It was never my intention to write a post like this on my brand new shiny blog this early but with the recent cases of measles in the US and Canada there has been a lot of cyber bullying and friends expressing the desire to leave social media because it’s hard to take. I don’t need to write yet another research and study link filled post with all the reasons I choose natural immunity – there are thousands of those. As with any other topic in life, I always think it’s best to remove the emotional triggers and just talk about what matters.
Dear vaccinating parent,
I promise you that this letter is not to bully you about your choice, it’s not to convince you to change your mind, nor is it to prove my position. We’ve been over that about a million times and that has gotten us nowhere. This letter to you is only to open the door to change the conversation we are having – because you might be surprised to hear that I do want to have a conversation – just not the one we have been repeating over and over again.
Firstly, I am not an anti-vaxer, I am not anti-vaccine and I do believe in science. Yes, I choose not to vaccinate my children but that means I am PRO natural immunity. I do not think that vaccines should not exist – that would mean your choice would be taken away and I have no reason to want your choices taken away. I know you think that we disagree on what the science says but that doesn’t mean that we don’t read the same papers and information – it just means that we have come to different conclusions about that information. That doesn’t mean that either of us are stupid or not smart enough to read scientific lingo or twisting that information for it to read what we want – what it means is that you read it and decided how that information is going to benefit you and your family and I have done the same and come to a different conclusion for mine. It actually happens all the time with toys, electronics, television, schooling, which car we are going to buy, food and mostly everything in our lives and somehow we are all smart enough to figure out those studies and decide what is best for our individual families – vaccines are no different.
This is one thing I know about both of us. We both love our children. A lot. We both want to see them grow up healthy and live fabulous lives. So when you call me any numerous of names:
- hippie (but not the cool loving everybody kind)
- conspiracy theorist
I can tell you that my defenses go up – I know duh, right? I can promise that you calling me names is the least effective thing you can do to get through to me – what it really does is cause me to not hear what you are saying and we don’t move forward to make this planet a better place for our kids. We also leave our cyber bullying footprints behind for our kids to find one day – definitely not the legacy I want to leave behind. So let’s put on our big girl and boy pants – stop being bullies and find some common ground, find a conversation that actually might make a difference in the health of our children.
You believe that vaccines are saving lives. I believe in natural immunity that has kept our human species alive on this planet for a really long time. Your choice carries risks – we both know that from reading the vaccine inserts. My choice carries risks – we both know that 1)nothing in nature is risk free and 2)we have a hundred years of stats too look at on our government run health sites. So if both our choices carry risk…what are we really fighting about here? Are we really fighting about which risk is worse or more risky??
Here are some topics I believe we could actually talk about and make better for the generations to come.
One thing we should both want for our children is to continue to live in a free country with free will. I know you believe that forcing me to vaccinate my children will protect yours – but really that only put us all at risk of not having any say in what is put into our bodies. That opens the door for other people to decide what medical treatments are necessary for the masses. Our goal should be that together we are protecting our children’s choice and human rights in general. I believe it would be naive to think that mandating vaccination would be where the buck stops. We have many health issues that are affecting the ‘greater good’ and will do so even more in the future as more hospitalizations and long term care is required. Are we ok with the seemingly majority of society deciding what goes into our individual bodies?
I would love if we could unite and abolish this barbaric idea that it’s ok for anyone to ‘take one for the team’. While I can appreciate your belief in herd immunity and that you want everyone to be protected – you also seem ok with “some being sacrificed” for the herd. I can tell you with certainty that I’m not ok if your child or any child is harmed or dies for ‘the good’ of my child. I can only believe that you would use this argument of herd immunity and the greater good because you really believe it won’t be your child, and therefore it’s ok that someone else does lose their child for your perceived benefit and that my friend is not the world I want my children to grow up in. If we are indeed trying to protect everyone in the herd – let’s in fact DO THAT and expect that no one will suffer needlessly and no one has to lose their children for our benefit.
Until we remove this archaic mentality that’s it’s ok for children to die on our behalf, I would encourage all of us to start thinking about how we are going to support those who have been sacrificed – either with their lives or with life long health consequences. If we believe we are civilized human beings wouldn’t that mean that when one of the herd takes one for the herd that we in return be a herd that compensates and offers any and all support that individual needs? Wouldn’t we want to know who these individuals are so we can know that it’s only a few? Wouldn’t we as society be so heartbroken that a viable life was taken from us that we would want to screen and find out who in our midst is most at risk of being sacrificed? Children dying or being physically harmed should not be something we take lightly. Instead of callusing our hearts further with inhumane culture thought of ‘the greater good’ why not adopt the motto of “One is too many.”
Let’s start asking the right questions. Let’s start demanding to know the risks and true statistics. Let’s start a long term study of vaccinated children vs unvaccinated children. No, I didn’t say double blind with a vaccine…I said long term study. There are non vaccinating parents waiting for the phone call – desperately wanting to help “the herd” get the information they want and need. Is there a difference in the health of these groups? If so, what are the major differences? What is the percentage of chronic illness from both groups and when does it begin in each group? What is the health of these two groups as they age and become adults? Are we actually seeing the same data in each group and can we rule out without question that vaccines only do good and have absolutely no effect on the overall health of a child. We both know that the studies that have been done are not adequate – we need the data. If we both believe in informed choice, we need to know what choice we are making – that information is not available.
We could also start asking why other first world nations are halting certain vaccines when they see troubling coincidences after new vaccines are put out – why isn’t ours?
And in case you are thinking in the back of your head that my words sound pretty but I’m really out to get you – this must be a non-vaxer conspiracy theory trap…let’s get a proper definition:
Great, so everything I know about vaccines and the vaccine industry is general public knowledge so that excludes me from being a conspiracy theorist. Do I think there are conflicts of interest in the vaccine industry. Yes. And I would encourage all parents to care about that and want to unite to ensure that the medical interventions given to our children are safe and have been approved without ethical question marks. I don’t think it’s too much to ask to expect third party testing and studies. I think it’s reasonable to require that there be a line drawn and excludes people working for drug companies from jumping to the governing bodies that approve such drugs. These are our children and it should be without question that the drugs created to keep them safe be done within a system that is ethically sound.
And I can appreciate that you might find me personally to be a bit too blase when it comes to this topic and that I also am expecting to ride into the sunset because “it won’t be my child” mentally. I promise you it’s not. Let me share with you that I am well aware of what it’s like to be that 1 in xxx. Our first daughter was born with a congenital heart defect – every baby has a 1 in 100 chance of being born with one…we happen to be that 1. Surgery that had an 80% chance of giving her a chance to live failed, putting us in that dreaded 20% – she died in our arms. So, I’m quite aware of statistics and percentiles and being on the losing end. I take the choices I make for my children very seriously because I know all too well what it means to be that 1 in xxx.
I know we both care about the most important thing. Let’s start having that conversation. If your vaccines work the way you say they do – you’re safe. If my immune system works the way I think it does – I’m safe. So, now we can stop throwing stats at each other all day long – we have been, it’s not convincing anyone on either side. We can stop calling each other names to get our points across because we are essentially condoning bullying. We can stop living in fear of each other and we can make the choices that we feel are the best for our families and trust in those choices. We can be the change that fuels safer medicine and healthier children. Ours and theirs. Now that is a conversation worth having.
With Joyful Grace,