The Salem Shill Trials

1692

In the early days of the Puritan settlements, colonial Massachusetts was gripped by fear. Between the British and French warring over colonial dominance, smallpox, and potential attacks from Native American tribes, the residents of Salem Village lived in a constant state of anxiety and worry for their safety. In addition to these real concerns, an overlying and persistent worry that some people possessed supernatural powers tickled away in their psyche.

When two young girls began exhibiting strange symptoms of fits and screaming (now believed to be caused by fungal contamination of grain stores), the local doctor diagnosed ‘bewitchment’, because why not. The first to be accused were a family slave, a homeless beggar, and an elderly woman- but they weren’t to be the last.

800px-Witchcraft_at_Salem_Village

 

As the hysteria spread and some of the accused confessed in an attempt to save their own skins, others took note: accusing someone you don’t like of witchcraft is an effective way to get them out of your hair while also setting yourself apart as someone virtuous enough to be worthy of bewitchment. Rivalry, desire for power, fear and suspicion, ego- pretty much everything except reality itself seemed to play a role in the accusations.

 

WondersoftheInvisibleWorld-1693All you had to do was point your finger and yell “witch!” and out came the pitchforks.

It was quite effective- after all, how can you prove you aren’t a witch? After all was said and done, 19 people were hanged that year before everyone came to their senses.

The evidence that sent them to the gallows? Dreams and visions; and of course, some very self-assured charlatans.

Nowadays, we scratch our heads at how this could happen, how people could go so easily down the road of hysteria and gullibility. Or do we?

 

1998

In 1998, a medical researcher named Andrew Wakefield published a now discredited study linking the MMR vaccine and autism. Young parents, petrified at the increasing incidence of autism in children and worrying that their own choices could play a role, began delaying or declining vaccines altogether.

In first world countries where preventable diseases were being, well, prevented, parents felt the risk of a vaccine injury was now greater than the risk of the disease itself. There’s only one problem: it wasn’t true.

As the research proved Wakefield a fraud and everyone came to their senses, the medical community assumed that people would go back to business as usual. But, people are funny creatures, and sometimes we don’t really evolve. It only took the people of Salem a year to come around, but a strange thing happened at the turn of the millennium.

scumbag-jenny-mccarthy

The “all natural lifestyle” turned out to be a very lucrative phenomenon, tapping into all our current fears: corporate conglomerates controlling the food chain. Large pharmaceutical companies more interested in lining their pockets than curing disease. Money over health. Go back to nature, they proclaim, and the world will be a better place.

2015

The era of social media. There was a time where in order to be heard, you had to earn a spot at the podium through having something worthwhile to say. Now, you just have to get there first and have the loudest megaphone. Also: be a babe.

vani

On the sidelines of the ‘nature vs chemicals’ battleground, people with no stake in either the pharmaceutical industry or the coconut oil industry shook their heads. “But look!” they said, holding up science papers. “That’s not how it works! GMOs aren’t causing cancer, vaccines aren’t causing autism, and pet food doesn’t contain dead cats!

bill

“I appreciate your desire for transparency in consumer goods,” they continued, completely misconstruing the authenticity of those with the pitchforks, “but do we have to say things like airplanes should contain 100% oxygen and a bleach enemas cure autism? Surely we can be reasonable here.”

They smiled, holding their papers in front of them with their palms up, waiting for the coconut salesmen to welcome them with open arms.

The coconut salesmen, who had just celebrated their millionth Facebook fan and launched a new website selling crystals, lowered their pitchforks. They looked at the people with the papers, pointed their fingers, and in a clear, loud, voice they yelled-

“SHILL!”

And the pitchforks came out, because how can you prove you aren’t?

shill

A word from the stake

Whenever I speak on the worrisome outcomes of the current trend of science illiteracy, people say to me, “but don’t you agree that pet food should be transparently sourced? And that companies should tell you where their food comes from?” I imagine them saying this as they hold a match to the pile of wood underneath my feet, shaking their heads sadly.

And to those well-meaning but nonetheless about to burn me people I say, “Yes, but I don’t understand how you can make the leap from ‘I’d like more information about my food’ to ‘Subway contains yoga mats’ and ‘vanilla ice cream contains beaver butts.’ ”

Industrialized society is a double-edged sword. There are great benefits and some pitfalls, worthy of trying to improve. But why bother with such nuanced debates? It’s much easier and faster to call someone a shill. Next!

Toxins are today’s sorcery. Shills are the modern day witch. I take pride in being put to the stake, because I know history will vindicate me. And the only reason I’m not laughing at the absurdity is because while we sit here and have these nonsensical fights, children are dying. And there’s nothing funny about that.

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Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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Save Money — And Help Send a Guatemalan Child to School for a Year!

Easter is fast approaching – so we wanted to let you know that we’ll be sending out any special Easter purchases via Priority Mail to US addresses for no extra charge! All you need to do…



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DogTipper

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How to be happy in 4 simple steps

This month’s JAVMA features confirmation of what those of us in the profession for more than a year or two already suspected: veterinarians are a sad bunch, compared to the general population. Consider these stats from the CDC’s first-ever survey of the veterinary population:

  • 1 in 6 have considered suicide;
  • 25% of men and 37% of women in the profession report depressive episodes;
  • 1.1% of men and 1.4% of women have attempted suicide;

That last stat is the only one where vets figure in below the national mean, but before you cheer consider this: it’s because more veterinarians successfully complete suicide.

This preliminary data doesn’t delve into the causes or the proposed solutions, though those are currently hotly debated. Nonetheless, it’s good to see on paper what so many who are struggling have needed to hear: You’re not alone.

Stayin’ Alive

After watching my Ignite talk on being a Death Fairy, a veterinarian asked me how I avoided compassion fatigue in my work. I told her I would answer that, but first I have to admit this:

For a long time, I didn’t avoid it at all. I didn’t just float out of vet school and find an amazing job and love every second and plan to be a hospice vet because I knew that was the right thing for me to be. I wish I could tell you I was that organized and thoughtful, but the truth be told I did what most people I know in this field do when they’re stressed: power through bad situations until they became untenable, taking on more responsibility every other second.

So no, I didn’t avoid compassion fatigue. In fact, I burned out and quit. But then I reincarnated, I guess you could say, with a lot more perspective and a healthy understanding of what I’m really supposed to be doing here. But not until after I got really sick, like going to specialists and talking about scary tests sick, did I decide to get my priorities in order. Once that got sorted out, life got really good!

How to be a zen vet in a Prozac profession

 

1. Don’t underestimate the importance of your co-workers

 

team

I think there is no greater indicator of how happy you will be at work than how well your team works together. They will prop you up when you’re down, have your back when things get nuts, and inspire you to do better every day. Unfortunately, the converse is also true. The saying “turd in the punchbowl” exists for a reason.

2. Don’t settle for a toxic environment.

temporary

Temporary Like Sadness by Dominic Alves on Flickr

 

Sometimes you think you’re starting in at the best place on the earth, but something happens. The office manager is stealing. Your mentor turns out to be Voldemort. You get pregnant and can’t work overnights anymore. So many people stick it out in a bad situation because 1) we’re taught not to whine and 2) we’re scared there’s nothing better out there.

There’s always something better out there, but you won’t find it if you don’t look. If you are in an office that is causing you physical symptoms of anxiety, it’s time to start looking for a new job. Living in modern day American comes with certain advantages, like the whole “no indentured servitude” thing.

3. Don’t be afraid to explore. 

ROAD

I had no intention of being a veterinary writer. Blogs didn’t exist when I started vet school, nor did hospice veterinarians. Sometimes you just have to strike out in a direction that looks good and see what’s out there. Because guess what? I don’t care what anyone else has told you, you’re allowed to come back and be a vet if you leave. Taking time off to explore another career, take care of family, get another degree, none of it is a one way valve- unless you want it to be.

4. Set boundaries. Mean it.

boundaries

Out of every rule I laid out, this is seriously the number one important one. With the exception of the rare shining star who really does want this to be their life, most of us want a life of which veterinary medicine is only a part. This is a profession where it is very easy for it to take over your life, because there will always be more asked of you than you are able to give. Always. It is not a failing to recognize that.

Set boundaries with your clients, your co-workers, and yourself. Take vacations. Exercise. Enjoy your family. Do not let work intrude on this or else you will begin to resent it, and that is the seed of burnout. You can (and should) work your butt off, then go home and play your butt off.

Set those boundaries, and enforce them like your life depends on it.

you-shall-not-pass-o
It was an ironic realization to figure out that point of diminishing returns in terms of giving of yourself. You cannot truly understand compassion unless you’re willing to extend it to everyone, including yourself.

Resources

AVMA list of Wellness Resources

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

A place to talk to other vets- I am aware of several online and Facebook groups for vets to talk and support one another. Feel free to reach out to me if you would like more information.

Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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[고양이 치석 제거 간식] Greenies Feline – DENTAL TREATS

펫 홀릭 – [Greenies Feline] DENTAL TREATS 오늘의 고양이용품 리뷰는.. [고양이 간식] 그리니즈 필라인의 치석 제거 간식 입니다.
Video Rating: 5 / 5

18-23 pregnancy vlog update: http://goo.gl/NKVzxu ✿ Watch Yesterday’s vlog: http://goo.gl/a7Fsvl ✿ Please subscribe for new video uploads: http://goo.gl/q1EwWz ✿ Links to things…

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#Infographic: Identifying Treats and Toxins to Your Dog

Trick or treat may be a favorite Halloween cry — but making sure you select foods and treats that are safe for your dog rather than toxic is a year-around worry. Some foods that are perfectly…



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DogTipper

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GIVEAWAY // Win A Sterling Silver Charm Necklace from Helen Ficalora!

GIVEAWAY // Win A Sterling Silver Charm Necklace from Helen Ficalora and Bubby & Bean!

I was recently introduced to Helen Ficalora‘s jewelry designs, and I instantly fell in love. In fact, I can be found wearing one of her necklaces with a sterling silver Mom charm and ‘E’ charm (for Essley) almost everyday. Her work is timeless and personal – and she has a great business story too. She started her line inside her family beach motel in Montauk, New York, and became the pioneer of the alphabet-charm craze. Over the past decade, her business has grown to include hundreds of beautiful, timeless styles that have become a favorite among celebrities such as Julia Roberts, Jennifer Garner, Julianne Moore, and Tina Fey. Pretty cool.

Mother’s Day is only a little over a month away, and Helen Ficalora line just released a brand new collection celebrating how mothers and grandmothers bring sunshine into our lives. The inspiration for the new designs comes from the beautiful transformation of the seasons from spring to summer. As the earth around us is blooming and new life is being created, we remember and appreciate our mothers and the life and love they have given us. (I love this!) Helen’s Mother’s Day collection is available in yellow, pink, and white 14k gold with select pieces also available in sterling silver. The prices range from $ 55-$ 250, and can be found at helenficalora.com and in select Bloomingdales stores.

And here’s some really great news: We’re teaming up with Helen Ficalora to give away one of her gorgeous necklaces! One lucky Bubby and Bean reader will receive an 18 inch fine sterling silver necklace with your choice of solid sterling silver alphabet charm or a solid sterling silver Mom disk charm (perfect for you mamas or as a Mother’s Day gift!), a $ 95 value. (See top image for examples.)

To enter, just use the form below.  There are several ways to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will run through April 1, 2015 and is open to Bubby and Bean readers worldwide.  The winner will be randomly chosen and announced here shortly after. 

Thanks again to Helen Ficalora for giving our readers the chance to win one of their beautiful necklaces!  Good luck!

ALSO FIND US HERE: BLOGLOVIN’ // INSTAGRAM // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // PINTEREST




Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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HappyDog – We are the home of healthy pet food. Full HD

Do you want to know more about us? Enjoy our new video introducing people working for Happy Dog and Happy Cat.
Video Rating: 5 / 5

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Final musher arrives in Nome

Passing under the burled arch finish line a few seconds before 9:20 pm Sunday was rookie Cindy Abbott, 56, a college professor from California. Her time was 13 days, 11 hours, 19 minutes and 51 seconds. After having climbed Mt. Everest in 2010, this was her third attempt to be one of only three people who have climbed Everest and finished the Iditarod. For the last two years she has had to scratch because of…
The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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World’s most notorious Islamic creationist busts a move

We know him best by his pen name, Harun Yahya.

Source.

He’s also best known for his Atlas of Creation, which argues evolution doesn’t occur. He has 42-million-year old wolf fossils to prove it! And he has Siberian huskies pictured as wolves!

The oldest fossils of canids are only about 40 million years old, so he’s a bit off. Those first dogs were more or less like genet-fox-racoon looking things than anything like wolves.

His argument isn’t like Kent Hovind’s. Kent Hovind says the earth is 6,000 and non-avian dinosaurs still roam the earth. All life on earth descends from kinds that were on Noah’s Ark, so the Hovind type of creationist allows for some level of evolution. All dogs and wolves descend from a pair of dog kind that were on the Ark.

Adnan Oktar would says that no evolution ever happens. All life has remained the same for millions of years.

I can’t decide which of these two types of creationism is worse, but they both require ignoring tons of evidence.

Like his Christian counterpart, Oktar has been in prison for a few things. He is also prone to conspiracy theories involving Freemasons and Zionists.

But at least he knows that Islam allows you the right to live like Hugh Hefner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Canis lupus hominis

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The Endless Winter

Can’t help but find a bit of irony in that I just left San Diego in December, a city that never snows, to record breaking snowfall in New England.  It’s been a long, harsh, unforgiving, and at times perilous winter but it’s impossible not to appreciate the absolute beauty of it.  
There are two photos nearby that embody this dichotomy – the first is of while taking the boys out for their evening constitutional, shadowcasting.  Nothing more than a rustic rotted out fence and a distant light but witness the symmetry and the simplicity.  

The other photo is of Hudson trying to take a piss in the several feet deep of spongy soppy messiness that makes it difficult for him postoperative.  I’m sure there’s a greater metaphor here but right now it’s buried beneath two tons of snow.  It’s been so unending here we’re about to make Winterfell look like the Sahara.  

He’s recuperating super well, we slept on the kitchen floor last night but brother, can you spare some green grass?  
YBD’s Notes 1:  Didn’t post it here but Hudson had a mast cell tumor removed yesterday.  Off social media sites for a spell to prepare for the upcoming filming for the interview.  To get updates here’s the link: Puppy Up Foundation
YBD’s Notes 2: Ginger called me up this morning to complain about the 3 inches of snow they got in TN but in all fairness, she has a Doxie and I’m sure his pecker is snowier than Hudson’s.  

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES

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