When I was first diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, a confounding incurable and largely untreatable autoimmune disease, my treating doctor spoke to me in code. He strongly suggested that I use my intelligence and research skills as an attorney to “research the treatments available” to me and at the time I didn’t understand what he meant. Why couldn’t he just tell me about the treatments available for my condition himself? I have since concluded that he was telling me that nothing in his arsenal was going to help me and that if I was going to be saved from a lifetime of medical and bodily horrors I would have to save myself. I have now spent going on 6 years researching my condition and available treatments and I now believe that he was leading me towards discovering medical cannabis; I have indeed found profound pain relief and significant healing with medical cannabis, supplements and organic and fermented and organic foods, where I never found any relief at all from Western medical treatments that were only making me worse.
But in researching my condition and available treatments I have also exposed myself to countless “studies” in peer-reviewed medical journals describing horrific medical trials on animals where the animals were deliberately induced with what I now know is probably one of if not the most painful and debilitating conditions imaginable, inflammatory bowel disease. And where Crohn’s treatments are largely ineffective for most Crohn’s patients anyway, and certainly do not reliably work long-term and can even make people sicker through various iatrogenic illnesses and injuries, I have to ask what is the point of all of this animal suffering in furtherance of an impotent Crohn’s Big Pharma arsenal that doesn’t even work? Why is it so hard to find Crohn’s patients and other seriously ill people complaining about what is being done in research laboratories (animal incarceration facilities, and torture and death chambers) all over the world supposedly in our names and to benefit us? And what is the effect on seriously ill people — on our conditions and on our bodies, minds, hearts and souls — where we know this is being done and we aren’t offered a reasonable opt-out of the necrophilic Western medical machine that perpetrates these horrors and doesn’t ask us or care what we think about it?
I have researched my condition and treatments for my condition for going on 6 years now and that includes researching the effectiveness of medical cannabis as an alternative, non-toxic treatment for the pain and symptoms of Crohn’s disease. And after reading countless medical studies done supposedly in my name in furtherance of research that is supposed to benefit me, I have to say that regarding medical experiments on animals generally, and perhaps in the case of Crohn’s research specifically, enough is enough. I can’t even read medical research anymore on my condition or any condition, or on any treatment, even research on medical cannabis where medical cannabis is already known to be non-toxic at any dosage and yet they feed dogs lethal doses of cannabis-infused chocolate and the dogs die from the chocolate. What exactly are we learning here when we have known that chocolate is toxic to dogs for as long as there has been both chocolate and dogs? They also induce inflammatory bowel disease in laboratory animals and then treat the inflammation with cannabis to test the result when we have known for thousands of years that medical cannabis is effective in healing inflammation and is particularly effective in healing the gut.
And in the case of Big Pharma Crohn’s treatments where they induce inflammatory bowel disease in animals, in order to produce what we know as the Big Pharma Crohn’s arsenal that doesn’t even work, what are we doing by now and why are we doing it? By “we” obviously I mean “society” not Big Pharma which doesn’t bother hiding its interests in profit and social control through blatant and misleading propaganda. You know the commercials — where Crohn’s patients and other seriously ill people are shown to have miraculously regained their quality of life and this recovery is assumed to be complete, permanent, and with no side-effects. No one considers that these miraculously, completely and permanently healed fantasy patients still have to carry around spare underwear and wear black pants in anticipation of publicly and uncontrollably shitting themselves and many if not most Crohn’s patients still do carry around an emergency kit just in case, no matter what treatment they are on, and that’s if they still have their rectums to shit from and many Crohn’s patients don’t. It is so disturbing to me that these commercials are pure fantasy cooked up by corporate Big Brother to further its own interests in profit and social control but patients and their loved ones seem to think that these “commercials” are not advertisements for an expensive consumer product, but rather that they are faithful representations of the results of credible medical research and that they are produced and released not by multi-billion dollar for-profit corporations but by a benevolent Big Medicine that is separate from both Big Pharma and Big Brother and which loves them and only wants to help.
And if this is where the public’s fundamental misunderstanding of serious chronic illness comes from and I think it probably is, it makes me so angry, having experienced the misunderstanding and ambivalence firsthand of people who seem to think they know what Crohn’s is all about and what I am going through and what it means (and doesn’t mean) to be seriously chronically ill. Most people who do not suffer from Crohn’s themselves seem to think (and many Crohn’s patients are devastated to find out otherwise) exactly what the commercials say: that Crohn’s disease is easily, completely and permanently remedied with a simple pill. Not only is most Crohn’s treatment much more complicated than just a pill, even the most complicated and frankly barbaric Crohn’s treatments like repeated injections and infusions don’t even work well, at all or not for long. And the side-effects are often just as bad as if not worse than the disease itself, and in the case of Crohn’s disease, that is saying quite a lot indeed — for example, the most well known side effects of immunosuppressants include opportunistic infections, cancer, and death. Of course, many Crohn’s patients seem to think that death is preferable to suffering into the indefinite future with this type and extent of disease and many Crohn’s patients actually think about, attempt and commit suicide.
Even if Big Pharma Crohn’s treatments worked there would be obvious ethical and moral issues with using animals for medical research and of course there are very vocal groups that oppose it. But in the case of Crohn’s and other incurable, untreatable and progressive diseases specifically, where all this animal suffering is perpetrated with no measurable benefit to actual patients, and where the only measurable benefit flows to Big Pharma and medical research itself, additional issues and questions arise. Issues like public policy where pharmaceutical corporations and medical research facilities are creating and normalizing a sadistic violent culture and removing and harming animals from the community — not to mention creating industrial waste and pollution — solely in the furtherance of their own profits and that of private investors. And questions like is there something fundamentally different about autoimmune disease that makes it not amenable to being treated with Big Pharma poisons?
And this would seem to be the case if, for example, autoimmune diseases were actually caused by Big Pharma or other environmental toxins and pollutions in the first place and there is evidence that in fact they are, such as in this (animal) study showing that ionizing radiation causes autoimmune diseases in rats, and where ionizing radiation is well-known to exist in our environment due to man-made nuclear products, nuclear testing and nuclear-related industrial accidents like Three Mile Island in the United States in 1979 and the nuclear disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi in 2011. Does the type and degree of man-made nuclear radiation that’s in the atmosphere now cause autoimmune disease including Crohn’s? Some people have researched this question extensively and they believe it does. I would recommend for further inquiry and review Dana Durnford aka The Nuclear Proctologist and Christina Consolo aka RadChick on YouTube for anyone who is interested, it is fascinating and original (and independent) work. Be careful though as both researchers describe and rely on various animal studies in their work, as I have done in this post and others because there is little other way to “credibly” talk about it. I probably just won’t talk about it anymore.
I just cannot research my own or any condition or any treatment anymore because reading animal studies makes me physically and emotionally ill. While within capitalism and patriarchy there is little chance most people would agree with me, I think in the case of Crohn’s research specifically, including animal research, it’s time to just Let. It. Go. and start on a different tack, such as removing toxic man-made pollution from the environment and then seeing what happens, but in the case of nuclear contamination that is slow to decay and cannot be safely stored, that would be a tremendous feat and quite likely impossible. And on and on it goes. I just do not even know how to respond to the horrors of capitalism and patriarchy anymore, it is crazy-making and frankly insane and the horrors of Big Pharma and capitalistic and patriarchal medicine (and nuclear!) are a huge part of that and seem more and more to be driving the whole show. For example, vast construction and development projects for children’s hospitals that alter and harm the environment before, during and after construction (not to mention also harming children); involuntary confinement, evaluation and treatment of the homeless during times of natural disaster (including the homeless chronically ill); and the increasing prevalence of gruesome man-made reproductive and death-prolonging technologies. And, of course, the rather dubious medicalization of chronic illness (and cancer!) for which medicine offers no reliable treatment and no cure.
In some ways, people seem to be responding to this. Radical feminists have long criticized patriarchal medicine, and the reasonable fear and disgust at Big Medicine seem to be largely what’s driving same-sex couples to want to marry in order to bestow “visitation rights” and medical decisionmaking power on their partners — rather than on doctors and others — when Big Medicine wants to have its gnarly way with them. People are starting to think, feel and know that much of this is harmful, terrifying and wrong, but there is little or no outright or principled condemnation of it from what I can tell, even from those who Big Medicine has most abused. But particularly knowing how reading the results of animal studies makes me feel physically, emotionally and in every way, certainly now that I’m sick but even much before that, I can’t help but wonder whether medicine’s violent, sadistic past, present and future — including the past, present and future of medical testing on animals — is part of what is actually making and keeping people sick.