I must confess to being overly emotional of late. My father has cancer, and it’s pretty bad. He’s successfully beaten cancer before; in fact he had two types at once and beat both. But this latest case is going to be very invasive and, I imagine, turbulent.
But there are other factors impacting my mood as well. It’s football season, and of course that means seeing all the mike vick t-shirts and jerseys and eagles logos in general since I live in the killadelphia area. Never an inspiration for positive thoughts where I’m concerned.
But the National Football League is now alleged by Peta to have spent $10 million on researching injuries by inflicting catastrophic damage upon dogs’ knees and driving pneumatic pistons into rats’ skulls and spines. The animals that survive the testing are still euthanized (and who knows how humanely) because they’re messed up, and ‘no longer of service’. When I put Peta’s petition to the NFL to stop this testing on my anti-vick Facebook page, someone gave the perfect response. They said, “What do expect from an organization that welcomed vick back with open arms and open checkbooks?”
The NFL responded to Peta’s claim with a legalese-riddled reply that speaks of “board-approved methods” and “acceptable parameters”.
Bleacher Report, an online sports news medium, reached out to the NFL for comment and received a statement that:
“Grant recipients must follow existing industry ethical standards for medical research established by the scientific community. All grant requests have to be approved in advance by the institutional review board of the participating institution. In addition, we require any proposal to have been submitted for approvals by the institution’s animal care and use committee prior to applying for funds.”
It is in NO way a denial. To me, it essentially says, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”. Incidentally, dripping corrosive substances into rabbits’ eyes and attaching funnels to a bunch of Beagles’ heads through which cigarette smoke is blown until they get lung cancer are also “board-approved methods” that are “within acceptable parameters”.
So, in addition to the fear of losing my father (he’s 73, and there will be several major steps at which anything can happen during the removal surgery, reconstructive surgery, and radiation follow-up), I am considering no longer watching football again. I love this sport, and giving up watching it is seriously depressing. Arguably, I should have done this when they first readmitted vicky into the league. I’m tired of losing things I love because it’s the right thing to do. But taking the stands that I do is more important to me than being a fan of something.
I’ve made so many changes, excised so many types of things from my daily life. Giving up meat and dairy has made eating unenjoyable. Again, I know it’s the right thing to do, but eating, once a fun thing, almost a celebration, is no longer so. I put it off as long as I can sometimes because I dread it. Additionally, all the vegetable-based things wreck my insides a lot of the time. And then there are all of the cleaning products and hygienic products I’ve been getting rid of because Proctor and Gamble also tests on animals. It’s a constant fight to do what’s right.
But giving up everything leads me back to my opening sentence of getting overly emotional about things. I’m worked up over many things right now (including some other personal issues I haven’t mentioned here), but I’m wondering if it all matters in the end. Animal testing and consumption is going to continue long after I’m gone. Wars are still going to be fought over religious or political differences. In fact there are wars going on within political bodies such as Congress just because one party doesn’t like the other and wants to block any potential progress because it’s on the other party’s agenda. Innocent animals are still going to be beaten, burned, abandoned, and neglected, and judges and legislators still won’t consider these important enough to institute harsher penalties. People will still rape, murder and steal from each other well after I’m dust and my name is remembered by none. People are still going to contract awful disease, and even if we find cures, new maladies or strains are always popping up.
So I’m wondering what the point of constantly fighting for change is when the odds seem insurmountable. Some would say that faith is what gets them through and that I need to have some of my own to escape this spiral. But that’s not my way. I’m too much of a scientific mind to cross over into the realm of spirituality.
But I can’t stop the fight. I want to give up but can’t. Maybe that means being unhappy and struggling through all the things I must give up. There’s a saying that once you’ve seen the bad things, you can look the other way, but you can never again say that you didn’t know. I DO know, and learn more all the time. Can’t turn back now.
And as much as I doubt my father’s chances against all of the medical trauma to come, I have to fight to stay strong and positive for him, too.
Tell the NFL to Stop Funding Sports-Injury Experiments on Animals secure.peta.orgThe National Football League Foundation is funding horrific and deadly sports injuryrelated experiments on animals. Ask them to stop!
For those that care to check out my anti-vick page:
(Photo used is from the Peta petition.)