Another moment of clarity came me as to why it sucks to be human, this one having to do with illness. I was pondering the deep thoughts that I am prone to ponder the other day when this realization came to me about the animal kingdom. I was watching a documentary on one of the many nature channels, (I think this one was about wildlife in the Amazon) when something came to me; animals don’t really get sick like people do. You see lions roaming the plains healthy and hearty. You see antelopes and gazelles bounding across the tundra fit as a fiddle. You see chimpanzees and monkeys swinging through the trees without a care in the world. And you see dolphins and porpoises gliding majestically through the water doing back flips with ease. What you don’t ever see is lines of animals waiting to get shots or immunizations for diseases. Human beings are the only species of animals that have to actively protect themselves from illness.
Why is it that only people require immunizations in order to be able to live; needing the doctor to inject us with dead or nearly dead viruses so that we can build up an adequate defense to fight off the real thing. What is it about our environment, our living situation or lifestyles that require us to intentionally introduce microorganisms into our bodies in order to be able to live to a ripe old age. It really is curious. When you look at the number of shots that we have to get, ranging from polio vaccines to tuberculosis vaccines, to flu shots to HIV AIDS shots; the number is staggering in terms of what we have to do to prevent disease from wiping us out. This isn’t the case in any other species of animal. Well, almost any other species. For some reason, our domesticated pets also need to get shots to protect them from microbial harm. Curious that Benji, Garfield, and our other live in mammalian friends need shots but their wild cousins running around in packs do not.
There must be something about how we live that requires us to go out and get shots or die. Is the human immune system so inherently weak (a problem that we pass on to our domesticated friends), or is something else going on here? It really does raise lots of questions about the nature of the foods that we eat or the beverages that we drink and the impact of those things on our bodies. Or maybe it’s the living condition that we find ourselves in, them being so far removed from our original primitive dwellings in nature (no matter what, I am NEVER giving up my air conditioner!). I mean, the truth is obvious when we don’t get those shots; at best we get very sick and at worst we die. So obviously getting the shots aren’t optional (not to mention that we really don’t want to deal with Lassie getting a case of rabies or distemper), but it really does raise the issue of why that is the case.
I’m just saying…