I’ve been vocal here on the blog and on my Facebook page about my views on vaccines, anti-vaccine people and autism. I’ve talked about the anti-GMO movement and poverty and the struggle to do what’s best for your family and the responsibility to keep what’s good for the community at large in mind as well.
The recent outbreak at Disney has it coming up as a common topic in more and more places. Invariably when you speak out you’re accused of being a shill for the vaccine companies (damn, I WISH that were true because it would be pretty sweet to have income from sitting online arguing with people. Much better than cleaning up blood and poop and restraining biting pets.) On a personal level people assume you’re telling them they’re stupid.
Here’s why I fight. Bad science hurts people. It makes people less likely to seek medical help or fight for good help when they run into assholes in the medical field. As an adult you have the right to this decision. Your pets and your children do not have this choice, they are held hostage to our choices so we much strive to help them.
Furthermore I have this problem with fear. See, so much of the anti-science, anti-GMO, anti-vaccine movements are based on FEAR. On one hand it’s damned insulting that “Autistic” is somehow a scarier thing to be that “Dead”. Chuck Wendig says smart things here about why people start to become scared and why they start letting anti-thoughts take seat in their head.
Once you realize how much of this industry (and there are industries built around trying to sell you cures and trying to scare you into believing you have a condition which needs their cure) is based on creating and preying on fear (fuck I wish writing horror had the same income level as these fear mongers have) you can’t but get pissed off. And when you care about people and you genuinely want to see them well, healthy, when you understand the struggle with a permanent illness…you get pissed off when you see people offering them one more flash in a pan snake oil salesman.
I used to be a workshop leader for the area’s Living Well Workshop. For those who don’t know it’s an evidence-based publicly funded program developed by Stanford to help people with chronic conditions self-manage their care, or those caring for people with chronic conditions better aid those leaning on them. I have a lot of experience in chronic conditions and coping with them. A lot.
I’ve seen people walk in broken and ready to lay down and stop fighting. I’ve been privileged enough to help them find their fight again and chart a path to handle it better. Helping them reach that moment of realization is worth the fight. To put it in layman’s terms if I was a ranger people who prey on illness, injury, desperation and hopelessness would be my chosen enemy.
I’m against the level of rhetoric that these arguments creep into where it becomes a judgment. It becomes a way for some people to be better than others, by being able to afford organic GMO free food. It gets to the level where GOOD parents make these certain decisions for their families and the ones who don’t make those other choices.
But Michele, someone is thinking, it’s not like people are actually saying you are a bad parent if you vaccinate your kids or feed them regular food or GMO food. Except they are.
“Be mad at yourself, because you’re, frankly, a bad mother. You didn’t ask once about those vaccines. You didn’t ask about the chemicals in them. You didn’t ask about all the harmful things in those vaccines…. People need to learn the facts.”
Shaming is NOT what supporting chronic illnesses or supporting the healthy is about.
And shaming people, lying about science and profiting off fear absolutely pisses me off. And maybe you think it’s helping you, and maybe you think I’m mean and stupid and nothing more than a shill for fight it. But I’m fighting for the health of the people I love, even if that’s you. Even if you’re still holding out for a miracle diet or cure. Maybe someday it’ll come. And I promise to be there to put it through some fire to make sure it’s sound before you test your life and health on it.