Del Bigtree

Why do normal people question vaccines?

Children ask questions about everything under the sun. Reporters ask questions to get their story. Scientists ask questions to understand a matter. I am a normal person who is  kicking off this post with a couple of questions. Why is there a taboo around questioning vaccines? Why can’t normal people question them without being labeled “wackos” or “anti-vaxxers?” I suggest that all of us should feel free to question vaccines, and here’s why.

  • If we care about the food we ingest, we should care about everything we put into our bodies.
  • If we want to know the list of ingredients in the food we are eating, we should want to know what ingredients are in a vaccination.
  • If we are skeptical of conventional health care, we should question the motives of pharmaceutical companies that are lobbying for mandatory vaccinations for children and adults, nationwide.
  • If we believe in food freedom (that we should be allowed to eat what we want to eat), we should also embrace health freedom (that we have the right to accept or reject any medical procedure).

As a young mom, I remember wondering if I should follow the vaccine schedule for my children. I had no logical reason to question vaccinations at all, really, because I didn’t know much about vaccine side effects or ingredients or anything. There was just a little question in the back of my mind, a kind of check in my gut about them. I suppose I was hesitant about them because of the fact that I had always been a girl with a natural bent. I figured my body could handle itself, without too much interference. I preferred to let a fever run its course. I would avoid over-the-counter remedies for a mild cold or aches and pains. I chose completely natural childbirth for each of my babies (no pain-killing drugs, no medical interventions).

So while I wasn’t super informed about vaccinations, I wondered about the benefit/risk ratio. But I didn’t wonder for long. I went ahead and had my children all vaccinated on time because I knew that in Washington DC, in order to attend public school, they had to have all of the vaccinations, according to the CDC schedule.

I didn’t think much more about it for some time. My inclination to keep things natural, health-wise, eventually led me to become a member, and then a chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF). I liked their natural bent! They espouse Hippocrates' motto "Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food."

However, when I came across something in the WAPF literature about vaccinations, I scratched my head about it, because I thought that WAPF was a nutrition group, focused on food, farming, and the healing arts. A stance on vaccinations (and an individual’s right to reject them) seemed an unnecessarily polarizing position to take. Why would WAPF go out on a limb when they could safely advocate for wholesome food and sustainable farming practices, without rocking the status quo?

IMG_1987
IMG_1987

Over time, the answer started to dawn on me. WAPF is a group that’s willing to ask questions about conventional health protocol. Of course their willingness to ask about food sources, food quality, and the like would translate to other things we put into our bodies. It struck me that it is normal, and even healthy, to ask questions to safeguard my health and the health of my family. So I began to dig around and ask a few questions, myself.

  • Why are premature babies given the same dose of vaccines as full-term babies? (Shouldn’t the dosage be adjusted for weight?)
  • What ingredients are in the vaccines and are any toxic or apt to cause adverse reactions?
  • Why do babies get a hepB vaccine the day they are born (when it is a vaccine intended to prevent a disease that is sexually communicated)?
  • Is there room for a conversation about spacing out the heavy vaccination schedule that requires up to 24 doses before a child reaches 5 years of age?
  • Why is it so difficult to get a medical or religious exemption in most states?
  • Why are children denied a public education when unvaccinated, if education is a constitutional right?
  • If vaccines are safe and effective, why was the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act established in 1986, setting up a vaccine injury compensation program (that to date has doled out over 3..8 billion dollars to families of vaccine-injured children and adults)?
  • Why has the CDC not done a controlled study, comparing the health of vaccinated and unvaccinated children?
  • Why was the CDC accused of covering up study results that indicated a link between vaccinations and autism among African-American boys?
  • If vaccines do not cause autism, as the CDC claims, where are the studies that disprove the link?
  • And a related question: if vaccines don’t cause autism, why do so many parents of autistic children insist that they do?
  • What does the evidence around us suggest?
  • What links are there between vaccinations and other injuries and illnesses?
  • Why are vaccines pushed at every turn (in grocery stores, corner drug stores, etc.)? And who stands to gain from this push?

Do you have questions of your own? Great! That means you're normal. Keep digging until you find answers that satisfy your curiosity. And check out these podcast episodes to learn something beyond what the mainstream media reports:

#16 Vaccines: what’s all the fuss about? (part 1) -  w/ producer Leslie Manookian of “The Greater Good”

#17 Vaccines: what's all the fuss about? (part 2) 

#54 Vaxxed: Producer's commentary - w/ Del Bigtree of “Vaxxed,” the movie that focuses on the CDC whistleblower

#64 The vaccine industry & your rights - w/ attorney Alan Phillips

#72 Fighting for health freedom – a group of people in West Virginia are fighting for the right to vaccine exemptions

me-and-apple-2
me-and-apple-2

*** Hilda Labrada Gore is the producer and host of the Wise Traditions podcast found on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, iHeart Radio, tunein, YouTube and at westonaprice.org. She lives in DC with her husband and children, their cat, Mia, and their dog, Summer.

Surprises at the Wise Traditions conference (a/k/a you won't believe what happens next!)

I couldn’t resist using this clichéd click-bait subtitle because my experience at the conference was indeed just. like. that. It was one unexpected moment after another. You can watch an online health summit, the next wellness webinar or cooking tutorial on YouTube, but none of it compares to the actual experience of connecting LIVE with health experts and fellow foodies. The speakers get you thinking as you attend their presentations, and then you turn around and they join you for lunch! Between sessions, a fellow attendee points out a website that helps you find the dehydrator you were looking for. Your roommate tells you about her latest health hack. Each day you are empowered, encouraged, and energized. I hail from Washington, DC, a town better known for its political leanings than its alternative health tendencies. I was like a plant thirsty for some rain. I didn’t have to wait long before I was soaking it all in. Shortly after I arrived, I ran into speaker and gardener Celeste Longacre. (Don’t you just love her name?!) She invited me to her hotel room to demonstrate how to make beet kvaas. I drink it regularly but had never made it before. We hardly entered the room before she had started chopping up that beet like a Samurai swordsman! It was something to behold. My mind was blown. And then my heart was touched when she gave me garlic that she had grown from her very own garden. The conference was just kicking off and I’d already gotten a private kvaas demo and some swag!

img_0246
img_0246

On day two, I connected with Hannah Crum, the Kombucha Mama. She told me that earlier that morning, she had gone for a walk down by the river. From a distance, she spotted some random guy who was barefoot and bare-chested (a rare sight in the month of November); he was walking along playing some flute-like instrument. Curious, she walked closer…and then it dawned on her. This was not just some random guy. It was fitness guru Ben Greenfield, a fellow speaker at the Wise Traditions conference!

We laughed, partially because it was so unexpected for her to encounter Ben like that, but also because the conference was just overflowing with these kinds of surprising moments. The Weston A. Price Foundation brings together all sorts of creative, intelligent, interesting people—each committed to finding good health through natural and alternative means. There was genuine connection and joy at every turn. And there was also as much to be gleaned from the one-on-one connections as there was from the seminars.

img_0464
img_0464

Hollywood producer Del Bigtree, of the movie “Vaxxed,” screened his movie at the conference and gave a post-screening presentation. He talked about how he got involved in the project and had been moved by the importance of the subject (the CDC's manipulation of study results) and its implications for our health and the health of our children. He had hitherto not quite realized the influence of the pharmaceutical companies on the media and consequently the public's access to critical health information. He is passionate about getting the movie wider distribution, not because he is particularly “anti-vax” but because he believes the public has the right to make informed decisions when it comes to vaccinations. Though he had been traveling around the country, he had never been among a group quite like ours. We were receptive, curious, and supportive. And we also challenged him to think about the role good nutrition could play in preserving our health.

That’s another thing I love about “Wise Traditions foodies” (as I like to call the WAPF-ers). They don’t just take in information—they process it; they ask tough questions. Many have taken their health into their own hands and are naturally skeptical of any medical theory. They take everything with a grain of (sea) salt.

IMG_0338.JPG
IMG_0338.JPG

So, to me, this is what the Wise Traditions conference is about: learning, growing, laughter, food, questioning, and, yes, surprises. Count me in for next year. Actually, scratch that. Count me in for the rest of my life!

*** Hilda Labrada Gore is a health coach and fitness professional. She is the DC chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation and is the Wise Traditions podcast host. Wise Traditions can be found on YouTube, iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Google Play Music and at westonaprice.org.