I was having a discussion with another long-time raw feeder on a Facebook group and she asked a question that I thought was pretty important and fundamental to the No More Vet Bills philosophy. It may be relevant to mention here that this person is in the business of selling herbal and homeopathic remedies. In any case, I wrote a long explanation, which I have posted below. Enjoy. ?
Btw, I would like to heartily invite anyone who has questions or wants to challenge anything written here (or anywhere on the site) to join my Facebook group, No More Vet Bills, and allow everyone there to learn from the conversation.
Question: I understand that finding the cause should always be the first step. Isn’t it a good thing to treat the symptom WHILE the cause is determined and removed? No good in letting the animal suffer, right?
Answer: That sounds reasonable but that’s not what’s happening in real life. There are very few people who truly look to removing causes before they use remedies. People aren’t doing both, they are going right to remediation. This is particularly true of raw feeders, who think they’re already doing everything right just by feeding raw. Those who research till they’re blue and follow all the standard “expert” recommendations (80-10-10, body weight percentages, supplements, rotating proteins, feeding oils, etc.) are even more likely to assume they’re already doing everything right and make no attempt to tweak the diet when problems arise.
What is “removal of cause”?
The idea of “removing cause” is foreign to most people, including the medical/veterinary establishment because they’ve all been led to believe that disease either has no cause, has unknowable causes, or is caused by micro-organisms. The truth is that the causes of disease are almost always about FOOD, in dogs AND humans. Dietary excess (NOT deficiency), specifically, is what people need to look at first. That’s why diet is the primary focus on this website and on my Facebook group.
Symptoms are not mistakes
We need to understand that the body uses symptoms to accomplish very important tasks. Shutting symptoms down while leaving causes intact is like turning off the check engine light in your car instead of fixing it. Unlike the trouble lights in your car, symptoms have functions other than signaling to us that there is a problem. When they are shut down with remedies of any kind, the job that the body was trying to do with the symptom remains undone. For the purposes of learning why a symptom is happening and how to avoid recurrence, it’s especially not a good idea to use remedies at the same time causes are removed because then you’ll never know whether you removed the cause or not. This is more likely to cause dogs to suffer than not using remedies, because the only way you can know that you’ve failed is when the symptom returns, which it WILL do if remedies are used to shut it down. That means dogs suffer over and over, instead of just once. Which is kinder?
The true costs of remediation
Removal of cause enables the body to eliminate the reason for the symptom, so it tends to go away quickly anyway, with no cost to the body. Remedies stop symptoms by giving the body something more important to do (eliminating the remedy) than what it was doing with the symptom. What this ‘costs’ the body is never acknowledged, but it is there nonetheless. For example, when a symptom is constructive, that is, its purpose is to eliminate wastes, suppressing it causes the wastes to be retained. This guarantees a return of either the current symptom, or another one.
One reason why using remedies alongside removal of cause seems reasonable to holistic-minded people is that they don’t understand that natural remedies are only less toxic than pharmaceuticals. They are still toxic. It’s just a matter of degree. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t stop the body from expressing symptoms and force it into emergency elimination of the remedy (often called “side effects”). This is how and why remedies “work”. No matter how “natural” these substances are claimed to be, they are not usable by the body. They are not food, and they contain no usable nutrients, typically. Like everything else that goes in that cannot be used by the body, they add to the body’s toxic load.
Remediation is NOT healing
Removing the cause of disease might sound simple, and it is. But for most people it’s a process of learning what to feed and what not to feed. Mostly it’s about getting back to basics, which can be a problem for some who think they have to keep pace with the complexities they perceive to be behind commercial dog food. While people are simplifying things, they need to see the gradual changes that occur in their animals. This is the natural way, and it usually does not mean suffering for the animal. The animal is HEALING. Healing is not quick, and it is not necessarily pleasant but typically it’s no worse than it was when the causes were still ongoing. It needs to be cooperated with, not shut down.
When is it ok to give remedies?
Of course, there are some situations where pain management is legitimately called for, and these should be carefully assessed with full knowledge of what it will ‘cost’ the body. Remedies impede healing, they don’t assist or accelerate it. When pain management is required and deemed worth the cost, the least toxic alternatives should be tried first.
It’s all about the money, once again
People have been trained to want and expect quick fixes. Chronic problems take a long time to develop and they cannot be resolved quickly. The so called natural market is responding to the demand for quick but “natural” remedies with expensive concoctions not because this is the best way to deal with disease but because they are trying to make money! They have seen a niche that needs filling and that’s what they’re about. If the “holistic” vets selling these things instead told their clients the truth about WHY these problems happen and how to permanently resolve them independently, very little money would change hands and they would never see their clients again. This is bad for business, holistic or otherwise.
Let’s start a dog health revolution, one dog at a time
Twenty years ago, I decided I was DONE being a pawn for the medical and veterinary cabal and I took the matter of my health and that of my animals into my own hands by learning everything I could about Natural Hygiene. Ten years ago, I started trying to teach these principles to others. The people who embrace these ideas enjoy freedom and independence from practitioners of all kinds. I don’t often hear from them because they have success with their animals, defined as NO sickness and NO vet visits. When I do hear from them, they complain about how isolated and alone they feel because nobody else they know is doing things the way they are. That’s why I’m really happy and excited to finally have the Facebook group. I want to support people who ‘get it’, who think independently and want to be fully responsible for their animals’ health.