DEAR READERS: The COVID-19 pandemic pales before the enormity of the issue of plastic pollution. Plastics are burned in many countries, releasing dioxins and other chemicals into the air, many of which can cause cancer and birth defects and/or damage the lungs and brain. These chemicals eventually settle on the crops we eat and the surface waters we ultimately drink.
Plastics in our oceans break down into microparticles that are then found in the fish we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe, along with toxic chemicals that adhere to these microparticles.
Scientists have linked ocean microplastics with declines in ocean phytoplankton. Phytoplankton, along with zooplankton, which are also harmed by microplastics, are the foundation of the marine food chain (the other end of which is threatened by over-fishing). Plankton are a major source of atmospheric oxygen and also absorb large quantities of carbon dioxide -- ecological services similar to what our declining forests provide.
The COVID-19 pandemic, and the socioeconomic recovery that must follow, should not distract us from the urgency of addressing the global crisis of plastic pollution: a petrochemical product whose harmful consequences were never considered, but which we must all face. For documentation, see my report “From Mineral Oil and Multiple Sclerosis to Plastics and Nanoparticles,” posted on drfoxonehealth.com.
DEAR DR. FOX: I read your answer to the person whose son, who visits occasionally, is allergic to the cat sometimes allowed into their home. About a month ago, I purchased Purina Pro Plan LiveClear, a food that somehow cuts cat allergens, and it works! My granddaughter no longer sneezes when she’s in areas where my cats play, and she can even pet them before she goes to bed at night.
Thought you should know of this great product. I’m NOT an employee of Purina, just a cat lover. -- N.J., Winston-Salem, North Carolina
DEAR N.J.: I am glad to hear that the LiveClear food helped reduce your granddaughter’s sneezing when she is around your cats. My concern is for the cats, who should not be fed exclusively on such dry kibble. For details, see the book “Big Kibble” by Shawn Buckley and Dr. Oscar Chavez.
I would give your cats some wet cat food (canned or freeze-dried, ideally organic) or my home-prepared diet for at least one meal a day.
N.J. REPLIES: Absolutely agree on the wet food! I believe that neither dogs nor cats would eat only dry “stuff” in the wild, so I feed all of them some wet food. I just put the Purina kibble out as a snack, and the cats seem to like it a lot.
BOOK REVIEW: GOLDSTEIN’S ‘SPIRIT OF ANIMAL HEALING’
After reading this book -- full title, “The Spirit of Animal Healing: An Integrative Medicine Guide for a Higher State of Wellbeing” by Dr. Marty Goldstein, published 2021 -- I feel less alone as a veterinarian. Indeed, I have been called “the pariah of the profession,” but this book advocates much of what I have been doing to improve the health and well-being of our animal companions over the past 50 years.
Written in an engaging, personal style that explains complex issues in simple language, this book puts in place the cornerstones of keeping animals healthy: preventing and treating many illnesses with complementary and alternative therapeutic modalities. This book will inspire pet owners, veterinary students and practitioners to join the holistic One Health revolution. This movement challenges the conventional approach of relying on ever-more vaccinations, antibiotics and other pharmaceutical products while ignoring the role of nutrition and nutraceuticals.
(Send all mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106. The volume of mail received prohibits personal replies, but questions and comments of general interest will be discussed in future columns.
Visit Dr. Fox’s website at DrFoxOneHealth.com.)