An infographic sign that reads “No farting.” To illustrate, a cartoon man has his leg raised as flatulence emanates from his hindquarters.
Studies suggest the aroma of flatulence actually lowers blood pressure. (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/Lanie/Flickr)

U.S. Marines in Afghanistan have faced difficulties from harsh climate to the threat of al-Qaida attacks. Now Military Times reports that another provision has been added to their duty sheet. Audible farting by U.S. Marines has been banned because it offends some members of the Afghan National Army and Afghan civilians.

Being respectful of culture

In traditional Afghan society, fart humor is not appreciated, even among soldiers in the field. U.S. Marines are taught to abstain from discussions involving politics, religion or women around Afghan soldiers, even though the language barrier would prevent there being much common ground for communication. Farts, farting and other facets of fart humor are easier to understand. That’s why Marine officers have banned audible farting.

Anonymous sources oppose ban

Comments from anonymous U.S. service members on Military Times indicate that the audible farting ban for Marines in Afghanistan is unreasonable, to put it lightly. To begin with, there’s the problem of the rations Marines have to eat. One gastric sufferer recounts:

“Are you kidding me. With the $&*# we had to eat, I was farting non-stop. I mean, really, all the MREs (Meal Ready to Eat) and UGRs (Unitized Group Rations) all you do is fart.”

Troop camaraderie isn’t the cleanest thing in the world, as another anonymous service member points out:

“Farting is considered a contest when underway. Next thing they’re gonna do is take away throwing rocks, talking about our woman, sharing poop stories, and the rest of the things Marines do when we have nothing else besides waiting.”

Ultimately, the most frustrating thing to one former Marine is wondering why it’s OK to share the field of engagement with less than reliable support who may stab you in the back – but farting in front of them is off-limits:

“On a daily basis Marines are accosted by grotesque living conditions, assaulted non-stop… (and) have to worry about whether or not their tag-along is going to bail during a fire fight (or shoot at them)… yet we can’t fart in front of them.”

Farting for your health

Practitioners of yoga know that poses such as Salamba Sirsasana and Viparita Chakrasana are useful in lessening problem flatulence caused by excessive consumption and inactivity. Waiting for something to happen can definitely contribute to the problem.

It remains to be seen whether the Marines will institute yoga training in order to curb audible flatulence in the field. However, the suppression of flatulence could deprive Marines of a health benefit, notes Live Science. A study done on lab mice proved that the aroma of hydrogen sulfide released when farting helps control blood pressure. Scientists believes farting works to control human hypertension, too. Considering how little success U.S. veterans are having with post-traumatic stress disorder treatment, curbing audible farting may not be a good idea.

Farting Afghan musicians: A double standard? (Warning: farting)

Sources

Bro Bible: http://www.brobible.com/bronews/story/marines-banned-audible-farting-downrange-afghanistan

Gawker: http://gawker.com/5833806/marines-ban-noisy-farts-in-afghanistan

Health Benefits of Yoga: http://bit.ly/opXjQw

Live Science: http://www.livescience.com/2996-stink-farts-controls-blood-pressure.html

Military Times: http://bit.ly/neNf6z

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