Down For The Cow

Ready to have your mind hole blown to smithereens? one too two acres of the rain forrest is destroyed every single second due to animal agriculture. That means specifically 1-2 acres are destroyed primarily for animal grazing. Consequently, hundreds of plants, animal and insects species are exterminated not by the terminator, but due to senseless deforestation and utter annihilation of our rainforests. The effects of these methods are quite frankly becoming virtually irreversible and ungodly irresponsible by those committing them; the worst part is, they, they being the owners of these cattle, do not see a need for change or show no signs of advocating for it. Did you know that methane gas is more actually two too four times more destructive than Co2 emissions when analyzed on a 20 year scale? Thats right, methane, the natural by product of these million of cows when being grain fed all day, is destroying our environment at 4x the rate of literally every arm of the transportation system combined. The methane gas gathered from these animals account for actually 51% of the worlds greenhouse gas emissions. This horrific bundle of statistics, including the cheese and dairy industry, is going to be utterly doubled, an expected 86% increase by the year 2050. To continue the point, cows, literally just cows, produce 150 billion gallons of methane gas per year which is ludicrous. Even if we shut down every factory, turned off every car and effectively ended our personal carbon footprint, wed still be where we are, pretty far in the hole.

Alec Utz

 

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Jail Is the New Detriment to Family Livelihood

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In our last class, we learned about how different levels of income can affect our health and livelihood. Today I found an interesting article that discusses how jail is actually one of the factors sinking low-income families into poverty. The article went into detail about one woman (Carla Gonzalaz) and her family’s financial struggles after her brother was sent to jail. She said that they knew if they let a public defender take her brother’s case he would spend life in prison. Instead, they had to hire a lawyer for $150,000.

In order to pay for this, her family had to refinance their home, all work multiple jobs and even go hungry some nights. In addition to lawyer fees, there’s additional court fees and the expenses of visiting their family member in jail such as car money, gas money, food, etc. “The states make it so hard for families to even get by, yet they’re our best resource in this situation to keep people out of prisons” said Alicia Walters, who works with families in a program called Forward Together. There was also a survey and study done that revealed some shocking statistics. Nearly 1 in 5 of these families were unable to afford housing and 2 in 3 families had trouble meeting BASIC NEEDS just to name a few.

It’s terrible that these families suffer so greatly from a loved one being convicted. All of the financial burden if shoved off on them to deal with and it takes a HUGE toll on their lives. They have to chose whether they want to be comfortable financially, or ever see their family member outside of jail again. Obviously most people pick the latter and pay the price to do so. I thought this would be an interesting segment to add onto the film that we watched, as kind of a sub-reason that a lot of families suffer from being poverty-stricken. It just goes to prove that you never know what’s going on in someone’s life.

Margaret Walriven

All information and pictures came from this article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jail-costs-families-especially-women_55f82f16e4b00e2cd5e7eecf

Stressed Out About Becoming Stressed Out

The effects of stress on our bodies are more extensive than many would believe. Stress has been linked to cancer, asthma, heart disease, anxiety and depression, diabetes, Alzheimer’s… the list is literally astounding. Just thinking about all the health problems related to stress stresses me out. Oh the irony. Stress can be a positive influence on your productivity levels and general motivation. But negative stress can lead to devastating results. So how does one avoid stress? Or stressing out about being stressed?

The number one key to lowering stress levels is keeping a positive and balanced mindset. This is hard to do, and takes discipline. Focus on the current moment that you’re living in right now. The past can’t be changed, and the future is uncertain. All that we are certain of is what is occurring at this very moment. Take deep breaths. Keep your problems in perspective. So you failed a test? You gained weight? You fought with a friend? Tomorrow is a new day! Remember who your support system is. Think about your family, friends, people who love you, your ability to walk, your beating heart, your ability to attend UC and get a college degree. Perspective is key. Recognize relationships that are toxic. This can be extremely difficult. Throughout life you can be very close with some people, but recognizing that their bad attitudes or the way they treat you effect you negatively should be considered. At the end of the day, be close with people who support you, love you, respect you, and listen to you. Learn what helps you cope with stress in a positive way. Whether it be meditation, bubble baths, calling a friend, or taking some time to relax and lie down. Know what helps you, and keep positive people close to you in order to avoid becoming too stressed.

Drug Kings

I am sure most of you had heard about the recent rise in the medication for aids. It was nearly raised 5000 percent! what gives them the power to do such a thing!? Most citizens in america will not be able to afford the medicine, especially with how many people we have with little or no health care in our country. Something definitely need to be done or changed!

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 About 44 million people in this country have no health insurance, and another 38 million have inadequate health insurance. This means that nearly one-third of Americans face each day without the security of knowing that, if and when they need it, medical care is available to them and their families. (PBS Healthcare Crisis)

This statistic blows my mind! I mean I knew we had a problem, but this is crazy! And instead of trying to make a difference businesses and drug companies do nothing to help. They are more worried about turning a profit instead of seeing people get help. It’s sickening.

A monopoly occurs when a single company or group owns all or nearly all of the market for a particular type of product or service. A monopoly is characterized by the absence of competition, which can lead to high prices and inferior products and services. Governments attempt to prevent monopolies through the use of antitrust laws. In the United States, antitrust laws include the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 and the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914. Today, these Acts are enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ). (Investopedia)

There has to be some kind of law against this! It’s simply a monopoly! Something needs to be done about this! I could not imagine how devastated I would be if myself or a close family member or friend had this disease and needed the medicine and could not afford it, Our country can do better.

doctor

The USA Income Gap

During the video we watched in class last week, one of the main points that was pointed out that has resonated with me over the weekend is the tremendous gap in monetary income between United States Citizens. The richest people are so few in number, compared to amount the average and poor income families/individuals. I find this interesting because it reflects that these people who are very wealthy are usually businessmen/women. Obviously not every single person with a lot of money is involved with business, but the majority are either CEO’s of companies, or individuals with unique talents. Currently, I am working at a restaurant called the Precinct, a fine dining steak house owned by Jeff Ruby. Jeff grew up in a very poor family and did not have many opportunities presented to him. He had a passion for food and restaurant service, and he has been working in this career field his whole life. I find his situation inspirational because, though we was raised in a situation with little money or education, he made something great out of it because of his passion. He is now a multimillionaire and owns 5 signature steak houses. Even though the majority of poorer US citizen lack education and opportunities and often fall into a “trap”, I still feel that if someone is motivated to work hard and create opportunity rather than wait for it, then income can completely switch.  What I find interesting about this is that many Americans do not work hard at something simply because they probably don’t want to put the energy into it. I think that is an unfortunate reflection of the character of many US citizens.

The Fatal Cycle

In class Thursday we discussed how, in America, wealth = health. Higher income levels almost always indicate higher levels of health as well as longer life span, than those of lower income levels. SO many other factors correlate with income level. Higher income families typically live in “higher income” neighborhoods, isolating themselves those of lower income levels. The geography then closely relates as well to health- neighborhoods are easily used as a determinant for helath/ life span.

So how do individuals and families of lower income conquer this health gap? The fact of the matter is- it’s a fatal cycle.

By trying to make more money (because that would improve health right?), individuals wind up putting themselves under more and more stress- working longer hours,  not getting enough sleep, and worrying about money. Stress is shown to shorten life span significantly. Those who experience higher stress levels- higher prolonged levels of cortisol- have been shown to have shorter life span. Stress. is . a . killer.

These facts are so interesting to me- but its quite a depressing idea. It’s almost that you are born into it or not.

Olivia Turner

Educate Yourself for a Longer Life?

EDUCATION

Have you ever wondered if the amount of education that you have received will affect the length of the life that you live? Well, studies say YES education is a factor! Throughout the video that we watched last week in class, they emphasized the fact that those who have graduated with high school diplomas as well as with college degrees end up living longer than those who have not completed high school or college. They proceeded to show us this by looking at different counties within the same region and individually looked at the statistics and lives of individuals with different statuses. Their studies showed that those who have graduated college and continued their education end up living longer than those who have not graduated from high school. In an article written by USA Today, Lea Giotto states, “We found that over 145,000 lives could be saved if all of the adults aged 25 to 85 who don’t have a high school degree, went on to get a high school degree or equivalent, that alone accounts for about 10% of all deaths in the U.S. each year.” (USA Today, 2015) The fact that the amount of education that one pertains to each year has added up to at least 10% of all deaths is a crazy thought to imagine. Obviously, education has many benefits that will contribute to ones life but who would have thought that without a college degree it could potentially take years off of how long you live!

Education is a major factor in this aspect considering the fact that the more education that you receive, the more available resources are available to you in order to better yourself and your life. Education provides the resources that are needed in order for you to make smarter, healthier life decisions. In another article from the USA Today, Nanci Hellmich reported that, “Highly educated people tend to have healthier behaviors, avoid unhealthy ones and have more access to medical care when they need it,” says the report’s lead author, Amy Bernstein, a health services researcher for the National Center for Health Statistics. “All of these factors are associated with better health.” (USA Today, 2012) This statement makes a crucial point about making healthier choices rather than unhealthy mistakes once you have been educated. For example, since I am educated on the risk factors and unhealthy aspects that smoking can cause to one’s body, I personally choose not to smoke for those potential risks that it can have towards my health! Those who have been educated period are more likely to have knowledge about heath risk factors and what diseases, infections, cancers, etc. that can be caused from making unhealthy choices . They will be more likely to not participate in those activities BECAUSE they know the harm that it can cause to them! Achieving higher education can be extremely beneficial in many ways, but the more education that you partake in, hopefully will lead you to make healthier life choices with results of living a longer, healthier lifestyle.

HEALTHY

Brittany Kindberg

Check these articles out to learn more(sources):

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/story/2012-05-16/health-of-USA-nation/54984404/1

http://college.usatoday.com/2015/07/16/study-higher-education-can-help-you-live-longer/