Madison Valentine- Environmental News

October 23, 2019

I liked this piece because I have fond memories of kayaking through the mangroves and seeing wild manatees while living in Florida for the summer.

A lot of people don’t know about Mangroves and the way they benefit their ecosystem:

“Mangroves perform incredibly important ecological functions. They provide nursery areas for juveniles of thousands of fish, crustacean and mollusc species. In some places, their dense root and branch systems play a key role in coastal protection, acting as a crucial barrier against storm surges, flooding and erosion, which will pose a growing threat as climate change worsens. Their thick, tangled root systems also encourage the deposition of nutrient-rich sediments from rivers, trapping these before they reach the ocean and smother other important habitats, such as coral reefs. Mangroves are also crucial to the livelihoods and food security of local communities for the timber and other products that they provide, and the fisheries that they sustain.”

On top of all this, they are climate regulators.

“They are just a fraction of the world’s total forest cover, but whether mangroves survive and thrive or not will play a big part in determining the fate of millions of people – and of our planet.”

Madison Valentine- Eating Animals

October 23, 2019

This book was by far my favorite book we have read thus far. I found myself glued to it like I would be to a romance novel. There were parts that made me literally sob, and parts that made me smile. I appreciated Foer’s choice to bring in a multitudes of experiences, opinions, research, etc. As a vegetarian, I didn’t think I’d find myself empathizing or rooting for any kind of animal farmer, but there were parts that I did (The way the “last poultry farmer” loved his turkeys genuinely made me happy. Despite having done my own research when I decided to become a vegetarian 6 years ago, there was so much information in here that I had never stumbled upon. Also, it made me feel guilty and shameful in a way. While I haven’t eaten a land animal in the past 6 years, I have eaten fish from time to time. Reading the words “You never have to worry if the fish on your plate suffered. It did.” Shook me to my core and made me certain that I won’t be eating fish again. It has also prompted me to try to transition into a vegan lifestyle. This is something I have wanted to do for a long time but my willing ignorance had held me back. I knew the conditions were horrible for dairy and poultry animals too but I chose to ignore it, this book made that impossible. I loved this book so much and it’s one I won’t be selling back to the bookstore.

News Article 10/23

October 23, 2019

Article Title: Dog ownership associated with longer life, especially among heart attack and stroke survivors.

I am already a believer that owning any animals makes one live longer, but it’s nice seeing some research behind my belief. This article, in sum, compares the percentages between heart attack survivors that live alone with a dog, those that live alone with no dog and stroke survivors that live alone with a dog and those that live alone with no dog. The research found that heart attack survivors had a 33% lower risk of death and stroke survivors had a 27% lower risk of death if they owned a dog compared to those that did not.
The researchers used dog owners who had a heart attack/stroke and those that did not own a dog when finding the above results. The study had about 182,000 heart attack survivors, 6% dog owners and 155,000 stroke survivors, 5% dog owners.
They found that the potential causes of lower death risk to these survivors is an increase of exercise (i.e. walking dog) and a decrease of loneliness and depression (i.e. dog lovin’ companionship). Overall, the study suggests a strong correlation between dog ownership and longer life expectancy of heart attack and stroke survivors.

The Songbird is no longer endangered- news by Ash

October 22, 2019

The songbird has been endangered for 50 years, and now is finally off the endangered species list.

That’s about all there is to say about it. Read more here.

I’m pretty sure we’re a week behind in news so that’s why I’ve posted twice.

UK got largest offshore wind farm- news by Ash

October 22, 2019

The UK recently got the world’s largest offshore wind farm. Each turbine is so large it should be able to power 16,000 homes each. One of the big homes with this new farm is to make the UK carbon neutral by the year 2050. Read more about it here.

Eating Animals-Review-Ash

October 22, 2019

Let me start out and say that I am not vegan or vegetarian, but this book is by far my favorite so far. He enjoy the different styles of writing he uses for each chapter– it really helps me keep focused. I especially liked the letter chapter and the dictionary themed chapter.

The letter chapter really captured different POVs and I appreciate that. While the dictionary chapter taught me a lot about things I didn’t even know. I can’t say the book made me want to stop eating meat, but it has made me think more critically. I look forward to the class discussion and maybe even brainstorming how we can help push back against factory farming and how to help the people who need the cheap food to survive– even at the risk of getting sick.

what’s for dinner? lab rabbit stew

October 21, 2019

Some fancy shmansy scientists published a paper in Nature recently regarding their research into lab-grown meat alternatives. Using stem cells and some other technologies, they have developed a viable mechanism for growing meat entirely in the lab. I don’t know, this horrifies me. What could consuming something like this possibly be doing to our bodies? What would Jonathan have to say about this? How does this compare to the hormones and all-else we are already consuming every day?