If you know me, then you know the surest way to upset me is by telling me vaccines don’t work. Recently I started an anti-vaccine flame war on my Facebook page that led to a sleepless night. It all started when I said that "natural antibiotics" shouldn't take the place of real medicine and vaccines. I lay awake so angry at the willful ignorance of someone so immersed in a ridiculous conspiracy theory. However, after thinking about it I realized that this FB “friend”, someone I vaguely remember going to highschool with, provided me with an anti-vaxxer gold mine. Sure it may be crazy gold, but gold nevertheless. This person ended up de-friending me, which is disappointing in that I wanted to hear all the crazy he had to spew. While frustrating as it may be, it is important to know your opposer’s side. This is why I force myself to read Jenny Mccarthy and to engage in dialogue with someone I find to be a complete moron. It is even more difficult to not call said moron a moron in a heated debate. Because then you lose them forever. Sure, they are probably already lost, but to personally attack them leads you to look weak. I have a fortune from a fortune cookie on my desk that reads” Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause”. However, I feel like attacking their ideas is fair game and should be done so ruthlessly. Sometimes it is hard to draw the distinction, but I encourage all of you to at least try.
In honor of the upcoming TAM, I want to share my findings with you all, and start (or at least try to) blogging all the arguments I’ve heard over the years, and to do my best to deconstruct them. For the record, I am by no means an expert, but have done much study on the matter. I started in college for a research paper, and have absorbed everything I can on the subject, especially after seeing children become ill due to a lack vaccines before my very eyes. I’ll try my best to cite sources, but after years of accumulated data, I may slip and forget. Much of my research also comes from medical journals I no longer have access to, but I’ll try to dredge up any bibliography I can. My main focus is to start dialogue and encourage critical thinking. I encourage all those who disagree with what I say to pipe in. As long as you can back up your ideas with reputable, science backed sources I feel you should be free to speak. Just don’t post a link to a crazy anti-vaxx site that promotes colon cleansing, because I doubt they are peer reviewed. Otherwise, be prepared to be ripped to shreds.
I’m not set out to be a famous blogger. I don’t write controversial things and will never gain any kind of celebrity status. However, I do encourage you to pass this along to all that you can, no matter where their opinions and beliefs lie. I’ll be starting with my favorite argument,which is on vaccines and profitability.