Switching to Local Meat Production

Do you know that currently only about two percent of the entire food purchased in the United States comes from local and sustainable sources? This number is appalling when you think about it. Our reality right now is that many consumers eat meat without any knowledge or care of the journey it takes from the farm to the plate. Animal factory farms are increasingly becoming the normal use of production for meat as small family farms are slowly becoming extincted. While animal factory farms produce low cost meat for the American public, there are so many negative externalities that are produced from so many animals confined in small areas. These factories degrade local environments, treat animals inhumanely, use large amounts of energy and antibiotics, and cause harm to human health. It goes against nature to confine large numbers of animals in small areas without sunlight or open space for a long duration of time. The large amount of waste produced by animals often ends up in the local communities’ water supply, land, and air. Producers feed antibiotics to animals to make them grow big faster and protect them against diseases since they live in such horrible conditions. There has been an increase in antibiotic resistant disease since humans are eating these antibiotics in the meat. This is scary for the future because doctors are having to deal with a decreasing supply of antibiotics to treat human diseases. Treatment for antibiotic resistant diseases are very expensive and around a half of a million people die around the world each year. Other developed countries, such as Sweden and Denmark, have outlawed non-therapeutic antibiotics for animals and these countries reported that the welfare of animals has remained constant.

My white paper was aimed at Tyson Foods, our of the four largest food processors in the world. This company has been involved in many environmental lawsuits because of the major negative impact large scale animal factory farms have on the community. I proposed that the company change at least seventy-five percent of their US food production to local sustainable farms and stop feeding farm animals non-therapeutic antibiotics. Local, sustainable farms do not have as big of an negative impact on the environment and treat animals more humanely. Local food production is a sustainable method as it uses a lot less energy and natural resources. Animals would be mostly fed off of the farm instead of using fed, would be allowed to run around and stretch their legs, grow without the help of antibiotics, and have a better life. The current food system is unsustainable and I believe that the real change in the industry will come from a company within the industry. Tyson Foods supplies meat to a large population so the company has the potential to make a change to a better and more sustainable future.


This video displays the truth about life on a factory farms. It is uncomfortable to watch, but yet there hasn’t been much recent change.


Future City Life

drawing of futuristic city

April 23rd 2023

Today was an ordinary day for me. I woke up at 6 am after snoozing 5 alarms. Even though I am 30 years old, I am still not a morning person. My friends laugh at me for still using an old fashion alarm clock that runs on AA batteries. I like the simplicity of using an alarm clock even if it is outdated. Although I do use many of the new technological advances of this decade. When I roll out of bed, my feet are greeted by the feeling of the heated rug beneath them. Once of the best inventions in my opinion. My shower automatically turns on since I have the timer set at 6:10 am to the perfect temperature that I like it. After my shower, I go to my walk in closet and shuffle through my wardrobe using a digital screen on the wall. I finally settle on an outfit for work after a few minutes of shuffling. As I finish dolling myself up, my senses are filled with the smell of pancakes, eggs, and bacon coming from the downstairs. I walk downstairs to find my husband cooking breakfast and I think to myself thank god I married someone who can cook. The last time I tried to cook, I almost burned the kitchen down. I turn on the digital projection machine which basically is what people used to call a “television”, but now it is a digital screen on the wall above our stove. I browse through the channels while waiting for my breakfast to be finished. I flipped past all of the crap shows and eventually found a channel that had the Best of the 1999s program running. I started laughing to myself when I saw mp3 players, cds, and all of the outdated technology. DVDs and CDs are even outdated by six years now. All new music and movies get automatically downloaded to all of your devices after your pay for it.

After eating my delicious all organic breakfast, I drove to the train station so I am not late for work. I held up my train card and walked through an automatic security portal to make sure that I do not have anything dangerous in my possession. I take the high speed train because New York City passed a law a couple years ago that prohibited people to drive vehicles in the city.  The city was focusing on the problems of overpopulation and pollution that still plague the city. So many people flocked to the city over the past five years that the city need the room for new buildings. There are no more parking garages and the roads were constructed into small buildings. Now there are several high speed trains that run every five minutes from the suburbs into the city and make stops at every five blocks. People living in the city can only work or take a train to travel places. After New York City passed this law, people were either forced to sell their cars or have them stored outside of the city. Since I live on the outskirts of the city I only have the option to take the high speed train into the city. My husband luckily gets to drive his sporty car to work because he works outside of the city. Since these trains travel up to speeds of 200mph, I get to my stop in ten minutes. My work building is four blocks away, but thankfully it is a beautiful day out so I don’t mind walking. By eliminating cars in the city, people actually can smell the fresh air and hear themselves think. There is no more angry cab driver honking or the need to run across the street quickly before the light turns green. Crime rate has also decreased even though the population has majorly increased in NYC. Instead of dirty streets, there are small pathways for people to walk surrounded by green grass and water fountains. The city is so much cleaner and beautiful without cars and buses.

I arrive at my work, ESPN, where I work as a senior production manager in the NYC office. I just got the promotion a month ago so I still find myself working into the late hours of the night. I flash my employee badge as I walk through another automatic security portal. I ride the elevator up to the 78th floor of the building. Skyscrapers are even bigger now that I feel like I am on the level of clouds as I look out of my office. I am terrified of heights so I was scared as I moved from the 10th floor to the 78th floor when I got my promotion. Work was long and tiresome as I had so many meetings that I did not have time for lunch. By 6pm, I come to the realization that I will actually be able to get home at a decent time. I take the high speed train back to my town. I am thankful for the auto pilot button in my car because I can sleep and not worry about getting into an accident. The car automatically sets the route back to my house and I can sleep after a very exhausting day.

Kill People With Kindness


After I read the blog prompt for this week, I immediately thought of John Mayer’s song “Waiting on the World to Change.” The lyrics of this song speak to every generation because people often stand by waiting for things to change in the world. People want to change the world, but their desire for change is quickly overcome with the feeling of hopelessness. People feel like they are too small and simply cannot make an impact.

There are many different ways to approach this week’s prompt. I think that what really needs to be changed in the world is people’s generosity and kindness. As corny as it may sound, think about it. How much better would your day be if more people smiled and said hi? I know this change is very common and gets thrown around a lot, but it is because it is a simple yet very important change. People need to stop walking around being miserable with their lives or saying no to things too quickly. So what if you have an 8 am class or you have 6am weight lifting? This is life and it only comes around once so won’t it be better to live more positively and be more generous to others? As we have all witnessed lately, times of terror bring out the true generosity and giving spirit of humans. When you see people care about total strangers it restores your faith in humanity. What if that could happen on a daily basis?Not of that magnitude of course, but everyone needs a helping hand once in a while. You might never know how much a smile or a simple hello, how are you, could brighten up someone’s day.

How many times have you walked by a student at Bucknell that you kind of know and kept your head down instead of saying hi? I challenge everyone to start being nice and more generous to people even if it is through a small act. A 2003 research study at the University of Michigan revealed that there are many positive effects of generosity and kindness by the person actually giving the kind act. The positive effects include improving one’s mental and physical health and promoting longevity. It is not just a benefit to be the receiver of a generous act, but only the giver of the act too.

Sasha Dichter spoke about his Generosity Experiment on Ted Talks. He said “yes” to every request for help whether or not it was a stranger on the street or an established non-profit organization. He wanted to stop saying no to people because he said that “he was hiding behind what was smart and it was keeping him from doing what was right.” As the experiment progressed he started feeling better about himself even though he gave away more of his money. “He started to realize that if he wanted the world to be more open and action orientated and more generous then he had to be more open, action orientated and generous.”You have to be the change you want in the world, it starts with you. No matter what it is, if you want something to change you have to change yourself first. I’m not saying to give money to every single person who asks you, but stop saying no every time. Start saying hi to people and offering a helping hand even if it is not convenient for you. Be happier, focus on the positives, help others less fortunate than you because you might just notice that you are becoming a better person.

Patagonia: Taking Corporate Responsibility to the Next Level

After I read a number of class examples about unethical clothing companies, I wondered if there were clothing companies in today’s society that genuinely care about the environment and the future instead of short-term profits. There is so much news lately about businesses cutting corners and using immoral business practices because they are profit driven. I did find, though, that there are a handful of companies that actually care about their employees, customers, environment, and products. After much research, I eventually stumbled upon the clothing company called Patagonia. I owned a sweatshirt from the company, but I never knew much about it. I was intrigued with the company because of its mission statement and the low environmental impact it makes without sacrificing the high quality of its products. After all of this, I wondered if the company could even turn a profit.

Originally founded in 1973 by Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia is a privately owned company based in Ventura, California (Chouinard). Chouinard started the company in the back of his pickup truck by selling hand-forged mountain climbing gear (Chouinard). He combined his love for the outdoors, business, and the environment in order to create Patagonia. The company now “designs, develops, and markets clothing and gear for a wide range of outdoor sports, travel, and everyday wear (Chouinard).” Their products are currently sold in the 88 wholly owned retail outlets and other retail stores the company has teamed up with throughout the world (Associated Press). This growing company has doubled its revenues and tripled its profits since 2008 while running an advertising campaign to encourage customers to buy less (Associated Press). Patagonia is a pioneer corporation in today’s society because it values social responsibility and sustainability instead of profit margin. Management does not have to focus so tightly on the bottom line because it does not need to please shareholders. This unique company culture started with the founder and top management sticking to their values instead of compromising to increase their profit margin.

A truly ethical company starts from the commitment of the top managers. What sets Chouinard apart from the typical CEOs of multinational corporations is that he started Patagonia with the mindset of an environmentalist. He loves the outdoor and grew up with a passion for rock climbing and surfing (Chouinard). He never wanted to work in the corporate world, but he saw that his business could be an important resource for environmental activism. He set out to make high standards for ethical practices “in order to create the best quality products with the least environmental impact (Chouinard).” Chouinard is not afraid to decrease the company’s profit margin if the company is switching to a more sustainable practice that will benefit the company and the environment in the long term. The company’s mission statement best portrays Chouinard’s founding principles. The mission statement is to “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis (Patagonia site).” Patagonia also has a specific code of ethics to make sure that the company “promotes fair labor practices and safe working conditions throughout their supply chain (Holmes).”

Yvon Chouinard wanted to create an environment that fosters the well being of employees in order to further enrich the company. Employees receive handsome salaries, parental and health benefits, maternity and paternity leave, paid internships with non profit environmental groups, surfing breaks, employee discounts and much more (Associated Press). At the main office in Ventura, workers even receive on-site day care and school for children ranging in age from 8 weeks to 14 years. Chouinard thinks that the day care center is “ a profit because it keeps five to ten people a year from having to quit (Chouinard).” Employees are very loyal to the company because they also love the corporate culture and mission. As a result of the overwhelming employee satisfaction, the company’s employee turnover is in the single digits compared to other apparel retailers who commonly see turnover of over 100% annually (Associated Press). The company also has a specific workplace code of conduct that “states what is ethical and acceptable in regards to a variety of topics both inside and outside the workplace.” This code of ethics helps to create an environment where workers are appreciated and work very hard at the same time.

Patagonia’s sustainability is portrayed the best through their supply chain management. Yvon Chouinard wanted to create a company that did not sacrifice environmental impact for high quality. Even though Patagonia does not make any of their products, the company is committed to working with factories that share their same values. However, Patagonia is not a perfect company. Like most clothing companies, Patagonia got caught up in outsourcing to new factories when they were rapidly expanding that they knew nothing about except the very cheap price. But what separates Patagonia from most other companies is how they responded to the problem. The company quickly hired a manager of social responsibility and a third party auditor to visit and review every single factory the company works (Chouinard). The customers are fully informed about every step of the clothing process. The company created a life cycle product study called “Footprint Chronicles” (Holmes). This allows customers to trace a product from design to development, manufacturing, production and transportation of the product (Holmes). Patagonia also discloses a list of its entire suppliers, which is very rare especially in the clothing industry (Holmes). The company is not required to disclose all of this information to its customers, but management felt like they have a duty to its customers to keep them informed about all of the company processes.

One sizable cost that Patagonia endured in order to make their supply chain more green was to convert to organic cotton in order to make less of an environmental impact. Patagonia is headquartered in California, but the lack of an organic cotton industry in the state did not stop Chouinard from making the decision to switch to the material in 1996 (Holmes). When a lot of employees starting getting sick, the CEO ordered an environmental assessment on the material to see what was causing the problem. The results of the environmental assessment showed that the regular cotton was the largest source of conventional pollution (Holmes). According to Rob Bondurant, the VP of marketing at Patagonia, management came to the conclusion that they would “rather go out of business than continue to use conventional cotton (Holmes).” That is a very bold stance that is not regularly taken by businesses in the clothing industry today. The corporation saw all of the negative impacts that cotton pollution had on the local water supply and wildlife so change was imminent. In order to develop an organic cotton industry in California, management had to convince farmers and spinners to go organic and agreed to subsidize them (Holmes). The company took many new risks associated with supply and performance by converting to organic cotton including a low profit margin for many months. These risks were justified according to Setnicka, the CFO, because the company is more concerned with the environment than having the company grow rapidly. According to Setnicka, “we sort of look at growth in this company the way we look at a life cycle. If any one component grows too much or too fast, it throws the system out of balance (Holmes).” This is a unique perspective to approach growth in a business because usually top management is only concerned with growing the company and the stock price as quickly as possible to reap the extra benefits. Surprisingly all of the risks paid all. Most of the customers agreed to pay the premium so Patagonia could afford to use organic cotton because customers really liked the concept (Holmes). This example shows that a company can act ethically while still earning a significant profit and keeping a loyal, strong customer base.

Probably the biggest company initiative towards helping the environment is through a program it co-founded called 1% for the Plant. The company started this program in 1995 and has contributed over $33 million and counting (Holmes). Patagonia donates 1% of their total sales to environmental organizations worldwide every year (Holmes). This program reflects Patagonia’s commitment to the environment and sustainability. Giving this one percent of total sales was not seen as a philanthropy in the eyes of management. It is viewed as part of the cost of doing business in order to try to balance the impact the company has on the natural systems (Chouinard). Since the program was growing too quickly and could no longer be managed by the company, it turned into a non-profit organization. Today the organization has a membership of over 1,000 companies.

Thanks to Patagonia’s mission statement and code of ethics, the company has not had to deal with any major controversy or critics. Probably the biggest criticism of the company is the cost of the products. Using environmentally safer material causes the retail prices of the products to be more expensive. Patagonia realizes that it produces are for the upper middle class. The CEO, Casey Sheahan, also realizes that consumers are very willing to pay a couple more dollars because they know that Patagonia inflicted less damage on the environment while making the product than their competitor clothing makers (Associated Press).

To examine how ethically the company really is, I will refer to Norman Bowie’s work called A Kantian Approach to Business Ethics. Bowie states that, “Kant’s ethics is an ethics of duty rather than an ethics of consequences (Bowie 4). The ethical person is the person who acts from the right intentions (Bowie 4).” Long before much of corporate America embraced “green business,” Patagonia was creating clothes from recycled soda bottles and installing solar panels at its corporate headquarters (Gardiner). Chouinard felt a duty to create durable, long-lasting products and be environmentally responsible at the same time. He did not do it for the awards or the recognition; he did it for the right intentions. To examine Kant’s argument, Bowie examined and applied the three formulations of the categorical imperative to business ethics.

The first formulation is “act only on the maxims which you can will to be universal laws of nature (Bowie 4).” A world in which every corporation acted socially responsible and focused on long term sustainability would be logically coherent. If a maxim of being socially responsible was universalized, managers would be required to focus on the impact of their business ventures on the environment. Even though managers would adjust their mindset to be focused environmentally, they would still be focused on making a profit. So the two maxims together are not self-contradicting. They can exist together because people are acting ethically and business practices are possible. The second formulation is “always treat the humanity in a person as an end, and never as a means merely (Bowie 7).” Patagonia treats its employees exceptionally well by going above and beyond the standard amount of employee benefits. The company does not use other people to satisfy or further their own interests or profits (Bowie 7). Patagonia even makes sure that the factories it outsources its labor to treats its workers just through third party auditors. Patagonia is very transparent and believes that its customers and employees should have the opportunity to know all of the important information of the company. The company give all employees the opportunity to attend monthly meetings with executives in which they review the financial statements and customers are given the entire list of suppliers Patagonia works with (Chouinard). The last categorical imperative is “so act if you were a member of an ideal kingdom of ends in which you were both subject and sovereign at the same time (Bowie 10).” Patagonia does a lot of planning before implementing a rule or process to make sure that the impact is very minimal for the environment and that the corporate culture is not negatively affected. The switch to organic cotton is a great example of this. Patagonia discovered that its employees were getting sick from the pollution of the cotton and the cotton had a major effect on the environment. As a result, management quickly took action and ultimately changed from regular to organic cotton. Also, Yvon Chouinard believed that since the company was so profitability because of the environment then the company had a duty to give one percent of its total revenue to environmental organizations every year. By looking at Patagonia through a Kantian approach, I can conclude that the company is definitely an ethical corporation as is passes the three categorical imperatives with flying colors. The company goes above the industry standards to make sure every aspect of its business structure is socially responsible.

The ethical analysis of Patagonia can also be looked at in the view of Deontology, which is very similar to Kantianism. Edwin Micewski and Cermelita Troy wrote Business Ethics: Deontological Revisted (Micewski). These authors wrote an extension of Kant’s second categorical imperative that says that the ends never justify the means. According to these two authors, “the deontological approach states that the ends of any action can never justify the use of any or all means (Micewski).” Micewski and Troy state that the “real test of our code of ethic conduct is whether we are willing to do the right thing even when it is not exclusively in our self-interest (Micewski).” This is the main principle of Patagonia. The executives realize that they have to make a profit in order to stay in business, but they incur major costs in order to lessen the impact on the environment and help the future of the environment. The company even ran an advertising campaign on Black Friday that advised consumers not to buy their product with the hope of cutting down on consumerism. This advertisement was not benefiting them in anyway, it was actually hurting their profits. The company did not care because they wanted to help stop the epidemic of the public over consuming. Patagonia is dedicated to helping the environment and the future even at the cost to their profits.

Patagonia is not the perfect company and it occasionally makes mistakes that do affect the environment and the public. Although, Patagonia is an ethical company overall whose level of corporate responsibility and sustainability should be imitated by other major companies. Chouinard’s unique management style has attracted big time corporations, such as Walmart, to partner with Patagonia since they see a major benefit in becoming more socially responsibility. Patagonia is an unique company that is morally driven to better the future of the environment instead of the future of their profits.



Associated Press. “Keeping Employees Happy : Sportswear Firm Beefs Up Benefits to Boost Worker Contentment.” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2013.

Bowie, Norman E. “A Kantian Approach to Business Ethics.” (n.d.): n. pag. Print.

Case Western Reserve University. “Patagonia Founder Yvon Chouinard to Receive Inamori Ethics Prize.” NewsWise. N.p., 18 Feb. 2013. Web. 06 Apr. 2013. <http://www.newswise.com/articles/patagonia-founder-yvon-chouinard-to-receive-inamori- ethics-prize>.

Chouinard, Yvon. Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman. New York: Penguin, 2005. Print.

Gardiner, Lisa. “Patagonia and Corporate Responsibility.” Mark Kula Center for Applied Ethics. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2013. <http://www.scu.edu/ethics/publications/iie/v8n1/synchilla.html&gt;.

Henneman, Todd. “Patagonia Fills Payroll With People Who Are Passionate.” Workforce. N.p., 07 Nov. 2011. Web. 06 Apr. 2013. <http://www.workforce.com/article/20111104/NEWS02/111109975/patagonia-fills-payroll- with-people-who-are-passionate>.

Micewski, Edwin R., and Carmelita Troy. “Business Ethics – Deontologically Revisited.” Journal of Business Ethics 72.1 (2007): 17-25. Print.

Steveson, Seth. “Patagonia’s Founder Is America’s Most Unlikely Guru.” The Wall Street Journal. N.p., 26 Apr. 2012. Web. 6 Apr. 2013. <http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303513404577352221465986612.html&gt;.

Letter Writing: The Stone Age

When was the last time you received a hand written letter? Think about it. Not an email or an electronic invitation to an event. Someone actually sat down and took more than 5 minutes to write a thoughtful letter to you. I remember after my grandmother passed away, we went over to her apartment to clean up and box the rest of her belongings. I was amazed when I opened one of her closets and found mounds of boxes upon boxes of hand written letters that she saved (yes she was a bit of a pack rat). She served in the army, at that time called the WAC (Women’s Army Core), so hard written letters were the only form of communication to home at the time. My grandma had letters dating back to the 1960s from family members, people she met in the army, and friends from her childhood. I remember sitting down for a long time after finding all of these letter and reading through stacks of them. Some letters were a few paragraphs while others contained pages and pages of words. There were letters explaining births, marriages, special events, deaths, and the actions of everyday life. My grandma loved reading letters because they allowed her to remember fond people and the memories that they shared together. I was sad thinking about how no one in my generation has the need to write a letter to someone because of the inventions of the internet and cell phones. Instead of having stacks of letters, we now have 1,000+ emails sitting in our digital inbox.

Don’t get me wrong, I think email is a great invention that is much needed in our high tech society. I can still remember the dial up AOL internet and the sound of “You Got Mail” erupting from the speakers of the computer. The same rush that people now get from receiving a text message was felt when people received emails in the 90s. People use their email for a variety of different reasons from conducting business to keeping in touch with family members to receiving online shopping deals. I check my email multiple times a day because of the important emails I receive from my professors, coach, teammates, bosses, and campus wide emails. Smartphones have made checking email so much more convenient since emails go right to you phone. I had a simple phone before I got my iPhone and I remember feeling out of the loop because I could not check my email whenever I wanted.

If servers did crashed and email was not available, the world would move a lot slower. People would have to pick up the phone to call people farther away, walk upstairs in their office building to get feedback on a project or even have to teach themselves how to send letters again. Business would be a lot less efficient, information would not spread as quickly, and people would be forced to pick up the phone instead of sending a quick email. Email is a very quick way to get in touch with someone if you have to write a long message with a lot of detail. It takes a lot longer to sit down and hand write a letter than it is to type out an email on a computer screen. Business is largely conducted through emails to approve projects, set up meetings and ask other coworkers for information or feedback. The world we live in is digitalized and the use of email has helped increase the speed of the world. People could live without email, but they would not be as efficient or productive as they would be with email.

We have an opportunity

How can the world change if our future generations are continuing to be taught by old principles? This is a pressing question that was raised by the professors at the sustainability seminar. Change starts with small, but necessary steps. Old environmental attitudes and principles need to be changed in order to create a future for next generations. We now know that the resources on the planet are finite so we have to stop acting like we can keep taking from the earth without any responsibility. This change starts with the education of students at the college level.

I attended the 1pm section of the sustainability seminar in which 4 professor discussed the change in curriculum in the management, engineering, and humanities departments. I thought it was very interesting to see how Bucknell was incorporating the go green movement into their curriculum. It was refreshing to see the great extent of interdisciplinary courses because I think that students gain a lot of knowledge from taking classes in different majors. As a management major, I think I am a better and more rounded person when I take courses to explore different angles of the world. College students are some of the future leaders of the nation so they need to be educated on a wide variety of subjects. I think that by creating a new engineering major and by restructuring the management school, future Bucknell graduates will be more informed and prepared to enact change in the business industry. Professor Hiller, a management professor, explained not just the content of the new courses, but also why they were necessary. She explained that even though businesses are still mainly focused on profits, there has been a recent shift towards focusing on the environment. Businesses have felt pressured to start thinking about making their operations more sustainable. As a result, they need students who have education in both business and the environment. I thought that this was very interesting that the Bucknell administration placed a lot of emphasis on educating students to act more responsibility.

Throughout the seminar, I was thinking to myself if this new sustainability incorporation into management, engineering, and humanities will make any difference. The answer to my question came about when a man in the audience asked a question. He asked whether or not students will be able to bring any changes into Fortune 500 companies since these companies are more focused on profits not sustainability. She did acknowledged that major companies are focused on the bottom line. Although, she said that if there is no change on the education level then new college graduates will not bring any change to the business sector. Professor Hiller stated that it would be difficult for a college graduate to influence a major company, but if graduates start their own companies then they will have a sense of the importance of sustainability. I don’t think that any significant change will occur short term from the incorporation of sustainability and interdisciplinary courses in the majors of engineering, management and humanities. Although, I think that this change is very necessary because college professors can’t continue to teach old environmental principles. I do believe that this change in teaching will create long term change in the business sector. I do wish that I had the opportunity to benefit from this new change in the management department.