DEAR READERS: My New Year’s message for 2020 was to wish America 20/20 vision. And now, we have 20/20 vision of a nation — and, indeed, a species — divided on how best to live in the midst of the climate, population and COVID-19 crises. There can be no more “business as usual,” putting short-term profits for the few over public and environmental health and food security.

There is much human suffering, death, grief and socioeconomic chaos during this pandemic. The cause of this plague and other zoonotic (animal-to-human) diseases lies in our relationship with and treatment of other species, wild and domesticated. We would not be victim of our own inhumanity toward them if we did not raise pigs and poultry in disease-promoting factory farms, or poach wild species for food, encroaching on and disrupting their habitats.

Some may deny the climate and extinction crises, but none can deny we have a global pandemic, which could put us on the right path — not America First, but Earth First! The path to disease prevention — and our redemption, under the ethos of the One Health philosophy — is in becoming humane planetary stewards, respecting the rights of all living beings.

In his book “Earth Keeper,” Pulitzer Prize winner and Kiowa tribal elder N. Scott Momaday declares: “Those who deny the spirit of the earth, who do not see that the earth is alive and sacred, who poison the earth and inflict wounds upon it, have no shame and are without the basic virtues of humanity. And they bring ridicule upon themselves.”

Collectively, we cannot be shamed into right action, as we learn in raising children. But this pandemic is a time for humankind to take a moral inventory and consider how we can best avoid harming others and the environment in meeting our basic needs. Justice that does not serve and honor all our relations can never serve the common good.

DEAR DR. FOX: I have a 7-year-old wheaten terrier, who had anti-rabies vaccinations in 2013 and 2014. Then she came down with what the dermatology vet diagnosed as an autoimmune disorder, leading us to reconsider future vaccinations. She lost coloring on her ears, nose and paws and still has inflammatory flare-ups. Her last vaccination was in 2014, and her rabies titer in 2017 indicated adequate immunity.

I am concerned with the state regulations that insist on regular anti-rabies vaccinations. My dog is always with me, and never gets out to be at risk from any rabid animal. What do you suggest I do so I do not get into trouble with the authorities, since I do not ever want to revaccinate my dog again? — K.T., Winston-Salem, North Carolina

DEAR K.T.: The condition you describe in your dog would at least be aggravated by additional vaccinations, if not brought on in the first place as vaccinosis: an adverse reaction to the vaccines. As with other vaccines for both animals and humans, those with allergies to substances in these vaccines are advised not to take them. This same principle applies to companion animals who have either acute or chronic autoimmune vaccinosis.

Your attending veterinarian should provide you with a letter stating that giving your dog a booster rabies vaccination is not needed because the dog has a good blood titer reading, and that since the dog is immunocompromised, giving any future vaccines would jeopardize the animal’s health.

Let me know if the veterinarian refuses to do so. (If so, I recommend that he or she read my article at drfoxonehealth.com/post/animal-vaccination-concerns-vaccine-associated-autoimmune-and-other-diseases.) I hope this helps.

Insect protein in new dog food

Nestle is launching a new line of Purina dog food in Switzerland based on unconventional protein sources, including black soldier fly larvae. Consumer preferences are trending toward protein sources with lower environmental impact, and the British Veterinary Association has endorsed insect protein as a livestock-free diet choice for pets. (Full story: Reuters, Nov. 5)

Send questions to animaldocfox@gmail.com or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

© 2020 United Feature Syndicate

Distributed by Andrews McMeel Syndication for UFS

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