Premarin is the top selling pharmaceutical drug in the United States. It is a billion dollar drug which profits are likely to rise with the increasing age of baby boomer women moving through menopause - unless those women put a stop to it.  You see, Premarin is an estrogen substitute. Natural alternatives exist, but women don't know and don't ask for them. They blindly follow the prescriptions their doctors give them. This really should stop. Doctors need to be educated and women need to be informed.

Premarin is made from horses urine - specifically pregnant mares urine (PMU). On more than 500 PMU farms in Canada (and some in the United States), an estimated 75,000 mares are impregnated and confined to service to the pharmaceutical companies. The work of animal rights activists suggests severe cruelty exists in some of these "farms" by way of small stalls leaving no room for the mares to move freely or to lie down, pregnant mares left standing for months on end  with little or no exercise where they are hooked up to cumbersome rubber urine-collection bags that rub and chafe their legs often causing open, pus-oozing sores that are left untreated, mares which are given limited drinking water so their urine will yield more concentrated estrogen. It is suggested some horses suffer from renal and liver problems - the result of insufficient drinking water. When they drop their foals, the foals are killed and the mare is made pregnant again. Now this is certainly not the case on every farm as there are ethical individuals that truly love their horses. However, natural health research suggests that horse estrogen is never a good idea for human females, so whether animal suffering exists or not, we should simply stop the needless production of these questionable drugs.

There are alternatives to the drug Premarin. Premarin in fact, is not a very good choice for estrogen replacement. The estrogen from a horse does not match the ratio of substances found naturally in the human body. Estrone for instance, one of the components of estrogen, is far higher in horses than it is for humans. Though Premarin may be a natural hormone, it is only natural to a horse - not a human. 

Plant-based estrogen derived from soybeans and yams provides post-menopausal women the same benefits and reduction in menopausal symptoms as Premarin without dangerous side effects. Even in the prescription area, plant-derived and synthetic drugs exist that offer an alternative, including: Climara, Estrace, Estraderm, Estinyl, Estovis, and Tace. However, many women will find that the adoption of natural therapies, lifestyle and nutritional enhancements will be more accommodating to their body rhythms.

The production, prescription and use of Premarin is questionable at best, inhumane at worst and definitely unnecessary. Many doctors are unaware of how Premarin is manufactured. They need to be educated and learn of the alternatives.

I don't know about you, but I happen to like horses. They are wonderful creatures. The greatest power to stop bad farms and the needless suffering of these beautiful animals lies with the patients themselves. It is very simple, don't take Premarin. Just say NO. Find the alternatives. Better ones exist.

Tell your daughters, your mothers, your sisters, your aunts, and your friends. Premarin may be the most widely prescribed drug in the world, but if you refuse to take it, the industry will have to change.

Consumers drive markets. In the natural health industry, there is a tendency to make the pharmaceutical companies the bad guys--but hey, they are just satisfying their shareholders by making products, marketing and selling them. If they can capture medical doctors and get them to be a part of their sales channel, then they can sell more. Hooray for market enterprise.

Consumers have the power to read and study and THINK through what health is. But few choose to exercise their brains. They rely on their doctor to tell them what to do, not realizing that doctors have been trained in treating symptoms and conditions and they don't exercise their brains either when it comes to thinking about how health actually unfolds on a physiological level. At levels beyond the ICU and emergency room, doctors are just part of a cog in a massive drug distribution system engineered through years of corporate industrial cultivation. You can blindly buy into it, or you can get educated and choose alternatives. That is what's nice about a free market and free choice.

Descendants of Trigger, Mr. Ed, and other equine friends need your help.

Join people like Judi Dench, Bea Arthur, Mary Tyler Moore and others in raising awareness to this issue. You can contact the Premarin campaign coordinator at the animal rights group PETA to learn more. Phone (757) 622-PETA

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