Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Chickens are more than just nuggets
We at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are pleased that our "I am not a nugget" sticker prompted sophomore Lauren Peckler to think about the cruel treatment of chickens on factory farms and in slaughterhouses in her column "PETA's passivity pays off" published September 24, 2004.
Although most people simply don't know chickens as well as dogs and cats, these birds show affection and feel happiness, loneliness, fear and pain just the same. They are intelligent and, according to Chris Evans, who studies animal behavior and communication at Macquarie University in Australia, have cognitive abilities beyond the capacity of small children.
In their natural surroundings, chickens spend their day foraging for food, making nests, roosting in trees, and taking sun and dust baths. They exist in stable social groups and can recognize each other by their facial features. Like us, chickens form strong family ties and mourn when they lose a loved one. A mother hen will turn her eggs as many as five times an hour and cluck to her unborn chicks, who will chirp back to her and to one another. The PBS documentary "The Natural History of the Chicken" reveals that chickens like to watch television and have vision similar to humans. They also seem to enjoy all forms of music, especially classical.
But on factory farms, chickens are crammed by the tens of thousands into filthy warehouses with no access to fresh air or sunlight.
Many suffer from respiratory diseases, bacterial infections, crippled legs, heart attacks, and other serious ailments. During slaughter, their throats are cut and they are often dumped in a tank of scalding water while fully conscious.
To find out how to help chickens and other abused animals, please visit PETA2.com and GoVeg.com.
senior writer, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
Fight right-wing political correctness on campus
As an alumnus, I look with horror as the UA follows the leash of right-wing political correctness. The notion that one cannot criticize one's leaders is alien to democracy and a harbinger of authoritarianism.
If an instructor is hostile and rude or refuses to recognize competing explanations, then that person is guilty of being an inept teacher, nothing more.
If the professors are trying to "brainwash" young minds, they are doing a lousy job, given how many conservatives survive the indoctrination camps.
While it may be true that "liberals" outnumber "conservatives" in academic institutions, this should be no more cause for alarm than the fact that conservatives outnumber liberals in the military, law enforcement, and business institutions.
Perhaps pacifists and socialists should share control of the military and corporations.
If you have a problem with a professor, then bring it up with the professor or the administration. Reporting them for un-American activities is, sadly and ironically, un-American.
Multicultural centers part of problem
In response to Keren G. Raz's September 24th column that featured the exhortation to live diversity, I would like to respond by saying perhaps the existence of African-American centers, Hispanic-American centers and the like are part of the problem rather than the solution. They foster the false idea that there is some official version of "White," "Black" or "Hispanic" culture. Affirmative action and similar programs have led to the ethnic Balkanization of America as people jockey for special consideration under these laws. I think that Dr. King would be appalled that his legacy was being used to justify a system that assigns opportunities to people solely on the basis of their skin color.
Once people identify themselves without prefixes, his dream will have become a reality. As long as we are hypersensitive about our racial or ethnic identities and what makes us different, we will be blind to all that we have in common. I had the chance to grow up in several countries on three continents, and I have been in the minority, the majority and everywhere in between. What has always allowed me to make friends and fit in is my ability to find common ground and make that the basis of my relationship with others.
Also, and perhaps most significant, I identify myself as an individual, just myself. I am not defined by the accident of my birth to white parents. I have no connection to Europe except for a brief visit, and I would venture that most African-Americans will never see as much of Africa as I already have. You can be aware and proud of your ancestry without being confined by it. What I mean to say is, true diversity is about individuals being themselves, with skin color having little or no bearing on their identity. Feeling you have to live up to some narrow idea of "blackness" or "whiteness" is just as oppressive as the prejudice of others.
non-degree seeking graduate student
Moore ignores facts; goes for own agenda
The revelation that ASUA Speakers Board has secured controversial filmmaker Michael Moore to speak at McKale October 11th is surely a triumph. University officials should be proud to play host for such a notable being as Mr. Moore. After all, this university is an institution dedicated to pursuit of truths, and none could be further committed to the truth than Michael Moore.
At least, truth as it corresponds with Mr. Moore's political agenda. For example, "Fahrenheit 9/11" claims that the Saudi royal family holds the reigns of U.S. foreign policy. What Mr. Moore fails to take up is the fact that Saudi Arabia has opposed the Bush administration's policies concerning Iraq and Afghanistan, going so far as forbidding the United States from mounting offensive operations from a U.S. airbase in Saudi Arabia.
Never mind the facts. After all, Mr. Moore is an informative, engaging speaker. He's helping the university get students more involved with the political process, albeit through hyperbole and misrepresentations.
What of that dreaded Unocoal natural gas pipeline across Afghanistan, which Moore alleged the Bush administration had cravenly coveted? The truth is that Unocoal dropped the pipeline idea way back in 1998, when there was no Bush in the White House. Yet the facts need not clutter the polemics of Michael Moore, and why should they? He's an engaging character.
How distressing that Alistair Chapman and the ASUA Speakers Board so lowly esteem the acumen of the student community that they feel they must employ the cheap provocations of a propagandist like Moore in order to engage students.
Misplacing blame on 'wife-beaters'
They're called wife beaters. They're not called "wife beating is cool," they're not called "let's get together and beat some women," and they're not called "sexual abuse is funny" shirts.
If you want to stick up for someone, why not start a crusade for the poor "white trash" southern "redneck" men who live in trailers, after whom the shirt is actually named? The stereotype that is being propagated is not that men are in the right to use violence to "keep their women in line," but rather that all poor men - because generally that is the demographic whose image comes to mind when that term is used - are indeed "wife-beaters."
While we understand and appreciate that domestic violence is one of the major problems facing our nation, and we commend Ms. Bonicillo for her Monday September 20th column which attempted to call attention to the issue, we feel as though she has chosen the wrong platform.
Go after DMX and his lyrical content, go after Playboy and its more demeaning cousins, go after the producers of The Swan. Continue the fight, just be careful about misplacing blame.
Stephanie Turbie and Brittany Parish
psychology sophomore and creative writing sophomore
Poor oversight in picking speakers
Now that we all know that we have three major speakers (Amy Goodman, Michael Moore, and Sen. Ted Kennedy) coming to our university in the space of less than one month, I thought I would make a few simple observations regarding this sudden surge.
Isn't this what ASUA promised us when they touted the $15 Student Activity Fee last semester? More speakers and big names? It seems that we have that capability without forced taxation of students, even if ASUA isn't sponsoring all of them.
Moreover, as many easily predicted last semester, we have poor oversight over the diversity of opinion in our selection of speakers. In fact, our speakers board specifically mentioned four names during the course of the town-hall meeting touting the fee: Bill Clinton, Michael Moore, Alan Greenspan, and Janet Reno, in that order. After I asked how diversity of opinion would be overseen, the reply was that they wanted to make sure we had speakers who were "sensitive to both sides." Ha.
ASUA is paying Moore $27,000 to bring him to McKale Center. Instead of spending $27,000 to provide an equal and proper counterbalance, the right-wing perspective comes from small names. David Hardy will speak in the ILC, and Rep. Jim Kolbe is a frequent visitor anyhow and is hardly conservative. Both are local residents and neither are being paid.
Clearly, neither our major speakers nor our student representatives are "sensitive to both sides."
political science sophomore
ASUA praised for starting dialogue
I thank and praise ASUA and President Chapman for helping open the doors of dialogue in this ever-so-important election year. By bringing to students people representing many different political views and backgrounds, ASUA is enforcing the idea that students should register to vote, educate themselves on different candidates and initiatives, and actually vote.
Students can't afford to not exercise their right to vote with, among other things, access to higher education, the creation of good-paying jobs, and the loss of many alliances at stake.
I think Governor Janet Napolitano said it best when she proclaimed to students at an ASUA sponsored event, "Your voice needs to be heard!"
For those students against an open debate and certain speakers, are you afraid of healthy discussion or are you afraid of the truth? Maybe both?
It is beside the point that nobody is forcing you to go to any of the events.
If you do choose to participate in the series of speakers, good for you! You have accomplished one of the three steps to becoming a dutiful citizen. Complete the process by registering to vote before the October 4th deadline and voting in the November 2nd general election.
David Martinez III