I have cried a sea of tears over my chemistry homework. I’ve spent countless weekends in the bone room, running my fingers over every crevice and bump, trying to commit every aspect to my memory. I’ve worked on hundreds of physics problems, trying to commit advanced theoretical formulas to memory.
I have choked back nausea and sadness at the dissection table, lamenting that someone’s pet had to die, so that I could learn which muscle goes where and which nerve goes along with it.
I have forgone sleep, have eradicated my social life, have turned my bed room into one big classroom, with flashcards and charts everywhere, to help me remember what I need to know.
I spend every waking hour of every day educating myself in zoology, histology, embryology, chemistry, physics, anatomy, pathology, physiology, animal welfare, ethics, ecology, evolution, biology, botany, and even politics.
I am one of thousands of aspiring veterinarians going down this road of education. I am following in the footsteps of thousands of current veterinarians who have spent decades studying all manners of science, from the basic structure of an atom all the way to topographical anatomy.
We are mocked as lesser doctors than human doctors, though we spend the same amount of time in school and have more than one species to memorize. We are treated as puppy huggers and animal rights nut jobs. We either have crushing student loans or live in a country with free education that pays veterinarians minimum wage.
So, tell me again, how your vet is trying to sell you cancer pills for your dog. Tell me again how your vet spent 8+ years of financial misery and living on the edge of a burn out to spend their day arguing over whether your dog’s life is worth the 40 bucks for a parvo vaccination as part of some elaborate Nigerian Prince long-con.
Tell me again how HolisticMamaBear.com has made more sacrifices than any of us. Tell me again how someone who has never even opened a single, solitary educational textbook for the sake of educating themselves about their passion, somehow knows more than the thousands of people who dedicated their entire lives to this.
What sacrifices has your mango fruit juice peddling health guru made that makes you believe he has your best interest at heart? What sacrifices has your suburban middle class housewife with a google machine that somehow has Snopes.com blacklisted made that makes you believe she cares more about you and not at all about how Internet controversiality feeds her ego?
Fear is a horrible thing to live with. We all fear what we don’t know. But you don’t combat fear by clinging to the next best argument that seems to validate your pre-conceived notions and use it as an opiate pacifier. You combat it by tackling the issue head on, confronting the fact that you may be wrong, and setting aside your own personal prejudices for the sake of truth and knowledge.
I don’t fault people for not knowing the truth. But I do fault them for hiding in their echo chamber of comfort, rather than facing the truth once it’s presented to them.