PETA's mission is a good one: stop animal cruelty, help people understand the environmental impact of their dietary choices, and help people be healthier. None of those things are bad. I agree with all of them. I don't' live a perfect life, but most of the choices I make are with these things in mind. Not all choices, but most.

However, how can you not get that by acting like lunatics you loose people who agree with you and repel those who don't?

Throwing paint on a person wearing a fur coat is willful destruction of private property. I don't own a fur coat. I don't agree with the torturous deaths that lead to fur coats. But if I did, and someone trashed my coat, I'd be pissed and I'd prosecute. Using that logic, why don't people holding stock in oil come to homes of PETA members and smash their solar panels? That's just stupid. Educating people is important. Annoying them is counter-productive.

Equating meat eating with Jeffery Dahmer is likewise unwise. Not nonfactual, but culturally inappropriate to say the least. In different times and different places eating people may be a sign of respect or a ritual of war, and really, what is the difference between eating the meat of dogs and cows? Hindus are as appalled with us as we are with the eating of German Shepards in China. However, in the here and now, the yuck factor supersedes the historical and anthropological parallels and the message is dismissed by the very people it was intended to shock and convert.

So, what led to this rant? The news that PETA has proposed that "...Ben & Jerry's use breast milk in its ice cream." Really? Obviously, PETA members know that this is fiscally impossible, just to look at the logical first. Mother's milk is liquid gold and very expensive. Even if it were possible, immediately there would be feminists protesting the use of women as dairy producers.

But come on! This stunt at its very core makes PETA look like IDIOTS, even knowing it's a publicity stunt. Many people are nauseated by the idea of giving their own babies the milk specially made for them, let alone making a consumable, mass market product from it! Granted, they are woefully misinformed and culturally indoctrinated to the point that they are making less than optimal choices for their babies. There is abundant scientific evidence that there is nothing as beneficial as human mother's milk for human babies. Knowing that doesn't change the cultural perception. It is what it is and you need to meet people where they are. Grossing them out isn't going to win any converts.

Likewise, there is abundant science to show that cow's milk causes a whole host of health problems, not just in babies, but in adults as well. Yes, babies need mother's milk. If I want breast milk ice cream, I'll make my own thanks.

I live in WI and I know (thanks to California Milk Producers) that I live in a state full of depressed cows. I see their babies in boxes, not knowing they are merely 'veal'...a by product of the milk humans consume. That is more likely to persuade me to give up my yogurt than the latest PETA stunt.

The facts PETA wants to disseminate are sound. Too bad no one will listen to a bunch of loonies.

It's dangerous to think 'it can't happen here'

China has been in the news for tainted formula and tainted baby food. With tainted US products coming out of China not such a distant memory, why even risk the health of a newborn?

US formula has been recalled as dangerous many times as has baby food.

Mothers milk is free, pre-warmed, sterile, always available and as pure as the mother's diet. Even if the mother's diet and environment are less than optimal, her milk may contain trace amounts...not poisons in amounts that will sicken and kill her baby.

Who needs a medical degree?

Once again, a 9 year old steps in to save the day and receive her mother's baby during a precipitous birth. This time the baby is premature and tiny, still everything turns out ok.

HypnoBirthing in the News again

In August, HypnoBirthing(R) was in the news again in a video about Painless Birth.

And should have been mentioned in this story about Stress in Pregnancy because HypnoBirthing isn't just beneficial for quicker, more comfortable birth with fewer complications, but helps babies stay inside until they're done!

I wish every woman would welcome the idea of HypnoBirthing. Not every woman would have a painless labor and birth, but every woman would have the best birth possible for her, which many are not getting now considering "at least 1.5 million Americans fall prey to hospital error every year." (MSN Health and Fitness; content provided by Forbes.com)

The message? Stay out of the hospital unless you're sick! If you must go (because you are sick or injured, not healthy having a healthy baby), read YOU: The Smart Patient.

Yay for the New England Journal of Medicine!

At least someone is using some commonsense when it comes to the HPV vaccine! No, I'm not jumping on the bandwagon to shoot my daughter up with this mess. Unless/until someone can assure me it is safe and effective, no way. And so far, it's not looking good for those willing to toss caution to the wind. Europe has been watching the US closely before jumping on-board, and what they see isn't pretty. The risks are high and the efficacy is unknown, so I was glad to see the NEJM encouraging caution and that the news actually picked it up.

The Big Cost of Little Babies

ABC News had a video news clip Saving Premature Babies in August 2008 and I felt there were a couple of things worth commenting on.

Minimizing prematurity is definitely a cause worthy of a newscast. Women need to be educated in how everything from their diet to their stress level increased the chance of prematurity because these are things they can largely control. They may need assistance or tools to cope, but most of the things that cause prematurity are preventable.

The problem I had with this particular video was that they keep harping on the importance of prenatal care as prevention. If prenatal care as it is currently defined in the US today actually improved outcomes, that would be great. However, Prenatal Care Does Not Improve Outcomes.
The American College of Physicians even recommended fewer visits and fewer ultrasound 10 years ago.

Effective prenatal care is how the woman cares for herself and her baby. If we spend as much time and money educating women and helping them make good decisions as we do on wasteful and useless routine technology, we'd have better outcomes.

The other problem I had was with the statement "Doctors say if every premature birth could be delayed even one week, the infant mortality rate would go down dramatically." (Vargas)

The statement is true, but it isn't the mothers who don't get prenatal care that account for the largest number of premature births...it is the women who DO see a physician and are induced.

Dr. Kenneth Trofatter explains in his Health Line blog:

"Late preterm birth now constitutes about three-quarters of all preterm deliveries. This amounts to more than 300,000 deliveries per year! Many of these deliveries are by elective cesarean section and many others result from cesarean section as a consequence of failed labor induction..."

I just get annoyed when the public is misled by people supposedly providing factual news.

To be fair, the same reporter did a similar report on prematurity in poor communities that was much more accurate and balanced.

I'm losing my grip!

It's been ages since my last confession...er...I mean blog.

A couple of months ago I added a 4th job to my schedule. At the time it seemed like a good idea. I only conduct HypnoBirthing(R) classes every other month and the occasional odd time for those couples that don't fit into the traditional scheduling. My hypnosis clients were not economically scheduled, so I figured I could condense appointments to one or two very full days a month. My Internship only takes up two days per week and I enjoy it so much it hardly seems like work. And the job I thought I applied for was Calligrapher, which I also enjoy. It was a part-time position personalizing Christmas bulbs. I thought, "How hard can it be?"

Unfortunately, the job included retail, which I absolutely abhor. I'm no good at it. It takes a special person who enjoys the unpredictable and dealing with a wide assortment of personalities. That is not me. I'm not a people person. I'm a hermit who enjoys researching, writing and being in controlled environments with a script, like public speaking on topic I know very well or teaching a topic I know very well. I need to channel my 'Inner Sheri' (my extrovert friend) just to get through a retail shift. It's exhausting. The job is 90% stuff I hate and 10% calligraphy or pricing, which I enjoy because it's solitary.

I am scheduled for half my weekends, all weekend, as well as more hours than I can handle during the week, especially now that school started and I have 8 hours of class each week plus assigned work. Within a week of working retail I remembered why I went back to school. Within two I knew I was in deep over my head and not doing so well at keeping afloat.

Every body says I should just quit, but calligraphy is a really obscure talent that they really need someone to do. Sheri says I'm taking a job away from someone that needs it by staying. Maybe. They are short staffed and haven't found other people who can do calligraphy yet. I like the people and don't want to leave them in a lurch. I gave my word that I'd help and I find that hard to break. The manager is trying really hard to work with my insane schedule, which helps, but it's not so much the regular schedule, but the weekends that are killing me. On the weeks that my husband travels and then I work all weekend, I barely get to see him. We haven't been together a quarter century by stealing an hour here and there if we can get it. We need to have time together that isn't all about bills and if one or the other of us has done laundry.

He says there is nothing worth sacrificing my sanity, and if I worked that hard for myself I'd be much better off. Probably.

So far I am figuring out ways to make it sort of work except that I am incredibly tired and I haven't had time to work on my book or other research/writing projects I have in my head. That is what's making me lose my grip. When I don't get the opportunity to get all this out of my head, it almost seems like...how can I explain it? Like pressure, I guess. Like at some point my brain is going to make me stay up all night just to drain it all into my computer, and then I'll collapse. I don't have time for yoga, knitting, Wild Divine or any of those things that keep me healthy and balanced either, including blogging and walking the dog. The poor dog! She was getting walked 2-5 miles a day and the luxury of being in the house with a constant companion. Now she's alone out in the garage all day and is lucky if she gets a walk around the block. My husband and dau have always had busy lives, but I was the hub that sort of kept it all running smoothly. It's not running quite as smoothly these days, even though they are helping out a lot.

Anyway, I might have reached my last straw. I may just have lost two HypnoBirthing clients because I'm having difficultly working even more in and they needed personalized schedule. That just won't do. HB is what I'm trained for, it's what I love and I hate to have even one woman who wants to enjoy the wonders of a HypnoBirthing miss out because I'm trying to accommodate a minimum wage job that means nothing to me simply because I can't walk away or say 'enough'.

So, now that I've bitched about a bunch of stuff that is totally within my control that I've done nothing about, Sheri would ask, "When are you going to do something about it?" I don't know.

What I do know is I have about a half dozen absurd tidbits I want to post here, but I've wasted time kvetching, so now I have to get ready for work. Hopefully I'll get a chance to get back on tonight.