Chicken is the United States’ favorite meat. The increased demand for poultry products has lead to the industrialization of this industry. While meat production has increased immensely, animal wellbeing has significantly decreased. Due to the profitability of raising more animals in a smaller space, stocking densities for broiler chickens have grown significantly. As a result, broiler chickens live in extremely crowded conditions, which suppresses their natural behaviors and restricts their movements. Further, the crammed conditions create high ammonia and heat levels that place undue stress on the animals and the environment. High stress conditions can negatively affect chicken health and lead to an increased risk of Campylobacter and Salmonella, two types of bacteria that cause food poisoning in humans. Therefore, the mass production of poultry increases public health and environmental concerns. In addition, raising chicken in such demeaning and subversive conditions offends many individuals’ moral concerns. Thus, state regulation is necessary to advocate for change in animal welfare practices.
The magnitude of the climate change problem requires a paradigm shift through comprehensive, effective global action. With efforts under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), global leaders have worked to address this problem with a series of international agreements. The 2016 UNFCCC Paris Agreement (Paris Agreement) presents the newest hope for international cooperation to combat climate change.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) faces heated criticism from both ends of the political spectrum. Campaign rallies feature hundreds of signs saying “Free Trade Costs Too Much,” “Flush the TPP,” and simple slashed circles with “TPP” in the center – but at a glance, it’s unclear who the rally is for. President Obama favored ratification, arguing that to ignore the Pacific markets outside American borders allows China (notably absent from the TPP) to write the rules in the region. In a rare show of bipartisan agreement, Congress repeatedly delayed consideration of the TPP – effectively ensuring ratification would wait until a new president takes the Oval Office. Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding the TPP clouds its potential impact on other aspects of Pacific cooperation.
Brittany Maynard took her own life on a cold November morning at the young age of twenty-nine. Brittany had been battling brain cancer and had undergone multiple surgeries to remove her tumor. However, when she learned that the surgeries did not free her from illness, she chose another way to deal with her illness: physician assisted-suicide (PAS). She chose assisted-suicide to avoid medical care that would have ended her quality of life. Additionally, the treatment would have only extended her life for another several months. Brittany did not want to die, but when someone is faced with choosing between two paths to death Brittany asked herself, “Who has the right to tell me that I don’t deserve this choice?”