takes that drop into his body. It ends up in the tissues and is stored there. Let us say that the steer eats 50 plants during the day. That, then, is an accumulation of 50 drops of the chemical. This goes on day by day.

By day 2, there are 100 drops in the tissues.

By day 3, there are 150 drops.

By day 30, there are 1,500 drops.

After 5 months, there are 7,500 drops.

For sake of this discussion let us say that the steer, when slaughtered has 10,000 drops stored in the tissues — the muscles and organs.

Your dog is now fed that meat, containing these drops. Let us say that the portion of meat fed each day contains 500 drops. Each day your  dog accumulates 500 drops. 

After a year, stored in his body will be 365 x 500 = 182,500 drops.

THE PROBLEM

Do you now see why this is of concern? In today’s world, there is not just one toxic chemical. Granted not all end up in the environment but many do depending on their chemistry. In the US there are 100,000 chemicals approved for use in our homes, businesses, factories, farms, schools, parks, etc. If you like, you can assume that our government has made sure that these are safe, but unfortunately that is not the case. Reports estimate the percent of these chemicals evaluated for health effects is well below 10%. That means that over 90% of we have no idea what they will do to us. Dogs and cats? Forget it. There are no tests that evaluate how these things will affect them.

Water treatment plants for towns and cities are said to test the water before putting it back into the rivers and lakes. It might vary but what I have read is that they test for 10 chemicals only. Not particularly reassuring.

Even if the chemicals are tested for safety before use, how would that be done? Usually by giving them to an animal — monkey, mouse, rat. Would they have the same sensitivity or reaction to the chemical as a human? A dog? No one knows. 

Basically, we are working in an unknown area. 

WHAT DOES THE BODY DO WITH THEM?

A common strategy that people use  to deal with this is to emphasize the body’s elimination of toxic material. Herbs, vitamins, supplements of various sorts are given for the purpose. This is a smart idea but only partially adequate. 

You have to realize that these chemicals that have been created over the last decades are done for a particular purpose. As said above, they do something that other natural chemicals, already in existence, are not able to do. This is what makes them useful and unique. But understand this — when a new chemical is created IT HAS NEVER EXISTED ON THE EARTH BEFORE. Our bodies have never encountered these and do not have an established way to deal with it. By “established” I mean that over the centuries there is an adaptation to the substances encountered in the natural world. If something not good for us gets in, there are mechanisms for dealing with it. We don’t need to go into a lot of detail, just realize that this “getting rid of” involves some kind of processing of the toxic substance, some alteration of it so it can travel to the kidneys and be peed out. 

That there are so many new substances has overwhelmed our ability to deal with them. The best the body can do is store them somewhere — in the body tissues. The concern then is that this storage over time accumulates enough of the chemical that it has health effects, it achieves the level of a drug dose. 

In the example above I used one chemical. More accurately, tests of people and animals have shown more like 400 chemicals stored in our bodies. Tests of newborn babies finds, on average, babies are born with over 300 chemicals already in their tissues. Some of these chemicals are also known to interfere with the normal development of the child.

We have gotten ourselves into some deep doo-doo.

EVALUATION

Granted you can think I am exaggerating or putting too much importance on this. I will mention, however, that this information has been published in many, many scientific reports. There are even fields of study in this. 

In my veterinary experience, one of the questions that is to be considered is why chronic disease in animals, dogs and cats, livestock and others, is steadily increasing. The veterinary profession is now saying that half of dogs will develop cancer in their lives. This is unbelievable is it not? Totally shocking. There has to be an explanation for this. 

As I said in the introduction, I have come to the conclusion that this toxic chemical accumulation is a major factor in this. It seems to me common sense that if cancer is increasing in incidence and it has been determined that dogs are eating meat containing carcinogens that this could be why it is happening.

STRATEGY

How to deal with this? The best I have come up with is to keep the dose of these chemicals as low as possible. We can use other measures to enhance detoxification, to enhance that ability to deal with these, but keeping the dose low would be very important. 

It has been determined in people eating a plant-based diet, they are very low in accumulated chemicals, especially if the plant foods are organic. We are talking a level of a few percents, less than 5-10%, compared to the person eating the usual American diet (SAD = Standard American Diet).

There have not been as many studies of dogs and cats in this regard but some recent ones have shown that the body burden of chemicals in dogs and cats is considerably higher for some substances than it is in human beings. This can be explained from the model of the food chain, that they are at the top of the chain eating primarily the meat of animals containing these materials.

MY ADVICE

The strategy I come up with is to eat at the low end of the food chain. Eat the plants rather than the animal that has accumulated thousands of them. Fortunately, in regard to feeding dogs, it turns out that they have no problem eating such a diet. A study reported in Nature Journal of the DNA sequencing of dogs DNA compared to wolf DNA tells us that dogs have adapted to the same diet that we can eat — the use of plants and grains without any problem. They have activated the same genes that we use. 

There are also other reports of dogs being fed this way, and from puppyhood, and having good health on that diet. Fortunately, it is also our personal experience that many dogs with chronic problems — allergies, itches, ears, digestion, etc. — observably improve when the diet is changed in this direction. 

It is not so easy with cats. They are more strict carnivores than dogs. Yet, again, we have found that some cats will readily accept a plant-based diet and also have health improvements. One has to be more careful with cat recipes to make sure they have everything needed but it is very possible to do this. If nothing else, it is not so difficult to reduce the meat content in their food and certainly avoid the most contaminated meats — tuna, salmon, chickens. So many commercial cat foods contain sea fish which are high in mercury. This is a major cause of the common mouth problems cats have with decaying teeth, gum inflammation, bad breath, etc. These are all signs of mercury poisoning.

CLEAN MEAT?

When I present this topic to people, if it is new to them, a very common response is that they feed “grass fed” or “farm-raised” animals that are not given drugs or hormones. This is a very helpful plan and would reduce some chemical exposure. However, what we are talking about here is not only the chemicals given by livestock farmers, rather what is in the environment. It is important to understand that the environment, as compared to injected materials, is the major source in today’s world.

A brief example of how even these more naturally raised livestock will have chemicals in them is the report of wildlife now being affected. One study of fawns in Montana showed developmental problems, heart defects, and other health issues in them. If this is happening to wildlife, how can we think that grass fed animals are exempted from it? 

CONCLUSION

Enough for now. I hope the explanation is clear enough. As said above, the challenge to our thinking is the realization that our world has changed. To bring up past experience of feeding practices does not address the accelerating chemical accumulation. At this point, it is not getting better so the best we can do is cope with it as intelligently as possible. We can also hope and pray that, as a culture, we will give this attention and change our ways.

The Difference of View

As I have mentioned in other posts, I have been focussed on using homeopathy for quite a long time. You can understand that with this experience one comes to see things differently. The homeopathic view is almost the opposite of what we may call the conventional medical system, or what we homeopaths refer to as the allopathic system.

The allopathic view of patient and disease is that these two things are separate. There is the patient which is a physical being and the disease which is some external agent or infuence. The emphasis, then, is to identify that disease condition which affected the physical body so that, once known, an approved means of counter-acting it will be used. Another way to say this is that the treatment will be something that counter-acts the perceived symptoms and this counter-action is based on the use of drugs or surgery that directly blocks the expression of that problem. It could be an antibiotic, an anti-inflammatory drug, a hormone, etc. Surgery is a similar method in that the unwanted physical change is removed from the body by that method.  Granted there are some health conditions that are not ascribed to an external agent in the usual sense but more to the wearing out of parts like with arthritis. However, even here, the idea is to block the symptoms that are expressing. You see, there is not the idea that these health issues cannot be cured in the sense of the person (or animal) being brought back to their previously healthy state. Even the use of the word cure is frowned upon.

The homeopathic view is based on the initial discovery, by Dr. Samuel Hahneman, that what we call disease is not caused by an external agent but rather a change in the condition of the patient at the level of what he called “the life force.” This means that disease is not physical but is a disturbance on what we might more familiarly call the energetic level. In today’s culture we can equate this to addressing the quantum vacuum from which all observed forms manifest. Dr. Hahnemann discovered that if a substance (herb, mineral, animal product) was given to this sick patient that was already know to be able to cause a very similar disturbance it acted as a stimulus and brought about return of health. So the medicines used in homeopathy are used differently than the allopathic drugs.

  • Remedies bring about a condition in the patient similar (though not exact) to what is observed in their unhealthly state.
  • Becauses of their ability to do this, the individual patient is very sensitive to them so they are given in very small doses and usually much repeated.
  • The remedies are never used to, in any way, block or tinterfere with the symptoms of the patient.
  • The choice of remedy to used is based on a direct observation of the condition of that individual, never on the idea of diagnosis (which is considered an erroneous concept).

In the story that follows you might be able to see what I am talking about here. It is the story of the contrast between the allopathic system and the homeopathic  – and an interestinsg outcome.

The “Disease Entity”

During the third week of August 1991, my 80-year-old father was hospitalized in New York. A few months earlier, he had been put on dialysis. The doctor had assured him that the inconvenience of having dialysis three times a week and having the rest of the time to live a full life was a better alternative than dying of renal failure.

He was hospitalized after he experienced extreme weakness, confusion, and a rapid decay of his mental faculties. I was joined by my brothers, and we prepared for the worst. The hardest part, for me, was the unbelievable interaction with the mind of conventional medicine. The renal specialist (who was a kindly soul— one of the few encountered), told us that they “have not yet diagnosed a disease entity.” And there, in a nutshell, is the problem. In conventional thinking, you must know what’s wrong before you can treat. They stood helpless as they tried to find something to treat. They did blood tests, Doppler tests, and CAT scans. They called in a neurologist (perhaps Dad’s confusion was neurologic in nature). He wanted to do a spinal tap to check for a rare strain of meningitis. He also checked for Lyme disease.

The neurologist was a picture of everything I fear in a physician. We were unable to reach him by phone, and his visits to my father’s room were less than three minutes long. He was always on the run. My brother, who coordinates emergency medical service in the rural area in which he lives, asked if he could meet the doctor to discuss what might be happening. “Are you a doctor?” he was asked. “No,” replied my brother. “Then we don’t have anything to talk about,” said the neurologist.

They called in a psychiatrist to determine my father’s mental state. Maybe they could find something wrong there that they could treat. Perhaps a psychosis or a delusional state. I arrived at the hospital with a kit of (homeopathic) remedies and a Repertory (the reference guide that enables one to choose the appropriate remedy). I was in touch, by phone, with several experienced medical homeopaths. I remembered the words of Kent (historically a famous and admired homeopathic practitioner and teacher): It is not up to the physician to determine if an illness is incurable. Take the case, give the remedy, let the vital force sort it out.

I was prepared for my father’s death. In the next three days, I gave him three remedies. I put them in his drinking water. Each day his symptoms changed, and the remedy selection changed with them. On the fourth day he was able to recognize us and have snippets of a lucid conversation. Within a week he was wondering why he was in the hospital. The doctors never found anything to treat. They were baffled by his sudden decline, and equally baffled by his recovery.

He continued to have some problems after his release, and I took him to a local homeopath who prescribed with a detachment I could not have. My father, though far from being in perfect health, is now functioning fairly well. In this age of modern medicine, with its tests and machines, I thought about the times past— when people understood that there was a process in life that began at birth and ended at death, and that death was a part of the whole. Instead of trying to freeze the person in life (i.e., to keep the person’s body alive at all costs), they accepted that the end does come to all. And what do you do when you are faced with an elderly man who is, apparently, running out of life? Yo u give him the proper remedy and trust the vital force. It never lets either of you down.

Mother Teresa & Homeopathy

I went through a personal crisis many years ago about what treatment to offer my patinets. Perhaps crisis too strong a word to use, but it was a significant trouble for my mind at that time. I am talking of the period about the middle ’70’s. I had “given up” on the allopathic medicine I had learned in veterinary school. I had tried my best, had gone back to school and gotten a graduate degree (PhD in immunology), gone back into practice, and still not feeling I could restore health in any consistent way. Of course, it might just be I am not a smart guy, but I prefered other viewpoints.

I did have the idea that there might be another way that would work better. I looked into several of these, such as color therapy, herbal medicine, polarity therapy, Chinese Medicine, Chiropractic, etc. I am not saying I had training in these methods, but I would read about them and experiment to some extent.

Then I came across a little book on homeopathy for dogs which intrigued me.  I can’t say why exactly but my interest was engaged. I started a path into this form of medicine that leaves me sitting here some 40+ years later — still studying it.

You may well think I am naïve about this but I feel that when more spiritually oriented and kind people accept homeopathic medicine it confirms my interest in it. I would like to share this little piece with you as it is meaningful to me.

Mother Teresa and Homeopathy

by Dana Ullman, MPH

The fact that Britain’s Royal Family are strong supporters of homeopathy sometimes gives people the incorrect image of homeopathy as primarily a medical treatment for the upper class. Those of us involved in homeopathy know better. We know that homeopathy can be of value to anyone who is sick.

The fact that homeopathy is practiced in India by more trained health professionals than anywhere else in the world provides some evidence that one does not have to be rich to experience the benefits of homeopathy.

Caring for the poor is nothing new to Mother Teresa. She has worked with and for the poorest of the poor for over a half century. She has brought a message of love to them, and her Missionaries of Charity have provided medical care to millions of people. The physicians and para-professionals who have worked in her Missions have not simply prescribed just conventional drugs, they also have prescribed homeopathic medicines. Mother Teresa has a special interest in homeopathic medicine because of its effectiveness and low cost.

At present, four charitable homeopathic dispensaries are run under the guidance of the Mother’s Missionaries of Charity. One of these dispensaries primarily provides homeopathic medicines to poor and sick children in Calcutta, while the other three provide homeopathic medicines to anyone who needs them.

Considering the serious health problems that poor people in India experience, it is truly miraculous that homeopathic medicines are so effective as the primary method of treatment for many children and many adults. Mother Teresa opened her first charitable homeopathic dispensary in Calcutta in 1950. She even prescribes homeopathic medicines herself sometimes.

Dr. (Sister) M. Comes, a physician who has worked at the Mother’s Mission in Calcutta since 1945, notes that one of the obstacles to the spread of homeopathy in the Mother’s work is inadequate funding for homeopathic hospitals. At present, several Sisters are studying homeopathy at a homeopathic medical college in order to improve the care they can offer poor people.

My thanks to Dr. Parameswar Bose and Dr. Iva Pal for providing me with much of this information.

The Vaccine Question

There seems to be much controversy about the use of vaccines which is surprising to those of us that have studied the immune system. My PhD is focused on immunology which includes the study of vaccine use. During my graduate work it was presented as understood that vaccines were not always effective, sometimes even working the opposite direction – making the individual even more susceptible. It is not surprising, is it, that this is more complieated than we would at first think.

I came from my graduate work and then a stint on the faculty of the veterinary school in Washington, back into practice. I assumed vaccines were overall very safe and effective. It took some time, and reluctance, to admit to myself that I was seeing health problems coming up after vaccine use. I did not like it, yet over time, had to admit that was the case. You can understand it was a disappointment to me as well. Nonetheless, it had to be faced.

To put it briefly, some of the animals I vaccinated became ill after the vaccine in a short ime, just hours or days. Just as often it was not so immediately obvious but for the next period of time, months, they would have, instead, more illness of other types. In other words, the vaccine had made them more susceptible to other diseases.

The use of Rabies vaccine especially ineterestng as a common change in dogs was of behavior. They would become less friendly, more aggressive, more likely to bite, and also to wander far away. These are all symptoms of the Rabies disease which were showing up in these vaccinates.

I want to share with you an example story of what is  often experienced with children. This is not unusual except in that it is not always understood. By this I mean that the changes in  health following are not mentally connected to the giving of the vaccine but other presumed causes given by the health professionals. However, in the story that follows, you can see how obvious it is.

Vaccines, What Is Right for You?
by Kathy Arnos

We, as mothers and fathers, have a commitment, and an obligation to our children to find out as many facts about the unknown as possible, to research things to the best of our ability, and to open our eyes. Then we can make an educated decision as to what we feel is right for our children. Thousand of mothers and fathers make a decision every day on whether or not to give their child the DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus) vaccine. If you are like most parents you don’t even know you have a choice. You have no idea of what consequence there could be one way or the other. My husband and I didn’t. I would like to share our story with you.

Our story is not a tragic one; it is one to be shared in the hope that it can help parents recognize signs before it does become a tragic story. My husband and I consider ourselves health-oriented. So how could I let something as important as research on vaccines get by me? To this day, I still ask myself that question! Neither of us had ever seen any of the specials on television (i.e. “DPT Russian Roulette”, produced by Lea Thompson). The book, DPT: A Shot In The Dark, written by Harris L. Coulter and Barbara Loe Fisher, had not yet been published.

There comes a time during pregnancy when you start interviewing pediatricians. What do you look for? Well, you want someone with whom you feel comfortable, someone with a good reputation, someone you can trust. In my case my obstetrician gave me a list. I interviewed three and went with the one that I liked best. Also a friend of mine had been with the same one for years (my friend was a nurse at Children’s Hospital). That made me feel more confident that I had made the right choice. The next step was Lamaze class at a well-known local hospital, where we met some other nice parents-to-be. After my daughter was born, a group of mothers from the class contacted each other and joined a support group at the hospital where our children were born. The woman who ran the group was a trained psychologist and really helped us through the rough spots. The main thing that we all had in common was a new baby, our little miracle.

As a new mother I wanted to do everything right. What’s right? For thirty years I had only been responsible for making decisions for myself. Then I found myself responsible for making decisions for my daughter. We went for our first doctor’s visit and all was well, she gained, she grew, she did everything she was supposed to. The doctor said she would see us again at two months at which time Danielle was to get her first DPT shot and oral polio vaccine. My husband and I expressed our fears about the vaccines at which point the doctor gave us some statistics on reactions and told us the damage from whooping cough was much more dangerous than the chance of Danielle having a reaction.

At the next visit, we expressed our concerns again and she assured us again there should be no problems. Then she asked us to sign a waiver, not holding them responsible if something did happen. Danielle was now two months of age. They gave her the DPT and polio and left the room. Danielle was crying so hard the only thing that helped was to nurse her, so I did. We then went into the doctor’s office where the doctor told me not to give her anything to drink for thirty or forty minutes. But it was kind of after the fact, wouldn’t you say? Then we were told to give her Tylenol twenty minutes after the shot. By the time we got to the car we figured it was time, so we gave it to her as we got in the car. Two minutes later she started vomiting. We were so scared. Danielle slept the rest of the day and when she did wake up she just would nurse and go back to sleep. This went on for 24 hours. She also had quite a knot in her leg for a full week where the shot was administered. When I questioned the doctor, she said it would just go away. And it did.

The next shot was two months later. She had a low fever of 101 degrees, was very cranky when awake, and slept a lot again. This time the knot in her leg was almost the size of a golf ball and it took about two and a half weeks to go away. Just about the time that the knot went away Danielle came down with what they called Viral Syndrome- Bronchitis. I remember she was having a lot of trouble breathing and had blisters in her throat.
She just had gotten over the illness when it was time for her third DPT shot. This time she wouldn’t stop screaming, she wouldn’t nurse; she just kept screaming. She finally fell asleep after a few hours. But every time she woke up she would just cry again. The fever and knot in her leg were the same as before, but this time it took three weeks for the knot to leave. Again we contacted the doctor, and she considered it to be a normal reaction.

The third shot was in July, and from July to May of the following year Danielle experienced repeated ear infections (for which antibiotics were prescribed) and upper respiratory-bronchitis infections. In May she was diagnosed as having another ear infection and had antibiotics again. When we went for a clear ear check, they gave Danielle the MMR vaccine (mumps, measles, rubella). Shortly after that, she started having very restless sleep and dreams. By August. it developed into crying fits while sleeping. She was stuck; neither asleep nor fully awake. She would get violent, crying, kicking, screaming, and become dangerous to herself. If I tried to awaken her it would get worse. It would take a good forty minutes to pull her out of this state. This lasted, off and on, for two months.

At 18 months of age it was time for Danielle’s fourth DPT. She got the shot and didn’t even cry. So off we went to the park. Everything was fine for about three hours when all of a sudden her arm swelled so badly it was sticking straight out in the air. She started screaming at the top of her lungs. Nothing would make her stop. I got her into the car, which wasn’t an easy thing to do as she was still screaming, her face was bright red and I couldn’t touch her arm. She stopped ten minutes after we were on the freeway. Then there was total silence. She became totally unresponsive, just sitting and staring, her tongue kind of hanging from her mouth. Her skin was very pale. Our house was on the way to the hospital so I stopped there to call the doctor to tell her I was bringing Danielle in to be checked. I took her out of the car seat. She was a bit limp and still unresponsive. I made the call, then called my father to meet us there, as he worked close to the hospital. When we got back in the car I kept talking to her, singing, smiling anything to try and get her to respond. During the 15-minute ride she finally started to respond a little. And then a little more when she saw grandpa. The doctor examined her and said she was fine. (Her doctor never told me that she should never have the pertussis vaccine again.) Danielle vomited the rest of the day and night and ran a fever of 102. It took about a week for her arm to return to normal.

We returned to the doctor at two years of age, at which time she gave her the HIB (Hemophilus influenza type b) vaccine. The doctor assured me she wouldn’t have a reaction to this one. Two months later Danielle developed croup. Then just after that cleared up she got the flu. For the next seven months she had repeated bouts with croup, ear infections (antibiotics taken again) and strep throat. Each time the croup would get worse and worse. No cold. No warning. It would just hit in a matter of hours. During this period she also developed terrible fears and anxiety. I was very scared and all our family and friends couldn’t believe the change in Danielle’s personality. I was at my wit’s end and knew that something had to be done. I was very angry and didn’t feel that I could talk to her doctor any more. Two of my friends, one whom is a mother of twin three-year-old girls, and the other who has no children yet, both kept telling me the same thing: break the cycle of antibiotics and look elsewhere.

I really didn’t know where to turn, so I started doing research on Holistic Medicine. I didn’t feel completely comfortable going to someone who wasn’t a doctor, (since we have been programmed to believe that if we are sick we need a doctor) so I found a female MD who also practiced Holistic Medicine. I have to admit that I was a real skeptic, but after just one visit (and one remedy) Danielle no longer had croup!

Danielle is now under what they call in homeopathic treatment, a “constitutional”, and is doing quite well. If I hadn’t seen it happen with my own eyes, I might not have believed it possible. (I plan on doing a follow-up article on homeopathic treatment with children.)
In conclusion, I’m not going to tell you that all of my daughter’s chronic illnesses were due to the pertussis vaccine. But perhaps if the facts were presented more clearly, and more time was taken on the doctor’s part to find out more about family histories, and had I done more research on the DPT vaccine, perhaps I would have seen the warning signs earlier, and stopped it sooner.

As a concerned parent for other children and their families please take the time to research vaccines in general, especially the pertussis, polio, MMR, and flu vaccines.

Solution to Dental Disease in Cats

Dental Disease in Cats

gum red line

This condition is common and very frustrating for people  to deal with. The usual appearance is first a redness of the gums, a line along the border of the teeth. Then, with more progression, looseness and decay of the teeth. For some poor cats it ends up with them losing all of their teeth.

The usual treatment for this is antibiotics followed by cleaning of the teeth (or removal of same). The treatment helps for a while but does not resolve the problem. It is not a bacterial infection so the antibiotics do little to affect it. 

What is interesting is the historical perspective. I graduated from veterinary school in 1965 and in my first years of practice this condition was not seen. We would indeed see dogs that had deposits on their teeth and advise cleaning but cats rarely had any issues or needed this to be done. With time, the frequency of this in cats steadily increased and the question, of course, is why this is so. It is not a genetic condition, and is not an infection due to some new strain of bacteria. Whenever a condition without an obvious cause affects a large percentage of the population it is usually something in the environment, something that is not healthy to be exposed to. 

It is looking now that this condition is caused by mercury poisoning. Mercury was used very much in medicine a couple of centuries ago, as frequently as antibiotics are used today. As this was done in people it was learned that the primary effect of mercury poisoning was the inflammation of the mouth with eventual decay and loss of teeth over time — just like is seen in these cats.

Why would this especially be a problem in cats? If you look at the labels of cat foods you will find a very large percentage of them contain fish. And fish is very high in mercury. There is also mercury in other meat sources but it is highest in fish. This is so because in the burning of coal in power plants to produce electricity. The smoke given off contains mercury which was in the coal and this mercury released into the air is brought down to earth by rain. In the soil and water the mercury is modified by bacteria to become an even more toxic form — methyl-mercury. Then it is picked up by plants and small animals living there and as these plants and animals are eaten by other animals the amount becomes increasingly concentrated in their tissues. Much of this also washes down into the streams, and eventually the oceans, which is why it is so high in fish. You might remember that women that might be pregnant are advised not to eat fish more often than once a month. Now translate this back to the cat eating it every single day. 

This problem with mercury coming from coal burning has been known for several decades but our government decided it would be too expensive to regulate and so it was allowed to continue all of this time. We are now reaping the results. If you eat fish, whether wild or farm raised, you will be getting additionally a nice helping of mercury.

What evidence is there that this is important for cats? In a report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG; ewg.org) in 2008, the amount of mercury in the blood and urine of cats was compared to that of human beings. Over 9000 people had been assayed by the CDC and the amount of mercury found was averaged out as a reference to what, these days, is the common level for people. They didn’t say it was OK, just this is what was found. The EWG did a similar study of the blood and urine of 37 cats tested at a Virginia veterinary clinic. What they found was that cats had, on average, 5 and a half times as much mercury in their bodies as human beings. This is highly significant and identifies for us what is the likely cause of this common mouth condition. 

Once I realized this, I started treating these cats by first changing their diet to eliminate fish entirely and also minimizing meat as a secondary source. The next step was homeopathic treatment and I emphasized those homeopathic remedies which had been identified to be useful for treating mercury poisoning. There are a large number of such remedies, over 60, so it requires careful evaluation of the cat’s condition to choose the most appropriate one. However, once successfully done, it is of much benefit. Hepar sulph., Sulphur, Sepia, Silica and Aurum are often indicated but, again, it takes careful evaluation of the details to make the optimal choice.

What can you do?

An obvious next step is the avoidance of any cat food that contains fish. Our best advice is to study the 4th edition of our book, Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats. In this blog we have focused on just one substance, mercury, but there are many more to consider — heavy metals as well as many industrial and home-use chemicals which accumulate in the bodies of the animals that end up being eaten by other people, dogs and cats. We addressed this larger issue in our book, developing entirely new recipes that minimize this exposure to as many of these toxic substances as possible.

If you can go further, contact a homeopathic veterinarian to give specific treatment to your cat as this will very much accelerate recovery.

Thoughts on Plant Based Diets for Dogs

I am thinking, since proposing this idea of changing the diet of dogs to a more plant based one, it would help to explain somewhat what my path to this has been. Many people when first hearing about this react with strong disapproval, saying this is both unnatural and harmful to dogs. Of course we know that the ancestors of dogs, the wolves, were prey animals and mostly ate the animals they hunted and killed. It is easy, therefore, to assume that domestic dogs should be fed the same way. This would be a good argument a couple of centuries ago, but not so much now.

The Problem

We have a problem in the dog world. Overall dogs are becoming more sick with the passing years. I am referring to numbers, percentages. Whatever our system of medicine is doing, it is not bringing about a progressive improvement of health in the dog population. One example, is the tremendous increase in cancer in dogs. Veterinarians that have looked into this say that cancer is now the leading cause of death in dogs and that some breeds like Golden Retrievers will have half of them experiencing cancer in their lives.

The Veterinary Perspective

I am giving just one example of what we veterinarians are facing in our desire to help dogs lead healthy lives. I have been a veterinarian for 50 years and I have seen a lot of change and it has concerned me. I kept looking into what might be causing this to happen (not just cancer, but the decline in health). This led me, over time, into study of nutrition, a re-evaluation of vaccine use (not an easy thing for me to do with my PhD in immunology), and working with alternative methods of treatment. I came to like homeopathy the best.

Nutrition

My study of nutrition opened up a whole new world. I had no idea. What I found you will see in our book along with the nutritional advice that came from my clinical experience. What is different in this last edition of our book is putting much emphasis on feeding dogs a plant based diet or a diet with mostly plant sources and minimal animal products. Many people object to this, thinking it cannot be healthy. I started out thinking the same way but my progression of learning took me to a different view.

Environmental Contamination

I learned that the environment has been very significantly contaminated by substances which are toxic when they end up in our tissues. It did not used to be like this, but with each passing year it has become greater and greater. Part of this is that more and more chemicals are being put into use. There are now 100,000 being used in all sorts of ways, most of them ending up in sewers, in the water, soil, ocean. One of the most toxic materials is the solid stuff that settles out in waste water treatment plants of towns and cities. There was so much of it that there had to be a way to get rid of it. It was expensive to put in a land fill so another solution was thought up. The sewage sludge was renamed “biosolids” and our government approved it being used as fertilizer on our food crops. So the most toxic material we can come up with, with hundreds of chemicals in it, is put on our food for the plants to take up.

It is not just this source that is a problem. As one example, industrial processing has released very extensive amounts of dioxin, which is considered to be the most potent chemical in existence that can cause cancer. Dioxin is throughout the environment, highest in fish, next in eggs, then significant amounts in dairy and beef. It is important to realize that dioxin is not something added to the food, or injected into the animals. It is in the environment, in water, air and soil. So it gets into all animals, even those raised organically.

Do you begin to see the problem? We could go on and on. After all, there are 100,000 chemicals. But you can get the idea. I realized that this contamination was a big deal and that regular feeding of dogs with sources that had poisons in them would be a very important reason whey there would be so much increasing illness.

Bioaccumulation

We could talk about this for a very long time. There is actually much information available. Rather what I would like to do is bring in one more consideration and that is called “bioaccumulation.” The idea is this: the chemicals introduced into our environment are taken up by the plants as they grow. The animals that eat the plants then also get these chemicals but because they eat plant after plant, over months or years, the chemicals build up in their bodies to much higher levels that what is in the plants. Then if there are animals that eat these plant-easting animals, then they too accumulate more of it. This is sometimes called a “food chain” meaning that like a ladder the amount of accumulate chemical gets higher every rung. How much higher at the top? We are talking hundreds of thousands or millions of times more than what is found in plants. So what animals are at the “top” of the food chain and get the most chemical buildup? Human beings, dogs, cats.

Do dogs have much in their bodies? Studies of their tissues tell us that have about one and half times as much as the average human. This is a big load. Many of the chemicals are carcinogens. I will remind you that carcinogen meant a chemical that has been shown to cause cancer in animals. Do you think it possible that if a dog is eating a food that contains chemicals that cause cancer in animals that it might be a problem for that dog eventually? It may take a few years. It might show up as something else, maybe allergies, chronic ear problems, hypothyroidism. Who knows? The veterinary profession is not really interested into looking into this. Even if it were, it would involve injecting some poor dogs with the chemical for a time to see what it would do to them. A nasty thing to do.

Another Idea

How about a simple solution? I admit not a total solution but one that does seem like it makes sense. How about we just don’t feed so much of this toxic stuff to them? Once this came to my mind I had to investigate the possibility that dogs could get by eating less meat and animal products. I was surprised to find studies that showed they could do very well on vegetarian diets, even diets entirely plant based. This investigation took some time as I had my inner resistances just like most of you. But I found that dogs have the ability to eat a variety of foods and do quite well with them. They are not considered to be strict carnivores by biologists and that has allowed them to adapt to a range of diets. Studies of their ability to make enzymes used in digestion has shown us that the have the same ability as humans in this regard. They can eat carbohydrates and digest them very well.

Testing the Idea

Along the way this idea was put into action. I began to recommend to people that they make diet changes and see if there was a favorable effect. It was surprising to see that many dogs with chronic health problems, like allergies, auto-immune diseases, seizures, would noticeably improve in their health when animal products no longer part of their diet. This was unanticipated on my part but was much like long ago when I started having clients prepare their own food instead of using commercial pet foods and seeing improvements there.

Seeing better health in these chronically ill dogs reinforced the idea that this consideration of environmental contamination was an important to understand. I am not suggesting it is the only issue but seem it must be a very significant factor. Even if the chemical buildup is not the primary influence, it must be somewhat weakening to that animal wouldn’t you think?

Conclusion

I am going to close here. As I said above, we could go on and on with information and experience about this. I do want to communicate here that my views about this, whatever their validity, have come about because of a very long time of study and experience in the veterinary field. I started with the desire to help animals, to spare them unnecessary suffering, and this intention has remained all this time. I feel like it was this intention that prompted me to look “outside the box” and consider other ways of looking at this problem of increasing chronic health problems for our poor brothers and sisters.

Blessing to you all.

Beatrice

Loving

Beatrice came into the world on March 15, 2015 and left a little over a year later in the form of fast food burgers. She agreed to an interview.

Questioner: Your life must have been difficult. Do you regret it?

Beatrice: Not at all. There was much satisfaction with it.

Q. How could that be? Your life was in many ways unpleasant and certainly shorter than the natural life span would be.

B. After I was born I was with my mother and we shared some time together. As we were “grass fed” we lived on a pasture which we greatly enjoyed.

Pasture

Q. You enjoyed the pasture?

B. When the sun would come up the glory is difficult to describe. It was like a new creation over and over. It would warm and stimulate us and then we would begin to graze. I know this will be difficult for you to relate to but standing on the grass, eating it during the day, was intensely pleasurable. Our feet on the ground, making that connection, was associated with a feeling coming from our Mother, the Earth. It was like a subtle vibration or a thrill that filled the body, coming from the feet and moving up. It was a constant pleasure.

Q. This happened all the time?

B. All the time. It was this feeling of peace, of well-being, so that we were content just to be there. And there were the other plants, the birds and insects, and other animals that would come through the pasture and we related to all of them.

Q. How did you relate?

B. We sensed them and they us. It would be a meld of consciousness and we would feel each other’s beingness for a while. If I were to put into words it was often like a “smile.” Always interesting, always intriguing. There are so many different experiences that life has, the number is almost infinite.

Q. It does sound nice.

B. Yes, and of course I wished it had continued.

Q. What happened?

B. I was taken to a feedlot for “finishing.” No longer could I feel the thrill or eat the grass. And of course it was very crowded, smelled bad, and the cloud of emotion around us was, shall we say, unpleasant.

Feed lot

The most difficult was the having to eat such an unnatural food. Instead of grass. We were fed corn or soy and as these were not natural foods for us we were also given drugs to help us digest them. Even so, digestion was always difficult. As you know we have these stomachs designed for the fermentation of grasses and putting in these unnatural foods quite upset the process.

Feed lot eating

Q. I can quite imagine.

B. Yes, and these feed-lot foods were also genetically modified which made them taste very bland and once swallowed, irritating to the stomach.

Q. I suppose in a way it was a relief to have it all over.

B. Yes, in a way, but the process was difficult. We knew what was happening as we shared consciousness among us and as the first ones were killed those of us in line received that knowing. It was immediately clear we had no choice about it as we could not turn around or escape so the hardest part was waiting in line for your turn. The closer we got the stronger the communication and we could hear the sounds and smell the smell of death.

Q. It sounds awful.

B. I was able to ride it out however. I would let my mind go back to my spirit and remember why I was here. This brought it into perspective and the sensory part would be come less intense. By the time it was my time I was actually fairly peaceful — though I did make some sounds!

Q. Can you say more about why you were here?

B. I and my brothers and sisters came on a mission and we knew how it was going to go. We had agreed to it ahead of time. But you can relate to how, once here, you get focussed on the day to day and it is easy to forget this.

Q. This is amazing! What possible mission could you have to be a cow to end your months in a feed lot and then killed so you could be eaten?

B. What do you think?

Q. I have no idea.

B. This world experience we share is the production of Experiential Consciousness. We are all, in a sense, players in the story. I may have a different body from you but I am the same life, the same consciousness, adapted to this form. The purpose of my being here is to bring to all of us the experience of Love.

Q. Sorry, but I can’t see how you living like this, having this done to you, could bring love into the world.

B. Think of it as an invitation. If love could be there we provide the invitation to it.

Q. I don’t get it.

B. By taking this role we provide the sensory experience for you. For Love to come in there must be a perception of its need. If things went along in a way that there was rather minimal sensory evidence of less than perfect conditions you would not notice. When we volunteer to be feed lot cattle we greatly intensify the sensory communication you receive. When you, at some point, are brought to see what is happening to us it is at that moment your heart responds and the pattern ends. Love comes in, fills you, and you are forever different. So we see this as providing what we call “The Invitation.” We are there, in that condition, always looking at you with the question in our eyes “Do you see?”

Q. You are saying you take on this life with the purpose of inviting us to see your suffering? That is weird.

B. Actually it is quite common. Many others do that as well. Think of the many animals, the chickens, fish, turkeys, birds that go through similar suffering in today’s world.

Turkey farm

They are all offering The Invitation. There are so many ways this can happen it is almost impossible to list them all. We are talking about the animals but The Invitation extends beyond them. It can come from the earth, the plants, even others of your kind.

Q. I thought life was about other things, like careers, family, experiences.

B. It is about that but the overriding purpose of it all is to bring Love in, for us to experience it. This is why our world exists. Those of us that have realized this sometimes decide to volunteer as our way to help bring this about.

Q. Couldn’t we have made it easier? Why all this suffering of the animals? I read the other day that there is like a billion animals that go through the factory farming experience every year. Couldn’t we have realized this much sooner?

B. Seems like it could have but the world experience is how we collectively decide it is going to be. As we all live this we take actions every day and these actions, which are the outcome of our thoughts — our beliefs, our conclusions — result in how the world is going to be for us all. To bring it back to this discussion of my life, when you buy a burger at a fast food restaurant you maintain the way it is now for those of us being processed to be eaten.

Q. Can you explain that more?

B. When you buy the burger you are eating my body (or that of my brother or sister). Obviously this could not happen unless I was killed and cut up into pieces that would fit the bun or sandwich. The question then is why this is acceptable. If you go into it you find that it comes from an idea that is now primary in Experiential Consciousness, from which we all emanate, that we are separate from each other and that if you have the power as a separate being you can use these other beings, that are not you, in whatever way you like.  These basic ideas — of separation and superiority — wend their way into our world experience to how we see it now. Animals are dominated, made captive, made to suffer and die for pleasure or convenience of others.

The use of animals, and also plants and the other forms of nature, in this way has steadily increased, has developed over much of the last century. This has happened, and will continue, until it becomes so blatant, so “in your face” that you can no longer ignore it. As it is now the factory farming activity is kept hidden as much as possible but as it increases it becomes harder to keep it out of sight.

We that volunteer to come into form as food animals are doing so to bring this cultural error to an unavoidable perception, a perception that will change the entire world experience.

Beef carcasses

Q. You mean that we stop factory farming?

B. Not only that, but we stop eating each other’s bodies.

(To be continued?)

Mouth Tumor in a Dog

[This is a case from a client of Dr. Vani Guttikonda of Los Alamitos]
 Here is my story with my fifteen pound, 12 year old dog that was diagnosed 5 years ago with a tumor in her mouth that City of Angels radiated at that time.  She suffered through the daily procedure so much so it burned her mouth and swallowing was a problem. They insisted it had to be done for a month no matter what and it would have a positive outcome. I did not think there was any other choice so I did it. The tumor did go away.
They assured me it would be good for 5 years but it came back in 3 years since it was aggressive, they radiated again, it came back LARGER in about 18 months. They told me there was no way they could radiate again so they would need to take her lower jaw off. They thought the operation may not work because the skin was damaged from radiation so they thought it was a high chance for infection and the sutures may not last. I was deeply distressed since they wanted to put her through this agony that may be in vain.
Pitcairn: I have added in the pictures and comments in this letter from the client, Teri Bernardi, so you can see how dramatic this was. My comments are colored blue.
Here is the tumor returning on 11/18/16.
 11:18:16 mouth tumor
By 12/7/16 it is obviously growing aggressively.
12:7:16 Mouth tumor
And just 10 days later, bigger yet!
12:17:16 Mouth tumor
On January 5, 2017 one sees this and wonders how this  poor dog could eat!
1:5:17 mouth tumor
I thought my only choice after getting a second opinion was to euthanize her which was breaking my heart.  Dr. Rachel Jones another vet found out about what I was going through and suggested Dr Vani.  I remember thinking it was ridiculous that homeopathy could help her as seriouslly ill that my dog was but I was desperate. I went to Dr Vani and the more she spoke, the more I knew this doctor was dedicated to saving her life. I wasn’t sold yet, but I liked Dr Vani’s commitment that I signed on thinking I would get a few extra months and I would be better prepared to let my pet go. Well, a miracle happened, the first few months my dog slept mostly with this large tumor hanging out of her mouth that people thought was her tongue, that was the size.
I have pictures that Dr Vani took that is the proof, well it’s been over 7 months and my dog is completely cured and happier than last few years.  She is completely back, her energy, her personality, she has lost 5 teeth but THAT IS IT.  She has her jaw, the tumor is gone, I am a TRUE BELIEVER now in this therapy and would choose this care over any other.  I am indebted to her and want everyone to know about this for their pets. It is real!
Here is a picture showing the tumor regressing under homeopathic treatment. This was taken on March 7, 2017.
3:7:17 Mouth tumor diminishing
As the treatment continued, the tumor went away. This picture shows how it looks on May 5, 2017. You will see it is not a pretty mouth in the sense that several teeth are now gone but this is the outcome of the radiation that was done twice. I think it fair to say that if the homeopathic treatment had been done instead of radiation the mouth would have retained a much better look. 
5:17:17 Mouth tumor gone
However the dog is free of the tumor and also of discomfort. A modern miracle!
And with more time this dead looking area of the teeth remnants from the radiation treatment – even this has healed very significantly. See how in the next picture the grayish area has now become a more normal flesh color. This picture from July 14, 2017.
71417 Mouth tumor necrosis healed
As a side note I spent $15,000 for the two radiations and they wanted $8000 to take her jaw off.
Gratefully,
Teri Bernardi

My Letter Back to the Editor

In the post I did on July 2 of 2017 I responded to a letter sent to the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Ass. by a professor of pharmacology at the veterinary school in Virginia. The letter written by the professor was a criticism of homeopathy saying it was “imagination” when improvement of the animal was supposedly seen. As I explained in that post a letter like this, coming from ignorance of the homeopathic method, is a form of prejudice and does not serve us as a profession. Even more so it ties into the larger aversion to learning new methods by the veterinary profession as a whole. It is one thing for a professor to object, but a more significant happening when it reveals an antipathy by the profession (not all, but most) against a two century proven method of curative treatment such as homeopathy.

I followed up that post with some example cases of homeopathic treatment so you, the reader, could see for yourself how ascribing this to imagination would not be a satisfactory explanation for what we are actually seeing with homeopathic practice. I also composed a letter back to the editor in response and will copy it here for your perusal, then follow with some further comments.


MY LETTER BACK TO THE EDITOR OF THE JOURNAL

In the letter written by Dr. Peter Eyre, a professor of pharmacology, it is understandable that there would be criticism of homeopathy, a treatment system that does not use drugs in the treatment of disease. The common objection is that “there is nothing in it,” referring to the high dilution of homeopathic remedies  to the point of being beyond physical substrate. Common sense would say this would not work. However, this “common sense” is coming from the perspective of Newtonian physics, which has been superseded by quantum physics. What quantum physics has given us is a more accurate understanding of the composition of the physical world.

It turns out that what we observe as “physical” is a manifestation of an underlying energy or informational field. This field is not visible to our senses, but the physical expression of the field is. Einstein tells us that the field is primary, the physical expression secondary. In other words, the energetic field behind physical substance is the basic essence of physical materiality. This is not hypothesis; it has been well established as a more accurate understanding of the make up of our world.

That homeopathy has discovered a way to process physical substance so as to remove the physical substance while retaining the energetic behind it, is in agreement with this physics. One can argue that this is not possible, but the observable effectiveness of homeopathic medicines, both clinically and experimentally, suggests that it is possible. (1, 2)  Although the effectiveness of homeopathic treatment has been demonstrated in many research studies, what may more directly point to the validity of this interpretation are research results that address the question, “When a homeopathic medicine is made by ultra-dilution, is it possible to show that the resultant material can show a detectable difference”? This has been asked and answered.

Consider this research study that asked the question, “Is it possible to show that diluted homeopathic remedies are distinct from the water/alcohol liquid that they are made from?” (3) This study used infrared spectroscopy to evaluate the configuration of the hydrogen bonds of the water molecules. The idea here is that if the process of preparing the remedy somehow released an energy that affected the liquid structure in a specific way that persists, then the idea of manipulating a non-physical energy is confirmed.

Six homeopathic remedies were compared with each other and with plain 90% ethanol used for dilution. It was found it was possible to distinguish each remedy based on the changes in the water molecules. Each remedy had its own recognizable signature. The authors concluded: “Finally, homeopathic potencies can be differentiated from each other by FTIR spectra with respect to the O-H bending vibrational band.”

Hopefully what is here will at least bring the question to mind: Is it possible that the homeopathic method actually does produce biologically active medicines? Should we open our minds to this possibility?

References

  1. Marzotto M, Olioso D, Brizzi M, Tononi P, Cristofoletti M, Bellavite P. Extreme sensitivity of gene expression in human SH-SYY neurocytes to ultra-low doses of Gelsemium sempervirens. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014: Mar 19;14:104.
  2. Bigagli E, Luceri C, Bernardini S, Dei A, Dolara P. Extremely low copper concentrations affect gene expression profiles of human prostate epithelial cell lines. Chem Biol interact. 2010; Oct 6;188(1):214-9.
  3. C. Sukul, Ph.D., Sudeshna Ghosh, M.Sc., A. Sukul, Ph.D., And S.P. Sinhababu, Ph.D. Variation in Fourier Transform Infrared Spectra of Some Homeopathic Potencies and Their Diluent Media, The Journal of Alternative And Complementary Medicine, Volume 11, Number 5, 2005, pp. 807–812.
  4. Ellanzhiyil Surendran Sunila, Ramadasan Kuttan, Korengath Chandran Preethi, and Girija Kuttan, Dynamized Preparations in Cell Culture, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 6 (2009), Issue 2, Pages 257-263.
  5. Elisabeth Davenas *, Bernard Poitevin and Jacques Benveniste, Effect on Mouse Peritoneal Macrophages of Orally Administered Very High Dilutions of Silica, European Journal of Pharmacology, 135 (1987) 313-319.

— Richard Pitcairn, DVM, PhD


COMMENTS
I realize this letter might be somewhat difficult to understand by some readers so will give a further explanation here. I first state in my letter that in the last century the science of physics has determined that behind all physical manifestation that we see with our senses are fields of energy or influence responsible for their appearing for us. Einstein tells us that these energy fields are the foundation (what is primary) and the physical world is secondary (derivative) of them. This is very important to understand because it turns around the materialistic assumption that we commonly have for how the world is.

Homeopathy ascribes its work to the use of energetic or influential fields underlying the medicinal substances, that are released by the method of dilution and agitation stepwise in the preparation of the medicines. In the same way as energetic fields are behind physical phenomena, homeopathy says that there are energetic fields that maintain living organisms and it is these energetic influences that are in the medicines.

 

I realize just saying this will not be convincing to the professor or most other veterinarians that read this, so I then refer to a scientific study that gives support to this idea. Since the homeopathic medicines are usually diluted enough that there is no detectable physical substance, like as a chemical, then we have to show some other evidence that the preparation of the medicines has actually had some effect on the liquid in which it is made. This study referred to was using an instrument (spectroscope) that could measure the configuration of the water molecules in the liquid. It is not measuring anything physical in the usual sense, rather the “shape” of the molecule (the details of the hydrogen bonding). What is significant here is that they looked at six different  homeopathic preparations, compared to the control liquid diluent, and were able to show that each of the six  homeopathic medicines could be distinctly identified in this way. To repeat this, each of the homeopathic preparations resulted in a specific change in the molecular structure of the liquid.

To make this more clear, if the  process of making the homeopathic medicine only changed the water molecules in some way that would be interesting but not really convincing us that the medicines are unique. What they found, however, is that each one of the medicines were different from each other. We can draw the conclusion that each medicine had a distinct and individual influence that was contained in the liquid.

Of course this does not prove that the liquid medicine would cure disease (for the skeptic) but what it is showing is that in the sense of physics, there is actually something produced by the homeopathic process of preparing the medicine. It may not be physical, but there is an influence there. This supports at least that part of the homeopathic principles that say for medicines to have effect they need not be limited to only chemical molecules but can also have action on an energetic level.

Does this makes sense? To me it does. It gives support to a basic idea underlying homeopathic work. It is a scientific study and that is what we use to provide information we can rely on. 

I sent this letter off to the editor of the journal with the expectation it would specifically address the issue brought up the professor. It was not just my opinion but reporting scientific work. 

Imagine my surprise when I received an answer back that they would not publish it. I asked for an explanation but none was forthcoming.

Feeding Meat

It has been, and continues to be, a very popular movement to take the nutrition of your dog (or cat) in hand and rather than feed a commercial food to select ingredients and prepare the meals yourself. This is very admirable as it is a move to freshness and a greater awareness of the quality of the food.

Along with this movement has been an emphasis on using primarily meat and bones in the meals. This is unfortunate and has led to unnecessary suffering. Starting with the first edition of our book, and continued through the recent 4th edition, we advised keeping meat in the recipes at a minimum, instead using a balanced ration including whole grains and vegetables. We did this for more than one reason and the one I want to address here first is the issue of health.

What we know is that dogs in nature eat primarily the animals they capture. From this thought one is encouraged to imitate this by buying meat and using that as a primary ingredient. What is not understood is that wolves and other dog-like animals don’t eat the meat that we get in the market. They eat the whole body of the animal they capture, not just its muscles or liver or heart. Do you see the difference? Then we have to bring in that if the animal being used as food (the livestock so called) was raised in the conventional factory farming process it will have been given a number of drugs — growth hormones, antibiotics, and parasiticides primarily. These drugs remain in the meat and are taken into the body of the animal (or person) that eats them.

It gets more complicated when we consider the food being fed to the livestock as we also have a number of chemicals in these crops accumulating in their bodies as well. How could this have happened? It is a sad story.

In this last century our human culture committed itself to practices that have, in today’s world, created very serious problems for us. With the development of chemistry substances were created, new chemicals, and they were put to use in various ways. Many of them are used directly on food crops, the various poisons against what are considered weeds and also to kill the various creatures that want to feed on these plants.

There are two things to emphasize here. First these are poisons and secondly these substances have never existed before.

That they are poisons cannot be denied as this is why they are used — to kill insects, other plants, etc. The justification is that they are harmless to us, or your dog or cat. We have learned, however, that this is relative. Yes, they are more poisonous to the insects or plants but they are not neutral in the bodies of animals. This is being found out over and over. As some of this comes out, then there might be a ban against using that particular chemical but of course then a new one is turned to — with the naïve expectation that somehow it will be different and not cause any health problems.

That they have never existed on the earth before, not for the 9 billion (or whatever) years of the time of our earth is important. I want to emphasize — they never existed before. The problem is that, because of this newness,  the various forms of life that encounter these substances are not prepared to deal with them. In contrast to the many thousands of years of evolution during which creatures learned to handle the natural toxins encountered, found ways to neutralize them, we (and the animals) don’t have a way to do this. Maybe in a couple of centuries that ability will develop but now these substances are just building up in the body , in a body that does not know what to do with them.

This is why these agricultural chemicals are so useful. When introduced there does not exist any way for the plants, insects to avoid being affected by them. Yes, they are learning to do it, but the extraordinary usefulness of these chemicals is because of this newness. And it is this newness that is creating problems in the bodies of the animals that live with us.

(to be continued — environmental toxins)