Animal Suffrage and Why it Should be Stopped

FBI to Begin Tracking Animal Abuse Data in 2016


Is it fair that animals around the world are suffering? Every day an animal is being beaten or neglected. This may involve beating, stabbing, shooting animals and even setting them on fire. I think this is wrong and should be stopped immediately. Also these animals are neglected like, not giving them necessary food, water, shelter and vet care. Most of these animals are dying everyday. Some examples of animal abuse would be dog fighting, puppy mills, animal hoarding, farm animal welfare, horse slaughter, and any other animal issues.

Dog fighting is when dogs are forced to defend themselves against other dogs for profit or entertainment of other people. This is wrong and a terrible thing to do to any animal. These animals are held in isolation and spend their time on heavy chains. They are pushed in many ways under bad conditions. For example, “They are regularly conditioned for fighting through the use of drugs, including anabolic steroids to enhance muscle mass and encourage aggressiveness,”(The Criminal, Underground World of Dog Fighting). Even though dogfighting is illegal in every state, people are still doing it for money.

Animal hoarding is when a person has too many animals in one house at a time and can’t take care of all of them, which leads to neglect between the animals. They should not have this many pets which is unfair to the animals. They each need personal attention throughout the day. This person may deny that they have so many animals which can be a sign of animal hoarding. Another sign would be, “They have numerous animals and may not know the total number of animals in their care. Their home is deteriorated (i.e., dirty windows, broken furniture, holes in the wall and floor, extreme clutter), and also there is a strong smell of ammonia, and floors may be covered with dried feces, urine, vomit, etc,”(A Complex Issue). All of the animal abuse should be stopped immediately before another animal dies of suffrage.
In conclusion I believe animal abuse is the worst thing you can do to an animal. It is not fair that they are being beaten and stabbed. These animal are dying everyday which should not be happening. They are pets and living things not something to make money off of. They should be taken care of by an owner who actually cares about them. The things these animals are going through should be stopped immediately. I hope you too understand why we should take action by helping animal shelters that rescue these animals.


The Reason Why We Eat!

All throughout my life I have been fascinated with cooking. I used to follow my mom around trying to help her with whatever I could. Then when I was around six or seven years old I tried my favorite dessert, tiramisu. Tiramisu is a Italian dessert, it’s name meaning pick me up. A typical tiramisu normally consists of eggs, mascarpone cheese, sugar, and coffee, and is normally shaped like a small cake which can be compared to a napoleon. Though the original shape of the tiramisu was like a ladyfinger, but luckily for us it was change for a larger portion! When you take a bite of this cake it has a nice moist, spongy chocolate taste. My favorite part of the cake is the cream that is layered in between the cake pieces. The cream is made of egg yolks, sugar, and milk to create a smooth, creamy, silky taste that is truly pleasant to eat.

When I first tasted a tiramisu I immediately wanted to try and make it myself. So I searched online for a simple recipe for tiramisu and found one recipe that was very simple and only consisted of two steps. First in a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks with sugar and vanilla until the cream is smooth and the color is light yellow. Then fold the mascarpone cheese into the egg yolk mixture and then set it aside. Next dip the  ladyfingers briefly in coffee and put 12 of them in the bottom of an 8×8 inch dish. Spread half the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers. Repeat with remaining cookies and mascarpone.Then  cover and chill the dessert for 1 hour. Then sprinkle with cocoa just before serving. Finally let yourself indulge in the delicious dessert and find out the real reason why we eat!


Chocolate! It Actually Helps!

Many people believe that chocolate is unhealthy for the body. It turns out, there are some benefits to this delightful candy! There are three types of chocolate: white, milk, and dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is supposedly the healthiest kind of chocolate there is. However, all three types of chocolate have their benefits for people. Some benefits of chocolate are that it strengthens the brain, improves the mood, and helps prevent illnesses.  

Eating chocolate can help the brain become stronger. Researchers at John Hopkins University found out that dark chocolate shields one’s brain cells. The chocolate also protects the cells from damage. Testing out this study on mice, the researchers found that the cells in the brains of the mice were protected from damage, especially from strokes. Epicatechin is an ingredient in chocolate. It was found that this ingredient helps improve memories. Chocolate can help make the brain stronger, and can also improve the mood of humans. A study was conducted, and this philosophy was proved right. Participants were asked to complete many tasks. Before the tasks, though, one group of the participants consumed a cocoa flavanol drink. It resulted with that group having less “mental fatigue” than the other participants. While improving the mood, chocolate helps prevent illnesses. Many studies have been conducted, some with heart attacks, cancer, or blood inflammation. It is proven that chocolate can help reduce the likelihood of these illnesses. Eating chocolate can actually benefit us. Many have never known that, but now, parents can let their children go eat their chocolate, especially on Halloween.

I personally believe that chocolate is not that all harmful. It can, in some ways, help one. It also lets one’s mind let go of all the stress they have, or their tension and worries. I eat chocolate all the time, and it calms me down. When I eat it, I forget about everything, and I just live life!


Life Advice from Food

Food is good.  I take advantage of every opportunity to try all types of food.  Although it sounds weird, this has taught me life lessons that many people don’t learn until much later.  I have learned about when to stay in my comfort zone, when to try new things, and lots of stereotypes that don’t apply to me.

I was practically raised on pasta, hot sauce, and tea, especially tea; those are my comfort foods.  For others, it may be mac and cheese, wonton soup, or samosas (all of which I also love).  But for me, I will return to a huge, steaming mug of tea as long as I have a heartbeat.  A few years ago, I decided that I was too centered around my tea and pasta, so I stopped eating them.  For about a month, I cut them out of my diet completely.  I concentrated on trying new foods, which is never a bad thing.  After a while, though, I realized that staying outside of my comfort zone for so long made me yearn more and more for the safety of what I knew & loved.  Comfort foods, I learned, make you feel at home, and everyone needs a home.

Food has given me adventure.  I have tried some pretty weird things in my lifetime, but I have loved most of them.  For example, oysters on the half-shell.  For those who don’t know what they are, they’re raw oysters, served nice and cold in half of the shell with optional cocktail sauce.  You pick up the shell and slide the slimy meat, topped with sauce, into your mouth, chew a little (chewing is also optional), and swallow.  When I got the opportunity to have some, I wanted to be able to say I had tried it, so I did.  And I LOVED it.  My mom tried to take a video of my first time tasting oysters on the half shell, except it became my first 6 times; I inhaled them faster than she could turn the camera off.  The next time my dad asked me to try something, I didn’t hesitate, and it was arguably the best seafood I have ever tasted.  Ever heard of ceviche?  It’s just raw seafood marinated in citrus juice and hot spices, but it is absolutely amazing.  A few days later, we went out for phở, and my dad got tripe in his.  I, not knowing what tripe is, wanted to try.  Stop reading for a minute and look up tripe.  Eating that was one of the worst food-related decisions of my life.  However, I am glad that I decided to try foods like that, because now I can say things like “Hey, I’ve eaten alligator” (it’s really good, and nothing like chicken).  Food inspires me to explore both the inside and outside of my comfort zone.

Food gets rid of stereotypes, at least for me.  I am a blond teenage girl, and I love Asian food.  I get a lot of weird looks when I go into Indian snack shops and order exactly what I want.  One time, I went into A Dong Supermarket with my (blond) dad, and we split up to divide and conquer.  When I went to pick up a treat for my sister, there were two middle-aged Chinese men stocking the shelves.  When they first saw me, I could see that they thought I was lost.  I nearly laughed out loud when I picked up the few items I needed and left with no problems; they looked absolutely astonished that a young white girl knows her way around an Asian supermarket.  Later, while my dad and I were deciding which soups to get, I saw one of the aforementioned employees with another of his friends.  As soon as he recognized me, he elbowed his comrade and jerked his head toward where I was standing.  I flushed and turned around; I was both embarrassed and angry that they would stereotype me so strongly.  Things like this happen every time we go to any Asian place, but my family never fails to laugh about it in the car, but we make sure to never judge people based on what they look like.

Clearly, the two best teachers in life are experience and food.  Since you can learn so much from eating, I challenge you to try at least one new food in the next week and post it on the Internet.  Encourage others to learn from food!


To be Macaron or Macaroon? That is the Question

The macaron is a sweet meringue-based cookie that is able to made using the ingredients of icing, food dye, very fine sugar, and your choice of ground almonds or almond powder. These thin icing-filled cookies are extremely popular in France and have yet to have major popularity here in the United States. Though many believe that the macaron started out in France, it’s a wrong belief. The started macaron had actually started out in Italy, created by chef  Catherine de Medicis. The cookie didn’t really become a popular food choice until 1547, when her husband, Duc d’Orleans(Henry II) became the king of France. Since then, the macaron has basically become a trademark (involving food) for France.

Now that you know what a Macaron is, you are probably wondering what a macaroon is and what it has to do with anything. I have a pet peeve list and on that list is probably when people confuse the two even though they are completely different foods. If you didn’t know a macaroon is made with most of the same ingredients except it is made with one huge different ingredient. Oh yeah, coconut! It is actually impossible for me to understand how you can get foods that don’t even look remotely similar to each other. Personally, the French macaron is the better choice of the two because of the various flavors it is available in. It also looks more appetizing to eat then the macaroon which looks like a bunch of coconut flakes squished together without any effort. Don’t let me decide for you on which pastry is better, go out and buy some macaroons and macarons and see for yourself!


Soup Kitchen

In 1981, hunger became a common issue in Waterbury’s downtown area. To help stop people hunger, Father Cascia established a soup kitchen in Waterbury’s downtown Hispanic area. Every day people from local organizations and churches come to volunteer and help feed the hungry citizens of Waterbury.  This soup kitchen is dedicated to helping people in any way possible, they even offer referral services in the time of need for a job. People are open to financially support the soup kitchen or even give food donations. Over one hundred people come to eat there everyday for breakfast and lunch.

About a month ago, my cousins and I volunteered to help out at the soup kitchen through our local church. We arrived there at about 8:00am and people were already waiting outside in a massive line. Once my cousins and I got into the kitchen we started cutting chicken and potatoes. I was surprised how industrial the kitchen looked and that so much food was being cooked. All of the people were very nice, and extremely thankful. It felt good to help people. Working at the Soup Kitchen put my life and what I should be thankful for into so much perspective. I realized that I should be happy to get new clothes, or have a bed to sleep in. It made me think of how much my friends and family have, like to be able to go to school, or even have a phone. I mean, we all take things for granted sometimes, but it feels good to take a step back and realize what we all have. Going to the soup kitchen was a great experience to realize how much more thankful everyone should be.



Walking on a half day? Good or Bad Idea

Dodd Middle School gets a lot of half days, well at least so far in the year, and this is a problem for some people. As you might already know a large amount of the students walk around after school gets out on these days. Many of the students head to the Maplecroft Plaza in town because its so close and it has a variety of places to eat. When there are a large amount of kids all together it can’t come to a good outcome. Kids go through stores knocking things off shelves and making a giant mess within the stores and also disrupting residents. And businesses have had enough, some of the smaller stores kick kids out before they get a chance to do anything. For example last half day on the 21st of November,  I walked. Subway kicked me out when I walked in to say “Hey” to a friend. They were asking kids if they were gonna buy anything when they first walked in. If the response was no, you were out. But places like Rite-Aid and Stop and Shop can’t do anything about it, and just end up cleaning up after us.

I think that everyone’s fuss about it is legit, I’ve seen it happen, kids wrecking stores. I’ve been there when it happens and I completely understand why this is a problem. The other day I was sitting in Froyo after the rush left with two of my friends, and we were just sitting there talking, and the manager started sweeping and from under one of the tables out came a donut with one bite taken out of it. My friends and I laughed ‘cause we didn’t expect that to really be there. After we laughed the three of us started to talk to him. We asked what kinda stuff he finds and he said all types of crazy stuff. I then said “well with all the kids from the school you must do pretty well on these types of days” He then said “We always do well, these days we just need to do more clean up”. I thought that the stores might be a little happy because they make so much on those days but it seems they think of it as more work at the end of the day. I think it’s fun walking with friends but in the end it’s just stupid to go to Maplecroft because everyone goes there and you’re more likely to get in trouble there than anywhere else. So, if you’re going to walk, go somewhere else.


Experiencing The Big E

Have you ever been to the Big E? This year the Big E is being held in West Springfield, MA from September 13th to the 29th. There are lots of different things to explore there.

This year, one of its greatest draws would be the food. There is so much to choose from and many of the Big E’s millions of visitors all have their favorites, whether its the turkey legs, the baked stuffed Maine potatoes, the French beignets, or the fair’s signature cream puffs. Also check out the Big E-Z Cafe, with lots of waistband expanding goodies of all sorts. This includes the Craz-E breakfast sandwich featuring two eggs on a glazed donut with a choice of a sausage patty, bacon, or both! (can you imagine how many calories are in that?) Another Big-E delicacy  is the Chocolate Baconana, created by chef Mary Ann Brick of the Veggie Patch.  It is a frozen banana on a stick, dipped in chocolate, and rolled in real bacon. To me, some of that doesn’t exactly sound very satisfying, but thats what the people like. So if you ever check out the Big-E, be sure to try all kinds of different foods, you never know what you might like there.. I surely don’t.

One other thing that attracts people to coming is the huge amount of entertainment provided at the Big-E. Seriously, you will never run out of stuff to do. Whether you check out one if the concerts featuring Today’s hottest singers, or experience the amazing Mardi Gras Parade, there is entertainment for all ages… or so I’ve heard. If you want to see top-name talent, then visit the Xfinity Arena near the site of the fair’s concerts. The Arena seats over 6000 people, so don’t worry about getting your tickets on time. So thats most of the entertainment at the Big-E, but if you visit, you’ll probably discover much more fun things to do there.

~Rachel Mola

Childhood Obesity… Who’s to blame?


Childhood obesity had been an ongoing issue for a very long time. Twenty percent of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. This percentage is three times as much as one generation ago. This amount is too much. When children are obese or overweight it may cause some serious health problems such as;  hypertension, type 2 diabetes, Orthopedic problems, sleep apnea, depression, and asthma. So, who’s to blame in this dilemma? The schools, social media, the parents, or the kids?

First there is the school, who have vending machines. Most schools that have vending machines do not allow soda in their school. But the ones that do have many obese children.  The children form a habit of buying the soda at school, and then the unhealthy eating doesn’t stop there. But what happens before school? Do kids watch tv? Television and other social media advertises unhealthy food choices. The kids see the unhealthy food being advertised as fun, tasty foods, so they ask their parents to buy it ! Then the kids love the food and keep eating it, getting obese! But then who’s behind that? The parents are. They allow their kids to eat these unhealthy foods! What about the breakfast, lunches and dinners these parents feed their children? If the child is obese the parents are feeding them unhealthy foods. If the child knows they will make them heavy, why do they eat it? The children should not eat it if they know its unhealthy. Everyone is here to blame, but some more than others. If each parent and child takes the step to eat healthier then the children of the future will have a better, brighter future.

~Jade Rabago

UUMAC Where You Learn to be “U”

UUMAC stands for Unitarian Universalist Mid-Atlantic Community. Today, UU is being able to find what you think is the truth and meaning to things, in an accepting community while also striving to make the world a better place. I have been going to UUMAC every year, ever since I was born, only skipping a year when I moved to Connecticut. I have gone twelve times and loved every visit. At UUMAC, when not eating of course, we go to morning worship where different concepts are discussed. Then we go to classes where we either blow our minds with different ideas on how to treat people and/or live, get ready for the showcase later in the week,  sometimes read books and make crafts, or watch shows like The Twilight Zone. If we don’t go to classes, we attend workshops, a period during which we have a variety of choices, like playing sports or doing crafts. Once this time of day is over, you can do whatever you want! I usually am with my group of very interesting friends either on campus (UUMAC is held at an university) or at one of the many field trips, like the one to Dutch Springs.

UUMAC is a great place to go to because you can express who you truly are without being criticized. Besides that, all you are doing for the whole week is hanging out and having fun. It is also very interesting because you never know what to expect each day. For example, one year a trip to the thrift store led to an obsession with ties for a group of people. Finally, my experience with UUMAC is this; it is an interesting, fun, and mind opening place for people seeking to find a new group of people that you may someday consider to be a family.

If you are an UU or not sure what you want to be, I would suggest attending at UUMAC or at least a couple UU services. Overall, it is a very fun and enlightening experience.

If you want to learn more, check out the hyperlink to their website above, or check out their twitter/facebook pages.

~Abby Klimowicz