Mon02182019

Last updateWed, 13 Feb 2019 2pm

Opinion

Vegan: You Probably Know One

default article imageWhat do you think of when you hear the word “vegan?” Do you think of gross food? Do you think of hipsters? Do you think of animal rights? Do you think of people giving you a hard time for your lifestyle choices? Do you think of people who can’t go five minutes without telling everyone in the room that they are vegan?

You most likely have heard all of these stereotypes, but how many people do you know who are actually vegan? What are their lifestyles like? And what does it even really mean to be “vegan?” Although I am not a vegan, I will be the one talking your ear off today about what exactly veganism is all about.

The idea of veganism has been around since 1944, but recently has become popular with grocery stores carrying more vegan items and celebrities even taking part in the way of life. According to Heath Line, a vegan lifestyle includes, “attempts to exclude all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty, be it for food, clothing or any other purpose.” While vegetarianism is just a diet, veganism differs because it involves excluding all products that are animal-based. People oftentimes go vegan for a variety of different reasons, such as health and ethical concerns, or their religion’s values.

Personally, I have considered going vegan. I wanted to try out the lifestyle because I thought it would allow me to have a healthier, plant-based diet. Realistically, though, I did not get the chance to go vegan because it would not work for me. Since I am already gluten free due to a gluten intolerance, meat comprises a big part of my diet. Excluding animal products from my diet would restrict it a lot more and it would be hard to adjust to. In addition, it would be difficult for me to practice veganism in between classes and work and just always being on the run. I would have to dedicate time to transition to the lifestyle that I just don’t have right now.

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$teep Mountains, $teeper Prices

Steep MountainsThe other day as I was browsing the website for Magic Mountain, in Londonderry, Vermont, I came across a deal they were offering.

This deal involved buying a membership card for $149 and every time you came to the mountain, your lift ticket would cost what it did in the eighties:’ $29. My mind was blown. Lift tickets used to only cost $29? How on earth in a matter of 30 or so years have prices shot up from $29 to $100+ per day?

I’ve got a bone to pick with the snow sport industry. Why does it cost an arm and a leg just to shred down a mountain that is covered in free snow? That’s right, these resorts don’t have to pay for real powder, nope, good ole’ Mother Nature doles it out for free, and yet I still have to fork over $100+ dollars to get from point A to point B.

With this outrageous price comes a certain clientele. Each time I pull into the mountain parking lot, I am met with a sea of Mercedes, Range Rovers, Audis, and a sprinkling of Subaru’s to bring everyone back down to earth. I used to think it was a silly stereotype, that skiing was for the rich. However, over the years, this stereotype has becomea reality.

According to a 2014 report by the National Ski Areas Association, NSAA, the percentage of visitors with a household income of $100,000 or more rose from 45 percent in 2006-2007 to 58 percent in the 2014-2015 season. Not only that, but the percentage of visitors earning less than $50,000 per year dropped from 30 percent to 18 percent over the same period.

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MMA: A Weigh-in

default article imageTwenty-six-year-old MMA fighter, Leandro Souza, passed out in a sauna and died the day before his weigh-in for his fight in Rio de Janeiro.  Souza had been asked to fight on short notice and needed to drop 33 pounds in just one week. The young fighter almost accomplished this and he did so by taking extreme diuretics and dehydrating himself to the max. Souza was in the sauna trying to shed his final two pounds before being found dead.

This isn’t atypical for fighters, both men and women. The world of fighting is so competitive that the athletes will do anything within the rule set to gain even the slightest advantage. But, why? What drives these humans to go to such extreme measures all for one fight? The answer to that question is simple: money. According to MMA Fighting’s website, each fighter is threatened with giving up twenty percent of their winnings to their competitor if they do not make weight. Fighters will attempt to drop extreme amounts of weight in order to avoid this, as seen in Souza’s cause of death.

This issue is rising to the surface and a lot of people involved in the MMA are calling for the addition of more weight classes. By adding more weight classes, it gives fighters more opportunity to fight at their optimal weight and eliminate weight cutting altogether.

The process of weight cutting exposes these athletes to many health risks, as you can imagine. Some of the main concerns are kidney failure, heat stroke, and seizures due to extreme dehydration. Even if the fighter makes weight and is able to enter the cage, the fight may not be what puts them in danger, it may be their own health. 

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Finding a Furry Friend

Furry FriendI walk through the door and am immediately greeted by a lick and a welcome home bark.

 The love I feel radiating from my dog Dylan’s eyes is a love in which I hope everyone finds themselves one day. Dylan is a pure-bred Labrador retriever with golden fur, which you can definitely spot on all of my clothes because she sheds like crazy. I always heard the phrase “adopt don’t shop” but I never fully understood what that meant until Dylan came into my life.

Dylan came into our lives almost like a miracle. My family had just lost the dog I grew up with, which was also a Lab. Distraught over the loss of our dog, whom was a part of our family, my mom got a call from one of her friends.

A year-old yellow lab was being sent to a shelter whom was known for euthanizing dogs. Fortunately, my mom’s friend knew we were dog lovers and she called right away. Dylan showed up and my family immediately fell in love.

One of the many misconceptions is that adopted dogs are all mutts. I have firsthand experience that all types of dogs need to be adopted including pure bred. There are millions of dogs waiting in shelters to be adopted. The cost of adopting a dog is near to nothing, and the relationship with your pet lasts a life time.

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Lovely Leaves

Lovely LeavesWhenever people talk about what their favorite season is, I get a few weird looks when I say Fall. Not only does my birthday fall around this time (Oct. 15), but it’s the start of the holiday season. What I love most about the Fall though is the way the leaves on the trees transform into gorgeous shades of yellow, orange and red.

Nothing beats the scenery of driving down Route 18 in the middle of November and watching all the different vibrant colors popping out at you. I remember when I was little I used to love looking out my window and being able to pick out all of the different colors rushing by. Maybe it’s because I love art so much that the colors the leaves have to show off is just about the coolest thing that Mother nature has to offer us. 

Being a student at Monmouth University, you’re always told that the campus is beautiful. Sure, the flowers in Erlanger Garden can’t be rivaled by any other Spring scenery, but have you ever stopped to look at the trees during the Fall? I don’t think I’ve ever seen such brightly colored leaves until I came to Monmouth. It’s really tempting to have an entire nature photoshoot on the way to class, but if I end up being late, I don’t think my professors would appreciate the excuse that the leaves were too pretty.

Some people may believe that the leaves are more just a nuisance than anything else. After all, once they’re done showing off on the tree branches, they do end up falling on the ground. We all know Monmouth; someone is responsible for cleaning up all the leaves littering the ground. I can see how it can be a bit of a pain to rake up these little pieces of nature, but at the end of the day, aren’t you appreciative of the scenery they provided you with while they were still in their prime?

A lot of girls my age have their dream weddings planned to a tee. From the dress to the ring and flowers, Pinterest boards everywhere are full of fairytale wedding plans. I’ve surprisingly never been one of these girls to plan my wedding that extensively, but I do know I want a Fall wedding.

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Present Sense

default article imageGrowing up as the youngest of five prevented me from ever being a big sister. With that being said, I never really had the opportunity to watch a child grow or become exposed to things for the first time. Luckily, I have been blessed with three nieces and a nephew, all of them under the age of ten. This has given me a new perspective on life. All four of them experience each moment fully. There is no worrying about the future or contemplating the past because they are so young and innocent.

As we grow up and experience both positive and negative situations, we begin to lose some of our innocence. Things aren’t as exciting and gratitude for the little things in life may lessen; completely normal. But, it’s important to realize that if we completely lose touch with the present moment, then we can completely lose touch with ourselves and what makes us feel happy.

At our age, the past and the future is what consumes most of our thoughts. Whether it was your freshman year that ruined your GPA or your worries about what homework is due next week, we are constantly looking for the answers to the never ending “what if’s” that our mind tortures us with. It doesn’t help that our phones have become an extension of ourselves and most of us can’t even go through a class period without looking at what is going on somewhere else, myself included.

But what we don’t realize is that what we are doing is escaping the present moment. We’ve allowed ourselves to ruminate in our own minds over things that we cannot control. Unlike children, we have created an intangible world with our thoughts and experiences which can create anxiety and stress. According to Garden of Life, the percentage of millennials diagnosed with anxiety has doubled from the baby boomer generation. I feel a large portion of this is due to our inability to stay grounded and present.

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Weekend Escapes

default article imageDo you ever feel like you need to get away and just escape all the realties of the world?

Whether it is the piles of work that seem to never get smaller, no matter how much work you are doing, or the drama in your social circle; getting away is a good thing.

For me my escape is home. Home is Baltimore, Maryland, which is about a three-and-a-half-hour drive. It was important to find a school that was within driving distance to my house because for me family is everything.

However, going home does not always have to be the final destination of weekend getaways. When people think of vacations they often think of lavish trips that are almost unaffordable especially to college students. Think of different activities that make you happy. If hiking is something you enjoy look up local trails near campus.

At Monmouth University we are lucky that the beach is within a mile from campus. When you are feeling stressed, try walking along the ocean side just listening to the waves as they crash on the sand.

Stress is a very real feeling. Especially being in college we all feel the pressure to constantly perform. Whether it is in the classroom or socially there are always expectations that we feel need to be met. According to the article Health Benefits of Weekend Getaways researchers from the University of Illinois found that taking breaks such as a weekend get away can help to improve productivity and focus in the long run. This “always on the go” mentality that has been engrained in our brains since we were little can help to hinder our mental health.

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Seasonal Change: A Mood

default article imageI was in awe of the beauty around me. The sky was a crystal clear blue, the sun was beaming down upon me, and the trees showing their newly changed leaves.

A slight breeze in the air helped some of the leaves to take flight and flurry across my windshield as I drove along. This is magnificent, I thought to myself.

Suddenly, my moment of bliss was overtaken by the realization that in a matter of time, all of this beauty right before my eyes, would soon be replaced. In its place would be bare trees, gloomy, gray skies, and freezing temperatures with a biting wind to match. My heart was heavy and all I could think of was John Snow saying “Winter is Coming.”

It’s not that I hate winter, in fact, I love it because winter means snow, and snow means that I get to go skiing! Winter also means bundling up in your coziest sweaters, downing hot chocolate one after the other, and eating your way through the holiday season.

The only problem is that once the holidays are over, everything feels sort of blah, and the only thing to look forward to is the promise of warm weather.

Nothing hits harder than daylight saving time. The shift in time and shorter days can really mess with you. Once the sun starts going down, my mood gets dragged down along with it. This, my friends, is called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD (how fitting?) for short. Seasonal affective disorder, also referred to as seasonal depression, is a mood disorder and occurs when someone experiences a shift in their mood around the same time each year. 

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Moments that Make Life Worth Living

default article imageMy spirit was low, my energy was drained, and the list of negative things that had been happening to me could go on long enough to bore someone.

It was a Friday night and my mom had tickets to an Eagles concert at the Prudential Center. “Ughhhh,” I thought to myself, “This is the last thing I feel like doing.”

I was not in the mood to smile or to find that bubbly personality within myself. Despite all of it, I got out of bed, threw on some music, jumped in the shower and I got ready, knowing I wasn’t going to let my mom down.

What I didn’t know was that I was getting ready for a concert that was going to awaken me. Live and authentic music echoed through the arena causing my mind to stop and my heart to take over.

After all, my mind needed a break from overthinking my break up and all of the things I could have done differently to prevent the situation. I deserved a break and a few moments of peace and serenity. The concert did just that for me.

I woke up the next morning after seeing the Eagles perform with a rejuvenated soul. I woke up with a sense of happiness and purity. I woke up with a purpose and an understanding of who I am and what I was put on this earth for. I can’t remember the last time I felt that way and I know everyone can identify with that feeling. Like who am I? What are the reasons for my struggles, for the mistakes that are heart breaking? For the lessons that were learned the hard way?

You just sit and wonder why. But, at that Eagles concert, I had a spiritual emergence within myself; I realized something. There’s no “why did that happen to me,” And there’s no “what’s going to happen?” It’s just “I am here now; this moment is the only thing that I need.”

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No-Shave November?

default article imageWe are just at the beginning at No-Shave November and over the few years of popularity, we have seen men grow out their beards for a cause.

 With the years gone by though it seems like many men have forgotten the true meaning of no shave November and have turned it into a simple societal trend. What does it truly mean?

The official No-Shave November movement encourages men (and women) to donate the money they would have otherwise spent on shaving-related products and services to the American Cancer Society. If you are planning to donate, or just have fun with it, in the end there are two sides, beard lovers and people who have had enough with them.

Many women find a man with a beard to be even more attractive then when they were without one. The wearer of the beard makes them appear masculine, rustic, rugged, and giving a touch of lumberjack vibes. But beard-haters think the complete opposite.

When it comes to it, they say they are unkept, itchy, germ infested, and just overall distasteful. Yet, this gives a younger, baby face view. Personally speaking, I’m with the women who are suckers for a beard! Not saying that you have to have one, it’s just a plus.

Having upkept facial hair makes it all the better. It still makes your face a clean, rugged view to it.

Walking around campus, there are a few guys that do rock the bearded look as well as many others that support the clean shaven. There are also the men who are in the middle who prefer stubble better, but that’s even more less.

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The Dentist: Love

Dentist LoveDear dentist hater, I think that your real problem was with your orthodontist. You were correct in saying that for those that only had to go in for an annual cleaning, the dentist is not a horror destination.

I love going to the dentist. I love that fresh clean feeling. It may be weird, but I love the feeling of the hygienist scraping the plaque off of my lower teeth. I was always fascinated by the sucking power of that little tool.

 Their spinning, round toothbrush is unlike any other. It polished those teeth up so nice and smooth. Whenever I leave the dentist office I just keep running my tongue over my teeth to feel their smoothness. 

Perhaps my favorite thing about the dentist office is the little sink next to your chair. When I was little and the dentist or hygienist would leave me alone in the room, I would press the button to make the bowl fill with water. A rush went through me when I pushed the button because I wanted the water to be gone before the adult came back. I did not want to be caught.

On my last visit to the dentist, I told that hygienist what I used to do and she replied with, “Oh, we know that all the little kids do that.”

Sure, maybe I love the dentist because I never had any cavities that needed to be drilled or filled, but that does not mean that I had good teeth. My teeth were horrible. They looked like a bad ear of corn. The gap in between my two front teeth was so big that I could fit pretzel rod in the gap.

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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu