Friday, April 17, 2015

Animal Activists

Anti-animal abuse campaign inspires lifestyle changes

Juliana Discher | Staff Writer

Fight for those who can’t fight for themselves.

This sentiment against animal cruelty transcends the lives of sophomores Samantha Francis and Emily Davis. Their pledge to go cruelty free determines their daily decisions, from the clothing they wear, to the foods they eat and the products they buy.

According to Francis, her passion for animals was instilled at an early age.

“I grew up on a farm,” Francis said. “I lived on a 100-acre plot in Pennsylvania where we had a horse paddock and a sheltered barn.  My mom took in foster horses from abusive homes and nursed them back to health. We ended up taking care of stray kittens as well. At one point, we had about 27 cats.”
Francis said she was motivated to take a stand upon seeing the mistreatment of animals.

“I saw a lot of crazy things that happened to the animals and it really inspired me to want to protect them,” Francis said. “Taking care of the stray cats taught me an important life lesson that not all animals will be saved, and saving a few won’t change the world. But for the animals you do save, their worlds are changed forever.”

Becoming a vegetarian seemed like a logical choice, according to Francis, because she is against the harming of animals.

“I decided to become a vegetarian for moral reasons,” Francis said. “I don’t think the way our current meat industries treat their animals is humane at all. I know that I’m not making a huge difference in the meat industries by refusing their products, but it’s a huge difference to me.”

It’s a common misconception that vegetarians dislike people who eat meat, Francis said.

“Being a vegetarian doesn’t mean that you hate or are completely against people that eat meat,” Francis said. “I don’t have a problem if people eat meat in front of me. It’s just me consuming it that is a concern.”

According to Davis, the aspiration of not wanting to harm animals demands extensive research before purchasing makeup or clothing. She said she avoids certain brands.

“I stay away from L’OrĂ©al big time,” Davis said. “They are one of the top companies that test on animals. Also, Mac, Mary Kay, Axe, Pantene, Sally Hansen and Suave are awful when it comes to animal cruelty and testing. I stay away from companies that use real animal fur, like Michael Kors and Lulu Lemon.”

Davis said that she intends on starting a club against animal cruelty at the high school.

“I plan on starting a club with other students who are passionate, once I find a teacher to supervise it,” Davis said. “We want to use the club to spread the word about animal cruelty through posters and protests.  We also want to volunteer at no-kill shelters, where they don’t euthanize any of their animals.”

Davis said she finds it unfair that animals don’t have a choice in their treatment, which is why she feels people should stand up for them.

“I believe that no animal should be harmed for humans to use their products,” Davis said. “If a company wants to test and harm animals, they should test it on themselves and if they won’t, then they should work harder to make it safer. Animals have no say or way to defend themselves, so it’s completely unfair to them.”

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Dying Media?

In this day and age, you often hear people saying that journalism is a dying media. They state that newspapers are becoming obsolete and unnecessary. However, I have a different belief.

Journalism will never die.

As long as there are people living and breathing on Earth, news will never stop occurring. As long as events continue to occur, a need for it to be shared and analyzed will remain. As long as there is this need, there will be journalists. As long as there are journalists, print and online media will live strong and remain an available outlet. 

There has been a trend across the nation of high school journalism programs being shut down. According to the Chicago Tribune, in an article titled "Lack of money, interest forcing many high schoolnewspapers to fold," this change can be attributed to an "era of tight school budgets, high-stakes testing and changing news consumption habits."

Mason High School has had some difficulty this year with broadcasting their student generated news program—MBC. Resulting from the change to semesters, teachers have refused to play the program due to ‘a lack of time’. While this change did not personally affect me, I can relate to them from a journalist perspective. Nobody’s hard work should be disregarded and go to waste. Quite to the opposite, the student body has a need to stay informed.

While not on anybody's radar, the potential of my high school’s own beloved newspaper shutting down saddens me. Working as a staff writer on The Chronicle has instilled in me a passion for journalism. It has not only greatly improved my writing abilities and people skills, but has been one of the key highlights of my high school career.

So if high school administrators feel that journalism is simply an elective that can be cut, they are wrong. I will fight for the  continued existence of our high school newspaper and the exercise of our First Amendment rights, because we need an educated and informed society.
The Chronicle Staff 2014-2015

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Emoji Emergence

Apple has just stepped up the texting game.

With the recent iOS 8.3 update, released on April 8th, Apple users are now able to choose from 300 additional emoji’s. If you're not technologically savvy, or do not own an iPhone, you might not have any idea what I'm referring to by emoji. An emoji is a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion via text.

While something as simple as being able to send additional "little pictures" might seem irrelevant, Apple has now included faces with a variety of skin tones and same-sex couples and families.

Prior to this release, emoji’s were primarily Caucasian and featured solely male/female pairs. Now the LGBT community along with multiple races are available. This update diversifies the field and provides the user with options that suit them. 

Personally, I am ecstatic about this update. I found it mildly annoying prior to that I couldn't choose a girl that fit my hair color. I had heard similar frustrated accounts from my friends who are of different races. Everyone wants to belong, even if that means simply having an emoji that looks like you or fits your situation.

There is still work to be done by Apple, however, as the same-sex couple emoji’s don't have the option to select races. They are all a generic yellow color. If Apple decides to include a race option for these, as they did with all the other emoji’s, they will have to be sure to include mixed race couples as well.

For now, I applaud the company. Each time I click to use an emoji, I will be grateful that society is progressing and becoming more accepting of the diversity amongst us.