Slowdown Farmstead
Slowdown Farmstead
the anti-vaxxers
101
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the anti-vaxxers

101

“I didn’t get the Covid shot, but I’m not an anti-vaxxer.” The proclamation with the caveat, the qualification, the exception. In other words, “I didn’t take this vaccine this time, but that was a decision made with due course.  A decision made out of caution in the face of something novel. Normally, I am a proponent of vaccine science. I didn’t make this decision because I am one of those people that rejects all vaccines, out of hand, with nary a thought. In fact, I am PRO vaccine, just not this vaccine. Just not now. We simply don’t know enough.”

I didn’t get the Covid shot, but I suppose I do qualify as an “anti-vaxxer”, that is if we want to dub people with definitions coined by the same industries we are questioning now. Apparently, as an “anti-vaxxer”, I hold “unacceptable views”. I make irresponsible decisions around “life saving” technologies. My knee-jerk reaction towards all injected medicines is one of hysterical fear and paranoia” as reported by the mainstream media and repeated by the many. I’m a simpleton with a lack of nuanced understanding. I know nothing of science, incapable of wading through the decades of literature that prove, without a doubt, that the reason we’re even here is because of the life-saving technological marvels that are vaccines. 

Over the last couple of years many people came to the decision not to take the injected covid therapies on offer, even after a history of vaccinating. Their reasoning was sound. This was a new, rushed “vaccine” (arguable by the original definition of such) with little robust science behind it for a disease that, for most, was not dangerous. But I noticed something happening in those that made the choice not to vaccinate with the various covid shots on offer. They were, and often still are, careful to delineate themselves from those that had historically chosen not to vaccinate for other things. The oft stated, “I’m not an anti-vaxxer but this is different” with the explanation of why to follow. Commonly, the preface of “I’m not an anti-vaxxer” or “I am a proponent of vaccines” is used as a legitimizer of what’s to follow. Oh, yes, okay, this person has some merit to their argument. It’s a tidy way to build some scaffolding around a position that is, by and large, seen as irresponsible and ignorant.

I think most of us, vaccinated or not, can agree that the covid vaccines are new. “Novel” if you dare. But what is novel? How long before our bodies catch up to what’s on offer as we march willy nilly into a technocratic utopia? Do we care? Do we ever even stop to ask? And if grains showing up in our tummies some 10,000 years ago are still causing hiccups biologically, how the heck can we pretend that what we’ve done in the last 100 years is even understood, never mind benign? In the last 100 years or so, we’ve removed the real foods of our traditional diets and replaced them with artificial flavours and seed oils, sugars and processed flours. We’ve pasteurized, refined, synthesized, modified, and hydrogenated food that can be stored in boxes and cans. We’ve made clothing out of oil, created plastics, mass produced cars and covered our earth in asphalt. We’ve stopped moving and started controlling our interior worlds with fake heat and fake light and water that couldn’t even be drunk without the chemicals added to it to keep us from getting sick - in the short run. We’ve used antibiotics for sore throats and to make our pigs get fat fast so we can eat them cheap. In just three generations of my family we have gone from no vaccines at all to calling them ‘proven’.

I was the tender age of 21, alone and isolated on a military base, far from anyone that loved me, when my vibrant little baby got very ill, very fast. She was four months old and had just received her first set of vaccines the day before. She developed a very high fever just hours after being vaccinated but I wasn’t alarmed. “To be expected,” the doctor told me. But then she began to have intermittent seizures. “Tylenol,” the doctor said. But then the screams began. It wasn’t a cry I had heard before. More a shrill, incessant screech in a pitch that left me frantic. It was more animal than my baby. I drove us to the Emergency Room where they admitted her to the paediatric wing of the hospital.

It was in that hospital that the most astonishing thing happened (especially so considering the narrative around vaccines today). The paediatrician that came to see us in the morning asked me questions, including when our daughter had been vaccinated. She was late getting her first “series” of shots because I had moved from one province to the next. After a lengthy conversation and examination that elderly paediatrician looked at me and quietly said, “If I were you, I would not vaccinate this child again”. 

I was shocked and horrified, sure that this maniacal doctor was committing my daughter to death! What followed can be read in previous essays. Here, what I want to try to capture is how I went from someone that never gave vaccines a second thought, I was responsible after all, to someone that became suspect of them all. In fact, I became, and solidly remain, suspect of every offering from any major corporation driven by profits. Whether that be the entertainment industry, the clothing industry, food processors, pharmaceutical corporations, the wellness industry, etc…

A profit driven corporation is, by definition, profit driven. There is no altruism in dollars despite the comfort of thinking so. But, there can be mutual benefit. The trick is in teasing out the value and cost of everything that’s on offer. Most people aren’t interested in doing that and so the costs can take them by surprise. It doesn’t matter whether you know or not, agree to it or not, for everything we pay.

There are vaccines that have been around for a long time. Vaccines with a “proven history”. I think after these last couple of years, most of us could agree that there is no such thing as “proven” in science unless you’re in need of silencing questions. But look at me, identifying myself as a heretic and I’m not even into the guts of the matter yet. But, then again, I’ve already exposed my scarlet letter so what does it matter? For all those vaccines that have been around, that have saved “countless lives”, there is information available. Information from different sources with different questions and perspectives. You would think that with the internet we would be able to access all sorts of information for a wide understanding of differing viewpoints. Alas, it seems to me we’ve raised a generation or two that’s never learned how to research outside of the internet. There’s a dependence on something that, with increasing censorship, is proving to be altogether undependable. But look at me, would ya, writing this essay here on the internet. Maybe hope remains.

So, when that wise paediatrician told me not to vaccinate my child again, I had to figure out how to keep her alive! I needed to understand what I could do to protect her from the diseases lurking all around her. It was 1993 and we didn’t have a computer, never mind the internet. I’m grateful for that now. It forced me to really read and research in a robust way. I went to the library and looked through the yellow pages for the biggest city near us, two hours away. I wrote down phone numbers for all of the book stores so I could call them that afternoon while my baby napped. I called store after store asking if they carried “books about vaccines” until I found one that did. That very week, I loaded my babe into the car and drove to the city. I found myself in an incense burning, chime swinging, pipe flute playing, honest to goodness hippy store with books on everything from vegetarianism (they only  eat vegetables??!!!), to the dangers of circumcision (dear God - what’s the alternative?!). I still remember the kind woman that owned the store offering to rock my baby while I dove into their selection of books on vaccines. 

I leafed through the books, flabbergasted. Some seemed absolutely nutty to me. Some seemed more measured. I remember picking out three that I thought were more “balanced”. One gave the pros and cons of each vaccine and the others seemed to have information that wasn’t as inflammatory as some of the others. I didn’t want to be “scared”. All of it was still new to me and my radar was acutely tuned to any information that seemed radical. I didn’t need more fear. I had enough of that. I just wanted to better understand. 

As I was leaving the store, I saw a magazine called, “Mothering”. I picked it up and returned to the cashier to buy it. That magazine, with its focus on bonded parenting, breastfeeding, and natural childcare, became the only friend I had in my desire to parent a certain way. Those books, that magazine, and eventually the forums of that magazine, opened up a whole new world for me. While the books themselves were helpful in my understanding of the vaccines on offer, it was the references in the back that drew me in. I wrote out those references in a note pad and went to our little library. If they didn’t have what I was looking for, they would order it in for me. At first, I struggled to understand what I was reading. But as I learned, context developed. I started to understand that all was not agreed upon. There were dissenting voices, wise voices, with questions that I was never allowed to hear. 

As I walked down this lonely road, life did what life likes to do, some wonderful teachers and allies came strolling along my path. I met, and became friends with, a physician from Germany who had a robust understanding of different healing modalities and the strengths and weaknesses inherent in western, allopathic medicine. He taught me about my body. He taught me about how I could support the health of my children and my family. He introduced me to other healers that worked to strengthen our immune systems and eliminatory organs instead of focusing on symptom suppression. “Symptoms”, they taught me, “are the messages from your body. Never tell your body to shut up.” It seems so obvious now, but it was radical to me then. I started trusting my instincts and building confidence around my choices.

Today, I have a question. For those that didn’t get vaccinated with the covid vaccine, but qualify it with the “I’m not an anti-vaxxer” I would like to know what, or maybe it’s a whom, you are delineating yourself from? What is it about people like me, a mom who has questioned the veracity of the information provided and took that isolating road because of conviction, that is so abhorrent that you stretch to make sure you aren’t mistaken for one of the gang. The “thems” to which you do not belong. Could it not be that, just as it is this go around, there have been other offerings from a profit driven corporation that have not been for the betterment of all? Do we even know the long term effects of these medical treatments injected directly into our blood stream? Again and again, they add new vaccines, new combinations and adjuvants and schedules that grow. And for how long have we been doing this? And for how long has our species been on this planet? What are the long term effects and is there anyway of ever really knowing? Like really being able to point to these things and, like in the great old board game, “Clue” confidently affirm “Aha, I know what killed Ms. Peacock! It was the MMR in the right arm with the MS and twenty years time!” Will the cows ever come home?

We all know we’re riddled with ill health now - the autoimmunity and the cancers and the decades of inflammation that precedes them all. Who can tie such things to one thing? Nobody and it would be foolish to try. There’s too many things to choose from. All sorts of tomfoolery in everything from our food and water supply to artificial light, sedentary living, a profound disconnect from meaning and connection in our lives and on and on it goes. But, to pretend that there hasn’t been a monumental change in how we view our health on a systems level is simply a wilful overwriting of reality. Widely, allopathic, disease model medicine has won. It’s won so mightily, we mostly forget to question the model and go along with their decisions for our bodies.

I have been to conferences where I have met mothers and fathers of vaccine damaged children. These are not crazed tinfoil hatters running around to desperately find something to consume their lives. They are normal human beings that have been put in tragic situations that demanded their fortitude and exhaustive efforts in exchange for societal scorn. Nice deal. I have met countless people who, just in casual conversation, have told me stories about how their children, even now as adults, were “changed” after vaccination. Story after story erased with a smug label - “anti-vaxxer”. “Anecdotal!” they yell. “Anti-vaxxer!” The uneducated, the foolish, the irresponsible. 

When our middle daughter was in Grade 8 her school sent us a curious “permission form” for the Gardasil vaccine they were unrolling. We had to return the form “opting out” of the vaccine instead of in. Because of my background and my knowledge of how to access resources, I was already aware of the problems with the Gardasil vaccine. On the day of the vaccine, the school nurse came into the classroom and called out the names of the young girls who were to get the vaccine. All of them lined up in front of the classroom, looking at those who remained seated. In the end, there were only two girls remaining in their chairs, my daughter being one of them. As the girls were marched out of the classroom to get their shots, the young girl seated across from my daughter sheepishly said, “I think my mom just forgot my form”. My daughter replied, “Not mine! My mom said they can give you that vaccine when hell freezes over!” The pharmaceutical propaganda is nothing new.

In just a few short generations we have gone from a basic understanding of our immune systems and how to support them to now scoffing at the sheer ignorance of anyone mentioning such a thing. Immune systems are passé. The real intellects know where it’s at and anyone that doesn’t follow along in rote songs of praise need only remove themselves from civilization, if you please.

Here’s the thing - I have respect and admiration for people that have traditionally accepted vaccines but paused at the unrolling of the Covid shots. “Hmm…”, the logic seemed to go, “this is different. I am not an anti-vaxxer, but this is novel. This is new. There is no literature or long term studies.” I get it because I still don’t think we have long term studies on any vaccine. I also think it takes a lot of insight and a deeper stretch for someone that has been a proponent of vaccines to come to this position this go around. I understand why people need to qualify their positions on these ‘novel gene treatments masquerading as vaccines’. To openly admit to not having accepted other vaccines makes one’s voice moot. You are immediately identifying yourself as one without merit. “Oh, I see. You’re in that group.” Instant disqualification. I actually think there’s validity to adding the qualification, but I don’t think that’s where our thought and work should end. There’s more to chew on here.

Maybe what we do have here is an opportunity to step back and ask each other ‘why’, to have conversations. A moment to be able to receive information your positions disallowed before. A little crack in the armour, if you will. But I guess what I was hoping for, still hope for, is that there could be a little more care about using the derogatory language being championed by those that look to divide. By now, should we not all mostly agree that it’s imperative that we question the veracity of information being put forward by pharmaceutical corporations who wilfully and aggressively manipulate information for profit? And if we can agree on that, could we then agree that using degrading labels like “anti-vaxxer” is only a boon to these same corporations who benefit from cleaving off a whole segment of the population as ‘other’? The ‘other’ that must be kept in check.

It’s an oddity. Many of us have come to see the pharmaceutical industry for what it is. The veil has been lifted. But still, we are manipulated by the division and ‘othering’ that they sow. Why let them have that? Why let them have anything? They take enough. They control enough. Screw them. My allegiance is to my fellow human, not to a greedy machine. Shouldn’t all of ours be? And if it is, maybe a bit more time and care with how we classify each other?

This image, and all others, collected from various open source historical “anti-vaccinator” propaganda, “the original anti-vaxxers’.

We’re now told that cancers are rising at astronomical rates in ever younger populations. Autoimmune diseases continue to grow year over year. Autism rates continue to grow. We are obese and inflamed, dulled and exhausted. Everywhere we look, evidence of our ill species. We’re on the decline, no doubt about it. Sometimes, I look around at this homestead, at the enormous rock piles, cleared by hand when all here was still wild, and I think, “We just don’t have that in us anymore”. We’re not as sharp, not as robust. Go into the city and take a look around. Now, tell me, with a peer reviewed double blind study, why that is. Not going to happen. And that’s why I trust instinct and common sense over “the science”. It doesn’t mean science is bad or useless, it means it’s being used to advance very powerful corporations to control our very lives in both form and substance.

We still live like our lives are normal, but the truth is that we are surrounded by novel-everything! Should we even peek under the hood? Entertain all possibilities? Or are we forever trapped in some possibilities not being possible at all? And now, for those that have come to question the latest offerings from big pharma, do we keep our scope dialled in tight and narrow or can we pan out a bit? mRNA injections are novel to us, new in our lifetime, but they won’t be novel to our kids and our grandkids. It will be old hat to them just like the mmr or polio shot is to us. They will be conditioned. Will they even question? Do we?

Here’s my proposition - a little more care for one another and the sniffing out of manipulation in the words and labels we can use a little too casually. Perhaps a little more time in sharing our stories and in the listening thereof. Faith in the instincts of mothers and fathers. Awareness of the propaganda, not just in the here and now, but historically, too.

I have never cared to convince anyone of anything. My conviction does not rest in another’s acceptance of my position. It never has. I don’t know why, it’s just not part of my make up. I am confident in my choices regardless of an army shouting in front of my face or a family member spitting doom and gloom. It just has no effect. I understand that as a gift in my character and I see many people I love tortured by the actions and resistance of those around them. But if we could come to a place of putting our effort and reflections into solidifying our own decisions, we are freed. In that sense, I am not dependant on anyone coming around to my point of view. But it is also true that we remain a community, connected souls that need one another. In that way, having these difficult conversations, looking for places where there might be room to let some sun in, is always, in my estimation, worth it. Not with the goal to convince, but to build understanding, even, in the end, if you still disagree. Don’t make agreement the mark of success in conversations, make listening and sharing with vulnerability your goal and you will always come out successful.

At the very least, could we just drop that dumb name already? I am not anti-anything. I don’t live my life that way. I wouldn’t waste a single unit of energy, pouring it into anti-anything. I would much rather be woven into the thread of creation and to do that, I need to be aligned with what I am for. I am for the sacred. I am for God’s design for our lives. I am for nature and her rules and gifts. I am for the wild imperfection of us, here, now. I have been given this life and I take it on with a deep sense of responsibility. I am responsible for the quality and substance of my days. Nobody will ever care for my life as much as I, and my beloveds, do. Nobody will live with the consequences of my decisions to the depth that I will . This life, my life, a precious gift in my hands.

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Slowdown Farmstead
Slowdown Farmstead
Cultivating authenticity in a synthetic world. Ruminations on ancestral food, healthy living, family, connection to the natural world, life, death and this radical little thing called "sovereignty".
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