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.
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
Authors: Sean Driscoll, Daniel Alling, Christina Kraus, Katherine Wickstrom, Annie Martin, Connor Lucier
So much information is constantly being thrown at you. Most of the time you retain something that strikes you or something that you perceive as being important. Throw in complex discussions and you have your mind on high-speed. College is often the place where young adults are posed difficult and vague questions, which they fathom over. Finding themselves in a new and informative environment, college students are introduced to a wide variety of opportunities to pursue and experiment with. Pursuing these opportunities usually allows students to further develop their young minds and discover their true identities. This is a critical step for humans on the path to innovation, advancement, and evolution of knowledge and culture. Continue reading The Beef with Beef
Authors: Joe Plata, Samantha Pérez, Graysonclaire Palmer, Brianna Hillman, Anna Buss
“What would you like on your sandwich, Miss?” I could see the roast beef winking at me through the transparent glass at the California Deli located in our college cafeteria. It was where I went every day during my lunch break to custom make my favorite sandwich: roast beef with provolone and lettuce, panini pressed. However, today I was having trouble telling the guy the order which had automatically fallen so easily from my lips nearly every day for the past five weeks. “Miss?” He inquired again. “Um, no meat please, thank you,” I answered him. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you heard correctly. I, Samantha Pérez, was passing up a chance to eat meat. I wanted to ignore my conscience and order my beloved, daily sandwich, but all I could think about when I looked at the tempting slices of meat stacked one on top of another was the number of gallons it took to produce each slice in the midst of one of the worst droughts in the history of California. I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat that sandwich without recalling the amount of forests that have been destroyed to satisfy all of our cravings for meat, or the vast dead zones existing within our oceans thanks to animal agriculture. I wanted to eat it, but I just could not stomach it after all the dismaying information I had been accosted by in our Critical Thinking and Writing class that day. Continue reading Tell Your Boyfriend if He Says He’s Got Beef That I’m a Vegetarian and I’m Making a Positive Impact on the Environment
Beautiful beaches, a culturally diverse melting pot, and the leader in our nation’s agriculture industry – the golden state is truly an ideal destination. California is the land of opportunity, providing the potential for one to gain fast wealth and fame. However, over time the so called “California Dream” has slowly begun to deteriorate. What started as a fantasy has finally hit reality hard. California has come to face a crippling budget crisis with debt in the billions of dollars. The prestigious UC system, recently received cutbacks in funding and a steep increase in tuition prices. Even California’s food system, which has led in agricultural production for the last fifty years, is receiving dramatic cutbacks as a statewide drought is crippling farmers. According to the US Census Bureau, California’s growth from 2000 to 2010 has been the slowest since 1850, proving to be the largest population slump in California’s history. What once was envisioned as a paradise situated on the west coast, The Golden State overtime has begun to tarnish. Continue reading What Happened to Our Food? : The Golden Question for the Golden State
In 1928, Presidential nominee Herbert Hoover promised Americans “A chicken in every pot” (Miller Center). Ironically, this assurance of prosperity was derailed a short nine months later, when the stock market crashed and the Great Depression ensued. However, the spirit of this promise lives on today, as Americans strive for prosperity- a successful career, a happy marriage, a quaint townhouse, two kids, a nice car, and family dinners.
With amazing technological and medical advances and a material wealth unmatched by any other in history, we have created the world’s most prosperous economy. In fact, we have quite literally reached the goal of “a chicken in every pot.” For the first time in over one hundred years, chicken is more popular than beef in the United States. A Huffington Post article focusing on this phenomenon reveals that the average American ate about sixteen pounds of chicken per year in the 1950s. Fifty years later, that number grew to over fifty pounds per year (Huffington Post). That number has continued to rise and chicken has steadily become a main staple of the American diet. It is everywhere. It is the foundation of common restaurant dishes, such as parmesan, barbecued, and grilled chicken. It is included in many ethnic meals, such as the Mexican taco and the Chinese chow mein. It is prevalent in the fast food arena, not only with poultry based chains, such as Popeyes, Chick-fil-A, and KFC, but also among well-known burger franchises, such as Burger King. Sometimes, it’s even hard to find a salad without chicken in it. Continue reading Uncaged: The Truth Behind The Poultry Industry
Almost every time Americans turn on the news, watch a movie, or read the newspaper, they witness some form of violence–often glorified. The news constantly focuses on incidents featuring cruelty and brutality and places more emphasis on reporting news involving violence because, while triggering the gag reflex of most Americans, it draws their attention to the subject at hand (Paskova). Violence is like an accident on the side of a freeway: no matter how horrible it is, people cannot help but observe it–they enjoy watching it. Because violence is eye-catching, the news covers violent events like murders and war to pull in more viewers (Paskova). Americans see violence, such as offshore conflicts, on the news so often that they lose the sense of impact that it once carried; they become desensitized. That word, “desensitized,” is common when talking about violence. But what isn’t so common is how that desensitization might affect our daily lives, our perspectives, or even our choices. Would it sound crazy if we suggested to you that watching violent film and television influences the way you choose your meat in a supermarket? Continue reading Saving the Humans: Are You an Accomplice to Murder, Cruelty, and Some Really Bad Decision Making?