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What’s Happening to Today’s Children?

Last night, a few minutes before 9pm as my roommate and I were watching the very end of America’s Next Top Model (yes, I watch ANTM, sorry if that shatters your image of me!), someone started pounding very aggressively on my front door.  It startled us both, and of course sent the dogs into orbit.  I’ve never had someone pound that fiercely on the door.  I went to check through the peep hole (I wasn’t about to just open the door) and saw that it was my neighbour, in hysterics, with her infant son in her arms.  

I told her to hold on while I put the dogs away.  That took a few seconds, and by then she had left my step and was running up and down the sidewalk screaming for help.  I ran out and discovered that her son was seizing.  Good lord, what do I do?

I managed to get my poor neighbour back into her house while my roommate called 911.  The little 2.5 year old boy was cluster seizing in her arms and she didn’t know what to do.  Neither did I.  It was really scary.  The hospital is only 5 minutes away, but it took the ambulance a full 20 minutes to arrive.  By then the poor mom was in absolute hysterics.  I had thought of driving her there, but I don’t have a car seat and how do you strap a rigid kid into a car seat anyway?  Would that do more harm than good?  

The 911 operator was really great.  She stayed on the phone with me and helped keep us both calm.  She assured us that, since he was breathing on his own and not turning blue, he was holding his own and would be OK.  When the paramedics finally arrived they did some quick tests and rushed him to the hospital.  I don’t yet know the outcome.

The twenty long minutes I helplessly watched this beautiful little boy seize, I couldn’t help but wonder “what are we doing to children today?”  How is this possible?  Sure, some things are inevitable, but just about every kid I know these days has some kind of health disorder: seizures, Autism, Asbergers Syndrome, thyroid problems, heart problems, severe allergies, learning disabilities, skin problems, chronic colds, ear canal problems, Leukemia, and that’s just what I can remember off the top of my head.

Out of the 30-40 children I know under the age of 8, at least 25 have one or more of these ailments. Five have some form of Autism (despite statistics claiming that only 1 in 120,000 will develop it) and two have been fighting for their lives against Leukemia since age two.  Our society has normalized this, but while these ailments are common, they are NOT NORMAL.  It is not normal for children to be chronically sick. Just 100 years ago, few of these children would have survived.  Yet there was nowhere near a 60+ percent death rate in children at that time.  So what’s going on?  What is happening to make kids so sick these days?

I don’t know much about kids, not having any, but I do know a lot about animals.  I believe our pets are the canaries in the mines for our own health and our pets are seeing even higher levels of illness than our children.  And what causes these problems in pets?  I see three main causes: processed food, vaccines and  environmental toxins.  

Let me give you an example.  I know a breeder of Great Danes, a breed of dogs that generally has a 6-8 year life span.  She has been raising her Danes on a strictly unprocessed diet of raw meat, organs etc., she eschews all chemicals in her house and on her animals (i.e. no flea and tick poisons, no deworming, no heartworm toxins and so on), and she does not vaccinate.  Yes, I know, shocking as that may seems, she does not give her puppies even a single vaccine.  Ever.  Should they get sick, she treats them homeopathically (she is a professional homeopath).

Guess what?  Her Great Danes regularly live to be 16 or 17 years old!

I know other examples as well, and my own dogs’  health has improved so dramatically over the past 10 years, since I have cut out processed food, and even more in the last 5 years since I cut out all conventional medicine, that I can’t believe I ever bought into this system that systematically kills those we love.  If you are interested in reading more, here are two good books to start: Food Pets Die For by Ann Martin and What Vets Don’t Tell You About Vaccines by Catherine O’Driscoll.  

I have a whole blog dedicated to the healthy and positive rearing of dogs so I won’t go further into this here.  

Back to kids, today they receive upwards of 50 vaccines in their first few years, a process which starts at age 6 months.  Whether or not you support the idea, it is important to note at the very least that these vaccines are created with very toxic substances including mercury and formaldehyde.  Just how much is safe to inject into an infant?  My thought is probably none.  Just a thought.  

Now, maybe the vaccines aren’t the problem on their own, but when you combine dozens of injected toxins with the multitude of ingested toxins from processed foods, and then the thousands of environmental toxins in plastics, carpets, clothing, furniture, lawns, cars… well, in just about everything, how can those with hardly developed immune systems not get sick?  Apparently there are now upwards of 100,000 man-made chemicals in our daily environment, few of which have been tested for safety, and none of which have been tested for their impact in combination with other chemicals.  

What on earth are we doing?

And then there are antibiotics.  Touted as one of the most important discoveries of modern medicine, they are now vastly over prescribed and have become perhaps as dangerous as they have been helpful in the past.  Antibiotics indescriminently kill all the bacteria in your body, not just the bad ones.  We NEED bacteria to survive (hence the health benefits of “living foods” such as yogurt, sauerkraut and other fermented foods).  In fact, upwards of 70% of our immune system comes from the healthy gut bacteria found in our intestines.  When we take antibiotics, this gut bacteria is killed off, and can take up to a year to come back to balance. How many of you go a whole year without taking antibiotics?  I’ll bet not many.  For once you take them, your immune system is substantially weakened and that leaves you prone to further infections, requiring more antibiotics and so on.

The next time you get sick, try eating plain yogurt and home made sauerkraut and see what happens.  Support your gut bacteria instead of killing it.  I just did that this week and threw off a cold in 24 hours. There’s a lot of research being done in this area, thank goodness, which you can read about here.

I will stop now, as I’m sure you are not reading this blog to listen to my rants about healthcare (although this is a subject that is as near and dear to my heart as food, and inextricably intertwined).  Plus I have to get down to work.  I’ll just leave you with this thought.  Since I have stopped feeding my animals processed food, since I have stopped vaccinating them and since I have stopped giving them any chemicals or drugs (including antibiotics), they have stopped getting sick.

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