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.
Look around you, what do you see? I see Billboards and commercials advertising the return of the famous “McRib” to McDonald’s stores, people trying their luck at the newest diet featured in some well-known health magazine, hundreds of different products on the shelves that serve the exact same purpose, and every news station reporting on every shooting, crime, potential terrorist threat, and offensive trump quote they can get. I see all that and much more on a day to day basis. Those days add up, and as weeks, months, and years go by, it all becomes normal. It becomes so normal that we don’t even realize that everything that we see, we see for a reason. That reason being: To incite thought, feeling, emotion, and response within all of us; which all correlates to us purchasing a specific kind of pain reliever because we recognize the name, voting for one presidential candidate over the other because one of them has had something they said twisted and mangled and posted all over the internet for people to ridicule, and to consume a specific brand of animal product because it is “Free-Range” or “Organic.” We see so much in our day to day lives, yet we are blind to what is really happening. Continue reading We See Everything and Nothing // Ryan Willett
- 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
When I was a kid, my mom’s biggest lessons towards me was “take responsibility for your actions.” As a stubborn kid, I was often breaking this rule, as I was determined to prove how nothing was my fault. Now a days, responsibility it pretty important. As a college student, taking responsibility means making sure that my homework, laundry, or whatever, gets done in a timely fashion. And just I try to take responsibility for myself, I expect others to do so.
Authors: Elizabeth Biersch, Christopher Curley, Stephanie Giertsten, Julia Heath, Kellen Johnson, Jake Koplowitz, James Leclercq, Claire Lowe, Jeffrey Moon, Nina Odegaard, Lauren Perez, Timothy Powers, Danny Shafazand, Claire Skelly, Jacob Steiner, Layne Suhre, Parker Truesdell, Anne Underwood, Megan Wilcox
Over the first quarter of our critical thinking and writing class, nineteen of us freshmen at Santa Clara University studied the disturbing realities of the factory farming system and the influence of big agribusiness in the United States. Now in our second quarter, we have collaborated with one another to write this essay to do our part in helping spread the knowledge to others in order for more public awareness. We understand that it’s often difficult to face hard truths about things we often like to take for granted. While examining our own participation in the food industry, we too have struggled with our own choices and ethics. Our goal is not to guilt readers. It’s to share, examine and expose the awe-inspiring, inefficient, unsustainable, and often corrupt system that exists behind much of what we buy in grocery stores and put in our mouths.
This is what we have to say. Continue reading Starving on Excess: The Dangerous Exploitation Behind Your Food