This winter I attended the North American Veterinary Conference. The NAVC is one of the largest Veterinary conferences in the World. It is held in Orlando Florida each January, bringing together veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and animal health businesses. The Conference takes place in a huge venue, which takes over two convention centers at the Marriott and Gaylord Hotels. Filled with hundreds of exhibitors and lectures available, it has so much information to give.
I have been able to attend the conference recently in 2008, 2010 and 2011, as a presenter. I have lectured on Ozone Therapy in 2008 and 2012. The NAVC has been having Integrative Veterinary Medicine tracks for years and this openness for quality information makes it the best veterinary conference. The Officers who plan the NAVC want to be inclusive and this gives the conference attendees many opportunities to learn varied aspects of the profession. Even the exhibitors carry herbs, botanicals and high quality nutritional supplements so both the allopathic and holistic vets can get educated and share information.
One obvious piece of this complex project that can strike up controversy is the HUGE amount of Money and visibility that big Corporations get for their financial support of the conference. This part bothers me as I know it does influence both the veterinarians and technicians as they get lots of free food and prizes. From over the top Cool and the Gang Band with 8 dancers or a night of dancing and a live 6 piece band with 7 singers and a mock up “Minute to Win it” with as much food as you can eat. The advertising of the companies wares is all over so we can be made aware of their support.
Yes the conference needs funds but where does the beholden feeling end and the drug companies influence have the profession beholden to them too… Small companies do not have the power of the advertising dollars, and attention getters with natural products like those that are used by many holistic practitioners. They do not have the large corporations with very deep pockets and lobbying funds in Washington DC. to promote natural products that are a healthy life style.
The big Pharma companies need to be able to see the value in empowering people to keep themselves and their animals healthy with high quality nutrition, exercise, and the benefits long term of positive mental support. People would need less and less drugs for inflammation, infections and mental depression. The animals will be healthier if they too can receive this wholistic approach to health. But that will not immediately gratify profit money to stock holders.
As we all become more knowledgable we will not have to be impressed with big “Broadway Type” productions but can see through the hype and not be sold by lots of fancy advertising.