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.
I am a vegetarian and I have no idea why. I would like to say that I have some convoluted yet eloquently verbalized answer to how what I eat changes the world for the better, but I don’t. Continue reading Why the Heck am I a Vegetarian? // Jackson Bordelon
I grew up in the residential neighborhoods of Portland, Oregon. I walked to the neighborhood school with my brothers every morning and came home for supper at five. I lived the American dream. My parents always told me how lucky I am to be in my position. Out of all the countries, over all the years, I was somehow born into an upperclass family in the greatest empire to ever stand. From what gathered, the United States of America was the greatest because its citizens were free. We are free to follow dreams, I could be whoever I wanted to be.
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
- a person who does not eat or use animal products.
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?