I have read many of the articles on your website and have purchased a copy of your latest book, "Animals and Nature First." You cover many different topics and areas of expertise way beyond the scope of your Animal Doctor column. For us pet owners, can you give a synopsis of how your concerns for the environment and for public health relate to many Animal Doctor issues and what difference can we pet owners make?
R.E., Silver Spring, Md Sep 02, 2013
I appreciate the thoughtful nature of your letter and your challenge to provide a synopsis of my concerns and how we can all make a difference. Here you go:
-- Embrace the vision of One Health, where progress in human health is inseparable from animal health and a healthy environment.
-- Become environmentalists. Eliminate the use of all pesticides in and around your home and garden and on your pets.
-- Become kitchen/food anarchists, supporting local farmers markets, purchasing organically certified food (including pet food) and preparing more of your own meals from scratch. Follow the dictum of Hippocrates: "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."
-- Set up animal health/wellness exams for you animal companions that do not include animal booster vaccinations. Support national organizations such as Earthjustice, Center for Biological Diversity, Environmental Working Group, Greenpeace, World Vets and Animal Welfare Institute. Visit holisticvetlist.com to find a holistic veterinarian in your area.
-- Support your local animal shelter/humane society, Audubon Society or other local environmental and wildlife protection organization.
-- If you are a parent, look at what is being provided in school lunches. Get rid of soda pop and candy dispensers, and be sure environmental and animal protection issues are being included in food decisions.