Despite the overwhelming scientific evidence proving that vaccines are beneficial to all of humanity, an alarming number of people still believe that deeply researched and tested medicine is harmful and not to be trusted. In addition to arguing that people should fear vaccines because of scary chemicals and toxins, some truly believe that shots will give their children autism.
While I 100% advocate for parents doing their research and consulting their doctors about their child's allergies and specific medical conditions, for the life of me I cannot understand why measles outbreaks aren't enough to convince people that vaccines play a critical role in keeping our communities safe. Also in making sure that we don't all die from the next deadly plague.
But what baffles me even more than humans refusing life-saving medicines are humans who refuse to vaccinate their dogs. According to Brooklyn Paper, a growing number of folks in New York's hippest neighborhoods simply will not take their pets in for routine shots.
"We do see a higher number of clients who don't want to vaccinate their animals," Dr. Amy Ford of the Veterinarian Wellness Center of Boerum Hill told Brooklyn Paper. "This may be stemming from the anti-vaccine movement, which people are now applying to their pets."
Some of the most highly recommended vaccines for dogs include distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, and rabies, according to the American Kennel Association. All of the listed diseases can be deadly if left untreated, and with so many dogs roaming the streets of NYC, it's shocking that people wouldn't want to protect their furry friends from harm. So, which demographic is most likely to skip on a trip to the vet?
"It's actually much more common in the hipster-y areas," Dr. Ford told Brooklyn Paper. "I really don't know what the reasoning is, they just feel that injecting chemicals into their pet is going to cause problems."
Another doctor told the local paper that unlike Dr. Ford, she had heard clients discussing their anti-vax reasoning. It turns out, some people believe that their dogs, too, can get autism from faulty injections.
"We've never diagnosed autism in a dog," Dr. Stephanie Liff of Clinton Hill's Pure Paws Veterinary Care assured Brooklyn Paper. "I don't think you could."
Though I stand by my belief that not vaccinating your pet is a terrible thing to do and that humans aren't worthy of dogs' love and attention, this story could ultimately be a bit misleading. Erin McCann of The New York Times tweeted out a compelling thread arguing that the Brooklyn Post may have been a little too eager to blame the area's hipsters for the latest crimes against animals.
Not only did McCann point out that not one dog owner was interviewed in this piece — an irresponsible move, for sure — but she also raised a question about why veterinarians aren't reporting dog owners for refusing rabies shots, which are mandatory under law in most states across the country.