The Nature of Cheating

Throughout this year we have observed and dissected various aspects of cheating. Although not all aspects were necessarily labeled as cheating, or placed under the same category, there were still strong connections to cheating and/or similar behavior. Over the course of the year, some of the most interesting findings regarding cheating, or our version of cheating, were how foods were advertised to the public, USDA approved labels, and something more local and personally rooted, the existence of the Coachella Valley Church.

How can my class, or I for that matter, define cheating as a singular entity? Well I can’t and I won’t. Due to the subjectivity of cheating, there is no definite way to determine what cheating really is. That being said one could argue that what I witnessed was not cheating and they could be correct, however, according to our own research this year and my newly developed expertise on the subject, will allow me to poke away at what I have found to be instances of cheating.

Through the various research done first and second quarter, with respect to our topics of discussion, I was able to develop a greater meaning of cheating. This does not just entail that the definition of cheating changed for myself, but what goes into cheating and what is the result of cheating can be. What I understood by the end of the year was that cheating was anything that gave you an advantage, vague but true.

To further develop my understanding of cheating I began to look at the food industry. How unfair is it that companies advertise their foods in such a light that it makes them look incredible, when in reality the food doesn’t even compare? Well to dig deeper, I went to the world renowned In-N-Out and compared the food that was made for me to what was advertised in commercials.

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In addition, the USDA beef that they claim to use has the possibility that it should not be USDA approved. In Eating Animals, by Jonathan Foer, a field study, as part of his lager experiment, exposed a USDA beef plant that was approved even though the representative for the USDA did not have full access to the plant and could not witness much of the production. Technically this representative was within his jurisdiction though and could still do his job, thus the USDA label was still put on the meat.


To conclude the year and my own personal research into the field of cheating, I observed a local “Church” named Coachella Valley Church. This “Church” on the basis of religion promotes and sells marijuana to anyone older than the age of 17.


What I found was that Coachella Valley Church was exploiting Rastafarianism as a means of making money by selling marijuana. I also found that they were breaking multiple city municipal codes, however due to their status as a Church rather than a Dispensary it was still legal. Even in an interview with an employee, I was told that the reason for its classification as a Church was for tax evasion. For me this study summed up everything I learned this year, ethics behind cheating, what influences cheating, possible cost benefit of cheating, and much more.

All in all, cheating is overwhelmingly present in the society we live in today. People are always trying to place themselves in a better position even if it means pushing someone or something else down. As for my findings, Coachella valley church exploited religion as means of profit. While it was technically all legal, it was still immoral and wrong in my opinion. In addition the advertisement of food was blatantly cheating the public of what was really to be given to them, however, it seemed like society was willing to be cheated for cheaper priced food. Lastly the USDA labeled foods are cheating other companies whose food is truly USDA approved. Even though these three things really seem minuscule to the larger scheme of things, it points at something interesting in the behavior of our society: We do what we do for happiness, not for our own well-being or money. If money was the reason happiness would never be achieved, only wealth.


Sources Used:

San Jose Municipal Code, §§ 4-66-110 (2018). Print.

Ostrov, Barbara. “High Praise: ‘Pot Churches’ Popping up around California.” Southern California Public Radio. N.p., 27 Jan. 2018. Web. 15 May 2018.

Foer, Jonathan Safran, 1977-. Eating Animals. New York :Little, Brown and Company, 2009. Print.




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