Old Teen Essays
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Article ID: 4928
Age Group: Adult
Posted: December 2nd. 2002
Cramming It Down Our Throats...
"It's for your own good." At least that is what I tell Ruby each time that I have to cram more of the unpalatable gruel mixture down her throat. And since that little exercise in syringe-work occurs at three-hour intervals around the clock, she has heard me say the phrase a lot. I also tend to mutter it -- though more for my own benefit here than for hers -- as I jab the needle that will deliver the fluid therapy into the scruff of her neck or when I have to roust her at 3 a.m. for yet another fun-filled (NOT!) feeding.
It really is for her own good, of course. Without the fluids and the feedings, Ruby will die of starvation. Her liver functions are so impaired that she has no desire to eat or drink on her own. Feline fatty liver disease is a horrible thing to deal with. The only cure really is to force enough food into Ruby so that her liver finally gets the message that she is not starving. Only then will Ruby's liver release the stored up lipids and fats that clogged it up and began her downward spiral into anorexia.
Since Ruby can't read the medical literature or reason as we human can do, she must rely on my best intentions. Her own animal instincts cannot save her this time and in fact, they even work against her in this sort of illness. What I am doing for her -- or from her viewpoint, to her -- is based on my and Fritz's desire to see that she gets well. We love her and want to share many more years of companionship with our little furry sweetheart. And so, I will continue to endure the indignant wide-pupil glare of a cat who just wants to be left alone as I mutter, "It's for your own good" and cram that brown pasty mess down her throat.
We humans have been hearing a lot of 'for your own good' talk, too. The Patriot Act is 'for our own good'. The Office of Faith-Based Initiatives is 'for our own good'. The increased surveillance of ordinary American citizens in public places is 'for our own good'. The proposed Information Awareness Office is 'for our own good'. It seems that our government officials in voting for and supporting these programs has nothing but the best of intentions then. That is what they tell us anyway. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are not absolute guarantees. They can be suspended if "it is for our own good".
Unlike Ruby though, human beings can read the literature and can reason things out for themselves. When politicians and their corporate feedbag patrons tell us that what they doing --and what they are planning to do -- is 'for our own good', then we have every reason and every right to look for resources and information in order to investigate those claims. We have the intelligence to weigh the pros and the cons IF we have access to the literature and background information. These days, though, that is a really big IF. The mainstream media are owned by the same feedbag providers as are the politicians and the Freedom of Information Act is being severely curtailed by claims of 'national security'. Secrecy in high places must then also be 'for our own good'.
Except that history does not bear that theory out. Where the people have no say --or where their voices are routinely silenced -- governmental abuses and repressions against a nation's own populace increase rather than decrease. If government secrecy is 'for our good' then how much better must be complete silence then?
Loose lips cause a lot of things and trouble for the governments that want complete control of its 'citizens' is definitely one of them. The voices of citizens in these scenarios just get in the way of the master plan at work. When you hear American politicians gripe about 'obstructionists' or 'anti-American' sentiments, you can be sure that not only were someone's lips loose, but that the person whose lips those were is not towing the party line. That is a pretty disturbing trend to see developing in U.S. politics and American society, if you ask me.
We don't know what caused Ruby to stop eating long enough for the fatty liver disease to develop. Fifty-percent of the time, the veterinary wisdom states, it is precipitated by a stressful event and fifty-percent of the time, they just don't know why that it occurs. It might have been just Ruby's finicky nature or boredom with the five different choices of cat food that she regularly was offered. In our case, we just can't point to any one event that may have started all of this.
The U.S. government however can point to any number of events that may have begun our forced-feeding on terror. September 11. The U.S. Cole. Leftovers from the Gulf War. Fundamentalist terror cells ready to blow us all to Hades at a moments notice. There are real events to point to without a doubt. But is the 'cure' being force fed to the world really associated with these events? Or is something else at work here? Well, we need to know.
Ruby was checked out from top to bottom, inside and out. She had x-rays. She had an ultrasound and a liver biopsy and blood work. No underlying causes or other illnesses were found and so we can be confident that the fatty liver is the cause and the condition that we must treat.
In these times of global 'illness' as it were, we owe it to ourselves to investigate the potential causes before we settle on a cure. More secrecy then is not the answer. We all need to know the underlying conditions and to rule out other possibilities before we commit to a treatment by governmental prescription or regime.
Ruby must be force-fed some rather nasty stuff in order to survive. We know that because we did the tests. It really is for her own good.
But some of us aren't quite sure if the world situation yet demands that we give up personal and civil liberties simply because this is what a government that works increasingly in secrecy and outside the public square of citizen participation prescribes. Maybe we need to do some tests. Maybe we need to read some more literature. Maybe we need to investigate further before we swallow it all whole. Maybe we need to ask even more questions and demand even more open dialogue while we still have the right to do so. And then finally, maybe we should really let the citizens decide what is 'for our own good'?
Because according to Ruby, being force-fed a nasty bunch of crap really, really sucks.
Co-Founder - The Witches' Voice
Monday, December, 2nd., 2002
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