For the past 8 years I have lived a block from sheep and cows, yet I could die if I lived on a farm. Dogs cause my immune system to go on red alert with struggle to breathe, hives with any saliva contact on my skin (dog kisses), horses are a near second, followed by every other dander-bearing critter furred and feathered on a list of graduated lesser severity. For me proximity to animals outdoors with circulating air is thousands times better than enclosed spaces like barns or homes.
A very frustrated existence to have a heart so aligned with living and working on an organic farm, connecting with and caring for animals. This is why I do what I can to connect with the natural world whatever way I can given my circumstances. And why the green nation of plants calls me.
My recent intense cellular-level passion about reconnecting to nature (really my entire life though I did not recognize it as such) has led me to wonder whether my very cells are crying out for a remedy to my immune system’s dysfunction.
Allergies are a true epidemic of “Westernization,” and this article below helps to explain why. To synthesize the findings:
1) Exposure from a young age to the microbial and fungal “soup” of farms colonizes human bodies to strengthen our immune system response AND the microbial soup performs immunotherapy on us to decrease our immune response.
2) Young children who consumed raw farm milk had more T-cells (the white cells that fight tumors and viruses and regulate immunity).
3) Pregnant mothers’ exposure to microbes has a direct impact on infants’ allergic disease, despite a small percentage of allergic disease being related purely to genetics.
4) Regular exposure to the farming environment even as an adult can prevent future allergic sensitivities, but do nothing to existing. So much for the idea of me working for a dog breeder to heal the worst of my allergic disease.
“During the dramatic reordering of human existence that began with the Industrial Revolution, everyone else may have become more allergic. Immunologically speaking, the farming Amish and farmers generally may more closely resemble an evolutionary norm for our species.”