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Apparently being black and a vegetarian are mutually exclusive.
For two years now I've been vegetarian. I made the decision because I love animals and do not agree with the way they are treated in the mass food industry. Many disagree with my decision but that's not where I'm going with this. I'm not PETA here to throw paint on your fur. I'm here to ask why in the living hell is being black and a vegetarian such a paradox?
Yes, I know. However will I be accepted among the black masses if my plate does not both have fried chicken and collared greens? My chicken and waffles is lacking in chicken! Oh God! Oh Lordy! How can I be black?
Now that you've had time to soak in how utterly stupid that is you now understand my feelings in this situation. I tell someone I'm a vegetarian and they say "but you're black."
Yes. I am. Thanks for letting me know. What does my dietary lifestyle have to do with my ethnicity again? Oh that's right.
Not only have I gotten "but you're black" but also "you're not black." Not white black person but I simply am not black. After quickly giving myself an inspection to make sure all these veggies hadn't depleted me of my pigment(it hadn't) I wondered why anyone would say that. Then glass shattered and light bulbs lit up around the world as I had the most enlightening question hit me like a soul food induced heart attack.
Is my entire race defined by our fried chicken?
Don't get me wrong. When I used to eat meat my dad's fried chicken was a religious experience but I have several friends that will tell you the same. Oh and guess what. They're not all black.
Oh and guess another thing.
There is no race restriction on being a vegetarian.
Black Card Intact.
What do we have to hide?
Are you a rock?
Do you never feel emotion?
If you answered “no” to at least one of those questions, you’re a bonafide, flesh and blood humanoid with a working conscious and a pumping heart.
Now- imagine a world where everyone around you expects you to repress all of those emotions except for those that make you likeable. The only place you can express yourself is in the confines of your home, maybe not even in front of your friends or family.
That’s the thing with mental illnesses in athletes- people just assume that you’re fine because “depression and anxiety aren’t real illnesses,” and “athletes don’t cry.” Athletes themselves don’t believe depression and anxiety are real because of what they’ve been taught.
“Rub some dirt in it!”
“Ah, it’s not that bad.”
“Come on, get over it.”
Sure, you’ve got to be tough in sports. You prepare your body day in and day out- weights, conditioning, practice…they require all of your attention. But do we ever pay attention to our brains? Our mental health? Do those coaches/directors around and in the athletic world acknowledge that these are real problems for their athletes?
I’d like to think the answer would be a straight up, “yes!” but I have a feeling that I’d be wrong.
For some reason, there’s still a stigma around mental illnesses these days. The number of those affected has grown exponentially during the past two decades. But when you add those into an environment filled with tough skin and hard-headedness, an even bigger clash crops up.
We as a society are taught to ignore anything malicious and focus on “what makes us happy.” Great idea, right? Only pay attention to things that give you joy. I think that’s where we get sports, in a way, because they’re a route out of our own minds. We play sports because they’re fun, and when a coach, teammate…etc destroys your perception of the game you’ve grown to love by creating a wall in your head, dividing your outward emotion and your mental health, you get stuck.
Why can’t we talk about depression and anxiety in the locker-room or with coaches? Why do we have to feel embarrassed when someone mentions mental health?
Was the First Agricultural Revolution really that great?
The Neolithic Revolution was a groundbreaking event that happened at around 10000 B.C., when the earliest humans learned how to plant seeds and learned rudimentary horticulture, as well as how to domesticate animals. It was a huge stepping stone for the early humans, for it started the transition from a hunting-gathering society to an urban, agricultural society and shaped the course for the rest of human history. While it is a widely accepted fact that the Neolithic Revolution was a monumental step, and a great thing that happened in history, an opinion has started to grow among historians that the Neolithic Revolution might have actually been a mistake.
Here are some reasons why some think it was beneficial, and why some think it was a mistake.
1. Humans began farming.
Farming was an important step in human history because before, humans were nomadic hunter gatherers, which meant that they would hunt their food and gather fruits and berries in their surroundings. They would not stay in one place and would follow their main food source (usually animals) around. Hunting and gathering was a dangerous life to live, due to the inconsistent food source. It could take hours to track down an animal herd, and even then, the animals could always get away. When the humans started farming, however, they found a new, reliable food source that was easy and sustaining. This was a stepping stone to many of the future changes that happened because of the Revolution.
2. Humans settled down into cities.
When humans started farming, they did not have to wander the land, following the animals they used to depend on. They started to settle down near their food source and come together. Soon, they had permanent settlements with more people living together. That led to more collaboration and work between people. This was also a big step in making empires and proper civilizations later on.
3. Food surplus, specialization of labor, and new technology
When the early humans were hunter-gatherers, the entire tribe/family of people were involved in finding food. They were all part of tracking down the animals that were being hunted, skinning, roasting or another part of the process. However, when the humans started farming, they realized that they actually had an abundance of food on their hands and that it was more than they needed. This is called a surplus.
When they attained a surplus, there were fewer people needed to grow food. That left a lot of the people with free time on their hands, and they began to work on other things. Some became artisans and focused on making specific crafts to help them survive. Others became merchants and specialized in trading and selling things. And others became blacksmiths skilled in making things from metals. When people started to specialize, they invented new technologies in their respective fields. For example, after the Neolithic Revolution, humans learned how to work with bronze. They also invented the wheel. New systems of irrigation were invented to increase crop yields. Soon, instead of everyone focused on the production of food, there were many different areas in which people were working, creating a diverse environment.
1. Social Class Structure
Before the Neolithic Revolution, the human society was generally an egalitarian. Each person played a simple role, and they worked toward the same purpose: attaining food to survive. However, when the humans settled down and started farming, they needed someone to control who did what and how things were being made. This is where kings came into the picture.
Kings and rulers were put in charge of the allocation of resources, infrastructure development and other aspects of early civilization. However, when kings were put into power, a social hierarchy rose up with them. On top were the kings or rulers, then came the priests, then the middle-class workers, such as the merchants and the artisans followed by the peasants and then, there were the slaves. The advent of a ruler caused certain people to rise in power, and others to fall.
Also, with the surplus food the revolution created, there arose the chance for monetary gain among citizens. Some people became richer than others, and they became part of the social elite. Those who held special occupations, like artisans, blacksmiths and scribes, were right under them. Due to the surplus of food, the value of food production decreases, as did that of those who made a living off of it. They were right under the specialists. And finally, the slaves were at the bottom. The slaves were either prisoners of war from a rival village or someone who could not pay off his or her debts.
2. Gender Inequality
In the time before farming became prevalent, both genders were usually considered equal. Men and women spent their day hours looking for food and preparing it. The gender equality common in the Paleolithic society was partially due to the fact that both men and women had the same role: food gatherer. However, all that changes when societies transitioned over to an agrarian lifestyle. Women kept their roles as farmers and raised children. In contrast, men did not need to hunt anymore and left their jobs as hunters to find new, specialized jobs. Through those jobs, they gained money and power, while the women stayed home. This can be interpreted as the foundation of the patriarchal society that dominated most centuries for millions of years.
The Neolithic Revolution was one of the most important transitions man has ever made. The switch from a nomadic lifestyle of hunting for food to a sedentary agrarian society indirectly helped the early civilizations of Sumer, Babylon, and Egypt to grow and develop, thus setting the stage for everything in history that came after it. However, it also came with many negative socio-economic problems, some which we are still suffering from as of today. Whether you think that it was good or bad, it should be known that the Neolithic Transition is one of the most impactful events in history.
I'm not going to go where I'm not wanted.
Recently, I came across a video on Twitter that accurately explained how irritating and confusing it is when someone responds with the ever-popular "if you want to."
In the video, a boy was doing a parody of a 911 call where the dispatcher asked him if he needed an ambulance, and he responded with "you can if you want to," which left the dispatcher confused as to what actions to take.
Obviously this video was fake, but the annoyance I felt after watching that video was all too real.
Some may tell you otherwise, but there is a huge difference between "you can come" and "I want you to come."
"You can come if you want" is a half-hearted invitation. It makes the person on the receiving end feel unimportant, uninvited and confused as to whether or not the other person actually wants to spend time with them.
However, "I want you to come" is reassuring. It shows the person on the other end that they are important, wanted and appreciated.
Think about it. Would you want to spend time with someone who only wants to get together "if you do?" I know I sure wouldn't.
Instead, I'd enjoy my own company or the company of those who truly appreciate me.
Despite the amazing things our generation has accomplished, we do have one major flaw: we play it way too safe.
One of my old bosses (shoutout to T) once sat us all down and told us about the dangers of playing it safe when it comes to how we handle our feelings about those we care about.
Even if we have all the love in the world for someone, we choose to keep it hidden. We don't show our excitement over getting to spend time with our friends or significant others, even if we were bouncing off the ceiling over the thought of being in their presence.
We act like a generation of "chill" individuals who just "go with the flow" and claim that "it is what it is." We basically act like we have no emotions.
We overcomplicate everything, which in turn destroys our relationships.
Why do we do that?
It's not that difficult. If you miss someone, text them, call them, write them a letter, or go to their house.
If you're excited about getting to spend time with someone, let them know. It will make them happy and your get togethers will be much more enjoyable.
After you go home, text your friends telling them how much you enjoyed spending time with them.
Refraining from showing your appreciation for your loved ones is the quickest way to lose them. I wish I hadn't learned that the hard way.
Cleveland's great for the whole family – These are my favorite reasons to visit.
I am a world traveler. I have been to three different continents, traveled to over 20 states in the United States and at least six countries. I lived in New Jersey for seven and a half years and visited New York City frequently. I'm not saying this to brag, but I am simply saying this to prove that I have traveled quite a bit in my 19 years of life, and while I am no travel expert, I can say that without a doubt, Cleveland, Ohio is a wonderful city to travel to and visit. Maybe I'm biased because I've lived in a suburb of Cleveland (or what I claim to be a suburb of Cleveland) for over ten years now. However, I have seen many beautiful places in my lifetime, and while the weather is not the warmest, nor my favorite thing about the city of Cleveland, there are many other things that Cleveland can offer to tourists.
10. Little Italy
Little Italy is around 20 minutes away from the city of Cleveland and has been noted as one of the top ten Little
9. Great Lakes Brewing Company
Okay so I am not 21 and therefore cannot legally consume alcohol, however, I know that Clevelanders are a big fan of good beer. More specifically, Clevelanders are a fan of Great Lakes Brewery Company, the first brewpub and microbrewery in the state of Ohio. The brewpub also gives tours on weekends of its facilities and shares the rich historical background of the site and company with its visitors. I might still have a little less than two years, but I can't wait until I turn 21 and can have a pint of beer at Great Lakes Brewing Company to celebrate a beloved Cleveland tradition.
8. University Circle
University Circle is one square mile and "home to world-renowned museums, prestigious universities, nationally recognized hospitals, eclectic restaurants, beautiful parks, and cozy spaces." There are over eight museums and galleries including a natural history museum, a museum of contemporary art and an institute of art. There are several places to hear beautiful music in gorgeous locations, cultural and botanical gardens to take a stroll in, many historical landmarks and unique eats.
7. The Cleveland Orchestra and Severance Hall
Opened in 1931 and known as one of America's greatest orchestras and a world-renowned orchestra. In addition to being a great orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra lives in one of the most beautiful concert halls. I might be a little biased though because I graduated high school in Severance Hall, which definitely makes classical music fans jealous of my close connection with the venue.
6. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opened in 1985 and has since brought millions of dollars and visitors to the city of Cleveland, a place which some people now consider the "Home of Rock and Roll". With new inductees every year, the Rock Hall is forever changing and making adaptations to their exhibits and galleries. The exhibits in the Rock Hall include but are not limited to cities that have a major music history, focus on individual artists (in the past there has been an exhibit on Bruce Springsteen), Cleveland's legacy within the rock and roll genre and protests rooted in music.
5. Westside Market
Over 100 years old and recently named by Food Network Magazine "Best Food Lover's Market" in America. With over 100 vendors selling a variety of yummy treats like meats, cheese, bread, baked goods and a bunch of fresh produce, this indoor and outdoor market is always bustling. "Clevelanders love the West Side Market like that loud, colorful great aunt who has ties to the Old Country. She's brash, one-of-a-kind, completely unapologetic and the absolute best to show off to your friends!"
4. Playhouse Square
Playhouse Square is the nation's second-largest performing arts center (second only to Broadway in New York City). And in more recent history, Playhouse Square is the world's most expansive and expensive restoration project in the performing arts world. Known now for its extraordinary outdoor chandelier, Playhouse Square's one of a kind architecture and design attracts millions every year for the over one thousand shows performed annually. I can almost guarantee that every traveling Broadway play or musical has been to Playhouse Square (and Hamilton will be there soon, too!).
3. Cleveland Museum of Art
Known nationally and internationally for its exquisite collections of Egyptian and Asian art, the Cleveland Museum of Art is always expanding and bringing art and visitors from around the world to its doors. In addition to its impressive collections, the CMA is the fourth-wealthiest art museum in the United States and is one of the most visited art museums in the world. There are works of art by Monet, Degas, Caravaggio, Botticelli, Rodin, Van Gogh, Warhol and so many more. And what makes it even more unique, the museum remains free to the general public and has since its opening in 1913.
So, why is Cleveland's food scene one of the country's best food scenes and only continues to get better? Well, to put it simply, we have New York City quality food (and better) for better prices! We have everything from burgers to Mexican food, steak to grilled cheese, pierogis to polish boys and everything else in between. If you are looking to try new food and expand your taste buds to new horizons, come to Cleveland for its incredible and vast food scene.
And perhaps the most important thing about Cleveland, and my personal favorite thing:
1. The Camaraderie
Cleveland, better known to Cleveland sports fans as Believeland, is a place where die-hard fans are created. We celebrate things like a 0-16 season and throw one of the biggest parades in sports history when we win a championship. We stick together through thick and thin and believe in the possibility of the next season. Unlike most sports fans, Cleveland fans don't give up or pick another team to cheer on. Plus, there's nothing like being in another state and finding someone from Cleveland.
1. Brittany Morgan,National Writer's Society
2. Radhi,SUNY Stony Brook
3. Kristen Haddox, Penn State University
4. Jennifer Kustanovich, SUNY Stony Brook
5. Clare Regelbrugge, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign