“We’re taking an all natural approach to Fluffy’s veterinary care.”
“We prefer all natural so and so treatments/foods etc.”
I hear it everyday. If I were a logic professor I would remind my “students” that “appeal to nature” is in fact a listed and documented logical fallacy. But this is veterinary medicine and people (including myself) can honestly categorize their relationships with their dogs and cats using almost any word but logical.
Professionally, I respect your right to treat your property (pets are property) in any way you see fit. Personally when I hear someone using the appeal to nature fallacy in my exam room a little voice in my head says, “Natural, you want to know what’s natural? Cancer is natural. Dying from an infection caused by a simple laceration is natural. The diseases and conditions I treat all occur naturally. The bacteria and viruses I vaccinate against are natural, they are also organic and gluten free. Natural is letting your pet suffer from degenerative diseases. Natural is my enemy. I wake up every morning with the sole intention of whipping Mother Nature into submission. Mother Nature is harsh and indifferent, she doesn’t care one way or the other if your pet is suffering, if they are alive or dead. I do.”
I typically can keep that voice silent. But it’s always there. Right now the naturally inclined reading this are thinking, “If natural isn’t better why do we see so much more cancer/diabetes/thyroid disease/kidney disease etc.?” Those same arguments typically lead to blaming commercial pet food/vaccinations/medications for all the increases in disease. To set the record straight, that is completely true. If it weren’t for vaccines, commercially produced and regulated pet foods and the complete pharmacopia available to our pets, they would never develop any of the diseases we see our dogs and cats dying from. That’s because we see our dogs and cats dying at ages over 12, sometimes over 20. Without the protection of modern medicine, these dogs and cats would be lucky to see 7. I know, I know you grew up on a farm and had farm dogs that never saw the vet and ate with the pigs and lived to be 18. Ok. To that I would say two things. First, whenever I hear the argument that someone’s grandfather drank whiskey, smoked cigarettes, ate bacon every morning and steak every night and lived to be 99, it doesn’t encourage me to adopt those behavior traits in my own life. Same goes for the farm dog. Second, I have seen animals age quite a bit in people’s memories, sometimes even within the space of a single examination. I once witnessed a cat go from being 11 years old at 10:00 am to being over 19 by noon. I’m not saying you’re lying, I’m saying memory is a tricky thing.
For reasons I do not fully understand there are Veterinarians out there who offer natural medicine. I suppose wherever there is demand, someone is going to meet that demand. It just ain’t me.
Thanks for reading.