Stem Cells, Animal Protection and Self-Conflict!

I really want to be young, fit and healthy. The latest research reports reveal that stem cells can be extracted from your own blood called hematopoietic stem cells. Thus bypassing the moral debate about using umbilical cords or fetal blood, your own personal stem cells are a primary focus for scientists and profit-minded corporations, too. The latest thrust in research is the anti-aging effect of reducing IGF and insulin function in mouse models with multiple mutations. According to the Jackson Laboratory, the fine work of Professor David E. Harrison and others could eventually delay endocrine-driven aging, as well as contribute to the discovery of genetic and physiological causes of age related diseases.

As I await these miracles of research, I am a bit haunted by the mention of thousands of mice experiments that are apparently necessary to discover the secrets of stem cells. Conflicted by my animal protection instincts, I also want to be in line for anti-aging protocols. Stem cells may help me to live longer and stronger. But, must something suffer in order for me to have a better, longer life?

I struggle with the decision to become a vegetarian because my early training portrayed a healthy dinner as a steak and potato with a big glass of milk. Now, I suspect that a raw salad is what my body really thrives on. What is clear to me is that I want to stop wearing dead animal bodies - even though Vogue, Bazaar and other magazines flaunt photographs of beautiful women draped in death skins. This attempt to make me spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on the business of slaughter of even more beautiful animals, fails and repulses me. I resent the magazines and designers for looking the other way. No matter how elegantly crafted a shoe or jacket may appear, I know the soft underbelly of a lamb belongs on the lamb. The fur and feathers are the creatures, not mine.

I may not stop animal research with my articles but I can control my own purchases. Perhaps, the tide of violence to each other and to innocent animals will someday be outlawed and enforced. What a nice thought that no man, woman, child or animal needs to suffer at the hands of profit, greed or stupidity because of me. I ask myself what cost to be fashionable, young and lean am I willing to pay? And, how about you?

©2009, Molly Barrow

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Dr. Molly Barrow holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is the author of the new book, Matchlines: A revolutionary New Way of looking at relationships and making the right choices in love. She is an authority on relationship and psychological topics, a member of the American Psychological Association and a licensed mental health counselor. Dr. Molly has appeared as an expert on NBC, PBS, KTLA, and in O Magazine, Psychology Today, Newsday,,, Women's Health and Women's World. Please visit: or Take the new relationship compatibility test, Match Lines Systems for Successful Relationships for Singles, Couples and Business at Molly has a radio program, Your Relationship Answers at

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