The Amish are a fascinating people. Rejecting many of modern society’s conveniences, they toil away with their families to farm land and provide for future generations. Commonly characterized by their simple clothing and less-than-fancy way of life, this religious group originally hailing from Switzerland shows a surprising fact:
There are almost no instances of autism in Amish communities, and barely any sign of cancer or heart disease.
What might be the cause of this astounding trend? Some sources believe that it’s the lack of vaccinations in Amish communities that prevents the onset of so many of today’s most prevalent diseases. Because of their religious beliefs, Amish communities do not provide vaccinations to their children — vaccinations which doctors recognize as containing very high levels of poisonous mercury. Could this lack of vaccinating be the source of Amish children’s almost non-existent rates of autism?
Doctor Stephanie Cave seems to think so. In a statement given before the Committee on Government Reform, she lays out the dangers of mercury in vaccines due to the presence of a chemical known as thimerosal. With children in the United States regularly receiving nearly 50 vaccination injections by the age of seven, could the presence of mercury-containing thimerosal be leading to development of autism in huge portions of the population?
Because it’s such a hot-button issue, any talk of vaccinations seems to be regarded with skepticism. Worse yet, giving any alternative views on the topic is often met with anger, or leaves a person branded as “anti-science”, or as a crazy person. But if the Amish lifestyle has anything to say about the issue, it may point in the direction of not continuing to use vaccines which carry toxic mercury. Though the thimerosal in vaccines is said to be safe, others have a different view.
This other camp may have a view which is somewhere in the middle: Vaccines aren’t really the problem… The mercury which is used “as a preservative” in them is. Instead, authors from “Trace Amounts” argue that while vaccines may be a powerful force for good, we must choose to remove the mercury from them in order to prevent possible instances of disease. Stating that early childhood exposure to mercury is “an avoidable risk”, they seek to find a middle ground between science and common sense.
The moral of the story is this: There may be no substitute for common sense, simple living, and a slower way of life. For all of us living modern lives in cities who sit somewhere in the middle, common sense continues to be our best tool: Look at the reports, and decide for yourselves. But don’t forget the example of health and wellness set by the Amish through their natural, simple lives.
This article was inspired by an awesome original piece here.