Animal aromatherapy

June 30th, 2009 § 1 comment

Jim Barker pointed out a No. 10 Petition (this one, “Maybe this petition explains why ex-pats make such bitter comments on the Daily Mail website”) and after signing it A. Bollockhead, had a look at some more.

This one came up

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Permit Qualified Aromatherapists and Wiccan Practitioners To Treat Animals.

Why not allow Woo-ists to practice on animals, eh?

Well, in the ‘more detail’ bit the originator of the petition does indeed go in to a bit more detail, but doesn’t really give aromatherapy any more relevence to animals…

The practice of aromatherapy is recorded from Egyptian times, so we can assume that it is probably older than that. References to aromatherapy appear in the famous Ebers Papyrus, which dates from the eighteenth dynasty. The Holy Bible contains many references to the use of oils, in Israel.

All those qualified to us it should be permitted to practice it with animals also.

I don’t doubt the truthfulness of anything that the Karen Stapleton has asserted there, especially as I can’t be arsed to find out, but I don’t think that she or her co-horts in witch-doctory have taken in to account, not just robust investigation in to the effects of their sugar pills, smelly oils and water with memory, but also the ability to fool ourselves which we cannot do to animals

[Q]uackery might just about be justifiable on humans on the account that the placebo effect might give some relief (although I would argue against taking this position). But an animal cannot experience the placebo and will gain no benefit whatsoever from homeopathy, reiki, or ear candling for that matter. The only person who will gain is the carer, thinking they are doing good for the prickly little fellow. Placebo Effects work on humans. It’s a cultural thing. Hedgehogs do not cotton on to the significance of the psycho-suggestive shamanistic healing rituals involved in homeopathy. They would just prefer to curl up into a pin cushion. Many go on about homeopathy tests on animals proving the case for homeopathy think they do not need to have randomised blind controls, since animals cannot have a placebo effect. But this dodges the fact that it is their carers and owners are reporting the animals’ health improvements – the placebo works on the carers. Blinded trials on animal medicines are still absolutely necessary. For more details on homeopathy, placebos and animals see the excellent British Veterinary Voodoo Society.

I also feel that one of the five other people to sign the petition may have missed the point a little as they’ve signed as…

people should have the choice

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