Cowspiracy Movie Review

Cowspiracy Movie Review

What is Cowspiracy? 

Cowspiracy is a documentary on “Netflix” by Kip Andersen. The documentary is about the truth behind animal agriculture. The documentary follows Andersen as he raises huge concerns about animal agriculture’s connection to climate change, deforestation, water usage, ocean dead zone.

What are the arguments being made? 

Anderson has claimed the following, there is no sustainability in animal agriculture.

How is he supporting his argument? 

 He used the following facts to support his arguments. 

  • Animal agriculture is responsible for 18% or Greenhouse gasses compared to the combined emissions of all transportation, 13%.
  • “Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions” is another fact used to further push his argument. The fact was retrieved from  “ Goodland, R Anhang, J. ‘Livestock and Climate Change: What if the key actors in climate change were pigs, chickens and cows?’ ”.  
  • For some context, Methane is a natural gas and is the cleanest version of fossil fuel but when it is released into the atmosphere unburned it is dangerous since it is able to trap heat and contributes to global warming. Methane is released to the planet through coal production, natural gasses, oil and livestock. “Methane is 25-100 times more destructive than CO2 on a 20 year time frame” and “Methane has a global warming potential 86 times that of CO2 on a 20 year time frame” says “Shindell, Drew T, et al. “Improved Attribution of Climate Forcing to Emissions”. Science. 326, 716 (2009)”.

Why is this important? 

It is important to understand how our choices are affecting us and our planet. Our decisions from as simple as what we eat play a part for what our future will look like. With fires occurring every year, California’s drought, pollution in landfills and in oceans killing wildlife and global warming, our environment is changing and not for the better. Our current decisions are what will either help us in the future. 

The Message? 

The overall message of the documentary was to push for people to be vegan because it is the most sustainable way to live. I did not write this as a plea for you to turn vegan but for us as a society to be more conscious of how our decisions are affecting the planet. A critically conscious consumer can help reduce their carbon footprint in climate change via animal agriculture by limiting or cutting down on animal products such as eggs, meat, dairy, etc. Moving on from the consumer to the source, there are current alternatives for cattle feed and more being tested now. There is currently a company that specialities in a seaweed additive for cattle feed. The feed reduces the amount of emissions that are burped from cattle while not changing the taste of dairy and meat. However, there is a limited supply of the amount of the specific seaweed that was tested in the wild. The new challenge being tackled is how to produce more of it.  The next issue for the future is getting cattle that feed on the open range to consume the seaweed feed. As our technology becomes more advanced and our climate crisis worsens, there will be new alternatives and options to help stop or atleast slow down the state of our climate crisis. 

What is the connection to San Joaquin County? 

San Joaquin County has a lot of livestock from horses to goats to cattle. The emissions from them contribute to our current climate crisis. It shows how our own communities contribute to bigger issues affecting the world and our future. There are around 217,756 cattle in San Joaquin County when comparing the ratio of cattle to humans (1:3.5) given the population of SJC (762,149; 2019).

For more information and more facts you can visit cowspiracy.com/facts. 

Resources: 

“The Sustainability Secret.” COWSPIRACY, www.cowspiracy.com/facts. 

Quinton, A. M. (2021, May 21). Feeding cattle seaweed reduces their greenhouse gas emissions 82 percent. Feeding Cattle Seaweed Reduces Their Greenhouse Gas Emissions 82 Percent. https://www.ucdavis.edu/news/feeding-cattle-seaweed-reduces-their-greenhouse-gas-emissions-82-percent#:~:text=In%202018%2C%20Kebreab%20and%20Roque,that%20contributes%20to%20methane%20production

Rush, A. (2021). Steer at Marty Yahner’s 2,550-acre Cambria County Farm. How farms prepare for the next pandemic: Local milk, cheese and beef. photograph, Patton; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. https://www.post-gazette.com/business/bop/2021/02/08/Farms-Department-Agriculture-USDA-COVID-19-pandemic-cheese-beef-dairy-milk/stories/202102010003.

 

IST: Youth Summit Recap 

By Michell Diaz-Flores

The IST youth summit was a two-day virtual event hosted by Changeist on June 4th. The theme of the event was healing and action together. Changeist is a program taught by youth for the youth to be educated on local/global issues in the areas of Stockton and Los Angeles. This year Changeist hosted their first IST youth summit that included special guest speakers, workshops, and raffles! Some of the workshops hosted in the summit were Invest in Youth Coalition: Young and Empowered, Empowering Marginalized Asian Communities: Mental Health, Changemaker Scholars: Growth Mindset & Leadership Development, Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, and so much more. The guest speakers were Shari Davis, GaTa, Colette Pichon Battle, and Yumi Nu. In this space, highly motivated young leaders came together to create a space of learning and community.   

Guest Speaker: GaTa  

One of the four guest speakers in the IST: Youth Summit was GaTa who is a rapper and professional hype man who discusses being bipolar. He first opens up about this topic of him being bipolar in the show Dave on episode 5. He received a lot of positive feedback by connecting with his audience when sharing his story since it’s something that others can relate to. GaTa expresses how it’s important to talk about your problems so there can be solutions.   

Cultural factors play a significant role when defining mental disorders in minority communities. For example, in the African American community, there has been a historical trauma regarding the medical field causing this to become a barrier when seeking help and causing an increase of mental health concerns to occur. A lot of young people from minority communities have a hard time seeking out help since it’s a topic that tends to cause people to shy away from it. Living in the 21st century we can all see how mental health has been given more attention and GaTa opening up about his disorder has shown a shift of how mental health has become a center of priority for the well-being compared to past decades. “Always be yourself, and remain true to who you are” is the key message GaTa has for young folks. He also makes a valuable point when it comes to the people one surrounds yourself with. He gives the example that if you feel like you’re the most educated person in your social group then you are in the wrong groups. It’s important to be around people who are more educated than you so you can grow and learn from them.    

The biggest mistake that GaTa mentions is that he made throughout his career was always being caught up in the moment and the biggest obstacle that he has faced is the judgment of those who don’t fully understand his disorder. Those who don’t understand this disorder might even see him differently since the stigma towards any mental disorder still exists. GaTa enjoys talking about mental health by sharing his story and believes that your mind has the power to make you successful.   

 

Guest Speaker: Shari Davis   

Shari Davis is a leader for the Participatory Budgeting Project, 2019 Obama foundation fellow, and certified Ted Talker. Some challenges that Shari Davis faced when being a youth leader were being identified as a young person causing the treatment to be different. It was challenging to get people to see and hear what Shari had to say instead they were seeing something different. When discussing building power towards change Davis says “you can go really fast alone and you can go very far together.” Making individual choices may be easy to follow but when working with a bigger network such as your community may cause a greater impact. Having your network should involve the people around you. In our diverse community, we have folks from different backgrounds and ages. In where we can learn new aspects and get challenged by those individuals.    

The Participatory Project isn’t run by just one person instead it’s run by three black women. This project isn’t run just by one person it has a different unique approach in where the decisions aren’t based on one individually instead it’s team-based. The purpose of this organization is to engage community members in making decisions that relate to budgets to decide how public money can spend to meet their needs. The project was able to happen because of the people in the community and how they notice that money can be used for other important causes.   

Attending this event was a memorable experience due to the knowledge I gained from the workshops, guest speakers and peers. I really  enjoyed having that freedom to select the workshops that best benefited myself. The best moment of this summit was learning more about the guest speakers because as a community member I was able to learn about different topics discussed through their own perspective and the positive impact they or their actions have caused. Since this is the first summit Changeist has hosted I hope that there will be a second summit hosted! 

Gender Inequality

Dotty Nygard is a registered nurse who has worked at the local community hospital in Tracy for 27 years. She is a proud union member with the California Nurses Association (CNA), lead facility representative and Chair of the Professional Performance Committee. 

The belief that women are the weaker sex and men are simply better in certain professions than women continue to damage our society. “There are still lots of hurdles and lots of discriminatory practices out there that we are still facing in this 21st century,” says Dotty Nygard. Despite the demands for gender equality and the improvements  through the last decades, women still aren’t viewed or treated as equal. Why is gender inequality still an issue?  

“My dream is that we remove all labels and we be a society that values both women and men equally who strive to make things better.” -Dotty Nygard  

Part 1: Exploring Gender Inequality  

Q: How do you feel about the gender inequality within our country? 

A: The 1972 Equal Rights Amendment is still is not ratified. It has taken 50 years to get us to this point and yet we are still not at the finish line, but I am optimistic that it may finally be within reach. And why are we are still dealing with wage gap inequities and fighting to eliminate discriminatory pay practices? 

 I know progress shows we are changing the stereo type of “the weaker sex”, as more women enter unchartered roles and we continue to dismantle stigmas. In a female dominated profession, Nurses take an oath to advocate and provide equitable care to their patients, regardless of sex, race, ethnicity or religious belief. 

 Our patients are equal. It would be ideal if we could get past labels and see each other as equal human beings. I hope in my lifetime we can succeed in achieving gender equality so that my daughter and future granddaughters can feel secure and confident in their role as young women and as an equal participant to their family, their work or their community. – Dotty Nygard 

 

Q: What does feminism mean today and what is modern feminism fighting for? 

A: The first thing that comes to mind besides equality, is mutual respect. That we are fighting for mutual respect, equal opportunities and freedom from sexual harassment. Feminism is about supporting and empowering a movement of inclusiveness. 

No woman should feel unsafe in their home, their workplace, or in their community. – Dotty Nygard 

 

Q: How is it like being a nurse in the pandemic? 

A: Covid arrived last winter. It was the “Year of the Nurse 2020”, honoring the 200th Anniversary of Florence Nightingale. It was bitter-sweet to have our communities elevate us to Heroes and yet we had to fight so hard for PPE, staffing, testing and protections for our patients. We are nurses, this is our job. We want our employers to provide for us what we need to do our job. We want to follow our standard principles of infection control and keep each other and our patients safe. I witnessed colleagues get sick. I lost friends. As frontline workers, we had to deal with the fear of taking home covid to our family members and I saw a lot of “nurse burn-out”.  

It has been an incredibly difficult year filled with emotional trauma.  

We witnessed how unprepared we were for this pandemic from all levels; local, state and federal with the lack of emergency stockpile, equipment and personnel. It also showed vividly how broken our healthcare system is and how our employers prioritize profits over caring for our patients. 

But even through all this chaos, I have been especially grateful and proud of our union, CNA.  Nurses have fought relentlessly for PPE supply, testing, safety standards and against relaxing our CA Ratio Law. And its Nurses that continue to push against a profit driven system that has put money over what truly matters, human life. But we win when we stand together. SOLIDARITY MATTERS! – Dotty Nygard  

 

Q: Making the world a better place is something we all want to see. We want to see that change with gender equality. What do you think is the first step to bring change to the world?  

A: Allow more women to be at the table! We must continue to get more women elected into positions of leadership and governance. 

We must continue to empower and teach our young women to dream big and to go after whatever their hearts’ desire, there should be no limit whatsoever.  In the last couple of years, we have seen women taking on incredible positions, positions of equal leadership. Look what we just did- We just elected a biracial, woman of color to be the Vice President of the United States of America. – Dotty Nygard  

Q: There’s been major progress towards gender equality for example with the 19th amendment securing all women the right to vote, women in the workforce, the equal pay act, but this progress shouldn’t and isn’t over yet. Do you think change towards gender equality has slowed down or has increased? 

A: I can only hope as we elect more women in Government, we will pick up the pace and accomplish great things. Gone is the excuse that women are “just not there yet.” No, we’ve been here and ready to go for decades, you refused to recognize us. It’s our time.   I’m excited for the next election cycle as we elect more women into political roles that will benefit gender justice and equality. -Dotty Nygard  

 

Part 2: Women in Politics  

Q: You have run for congress and city council. Can you talk to me more about those experiences? 

A: In 2016 I listened to a Presidential Candidate, addressing issue after issue; equal pay, good-paying jobs, free college education, clean energy and protections for our environment and that we need a healthcare system that allows all of us to be able to have access without any type of burden or barrier. Senator Sanders inspired me. He believed our democracy built by the people for the people included all of us, teachers, firefighters, factory workers, mail carriers, nurses, etc. Nurses are critical thinkers and problem solvers. I got involved. 

   We all have common issues. We want a safe community to live in, a roof over our heads, we want our children to attend a school that gives them great opportunities, we want to have a paycheck that we can live on, we want to have healthcare, we want to live in a world where we’re not afraid of the climate catastrophes that are continuing to happen. It starts with conversations on how our communities achieve common strategies for a healthy and sustainable future. That’s why it’s so important to be involved, to be engaged, and to know what’s really going on in your community at the local level, state level, and federal level. Did I want to win? Absolutely. Did I know it was going to be a struggle to get there? Absolutely. I wanted to participate and to be able to push the conversations on the issues. Especially healthcare, I know firsthand how broken our system is and it’s time for a system that doesn’t prioritize profit over caring for people. I may not have won a seat but I felt I accomplished elevating the conversation on issues that mattered. 

To make our country the best it can be we all have to participate.   Allowing for change to happen it takes all of us to get to the ballot box and to know what you are voting for- be informed – make your vote and your voice count. You can’t complain about something and not vote because if you want real change it starts at the ballot box. -Dotty Nygard  

 

Q: Do you feel like there’s a double standard for female candidates and how are women criticized when it comes to American Politics? 

A: Yes,  

I had received some correspondence from a group of men in my district, sharing how I needed to dress and present myself. It made me both angry and annoyed. Did the male candidates I was running against receive the same correspondence? 

 Yes. I experienced gender biases. If you are passionate, you are perceived as angry or emotional, too quiet you are weak or timid, loud – aggressive. You  

 It wasn’t going to silence me or stop me from participating in critical conversations with my constituents.  The time I spent engaged as a candidate taught me, as a woman, that I needed to demonstrate that I was not going to allow the political process to have boundaries -Dotty Nygard  

Dotty Nygard is a very inspirational leader in our community. Her passion for wanting gender equality is very inspiring to our young women. Her past experiences continue to motivate her to fight for what is right. Women are capable enough to bring many amazing contributions to our society. Over the last few centuries, women have achieved so much and have targeted the stereotype of the “traditional” women’s role. Now women are taking on leadership positions that are playing a key role in the development of our society. We need to achieve gender equality for our society to thrive to greatness. We all must continue to bring change by fighting for gender equality in order to resolve this issue once in for all.  

 

Goldeen, Joe. “Striking nurses walk out at county hospital, jail, clinics, Public Health.”Recordnet.com, 17 Oct. 2020 

Movie Report: Moxie

Movie Report: Moxie

By Michell Diaz-Flores

Rating: PG-13 Length: 1h 51 m

Release Date: March 3, 2021

Directed By: Amy Poehler

Writers: Tamara Chestna, Dylan Meyer

Cast: Hadley Robinson, Lauren Tsai, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Nico Hiraga, Sydney Park, Josephine Langford, Clark Gregg, Josie Totah, Alycia Pascual-Peña, Anjelika Washington, Charlie Hall, Sabrina Haskett, Ike Barinholtz, Amy Poehler, Marcia Gay Harden. 

Introduction:

Amy Poehler’s 2021 comedy-drama film Moxie follows an introverted teenager named Vivian who steps up as the voice of a feminist movement created by her anonymously. The movement showed constant determination to face the challenges girls in her high school faced daily. The film is celebrated for how modern feminism is viewed and the actions that were taken by teenage girls to create this powerful movement. Moxie focuses on the old saying “Doing something is better than doing nothing.”

Summary:

The opening scene starts with a nightmare in which Vivian runs through the forest but as she opens her mouth to scream nothing comes out. When she wakes up she focuses on the question of what do sixteen-year-olds care about based upon her college application. Throughout the movie, Vivian is portrayed as an introverted teenage girl accompanied by her best friend Claudia who is portrayed the same way. A shift in her character occurs when she meets the new girl named Lucy who is the complete opposite of Vivian and politically minded. Lucy isn’t afraid to remain silent to the unfair treatment received from Mitchell Wilson, captain of the football team, and Mr. Daves who learns valuable lessons about feminism.

Feeling voiceless in her environment Vivian gains inspiration from her mother Lisa’s rebellious past to take action. She creates a zine called Moxie and leaves it in the bathroom. The movement starts to arise and becomes a whole school movement through the end of the movie. Although Vivian faced obstacles through her journey she managed to overcome them and be the start of the representation of the female voice. 

Analysis of the Plot Elements:

The start and end of a movie are very significant because they reveal a lot about the changes and journeys the protagonist faces. In the beginning, Vivian wakes up from her nightmare of running through the forest and trying to scream but nothing comes up. This scene portrays how Vivian feels voiceless and has the struggle to speak for herself and others. Throughout the movie, Vivian undergoes a character change as she starts to take action to defend the underrepresented female voice at her school. At the end of the movie Vivian appears again in the forest but this time she is able to scream and let her voice be heard. 

An important event that occurred in the movie was when Vivian showed support for a student who was sexually assaulted and revealed her secret that she was the one who created Moxie. This event was very significant because students showed their support towards the movement by protesting against the injustices. 

Creative elements:

Vivian is a feminist leader that shows that bravery can be shown in different forms. Although she is a very shy teenager she decided to do something instead of nothing. An important symbol that represents Vivian’s character is her leather jacket. Her jacket made her feel powerful and portrayed her boldness.

Lucy was a very impactful and fearless character in Vivian’s journey that led her to become the voice of this feminist movement. At the beginning of the movie, Lucy faces harassment from Mitchelll Wilson and she keeps her head up although she did try to report but was ignored by principal Shelly. 

Opinion / Conclusion:

How is modern feminism portrayed? Feminism can be portrayed in taking action through different forms such as petitions, movements, media, etc but one thing is certain is that things have changed significantly throughout the years. As a teenage introverted girl, I found the movie Moxie very inspirational, and the small actions the movement took that led them to bigger actions really had that inspirational effect on me. This movie does have the power to inspire young women to speak and to take action on injustices they face. This film focuses on targeting young girls and provides different platforms/elements ideas for them to get their message across to people. Regarding how women are currently treated in politics I think there’s still more of a men domination and women are underrepresented. A lot of women are discouraged due to sexism, stereotypes, and prejudice. 

Overall the movie broadly represented real-life problems that young women up to this day still face. It doesn’t represent other global factors such as the fight for equal income, misinformation, lack of access to health care, etc. Although the film did incorporate a lot of ideas from the 90s based on the inspiration Vivian gets from her mother such as the zine. It also included modern elements such as the use of social media to promote the feminist movement. As the old saying goes “it’s better to do something than nothing” and the small actions that started this movement led to a greater movement that allowed those young women to come together to let their voices be heard. Moxie joins a long list of films that address society’s struggle with equality. What is your take on the movie Moxie?

 

Holding our Elected Officials Accountable

Holding our Elected Officials Accountable

 

Should we begin to rethink our representatives, if the voices of the people are not being heard? Cynthia Gail Boyd, a Stockton resident was born and raised here. She is a 16 year veteran in the US Air Force Reserve. She plans to include Christina Fugazi and the City of Stockton in a civil lawsuit for dereliction of duties. Christina Fugazi is the vice mayor and the council member for District 5.Fugazi is apathetic and shows no empathy to what has happened to Cynthia Gail Boyd, her family, or her property during her term in office.

Ms.Boyd’s ordeal started on December 2nd, 2008. She wrote a letter to the city council about her community going from livable to a nightmare of property destruction and threats against her life.  She has lived in fear for her life for 13 years now from racist attacks from her neighbors. Within one of the letters, she had stated that her neighbors have been acting like gang members. She has replaced her living room window three times from terrorist neighbors. Cynthia has pleaded to Chief of Police; Eric Jones, the City Manager, each of the city council members, and especially to Christina Fugazi. Fugazi has been in her position for 6 years and about to term out. Within those 6 years, she could have spoken and taken actions to minimize damages and restore the peace she was supposed to. Ms. Boyd said the police have exacerbated the ongoing problem by not charging three neighbors who made false police reports. Those reports later resulted in three unwarranted restraining orders against her at the same time.

 On January 19, 2021, a supervisor and 5 officers responded to a false police call from her neighbor. They “staged” an ambulance and firetruck around her corner. Ms.Boyd experiences a medical emergency. She went to the firetruck using the universal signs in need of attention. Not only did the firemen refuse to check on her they even refused to call someone to help her. It wasn’t till she called 911 and got the help she needed. Her blood pressure and heart rate were quite alarming. It was a direct result of the unnecessary show of force by the police department.

In a recent email from the vice mayor, Christina Fugazi, she states “My oath of office is regarding the Constitution, not individual people.” Ms. Boyd corrected that by stating “If not to me then who do you serve?” Ms.Boyd is in the process of writing a book entitled  “Freedom Ain’t Free and Justice Cost Too Damn Much.”

Christina Fugazi has served as District 5’s councilmember for 6  years. Yet, one constituent isn’t pleased with her obligated services. Our voices are important as the people, and when it is not being heard then actions should be taken. If they won’t listen to one of our voices, what’s making them listen to any of our voices?

 

 

Supporting Students

Supporting Students Impacted by Migration and Deportation Zoom Conference Recap

By Michell Diaz-Flores

The zoom conference Supporting Students Impacted by Migration and Deportation was presented by Juan Terrazas from scholar systems who shares his story of overcoming adversity as an undocumented Mexican Immigrant. At the age of 14, his father was deported to Mexico and his mother returned to Mexico to care for her dying father. Juan decided to stay in Dallas, Texas because he realized the importance of obtaining an education in the United States. This event dramatically changed his life but despite this challenge, he was determined to overcome his struggles and to obtain higher education. He received an associate’s degree from El Centro Community College in 2011 and received a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin in 2020. For more information about his journey make sure to check out his first published book Left in America.

Juan Terrazas was left in Dallas with a cousin and her boyfriend but at the age of 15, he was kicked out by her cousin’s boyfriend. The words “I just don’t like you” were what he told Juan to justify why he was getting kicked out. Juan felt abandoned and living from place to place. Juan knew that the only way to get out of the situation he was in was to receive an education so he was committed to accomplish this dream for himself and his family. Many times he felt like giving up but the promise he made to his family and himself filled him with determination. As Juan mentioned in his presentation “what was impossible became possible” now he works for the Path Project in Georgia in which he works with schools, parents, businesses, park owners, and churches in providing academic guidance. He is also part of an organization called scholar systems in which he works with promised students as an influencer and educator. 

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