A Blind Eye // Ethan Collins

All throughout high school I enjoyed the math and science side of education. I dreaded any type of English based class. I was never much of a writer and would get looks from teachers every week like I never even attempted to edit my papers. When in reality the mechanical side of writing has always Pass-Failbeen a huge struggle for me and it has always held me back from trying to expand my writing skills. When it came time for college, I found out that I was preregistered in a critical writing class. The first thoughts that rushed through my head were all about how screwed I was. I knew college courses would be more of a challenge and if I couldn’t succeed in high school, I would inevitably fail in college. I pictured the class to be filled with boring readings about some topic that I would have no interest in along with hours of research papers. Although eventually I found out that I was horribly incorrect.

Not only have I become a much better writer throughout the year, I have learned more about what actually happens in our everyday lives which most people do not even have the chance to notice. More importantly these “things” happening around us are in most 


cases negative activities that we as humans take part in, drastically hurting not only ourselves, but our economies, our health, and even our planet. Through my time in CTW 1 and 2 I have been able have my eyes opened to multiple problems in our country. Every time I would think to myself, how do people not know about this? Leading me to find out that most people in our country are blinded to the issues that we have created and even worse most people do not even know they have the blinders on.

When you take some time and open your eyes to what occurs not only around you but behind the scenes the findings are crazy. What I thought was this boring English class turned into the catalyst which opened my eyes and that is when it became apparent to me just how little everyone knows. Every class facts would fly our way and time after time drop our jaws. Not only because of how astonishing the facts were, but how something that then seemed obvious, no one ever knew.  

Take food wastage for example, as read in The 10 Principles of Food Industry Sustainability by Cheryl J. Baldwin, “Global food wastage weighs in at 1.3 billion pounds a year globally” (Baldwin 143). At first it seems like just another fact. Then you start to conceptualize the number 1.3 billion. Let’s say you weigh 140 lbs; then as a globe we dispose of almost 10,000,000 copies of your body a year. Oracle stadium, home of the Golden State Warriors NBA Basketball team sits 20,000 people. You could fill 500 foodwaste.jpgstadiums with 140 pound bags in each seat and that is just the waste we use every year. Astonishing. Then it makes you think, why do we not do anything about it? Some people try, but the majority of people do not know and they continue to dispose of waste and buy non recyclable or reusable products everyday. And the food wastage industry is just one of many fields in which we are blind too. Even more interesting, as a population not only are we hurting our land with all this wastage, we also completely over abuse our ocean ecosystem.

From the age of five I have been fishing on the water. It is truly my happy place and I look forward to many more years in the ocean. Although at this rate it may not be possible. When you begin to look into the stability of our oceans the signs are not good. Although there are significant gaps in catch data, those that are available suggest that many shark species are at risk of extinction. Estimates are that globally between 26 and a21c3f43096b4019f2fb4813387a811173 million sharks are the subject of trade each year, with as many as 50 percent of sharks being caught incidentally (Techara). Although this may not seems significant being that it is just one species of fish you will then find out that without these ocean friends we are in big trouble. If sharks go extinct we will begin a downfall of the ocean ecosystem leading to the death of all living organisms and when this happens not having a plethora of sushi restaurants will be just a minor side effect. As quoted from the Sea Shepherd team, “The ocean is the life support system for the planet, providing 50% of the oxygen we breathe and regulating climate” (Sea Shepherd). So again why do we not act now? This would be a historical change to never be forgotten. Because people do not know!

The list could go on for days, and we could talk about how terrible we are to our planet but what seems more important is this recurring theme that people do not know about the trouble we have got ourselves into. As I said before, coming into this English class I was not excited, I was not a good writer and I thought it would be boring as hell. Until I gave the class a chance and although I learned a lot about writing, my eyes were opened to a whole different aspect of life. People are under educated. Thanks to many factors people have had blinders put on them and they do not even know that it is occurring. There has to be a moment in life where someone takes these blinders off for you and exposes you to what is really occurring because it is ridiculous. Luckily for me I had Nick Leither. But ask yourself, who is going to help you take off your blinders?


Works Cited

Baldwin, Cheryl J.. The 10 Principles of Food Industry Sustainability, edited by Cheryl J. Baldwin, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2015. ProQuest Ebook Central.

Sea, Shepherd. “If the Ocean Dies, We All Die! | Commentary | News And Commentary.”Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. N.p., 29 Sept. 2015. Web. 09 June 2017.

Techera, Erika J. “Fishing, Finning and Tourism: Trends in Pacific Shark Conservation and Management.” International Journal of Marine & Coastal Law, vol. 27, no. 4, Sept. 2012, pp. 597-621.









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