Throughout my high school career I always knew I was a student who excelled the most in STEM classes, which is why I chose a major in engineering. Never once did I feel excited about or inspired by my English classes because they were always the same procedure: read a book, be tested on the book’s material, write an essay about the book. Sometimes we would explore the deeper meanings behind said books, but we were rarely allowed to go off on our own and write an essay about anything we desired as long as it falls under the themes of the class. Nick Leither’s CTW (Critical Thinking and Writing) class did just that. Throughout the two quarters that I got to be apart of Nick’s CTW class, I have learned more about food, self, and culture then ever before. And boy has it changed me. We as a class (and on my own) did extensive research on factory farming, cultural and environmental impacts of meat, and dishonesty in general and it has all lead me to one conclusion: Humans suck. Continue reading Humans Suck and Here’s Why//Lexi Enstrom
My mother’s cooking was never to amazing when I was a child, the same dishes week after week began to haunt my evening dinners. So when we had a chance to get fast food it was always the best. “What do you guys want to eat?”, were the best words my parents would say after an exhausting day. McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Burger King all so delicious and fun, but which one shall we choose? It became harder than a judges role in the pursuit of justice to decide what we wanted. Not only thinking about the food, but the new toys and the huge playgrounds. But in the end no matter what we got or ate it was always a let down after the meal. From tired bodies to hurt stomachs there was always something that made us regret why we even wanted it in the first place. What is it that is bringing us back to these fast food restaurants? Continue reading The Fast and The Delicious?// Andres Jimenez
The summer before coming to Santa Clara University, the school had sent an email to all the freshmen asking us to fill out a questionnaire describing our interests so that they could figure out which critical thinking and writing classes to place us in. The questionnaire read: “are you interested in philosophy? Economics? Science? The environment?” And the list went on. To be honest, when filling it out, I had no idea what I was interested in, so my answers were pretty random. So when I walked into my CTW 1 class on my first day of freshman year, I didn’t know what to expect. All I knew was that the title of the course was “Food Porn,” which I had just discovered an hour before class by checking Camino. Once I arrived, there sat the professor with two books in hand: Slant (written by the professor himself) and Eating Animals, a book about vegetarianism and the meat industry. Oh great, I thought. I should’ve paid more attention to my responses on that questionnaire. Here I was, a meat-eating student from San Francisco who had been listening to the endless arguments for vegetarianism for years and still had no intention of giving up meat. Not only is this professor going to try to convert us all into vegetarians, but he’s also going to try to make us follow the same writing format so that our papers all look the same? Ugh, welcome to freshman English. Needless to say, I left that first day feeling a little salty about this class and wondering what the hell I had gotten myself into. Continue reading Wake Up and Smell the Roses (Even If There are Some Thorns)//Aria Berluti
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’ll always remember my brother telling me “ignorance of a law is not an excuse to break the law.” This seemed really strange to me, as I wondered how everyone could possibly know every law in every city in every part of the world. I’ve come to realize that what my brother said to me those many years ago is true, not just in judicial hearings, but in everyday life.
So often people choose to do what is easiest for them. They choose to drive a car because it is easier than walking home. They choose to go to McDonalds because it is easier than picking up groceries at the supermarket and cooking a meal. And more often than not, they choose to ignore underlying problems when dealing with intense issues, such as animal cruelty, sustainability, and violence. However, it is crucial for one to educate themselves on important issues in order to gain greater understanding of a situation and generate a clear opinion. Continue reading A-What?-Ness // Ana Maria Vidaurri
“The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.” – Nathaniel Branden
Since I was a little kid, whenever my parents asked me what I wanted to eat, the answer was simple. MEAT, MEAT, and MORE MEAT. From begging to go to the local McDonald’s for a juicy hamburger or rejoicing when we had our annual summer barbecues, I could not imagine a life or even plate without meat. Vegetables were my enemy and fruits were just mere acquaintances. My friends were Rice and potatoes, meat’s best friends. Never did I consider how meat was produced in the United States or the atrocities committed against violence. Without meat I would go ballistic. At the end of the day, all I cared about was if I had meat on my damn plate for every lunch and dinner, sometimes even breakfast. To say I was ignorant is an understatement. But could you really blame me though? This thought process continued until my freshman year at Santa Clara University.
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