I was uncomfortable from the minute I walked into “Critical Thinking and Writing” at 5:25pm on a Monday–the first day of my college career. I was uncomfortable being in a new state, surrounded by new people who had new interests and perceptions of what was “in” and what wasn’t. I grew even more uncomfortable when my teacher was late and one of my classmates insisted we all get in a circle and chat. That was not me. I was also very intimidated by the idea of critically thinking and thinking for myself. I had become very good at keeping quiet and reading the classroom and then reiterating exactly what I knew the teacher wanted to hear on whatever assessment came up. In fact, if I was directly asked my thoughts on something I would mutter an “I don’t know” and quickly divert my attention. Critical Thinking and Writing? This was not my cup of tea, to say the least.
“If we were to one day encounter a form of life more powerful and intelligent than our own, and it regarded us as we regard fish, what would be our argument against being eaten?”(Foer 121)
Over the course of 20 weeks, I never would have thought a core requirement class could possibly affect my life like Critical Thinking & Writing 1 & 2 both have. My attitude towards this class was that I was going to go, participate a little bit, hand in all the assignments, and be done with it and never speak of it again. However, it was the complete opposite. I never would have thought that I would find myself re-watching videos, re-reading books that Professor Leither showed and discussed with us in class. When I first received my schedule and saw that the topic for this class was going to be food, I was very confused. How could a class that is 20 weeks long, three hours and twenty minutes twice a week, possibly be devoted to the subject of food? Over the twenty weeks, Professor Leither has shown me that food is so much more than eating three meals a day, healthy vs. unhealthy food, and the different types of food that exist. One major takeaway from this class will definitely be our many discussions about factory farming and the truth behind it. Continue reading Who do we think we are?// Nicole Vander Helm
Authors: Samuel Hodgman, Brian Murphy, Ryan Willett, Matthieu Lange, John Chapman, Pranav Swaminathan (not pictured).
We shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium… The new foods will from the outset be practically indistinguishable from the natural products, and any changes will be so gradual as to escape observation.
It may seem like we live on a planet, but we really live on a gigantic farm. This farm, throughout the centuries, has been broken up by cities, forests, and the oceans. More than 40% of the world’s landmass is used to keep its people fed—even though some people get fed a little more and a little better than others. The overriding majority of the land, more than 30%, is used to house and feed the variety of animals that we eat in our everyday lives. The top three animals being pigs, chicken, and cattle (Facts on Animal Farming and the Environment). There may be no other single human activity that has had a bigger impact on our planet than the raising of livestock. Animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions on the planet—5% more than all forms of transportation combined. If the entire population chose not to eat meat, then there would surely be an immediate and measurable positive impact on our lives and on the Earth. Continue reading Don’t Be a Chicken
In what way can I possibly sum up this year? The topics we have covered have varied in extreme levels and seem to have nothing in common. How could I possibly compare the Columbine massacre to “The Walking Dead”, a tv series based on the zombie apocalypse? What similarities are there between the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer and the “mass production”, if you will, of animals that makes up factory farming? And don’t get me started on the seemingly nonexistent connection between the video “This is Water” and the issues of sustainability. When we initially think about it, the obvious answer to these questions is that there are no real connections. Continue reading What is the Message?: It’s Not Very Obvious // Connor Redmond
I used to think that vegans and vegetarians adopted this lifestyle to become healthier and to consume fewer calories. Little did I know the reasons were more substantial and supported a movement. I blindly consumed whatever meat was offered to me, from the meatballs drenched in gravy offered at my cafeteria in high school to the Tyson chicken tenders that were on sale at Safeway. I truly was ignorant until I entered my Critical Thinking and Writing class at Santa Clara University. As I was placed into this required core class, I did not have any expectations. I thought it was going to be a typical class that was going to teach me writing tips and force me to write about boring topics. I did not expect to leave with a changed perspective on the food industry and on life in general. Continue reading Ignorance Is Bliss… At Someone Else’s Expense // Leslie Yang
- a person who does not eat or use animal products.
Imagine you’re a high school student walking down the narrow corridors of your school. You see a small crowd gathering by the stairwell, so you saunter over to see what all the fuss is about. After wiggling around enough, you see through the sea of heads a helpless, frail freshman being tormented by a senior, blonde, letterman-jacket-wearing meathead. While watching the young one getting knocked around and taking nasty blows by the words the senior is spitting out at him, you begin to wonder how all of this is happening? There has to be nearly a dozen kids standing around watching this occur, all loitering in silence. Although they stand with their mouths shut, they could not be condoning the violence in any better way. Silence of the people has done nothing positive for this country on both small and large scales.