Chronicles of Less Urban Living, Fresh from In the Night Farm

Blaming the Victim?

Billy is eight years old.  His family has just moved into a new house.  The realtor warned his parents that a registered sex offender lives next door, but they liked the house and bought it anyway.

“Don’t play in Mr. X’s yard,” Mother says.  And Billy obeys.

But Mr. X is a cheerful, attractive gentleman.  When Billy wants extra money, Mother suggests he offer to trim Mr. X’s hedges or mow his lawn.  Billy follows her advice.

Sometimes, when she needs to run to the store, Mother tells Billy to play outside where Mr. X can keep an eye on him — just for a few minutes, of course.  So Billy does.

Within a year, Mr. X is back in the court system.  Billy is in counseling for wounds that are unlikely ever to fully heal.

Who is to blame?


Billy is an average guy.  He is trying to make good decisions for his health.  Years ago, scientists warned the medical industry that excessive dietary carbohydrate causes disease, but Big Ag funded them, so they recommend that Billy consume plenty of “complex carbohydrates” anyway.

“Don’t eat too much refined sugar,” the medical industry says.  And Billy obeys.

But sugar wears clever disguises.  When Billy is hungry, the medical industry directs him to eat multigrain bagals with low-fat cream cheese or bran flakes with soy milk.  Billy follows their advice.

Sometimes, when the processed food industry lobbies hard enough, the medical industry tells Billy it’s okay to enjoy snack cakes and soda — in moderation, of course.  So Billy does.

Within thirty years, disease has taken hold.  Billy is in treatment for obesity, cardiovascular disease, Type II diabetes, or a cancer that refuses to respond to therapy.

Who is to blame?


I’ve taken flak throughout my ongoing cancer prevention series for “blaming the victim” by suggesting that many (not all!) cancers could be prevented by making the right lifestyle choices — if only they weren’t misinformed about what constitutes the “right” choices.  Please, read the posts again:

Cancer for a FortnightBefore Early DetectionIn the Beginning:  The Cancer-Inflammation Connection, Only YOU Can Prevent Inflammation, Supply Lines:  The Importance of AngiogenesisShort-Circuit:  Inhibiting Angiogenesis Naturally, Please Don’t Feed the Cancer, Crap for the Cure.

Is it really the victim I’m blaming?


9 responses

  1. Your posts always make me think…..sometimes about things I’d rather not! 🙂 Thanks for posting the truth as you see it. It’s very enlightening for me!

    December 21, 2010 at 11:21 am

    • Goodwife, you made me smile. Addressing these touchy subjects isn’t easy, but I believe in saying what needs to be said, even when doing so is uncomfortable.

      December 21, 2010 at 11:33 am

  2. Yup, I’m that type of person as well. Very direct, to the point of being raw, my husband is as well. My weight is my cross to bear. I have to get it in hand as it’s more of a psychological problem for me than anything else. Like many chronically overweight people I eat for many reasons. My blog is called Thickin and Thinnin because my weight goes up and down and up and down. I never have trouble losing it, but keeping it off is my battle. I’m enjoying your blog as I like to learn about nutrition even though there is soooo much conflicting information out there. Thanks again!

    December 22, 2010 at 10:21 am

    • Cheers, Goodwife. So glad to have you reading. 🙂

      December 22, 2010 at 10:55 am

  3. David

    Today’s post makes a person think not to take life lightly. Enjoy the moment and make it better for someone else in need!

    And, eating Paleo, lighting heavy things, moving, etc…can help create a healthy life!

    Merry Christmas!

    December 22, 2010 at 11:43 am

    • Merry Christmas, David! 🙂

      December 22, 2010 at 1:32 pm

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