So I have been reading this book Wild Health: Lessons in Natural Wellness from the Animal Kingdom by Cindy Engel, and I have to say this is a must read for all those that follow a more natural path to health and wellness. It is a very informative book packed with many examples of how wild animals not only stay healthy but rid themselves of sickness naturally, if and when it occurs. With the countless natural remedies out there for the taking and the animals instinctiveness to seek them out when in need is nothing short of amazing to me. Even with many of these herbs being toxic if consumed in excess or at the wrong time or alone (instead of in combination with another herb), it seems wild animals have mastered natures medicine cabinet.
One of the things she talks about is the contradicting views regarding the health of wild animals based on observations recorded of domesticated (or wild captive) animals. Whether it be lab rats or industrial (large scale) farm animals, when the animal is not given access to its natural habitat an accurate conclusion on the state of their ability to avoid and combat sickness and disease cannot be drawn. It was thought for many years (and still is today) that contact with wild animals is to blame for sickness and disease of farm animals, but in reality it's the poor immune systems of domesticated (or captive) animals that are to blame.
Cindy makes the point that in nature wild animals carry many pathogens, but it's their immune systems ability to keep the balance between the good and bad bacteria within the body at a safe HEALTHY level, that truly makes for a healthy animal.