Current Event/Project/Reading

Current Event:

I recently discovered an intersting topic surrounding starfish legislation, that involves Congress. These type of issues rarely ever get large amounts of attention from congressmen because people see starfish as an irrelevant species. I could talk someone’s ear off about how they are quite the opposite and are key in helping their aquatic ecosystems be at an equilibrium, but I will spare you.

West coast starfish have been dying by the millions, and now U.S. Rep. Denny Heck from Olympia introduced a new bill last week that would dedicate federal funds for researching the epidemic. It is said that this is due to the largest marine disease outbreak, greatly impacting over 20 species.

This support from one congressman alone has risen the interest and concern of other officials, seeing that the proposed legislation would only cost $15 million a year (a minuscule amount compared to other species). This amount seems large to the average American, but this is scraps compared to the money that other endangered and threatened species receive in research and conservation. Heck is a lawyer, and is using this persuasion skills to influence the rank of importance of these suffering starfish with important officials. This wildlife die-off has not been fully investigated and prevented yet, but will be acted on since sea stars are such a large factor in their ecosystem.

Project:

I reached out to a Columbus vegan chef, Del Sroufe. He helped us with a vegan cooking workshop a few years back, so I am hoping he enjoyed Ohio Wesleyan students enough to return with some dishes! We are going to have him prepare a few vegan dishes for our environmental geography mid-semester dinner at Krygier’s class.

Looking at his online menu for carry-out vegan options, it gives me a complete sense of some dishes that Emily, Shannon, and I can attempt to reproduce here, at OWU. A large factor is “disguising” the food so that people are not just turned away at the whole movement of “vegan,” but appeal to all senses, meat eaters or not.

I have certainly been struggling with veganism, with eggs being one of my favorite foods. Not exactly cheating, it is just hard to avoid! Eating meat products definitely prepared me for this, but not animal products as a complete whole.

Reading: Nature

Through part one, there was one chapter that extremely stood out to me: The Nature of Nature. The chapter differed from others because it presented many up-and-coming, alternate ideas that I have never pondered before now.This section explains how Western environmental culture can be divided into 5 subsections, most of which I agreed with.

  • Nature: collective phenomenon of the universe
  • Nature: spot unchanged by people
  • Nature: quality or essence or principle
  • Nature:an inspiration
  • Nature: guide

The one that felt most relatable to highlighted that nature is a very physical place and is meant to be untouched by humans. However, Coates explains that nature is meant for species, but aren’t humans and the group of man a species? We are a breed ourselves, and just happen to be the most evolutionary group of mammals. Humans inside and coexisting with nature is natural to me. But not to environmentalists…

Personally, I found myself drifting off and becoming distracted by anything else than the book, due to his elaborate descriptions. While many things need descriptions, it became wordy.  On page 29, is when I became most intrigued, with Coates stating “Pythagorean thought all living creatures were rational and that they experiences the same range of emotions as humans.” Personally, I’d like to think that our more complex animals have thoughts and emotions, just like the reigning species. It might not be to the extent of psychoanalyzing and philosophizing, but we must care on an emotional level. little_red_riding_hood_in_the_forest_cartoon_magnet-d1475718023821593728gm5_500.jpg

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