A few weeks ago I was in an area where runners were assembling to “Run for the Cure” of some problem. It suddenly hit me how messed up our priorities are. Of course we all want to help those who are sick. It is great that researchers are working on cures for cancer and other devastating diseases. But, what about prevention?

Think about it, if we put more resources into preventing diseases like cancer then there would be no reason to run for a cure. The problem is that many of the diseases that plague our society and its pets are brought about by lifestyle. Processed convenience foods, vaccines, pharmaceuticals, lack of exercise, and a general disregard for body condition are all risk factors for chronic disease (and not-so-chronic cancer).

Yes, there does seem to be a genetic component to cancer. Certain genes have been directly linked to specific cancer types. At the same time, not everyone with the “bad” gene gets the disease. Perhaps cancer genes are simply genes that don’t tolerate the standard Western lifestyle.

Furthermore, none of us can completely escape the toxic environment we are creating on planet earth. Even if you avoid the poisons put on our food by eating organic, you cannot totally escape air and water pollution. I have seen naturally raised, raw-fed dogs die of cancer. The bottom line is that we and our pets are going to die of something sooner or later. There is no “Run for Immortality.”

There are disease risk factors that we cannot avoid but there are many that we can evade. A holistic life style – eating a species-appropriate, whole-foods diet, avoiding unneeded vaccines, getting plenty of exercise, and using natural healing methods – increases the odds of living a long, healthy life. Unfortunately, a healthy lifestyle isn’t very sexy for most people. And there’s no money to be made by the PharmicoMafia.

No, we will never see a “Run for Prevention.” Although, exercise (the run part) is a great start toward a healthy lifestyle. The problem is that you have to do it more than once a year on pink ribbon day.

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