A Kinder Option E-mail

A Kinder Option

The use of stem cells contributes to approximately 5-7% of the final esthetic results of the Novadermy procedure. However, Novadermy is available also without using stem cells, and before choosing whether or not to undergo this procedure, you can consider this option as a more ecologically sound choice.

The stem cells used for this procedure are harvested from bovine placentas in Argentina. Therefore, these placental cells do not come from living calves or cows and no animals or their offspring were directly sacrificed or compromised in order to obtain these cells. HOWEVER, the common practice in Argentina is to raise, artificially inseminate, and slaughter cows on a large scale - which represents unsustainable environmental habits and questionable ethics. As with any commercial animal-based products, there are hidden costs which should be factored into oneʼs choice to support this business.

A few of the issues involved in large-scale agribusiness -- regardless of the country of origin -- include the inefficiency of converting grain into pounds of cows (according to Washington State University Extension, it varies from two to six pounds of grain to get one pound of cow, depending upon amount of efficient use of forage); the use of huge tracts of public lands to graze cows for private gain; the pollutions created by huge concentrations of feces and methane gas emissions; and the extensive use of petroleum at every stage of this business.

But perhaps the most serious issues involved are related to water. On March 31, 2004, CBC News broadcast the history of Argentinaʼs privatization of public water sources, entitled “Argentina: A Grand Experiment in Water Privatization That Failed” (see cbc.ca). At the time of broadcast, selling public water utilities to a French water consortium had led to skyrocketing water prices, to charges of political corruption, and to millions of people in Greater Buenos Aires still awaiting water and sewer connections. While the problems of water quality and distribution have many facets, the bottom line, according to recent statistics from the Foundation for Sustainable Development, is that, “ ... many areas of Argentina face a total lack of safe drinking water”. According to Wikipedia, water problems in Argentina are exacerbated by “... one of the highest levels of per capita usage in the world at around 500 L/day, with 74% of water withdrawals made by agriculture”.

Depending upon whether you believe the beef industryʼs claims that it takes 441 gallons of water to create one pound of cow, or the more commonly used estimate of 2,500 gallons (see vegsource.com for the explanations of the differences in math), an average of the two extremes is 1471 gallons, which for an average cow of about 1,250 pounds would require 1,838,750 gallons just to create one animal. Reducing demand for Argentinian cow products would, at the very least, help to clean up the freshwater supply in those regions. To learn more about global water issues, please read the highly enjoyable book by best-selling author Charles Fishman, The Big Thirst.

It may not seem like much to forego your use of just a few cells of a byproduct of an animal that will still be consumed in many other ways. But each time a citizen chooses to eschew any product that misappropriates use of precious limited resources like fresh water and demands accountability at every level of all related businesses, the world is a safer, happier place for everyone. If you chose to undergo Novadermy, imagine how much more beautiful your face will look to you if you know how much kinder your stem cell-free choice will be!

(An independent author was invited to write this article, which therefore does not necessarily match the views or opinions of Novadermy).