The natural world is a threatening, hostile, deadly place. Nearly everything wants to prey on our flesh and steal our life. It knows not love nor compassion and was not made for us. I know it is deceptively beautiful and its fruits are deceivingly delicious. But if nature has no use for us, it will consume us, digest us, and crap us out like we never existed.
I am sick of this idea of nature as our medicine or this concept of this home as a peaceful abode. This is a hostile world, full of death and disease. A shark doesn’t keep from eating a human from some obscure sense of respect for humanity; it refrains because a human is foreign and strange and the risk of poisoning is not worth the reward of an easy meal.This idea of nature as beautiful and healing is silly and is only justified by the moronic idea of creationism: that this world was designed for us. This arrogance and hubris will get us killed and unfortunately, the deceptive beauty of this world keeps us all from recognizing its power to destroy.
This world was not made for us. We came about because we were better and killing and consuming than our competitors. The blood that has been shed for me to be here tonight is endless and immeasurable. It is disgusting but all I can do is be thankful. I am aware that it is the way the world works and I am content with the massacre of countless more organisms so that I can survive. I don’t have some conceited notion that I am more important. I just want to live and my species has evolved ways of enabling me to do that very well.
This “all natural” idea of health is disturbing. People rebel against modern medicine while visiting the M.D. when the situation turns dire, still citing herbal remedies as the true cure. They spread lies about natural remedies and retaliate against brilliant advancements in real healing. Nothing quite bugs me like the intentional disregard of evidence from parents refusing to get their child vaccinated. They cite fear of mercury poisoning when there is more mercury in a tuna fish sandwich than in all a child’s vaccinations combined. They worry about autism based on the crusades of a quack ex-Playboy model. These are the same people who campaign against genetic modification of crops and claim “natural” food is their medicine, ignoring the reality that normal metabolism is the primary cause of nearly all non-infectious disease.
I have nothing against people refusing pain medication to handle it like a boss. But when they neglect all of modern medicine because of potential side effects or bureaucratic issues with drug lobbyists, they are being short sighted. There is no greater advancement in lengthening the average lifespan than immunizations. Refusing to give your kid those shots is a selfish abuse of community immunity and a complete imbalance of the weight of risk and reward.
Microbes are currently invading your body, attempting to break through your epithelium. Viruses are evolving better ways to spread their genetics at your expense. This is the way the world works. The only reason some fruit tastes good is because it helps you spread the plants’ seeds. Organisms in most cases evolve elaborate defenses and poisons to protect against you. Many of the “remedies” you find in nature are poisons that haven’t quite made it to deathly power. These “remedies” did not evolve to help you, they evolved to make you vulnerable and suggest you keep from eating it in the future.
Some people have a conspiracy theory that the medical field is out to hurt us all. I am all for a healthy bit of skepticism, but to refuse an entire field because of some drawbacks is truly having a double standard. While lions and alligators, bacteria and viruses, fungi and toxic plants are evolving more elaborate ways to be the ones that survive while we perish, these anthropocentrists are ignoring these “natural” realities for the favorable taste of fruits and vegetables.
The reality is that both natural and artificial have their poisons and neither is entirely synonymous with health. All I ask is that this concept of everything man made as destructive and toxic be abandoned. Compassion is not limited to humanity and I understand it is not universal within our species. We evolved to lend a helping hand to each other because it helps our genes continue. But the source of that love is not what matters; what matters is that it exists. While I am unable to speak for the entire population of applicants to medical school, I imagine we are all pretty alike in our desire to help humanity. If I ever have the opportunity to create something that would end all disease and put me out of a job forever, I would do it without hesitation and I imagine my peers would as well. And if you still doubt my inspiration or the motive of pharmaceutical companies, I ask you this: do you want to put your faith in the questionable motivation of humanity or in the certainly homicidal world of pathogens? All the doubt in the world about humanity couldn’t get me to side with the natural world for my medicine. That is coming from a backpacking-crazed vegetarian who hasn’t taken a dose of medicine in years. But when infection strikes, you can be sure I won’t be going to the natural remedies section of the pharmacy to give my money away to a company that is inspired by the same profits that motivate pharmaceutical companies.