The Unfair Four

palm oilThere seem to be certain issues that get pushed aside by the media and most of the world because they are deemed to be not as important as everything we do see on the news, however, they are very important to me. This is all in regards to the unjust treatment of non-humans. While I have chosen only four items to speak about, it is important to keep in mind that there are so many more which need attention as well.

Firstly, there is the issue of shark fin soup. Shark fin soup is a delicacy in China and a few other Asian countries, made by using the fins of sharks. An estimated 100 million sharks are killed per year for shark fin soup, and, in reality, the fins actually don’t add any flavour to the soup, but considering that a bowl costs upwards of $100, it is a huge money making industry that has no plan in stopping anytime soon. Unfortunately, for the longest time sharks were the face of beasts and killers, which makes it harder to get people to agree to save them. But considering the ratio of 100 million sharks we kill vs. the less than one human that they kill per year, I’d say it’s time for their image to change.

Secondly, there is the issue of palm oil. Big producers of palm oil destroy rainforests and the natural habitats of animals like elephants, orangutans, tigers, and rhinos. Not only does it destroy their homes but it can also seriously injure them since one of the methods used to gather palm oil is by burning the trees. In fact, one of the top producers of modified palm oil is the brand Nutella. However, palm oil isn’t only found in food but also in products like creams, soaps, shampoo, and many others. So, in the future, check the list of ingredients of a product and if you read “Modified Palm Oil”, take a moment to consider whether it’s really worth it.

Thirdly, I’m sure that nearly everybody has been to a zoo before, and maybe even got the chance to pet a lion or a tiger, either an adult or perhaps a cub. However, most people aren’t aware that those poor animals were actually drugged. Sometimes to make them fully unconscious, but most of the time just to make them a little bit calmer than they should be, because to the zoo workers the only well-being that matters is that of the people who are paying. Also, most zoos really don’t care about their animals since an animal like a polar bear, that should be living in the snow at negative temperatures, is currently living in San Diego, baking in the sun.

Finally, I think that most people have heard of the controversy at SeaWorld. Recently, ex-SeaWorld trainers began speaking out about what really happens within the walls once the spectators leave. Orcas are actually very similar to humans in the way that their brains function and that their bodies and health need to be maintained. Long story short, the whales were being kept in dirty, small enclosures, which damaged their bodies and even drove some to the point of insanity where they would try, and sometimes succeed, to commit suicide by ramming themselves into the metal walls. Females are forced to breed, only to have their babies taken away from them right after birth and moved to another park thousands of miles away. In the wild, Orcas usually live until about 50 or 60 years old, when they usually die of old age. In captivity, orcas very rarely make it past their teens, and none have ever died of old age. This past week, an 18 year old female orca named Unna died at SeaWorld San Antonio after “contracting a harmful strain of fungus”, which was due to poor living conditions. Campaigns like #emptythetanks and #thanksbutnotanks have been popping up all over the place, and you can do your part by taking part in the movement, and also by informing yourself more by watching BlackFish, which was the first push made by ex-trainers when they began speaking out, and it is really an amazing film. Also, try to inform others and make sure that they don’t buy a ticket.

There are a few people or small organizations that inspired me the most to make changes in my everyday life to help these beings. The one that influenced me the most is Keiko Conservation. Their main goal is to spread awareness, and they are so inspiring to me because they are three young girls from different places in the world who are actually making a huge difference and shining light on so many things most people don’t even know are happening. Black Jaguar White Tiger is a sanctuary in Mexico where they take in felines from zoos and circuses that have been mistreated. Third is Shark Addicts, from Jupiter Florida, and they go down into the ocean everyday to take hooks out of the mouths of sharks that people tried to fish. I love what they do because they have really helped changed the image of sharks to a species that desperately needs our protection.

On top of the ones that I mentioned, there is so much more that occurs everyday regarding beings other than humans that we could try to help end. Sadly, it would be nearly impossible for a small group of people who care to stop the Japanese dolphin slaughter or save rhinos from poachers, but we can all start with small things, like throwing your trash out so that it doesn’t end up in the ocean, or simply by cutting down your meat intake. Another great thing to do is to check out change.org, where you can subscribe to them to get updates not only about animals but about plenty of occurrences around the world that aren’t featured in the media, and that with your signature you can help end.

Thanks for reading! I hope that I have brought awareness to these important issues and that you can help me and the thousands of other people in speaking for those without a voice. – Alyssa Obrand ’16

Environmental Fashion: Will.i.am Is Going Green!

 

All you fashion forward men, it’s time to take out your wallets because you are going shopping!

Famous rapper and member of the Black Eyed Peas has teamed up with Coca-Cola and the H Brothers to create fashionable and luxurious men’s suits out of recycled water bottles, what a genius concept!

We are always encouraged to recycle in order to protect our environment but not everyone seems to be completely motivated. Perhaps it is because it isn’t done in a very creative and enjoyable way. This concept is not only creative, but it is also a unique way to help save our environment.

Will.i.am wanted to raise greater awareness about recycling and decided to promote recycling in a fun and stylish way. The H brothers and the rapper collaborated on some funky and fabulous designs for menswear using recycled plastic bottles. Each suit is made up of approximately 25 bottles. The line will also include trendy neckties, pocket squares as well as bowties!

Guys, check out this fabulous line!

As the manager of the H brothers mentioned, “It’s truly the best of both worlds when you can use recycled materials to help keep guys looking fresh”. – Jennifer Ben-Menashe ’14

 

Middle School Pride: Environnement

Bonjour, je m’appelle Alexandra Gardilcic et je suis la responsable de l’environnement au Middle School Pride cette année. Pour ceux qui ne le connaissent pas, c’est un groupe d’étudiants qui se rencontre chaque mercredi à 7h30 du matin pour planifier des activités pour le Middle School.

My goal as the environment head is to raise awareness about the environment in the Middle School. Cette année, j’espère planifier plusieurs activités pour vous, par exemple, une collecte de bouteilles et de piles. Si vous avez des idées, des commentaires ou des questions vous pouvez me contacter à cette adresse : agardilcic@wearelcc.ca.

Last meeting, Holly Faria ’15 came and talked to us about how PASSION+ISSUE=CHANGE. This basically means finding your passion and applying it to real world issues to make a change. For example, if your passion was athletics, you could apply it to an issue such as homelessness. And with this you could make a change. Such as last year there was the Hockey for the Homeless, a tournament that raised money for people in need. Si vous avez une passion pour la musique et que beaucoup de personnes âgées souffrent de la solitude dans les maisons de retraite, vous pourriez peut-être organiser un concert de musique pour eux.

Don’t forget to look at the new announcement board in the Middle School corridor to see any school events that are coming up. All in all, I hope that you have a great year! Thanks! – Alexandra Gardilcic ’16

Environment Week Sets Stage for Sustainable Practice

Blg_EarthWeek_TomatoPlant_10May2012LCC celebrated “Environment Week” in late April. Thanks to all the hard work and dedication by our green team members, the week was very successful. We had a fun cook off, planted tomatoes, had a green café with cupcakes and pastries, and even a trash art display. Thank you to all that participated in the activities and to those who wore green on Wednesday. We hope you all had a great earth week, and that the enthusiasm you all showed will continue throughout the rest of the year.

As mentioned during the assembly, we have created a recycling bin for electronics. There are four bins, such as phones, batteries, ink cartridges etc. If everyone would bring one thing that could fit into one of these categories, it would really make a difference. The recycling company that collects these has agreed to donate the money to MIRA, which works to help disabled individuals lead their lives independently as functioning members of society. They do this by providing dogs bred and trained to respond to their adaptation and rehabilitation needs. They need as much money as possible, considering they provide these services free of charge. Please bring in what you can, and again thank you for such a successful week! —Kelsey Wiseman ’13

Green Team: Web Seminar with Dr. David Suzuki

David Suzuki, the prestigious and award winning environmentalist, held a web seminar this past Wednesday, on November 2. Along with his co-workers, he set up a virtual classroom where elementary and secondary schools from across North America could partake. If questions were submitted in advance, different schools could ask Dr. Suzuki their personal questions themselves via video chat.

LCC did not have the chance to submit any questions, however, several members of the Green Team, along with Ms. Scattolin and myself, had the privilege of watching. Suzuki took the time to answer approximately ten different questions. I was impressed with many of the questions that were asked and with the elaborate answers that were given in return. In particular, one student asked: “How is it possible to become an environmentalist?” Concisely, Suzuki replies that anyone can really become an environmentalist, as it is not a real profession. If you have a passion for helping the environment then it is important to pursue it along side your career, but it should not be one’s principle occupation. He then said “You should follow your heart and do what makes you happy.” This statement is very encouraging and I appreciated Dr. David Suzuki’s responses a great deal. — Jacklyn Greenspoon ’13