December 8, 2010 § 1 Comment
Generally, I don’t consider myself an animal activist. I do love animals, but I have no problem eating beef or chicken. Watching The Cove yesterday though, I felt awful watching the dolphins being killed. Maybe it was just that actually seeing the killing firsthand makes it more impacting, but why is it that I would never eat a dolphin, or a dog, but happily eat a cow?
I think it sparks from the way we interact with the animal. Animals such as dolphins, dogs or horses are very friendly to humans and one can really build a relationship with them. They have a lot of humanlike characteristics and humans feel like they can relate to them. This makes it feel like humans are killing one of their own, almost like killing another human. Cows on the other hand, aren’t very friendly to humans and don’t show the same emotion. Therefore, it is hard to connect with them and feel sympathy for them.
Another thing why I have no problem eating animals is that i don’t see the killing. Since I never plan on eating dolphin, I am actually glad to watch a documentary educating me about how people are trying to stop the hunting. At the same time though, I would never want to watch a cow being slaughtered because then it triggers the reaction of guilt about eating them. I don’t think it would stop me from eating them entirely, but for a small time, I would hesitate before doing so.
December 7, 2010 § Leave a comment
All my life, my siblings and I have wanted a pet dog. We always went to friends houses and saw how much fun they were and would constantly as my parents if we could get one. Although my mom always had a dog growing up, my dad would always overrule her and we could never get one.
Then, early this year, my aunt’s dog had 6 puppies and they couldn’t keep them all. Out of the blue, my mom decided to get not one, but two of them. After years of asking for one and getting denied, I didn’t know why we suddenly decided to get them, but I was certainly not complaining. She got them so instinctively that while they were on their way to our house from New Jersey, we didn’t even know what gender they were. We decided that my sister and I would each get to name one as long as the family cleared the names.
During this time, the Giants also happened to be making their playoff run, and while watching every game, I loved hearing the name Buster Posey. Something about it was just so catchy and unique and he was such a loveable guy. Therefore, assuming that one of the dogs would be a guy, I named it Buster.
When the dogs arrived, the my dissapointment, they were both girls. I was so set on naming one Buster though that to me it really didn’t matter. I tried to justify it by saying that of the two dogs, Buster was more manly anyway and the much more aggressive one. Still, no one else approved and constantly said, “Wait you named it Buster? Isn’t that a guys name?”
This all made me wonder. How did certain names become gender oriented? And why is it embarrassing to be named something that is generally considered a name of the opposite sex?
December 1, 2010 § 2 Comments
Even though we are nearly a month away from my favorite day of the year, Christmas, it feels like it is right around the corner. I am counting down the hours left until winter break, aka freedom, and therefore also doing the same for Christmas. I think that my eagerness has made it feel closer than it really is, along with my surroundings. By surrounding I mean the fact that every time I enter my house, there is Christmas music blasting in the kitchen, my mom writing Christmas cards and decorations everywhere. Most year, my family is late on the whole Christmas spirit thing, but this year, the second that Thanksgiving was over, we were forced to get a tree and start decorating.
One thing that I found interesting looking around the house today is that with the decorations comes more nature in my house than any other time around the year. In every room, there are reefs, a tree or some garland all around me. It is almost as if my mom knows that we will be spending more time indoors with the cold weather and darkness outside, so she tried to accommodate for it by bringing the nature into the house.
November 29, 2010 § Leave a comment
Over break, I was trying to think of how nature could relate to the most relevant thing on my mind, Thanksgiving. I thought of the hundreds of thousands of turkeys, but since we use them to kill and eat, I didn’t think that worked. Then I thought how I saw more families walking than I had ever before, and fewer cars on the road. Since it is one day that families can slow down and spend time with their families, instead of hurrying in their cars, this was expected.
My most most prevalent encounter with nature though, came through my family’s annual Thanksgiving football game. Every Thanksgiving, my family travels to New Jersey to stay on my Grandma’s farm with my 20 cousins on my mom’s side and their families. One Thanksgiving day, we all wear different football jerseys and have a 30 person football game with the whole family. This year though, we had to stay home because Menlo made the semifinals in football. Therefore we tried to replicate our game with family friends at their house. Although the game didn’t have the same sense of family unity that our game has had for the last 1o years at the farm, it took the same course that it has every single year. Of course since the dads think that they are the most manly, played quarterback for both teams. The game began by them passing to all of the little kids to make sure that everyone got the ball evenly. As the game progressed though, it became more intense and there was an increasing amount of pushing and shoving. The younger kids began to get the ball less and less as the dads started to pass to score and not to make everyone feel included. I could have predicted this because when a group of guys together, there is no “friendly, casual football”. Similarly, when these annual games happen, someone is bound to get hurt. Usually it is one of the adults, who isn’t used to competing this aggressively, but pulls something trying to prove that they are superior to the other adults. This year though, it came when my brother, the most competitive person I know, dove trying to catch a pass, but landed in a rose bush.
Since I could not play with my back injury, I had to go check on the turkey mid game back at my house. While I was there, I get a text from my sister, showing her Thanksgiving compassion. “Tim just feel in a rose bush, CLASSIC LOL”. When I return to the game, I see my brother bleeding all over and am told the story by my mother and sister as they are histarically laughing. So much for everyone being nice to one another on thanksgiving. Well my brother did give me one thing on Thanksgiving though. A story to share about my family that involved nature.
November 12, 2010 § Leave a comment
I found the first half hour of Grizzly Man to be very interesting. It gave me a new perspective on animal human relationships, especially those in the wild. I never expected animals such as foxes and bears to be so friendly to a human, let alone a wierd looking man who talks to them like they are babies. He broke the barrier though that no man has before him, and for 13 years, had a friendly and non violent relationship with them.
One thing that I kept asking myself while watching this movie though was why Werner Herzog decided to narrate this movie. He didn’t do any of the filming or production of the footage, but after it was all shot, decided to take it on as a project. From what I had previously read about him, there was little that let me to believe that this was the kind of film that he would make. He usually wants full control of the directing and vision of the film. I didn’t expect him to be the kind of guy to adapt to the footage, instead of shooting his own. The only connection that I c0uld make is that he grew up in a rural village in Germany and didn’t have any communication with the digital world until his early adulthood. Therefore, he would have had a lot of contact with the natural world and a lot of primal animals. Maybe he felt a connection with what Timmy had tried to do by filming and living with bears and animals for 13 summers.
Another thing that I found interesting was the order of the clips he showed. From what I have seen, there is a wierd order of random clips being shown mixed in with interviews. It isn’t chronological though as he jumps around from before his death, to his death, to before his death again. I was curious why he chose to do that and think that we will later find out. It is a unique way to do things though that most directors wouldn’t use.
October 20, 2010 § Leave a comment
For most of what was said in the article we read, I tended to agree. With so much technological advancement, so much is changing and it can often be scary. Life as we thought we knew it five years ago is almost never the same as the present day. The question that must be asked is, is this change good for us or bad?
I believe that there are definitely aspects of both good and bad. For the most part, our technological advancements have helped us and make life easier. Especially since we are so used to them, it is hard to imagine life without them. Things like HD TV and Tivo are so commonly used in my life that they are almost needed. Although with every new invention also comes a downside, and in this case it could be spending that time laying down instead of exercising and being active, I think overall it is a good advancement.
Then we come to the most important invention, the internet. It is used everyday by everyone around us. We are constantly emailing, checking news and sports, facebooking and even watching TV. This gives us a gateway to infinite amounts of data and information that was previously only found through searching books. One downside though has become our dependence on the internet and other electronic devices that limit our human interaction. We spend so much time watching TV, playing video games and surfing the web, that we have so much less time to talk to those around us. And when we do, it is often over the internet or texting. I don’t like the fact that we often can’t see those who we are talking to and can’t sense their emotions, but it has just become a reality. This isn’t the case with everyone though. Almost everyone prefers to interact in person and many still primarily do that, but it is hard when you can talk to someone from miles away instead of taking the trip all the way out to see them. Overall, I believe that the internet actually has more positive aspects than negative ones and just give people a tool to use, but doesn’t force them to use it. Therefore it is just another option of something to do and they can still talk to people in person if they choose.
October 11, 2010 § 5 Comments
Although Call of the Wild isn’t a Disney Film, there are many similarities with Disney films such as the Lion King and Bambi. To begin, all of these stories involve an animal and follow this animal throughout their lives. They all begin when the animal is just a baby and end at the end of the animal’s journey to adulthood. They also are all constantly in nature. In both of the Disney movies, there are no people shown at all, but in all three they are predominantly in the wild. Even though there are humans in Call of the Wild, there aren’t in a civilized developed environment and instead are in the animal’s habit.
Even though I don’t believe that there is one moment in which an individual “comes of age”, in all three of these stories there is a distinct turning point. In Bambi, when he fends off another male deer to save the woman he loves, he finally matures and becomes the man that he needed to be. In Lion King, Simba sees his father in the sky and is told to return to Pride Rock, which is when he realizes his fate and responsibility to save his people. In Call of the Wild, Buck sees his best friend dead and it triggered him to become savage and a killer, which he continues for the rest of the book. Each of these moments change the course of their respective stories and change the main characters.
In all of these stories, the main characters must attack another animal to survive and show their worth. In Bambi he fights the other deer, in Lion King Simba must fight Scar to save his people and in Call of the Wild, Buck must fight off the attacking wolves to show that he can fight with them. Along with the moments mentioned earlier, these are all pivotal turning points in the story and help them all survive.