I took some pages from Mike Mignola’s book to create a particularly dark, perhaps a tad over-dramatic third act. The Ghost of Woo Consequence was actually the first one I came up with, and in some ways the impetus behind this series. It came about following the news of the extinction of the Western African Black Rhinoceros just a few weeks ago. It’s one thing when a species goes extinct due to any number of selection variables (99% of all the species that ever lived on Earth are now extinct), but it’s another thing when they’re killed off because some Chinese guy couldn’t get it up.
I wanted to approach the “What’s the Harm” angle from a slightly different angle. The topic is widely covered, thanks to Tim Farley’s web archive of the same name. When you have unregulated, backdoor clinics where anybody can look at a chart, take some courses, and call themselves an acupuncturist, you’re bound to have cases where things go wrong. Whether it’s people forsaking normal medical care or the practitioner putting a needle a little too deep in the wrong spot. People may retort that acupuncture is indeed regulated, and in fact, FDA approved, but they’re only sort of right. The only sort of official nod acupuncture has received is that its needles are safe for human stabbery. So long as the clinic is sterilizing them properly. It’s be kind of sad if you got HIV or Hepatitis for nothing.
Some may argue that the relationship between acupuncture and animal poaching is tenuous at best, but the point is that in a belief system (in this case Traditional Chinese Medicine) you don’t get to pick and choose what you like and don’t like. To borrow loosely from George Hrab, you can’t justify being a fascist just because you really like the marching. You can’t quote Leviticus against homosexuality and then wear blended fabrics or have tattoos. If you really think the ancient Chinese were that wonderful and had that much insight that has held up over the thousands of years, you can’t disparage one practice over another because drinking tiger bone(r)s is “Icky.”
The whole TCM practice should be dumped and left behind in the past where it belongs, and it starts with your wallets.
This post was brought to you by WhatstheHarm.net and Dave D. of Pythagorean Crank, who helped greatly with the research.
Read Dave’s article on the illegal tiger poaching trade that is destroying the tiger population for literally nothing.