Do Yourself A Favor And Stop Eating Beef

Do Yourself A Favor And Stop Eating Beef

But I get it- they're so cute you want to eat them.

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Cattle continue to be one of the United States food supply chain's largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Cows emit methane from digestive processes, which contributes to the growing amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, in addition to the emissions resulting from deforestation required to clear grazing areas for livestock and producing cattle feed. Additionally, emission result from the manufacturing and storage processes. Implementing dietary changes to substitute beef for beans, a high source of protein and a low source of greenhouse gases could cut the number of emissions enough to meet the U.S.' 2020 reduction target. While the research is informative and convincing, presenting it to the general public could be a challenge as Americans' food preferences are closely intertwined with socialized gender roles and culture.

A 2017 study headed by Helen Harwatt studied the environmental impacts and implications of Americans' cow-fueled diets, finding that substituting beans for beef would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 334 mmt and would prove to be an adequate protein source. Although the implications and findings of the study are significant, convincing Americans to substitute beans for beef would prove to be a challenge. The dietary choices of Americans are closely tied to their cultural, social, and economic attitudes, as well as the nutritional value of the food. These factors vary across populations and are also influenced by social stereotypes and marketing initiatives that either work to break these stereotypes or perpetuate them. Beans are far more affordable and provide just as much protein and even more dietary fiber than beef, however, meat is a staple of the American diet.

The average American will consume 71 pounds of red meat, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and 56 percent of Americans consumed meat at least once per week in 2012. National Public Radio in partnership with Truven polled 3,000 Americans in 2015 and found there has been no significant change in how Americans consume meat, however, more Americans have expressed wanting to consume less meat for the health benefits and savings. This appears promising, however, in January 2018 the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service reported that Americans were expected to consume record amounts of livestock and dairy products throughout 2018.

Many people who consume red meat know the adverse health impacts that are associated with its consumption, however, many people continue to consume it and will continue to do so. A report from the Seattle Times found that despite growth in the plant, insect or cultured meat consumption, animal-product sales are predicted to outpace those products. In order to decrease the consumption of cattle, and meat in general, social marketing strategies with the aim of changing behaviors and perceptions are required. By looking at popular culture, it is not surprising that meat consumption is heavily intertwined with the social construction of masculinity, and in the media, the strongest men have been portrayed as lovers of meat, such as Ron Swanson in Parks and Rec. This linkage of meat consumption and masculinity has become so pervasive that an op-ed was written in The Guardian to empower men to choose vegetarian options at restaurants. According to the Huffington Post, 79 percent of vegans and 59 percent of vegetarians are women. Men comprise 41 percent of vegetarians. By analyzing why more women forego meat, these conclusions could be tailored to apply to the population as a whole, in addition to efforts promoting affordable and appetizing meatless products.

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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A Florida House Committee Is Undermining Your Vote On Amendment 4

Before felons can regain their right to vote, they must pay court fines, fees, and take care of any other "financial obligations." Essentially, this is a poll tax.

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Amendment 4, also known as the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative, was added to the Constitution of Florida after being passed this last midterm election on November 6, 2018.

Amendment 4 restored the voting rights of Floridians with prior felony convictions after all terms of their sentence have been met, including parole and probation. This amendment only applies to felons who have not been convicted of murder or sexual offenses.

On January 8, 2019, an estimated 1.4 million ex-felons regained their right to vote. This is monumental. Prior to this amendment, Florida was one of four states that used felony disenfranchisement. Amendment 4 gives voice, and rightfully so, to felons who have served their time. Amendment 4 is also putting to rest, finally, years and years of disenfranchisement and suppression.

Now, only two months after its passage, the House Criminal Justice Committee is trying to water down this piece of legislation. This is a direct violation of the will of the 64% of Floridians who voted for the legislation as is. This amendment was not to be "clarified," as Governor DeSantis put it, but rather to be self-implementing.

However, the House Criminal Justice Committee proposed a bill that would tack on some extra qualifiers in order for felons to be enfranchised. The bill will require court fines, fees, and other "financial obligations" (in addition to fees administered in a judge's sentence) to be paid in full before a felon's voting rights are restored. This seems awfully similar to a poll tax to me. Obviously, this is going to affect people without a lot of resources rather than white-collar criminals who can afford a $500,000 bond.

This new qualifier will prevent felons from voting based on the money that can be coughed up as if they don't have to worry about their finances long after they leave prison.

Some may argue that these felons shouldn't have committed a crime in the first place. However, I would argue that holding a felon's vote hostage on the basis of money is unconstitutional.

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