Reflection Journal

10 October 2016

If animals should have certain rights, do you think those rights also apply to animals we raise for food, like chicken and pigs? Are there any rights that these farm animals should have? If so, what are they? * Yes, I believe that those rights should apply to animals raised for food, as well. I’m not saying that we should stop killing them altogether because, however cruel it may sound, we still need food and meat is food.

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Yes, the farm animals should have rights and at the very least, they should be: grown in a healthy and somewhat free environment, they should not be given harmful medicine (which just makes good sense, but the companies seem to be denying the fact that this is wrong to feed their greed), etc. 2. Richard Lobb of the National Chicken Council says in the film, “In a way, we’re not producing chickens, we’re producing food. ” What does this statement mean? Do you agree or disagree with it? How might this perspective affect the way that chickens are raised? That statement means that they don’t think of chickens as animals anymore. Right from the moment they’re laid (as eggs), they are thought of as food. I completely disagree with the statement, and this might affect the way chickens are raised by the point of view of the workers and officials (and what have you). If we keep thinking that these chickens are not animals, but are merely food for ourselves and our consumers, the process of making chickens might become more inhumane as it evolves to become even more efficient. 3.

As consumers, do we have the right to know how the chickens we eat are being raised? Do we want to know? * Yes, we definitely have the right to be informed on what we eat. However, I think some—if not most—of the consumers wouldn’t want to know the reality of how the food we eat are raised. Chapter II: A Cornucopia of Choices 1. In the film, food science Professor Larry Johnson says, “If you go and look on the supermarket shelf, I’ll bet you 90% of the products would contain either a corn or soybean ingredient. And most of the time it will contain both. Why might it be a problem that the majority of our food is made mostly from just corn and soybeans—so that nearly everything we eat contains them? * I think it’s a problem because, as the saying goes, “Too much of anything is bad for you”. Also, I think, because most of our food have these ingredients, we will become too used to having it and too dependent on foods like this (which most of us already are). Furthermore, it’s a problem because nutrients (if any at all are present in these ingredients) are not balanced and our health and nutrition are at stake. 2.

Food labels actually do list corn-based ingredients, but not always in a recognizable way. How do you feel about ingredients being included in your diet without your knowledge? * I think it’s insulting, to be honest. I don’t know how that makes sense but it insults me that the companies don’t label their foods properly that we as consumers take in. It insults me that I basically don’t know the food I eat because of their processes and labeling and all the other factors that come in to food-making. I feel like if they know that if they labeled their foods more bluntly, consumers would turn away from these foods.

And so they’re deliberately trying to hide it from us. 3. The movie points out that cows and farm-raised fish, which are not biologically suited to eating corn, are now given a modified diet that is based on corn. Do you think people’s diets have been modified in a similar way? How do you feel about the possibility of your food being modified without you being aware of it? * Yes, this is the first thing I thought of after watching the clip from the video. Whether the companies are aware of it or not, they not only changed the diets of the meat we eat, but they changed the consumers’ diets as well.

And for what? Because corn is cheaper, because corn help them make profits, because corn is the perfect product to fuel their greed. Chapter III: Unintended Consequences 1. Who’s responsible for Kevin’s death? What do you think the consequences or repercussions should be? * In my opinion, everyone in the food industry had a hand at what happened to Kevin. The companies itself, directly, for endlessly trying to make profits by looking for ways to make food cheaper, the fast food industry, and even the government for not banning this way of processing food still.

Since it’s basically impossible to track these diseases back to the source, and consumers’ needs have to be met (so the companies can’t be shut down), I think that the proper consequence would be that these companies are to be banned from putting chemicals and other “enhancers” on our food and just keep them as natural as they possibly can, which isn’t too hard to do. 2. The mother says, “Sometimes it feels like industry was more protected than my son. ” What do you think of her words? * She’s right. The food industry is definitely given more importance than the consumers.

After all, the food industry keeps the government and economy funded, right? 3. Do we have the right to assume that our food is safe? If so, who do you think should be responsible for ensuring its safety? * Of course we do! It’s food. It’s what makes us healthy and keeps us living. Of course we have a right to assume that it’s safe. The ones who are responsible should be the government and the officials and workers of the food industry, surely. Chapter IV: The Dollar Menu 1. Should access to healthy food be a right for everyone? * Without question.

Why shouldn’t it be? 2. How might we make healthy food available to everyone? * Instead of building factories everywhere, maybe use the land for farms and as for the consumers’ responsibility, buy more organic foods than GMOs. 3. How might our government policies be restructured to allow more access to healthier foods? * Possibly terminate funding to the GMO-making companies and start funding organic farms. 4. Do you think healthy eating should be a right, responsibility, or a privilege? * It should be both a right and a responsibility.

It shouldn’t be a privilege. It shouldn’t be only for those people who have the means to get it. It should be for everyone, no exceptions. Chapter V: In the Grass 1. How would you compare the slaughtering of the chickens by Polyface Farms to the slaughtering of the Smithfield hogs? How do the workers’ conditions compare? * The slaughtering in Polyface Farms is much more humane and merciful than the slaughtering in the Smithfield slaughterhouse. The workers conditions, meanwhile, are also much more favourable in Polyface Farms.

They have fresh air and a healthy environment, whereas in Smithfield, workers are bused in from as far as 100 miles away and they are in a closed environment, an unhealthy factory that seems as if the workers are locked in from the outside while they’re working. 2. Slaughterhouse workers may earn as little as $8 an hour to do the work shown in the film. For how much money would you be willing to do this work? What else might you demand? * The clips shown in the film of workers look very demanding. There’s no specific price I have in mind but it certainly is much higher than eight dollars an hour. And I would want health benefits, as well.

For me, work like that would not only be physically demanding, but mentally and I think psychologically as well. 3. What might people do to make sure that their eating meat does not harm other people and animals? * Buy from farms such as Polyface Farms. I realize that’s not easy for most people but if supermarkets and grocery stores were to buy from these kinds of farms, then it’s going to be a lot easier. 4. What is meant by the phrase “vote with your fork”? * I suppose what it means is that the public should vote the officials that will help them have access to food that’s actually good for them without too much cost.

Chapter VI: Hidden Costs 1. As the film suggests, small companies and producers are often bought out or taken by very big companies. What might be the implications of that—both positive and negative? * Well, the positive would have to be that there would be more money for the small companies to keep working and that their food is marketed to the public even more. The negative would have to be, because of the demand from consumers, they have to work more efficiently, thereby losing “their soul” and they will sort of conform to the big companies’ idea so that they can supply the consumers with what they want. . Why might corporations continue marketing the small companies’ products under their original labels? What do you think of that practice? * Because obviously the consumers are turning away from these corporations to the “more trusted” and smaller organic companies. I think it’s dishonest and deceiving and another of the corporations’ ways to make more money. 3. As portrayed in the film, cost and efficiency drive our current food system. Should price be the most important force behind our food industry? Why or why not?

How might out food system change if it was driven by other values, like health or environmental sustainability? * I have to admit that price is definitely an important factor behind our current food industry, but it shouldn’t be the most important one. Because if the cost of food is what we’re minding the most, we neglect the other factors that go into the food that the corporations make. If our food system were to be driven by other factors such as health and the environment, then most of our food would definitely be healthier and natural. Chapter VII: From Seed to Supermarket . From Monsanto’s perspective, it is expensive to develop new seeds like these, and the seeds save farmers time and enable them to produce more soybeans. What might be the consequences—both positive and negative—of the company owning the genetic information in the seed? * The positive would have to be that there is a sure efficiency in the production of soybean crops and the demands of the public would always be met. On the negative side, however, is that the farmers don’t really have a say in how their crops are going to really grow or what their crops are going to be for. . Saving seeds from last year’s crop is a tradition farmers have followed for thousands of years. Think of a tradition that has been in your family for a long time. What if you could no longer have this tradition because someone legally claims it as theirs? * We would still do it anyway, but I’m guessing that we won’t talk about it outside of our family as much. We would still do it because it’s not fair. The tradition has been there for such a long time and for “someone” to legally claim it as theirs is a clear lie and I would not stand for that. 3.

Do you think it is fair that one farmer had to settle (say he was guilty) because that was cheaper than trying to fight Monsanto’s lawsuit? Why or why not? * I think it’s unfair. I’m not saying he didn’t do it, because he definitely did. But why should he be held guilty for telling farmers to grow healthier crops? Why should he be charged that much money for being conscious of what GMOs have done to our foods for the last few years? It’s preposterous to think that a corporation is wasting all its money and time on a farmer that wants nothing but the best for the consumers, when it should be spending that money on doing the same thing.

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