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By Jamie Lance, V Form
Veganism: The World Keeps Spinning Whether One Eats Meat or Not
Unfortunately, instead of speaking up about being vegan, I often feel the need to remain silent to avoid falling victim to stereotyping.
In the world we live in, cruel treatment of animals and unsustainable practices dictate both our present and our future. Deforestation is a legitimate problem with irrefutable effects. One and a half acres of trees are destroyed each second, resulting in a loss of biodiversity that contributes to vaccine research, greenhouse gas absorption, and oxygen production. If current rates continue, estimates indicate that no rainforests will be left by the year 2120.  Despite the significant effects of deforestation, a single factor drives the continuation of this practice: agriculture. The primary use of the cleared land is to create soybean farms, which are utilized in the production of a protein-rich food supplement for livestock kept in feedlots. 33% of all arable, or farmable, land is used for animal (more…)
By Hans Zhou, VI Form
Willing to Empathize with Another’s “Otherness”
“Come on, those chicks must be super proud to be portrayed that way,” a boy dismissively interrupted me during a class discussion while I was criticizing the eroticized female images in a magazine that objectifies women for commercial gains. Astonished and silenced, I could not believe what I had just heard. It was my first year in the United States. For a Chinese boy who longed for open-minded conversations in the United States, the all-male school atmosphere was not ideal. Identifying as a feminist only made things worse. I was publicly ridiculed for spreading “stupid feminism” and lacking masculinity. Admittedly frustrated, I was above all baffled. Why would people easily hold on to their prejudices without trying to listen to another perspective? (more…)
By Isabella Cruz-Nascimento, V Form
To Go Through Hell and Resurface
Crazy, insane, bipolar, OCD–all terms that have worked their way into colloquial language. Most people use them to describe themselves; “Oh my God, I am so OCD, I can’t handle messy rooms” is a sentence that could be heard regularly among teenagers. However, swap in a teen that genuinely displays compulsive behavior and the declarations turn into murmurs of, “What’s wrong with her?” “She needs to calm down,” “They need to medicate her already”. Mental illness is inconsequential and intriguing, until one sees its effects in person. In a community like St. Mark’s, being diagnosed with a mental illness can be onerous, not only because of the rigorous environment, but also because of the burden of the connotations that come with having a diagnosis. In an environment that demands perfection, I sometimes feel branded as incapable of success because of my diagnosis. For the majority of the past two years I have kept my dishonorable secret closely guarded. I refuse to do that now. (more…)