Readers’ Forum: 11/6/18


Considering vegetarianism

Over the years, our awareness of what goes into our food and the process that occurs before consumption has increased; with this surge, humanity continuously demands food companies to be as transparent, as humane and as clean as possible.

With this trend, vegetarianism and veganism have become very prominent and face-front in today’s society, assisted by social media, celebrities and other media outlets praising this lifestyle and bashing those who express opposing opinions. However, veganism and vegetarianism are creating a negative impact on food culture, and the exaggerated drive to please the minority should be diminished.

Although vegans and vegetarians are the minority, they are using scientific arguments to cement and impose their beliefs. One such argument is the idea that humans were not meant to be meat-eaters, which is a common misconception.

In short, the way humans are today is because of the introduction of meat into the diet. Along with using science to back their ideas, vegans and vegetarians use their status as a minority to gain support and create an overwhelming social presence, causing an exaggerated drive to please them.

The pressure to change to a meat- and/or dairy- free selection increases, and is felt more by smaller, traditional restaurants with only a few locations, squashing the cultures represented by these smaller restaurants, including American food culture. Culture is a defining element of humanity; without our differences, we are no longer human, becoming a monotone slab of gray, instead of a swath of endless colors.

People can disagree, but ultimately they should not feel forced to change because someone believes differently and feels inclined to shame those who disagree.

— Jacob Wiley

Winder, Georgia

Honor Code

BYU is a very diverse university. With people from all around the world, students can share their lifestyles and cultures with others. All students must agree and comply to the BYU Honor Code. By doing this, students must obey the many strict Honor Code rules. While some of the codes are beneficial, others impose on individual natural rights. For example, there are strict dress and appearance guidelines students are forced to follow, including unnecessary hair restrictions. This prohibits students from fully expressing themselves as individuals. It is unfair to imply that because one has more “wild” looking hair than another, they are lesser of a student.

As a brand-new freshman at BYU, I was aware of the Honor Code rules regarding dress and appearance and was a little apprehensive. I didn’t agree with many of the rules but knew I had agreed to follow them. My first day on campus I went to get my BYU-ID picture taken and was turned down because I had a hole in my jeans. I was very unhappy. The hole was below my knees and the picture was only a headshot, so it wouldn’t even be shown in it. Although it is smart to have a dress code, BYU’s rules and regulations go too far. College students should be able to express themselves and learn who they are, rather than being forced to dress to such a specific standard.

As students, we should come together to address this matter and let our concerns be known. We could start petitions and/or write letters to the BYU administration. I am not suggesting going against the Honor Code, as we all agreed to it, but I believe it is our right and moral duty to express our insights on the matter.

— Brittney Dennert

Idaho Falls, Idaho

Reporter Opinion

Restoring civility in politics

2018 has seen a political climate where “Twitter storms” and “Facebook rants” run rampant leaving many to wonder, what happened to decent, reasonable and honorable political discussion? 

According to a PBS News Hour poll, 74 percent of Americans said political tone has gotten worse since President Donald Trump took office. These numbers suggest many believe the political tone starts from the top. But we can’t blame Trump for all our own words and actions.

The first step in improving the political climate starts with ourselves.

Don’t settle for echo chambers that reinforce your own political views; step outside your comfort zone and educate yourself on all sides of political issues. When it comes to social media, don’t share something online that you wouldn’t say in person. And when electing and supporting public officials we need to support those who are interested in behaving and speaking like respectable individuals, and who will help bring civility back to politics.   

— Riley Waldman, Universe Opinion Editor

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