House Hippos- understanding Fiction does not equal truth
Does anyone remember the advertisement on television about 'house hippos'?
The advert runs as if you are watching the discovery channel, expounding on the habitat and behaviours of a tiny hippo that lives in your home. The purpose was to inform 'children' that not everything you see on TV is true.
The first time I saw this advert I was astounded. I admit, for a second I was filled with childish glee at the possibility of such a thing existing even as I questioned it.
I think many adults out there could learn a valuable lesson from this commercial. In an era where it seems as if there are mass believers in many unusual trends (that was very polite, wasn't it?) I find myself wondering how many adults believe in house hippos?
Alternative religions where one believes in spirit guides and pre-birth contracts, alternative medicine where we are desperate to cleanse our colons, boost our immune systems and treat our often undiagnosed symptoms with chelation, vitamins etc and alternative beliefs in anything that is unproven, faith based and emotionally driven are rampant in our North American culture.
This is not truly a new thing. There have always been people who believe in the paranormal etc and disbelieve in science. What is new is that these beliefs are now common. Test me on this, search 'alternative science' or 'alternative medicine' and see how many official looking websites you can find. Better yet, speak to your doctor about working alongside an 'alternative' practitioner. Many doctors will actually agree these days. Check this out for more along these lines
People use the word 'aura' and talk about 'energy' as if this is publicly accepted by all. They discuss their 'past lives' and the lessons they are claiming they need to learn in 'this' life.
If it harms no one, I feel you should be free to believe what you want. But when these beliefs begin to endanger others, when fads become 'facts' we, as a society, have to take a harder look at the line between freedom of choice and stupidity that causes harm.
I am a great believer in having choices. However, when the general populace has demonstrated an inability to use some sense, rules must be made to protect those affected by their choices.
I am in particular referring to those persons who follow the fad pseudoscience and quackery in 'treating' their children.
When our desire to have the 'freedom' to choose endangers our nations children, surely we must take steps, encourage new laws and allow for some restrictions to be made.
The latest US craze to treat children with autism by giving them Lupron injections is ludicrous. The clinics offering this treatment are often run by persons whom are NOT medically trained or certified. The injections themselves are reported to be a dosage that is much higher than recommended by the FDA and by the drug manufacturer (The latter does not approve or endorse their product being used to treat Austism).
Where are the laws to arrest Dr. Geier and his son for making false medical claims, providing unsafe treatments to children and setting up clinics that are being run by persons without medical certification?
Where are the laws with which to charge parents with abuse for allowing potentially dangerous treatments to be given to their children (in effect, to be permitting mad doctors to perform experimental treatment on these children).
In my opinion, a fad becomes a danger when it is used to promote products to be used on children that are untested, not regulated by the medical community and not backed by science.