I was out to dinner with my sister and her son over break. He’s only four and over three feet tall; when I visited my old elementary school, the kids on the playground looked old enough to be throwing back beers on the jungle gym. If you take a minute to notice, the whole dynamic of the world is changing and starting to resemble something right out of an episode of the X Files. You’re not crazy – kids didn’t used to develop so quickly and I think that I know why.
I wore a training bra until ninth grade when I discovered the enhancing effects of birth control pills (through equally unsexually-active, overly-insecure girlfriends). The pill was a miracle drug and after the first sample pack I was ready to join the big dogs – literally.
Well, we can learn something from this: Hormones can make your body change. Hormones can keep you from getting pregnant. Hormones can make a man a woman and vice versa. Hormones can radically alter life, as we know it – and we’re shooting up our fine produce and livestock with these things everyday! Houston, we have a problem. Sure, it starts out subtly enough; with boys growing to the size of Mr. T by the age of ten and pre-adolescent girls raiding the Misses section at Bloomingdale’s for something to make them look smaller because the overgrown boys are starting to gawk. This increased rate of physical maturity should be an indication that something isn’t quite right. The same people who are blaming cell phone radiation for increased cancer rates are going to work everyday and injecting our chickens with enough antibiotics to start a pharmacy. The idea behind the antibiotics is to keep little Henny Penny healthy and strong so that she will grow to be three times the size of her predecessors; but when Henny Penny bites the big one, laying to rest in a nice honey Dijon marinade, we ingest those antibiotics with every bite we take, thus developing an immunity to them so that the next time we get sick, the likelihood of an effective treatment is that much less. Mmmm – tastes just like chicken!
And you vegetarians thought YOU were safe! Now scientists want bigger, better tomatoes; greener lettuce, carrots that can see for themselves and a parade of other fruits and vegetables that look like they should be on display at the Smithsonian Museum. No one is safe anymore and the side effects seem to be starting with our children. So, I ask you – what’s next?
Whitney Friedrich is a senior majoring in Advertising and English.