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Meat: Mystery and History - Pomona College Supplemental Essay

Maxbradley 1 / 7  
Dec 21, 2014   #1
Could someone let me know if this essay works with the prompt? The deadline is approaching very soon and I'm not sure if I'm addressing the prompt. Thank you!!!!!

Pomona's Critical Inquiry course is required of all first-year students, and is designed to be highly interdisciplinary and engaging. Recent class titles include: 'Molecules of the Mind', 'The Economics of Sin', and 'Punk: Poets, Politics and Provocation'. Imagine you were hired to design and teach a Critical Inquiry course. Describe the title of the class, its contents, and why you chose it.

Meat: Mystery and History

In today's world, the chasm between the facts of food production and the consumer is not only massive; it is widening. America, the land of free speech, has enabled the beef industry to sweep its dirty practices under the carpet, using incredible amounts of money to keep its largely unsustainable and unhealthy business model above water. In the new Critical Inquiry class I have created called "Meat: Mystery and History," students would discover for themselves through personal research the actual business practices of the companies that are lining supermarket shelves with food that is produced clandestinely. This class would be based around political intervention, environmental effects of meat production, and the history of meat, from biblical times to the 21st century. With the implementation of this class into the curriculum at Pomona College, students would be able to lift the dark veil of food production for themselves.

The first quarter of this class would be largely book based. Teachers would work to develop a comprehensive textbook on the history and basic info of meat production, and students would be required to learn the material inside, gaining essential background knowledge. Split into three sections (history of meat, political influence, and environmental impact), this textbook would help deliver raw knowledge to students that might be clueless as to what Congress has to do with factory farms. Every week, undergrads would analyze a new case study on business practices and facilities of big food, ranging from Congressional intervention to the state of chicken feed houses.

In contrast to the first quarter, the second half of the semester would rarely ever see the inside of a classroom. Students would spend most of their time on the road, doing case studies for themselves on the different kind of meat producing farms, analyzing the impacts on the surrounding land and the animals themselves. Administrators would organize a field trip to Sacramento once a year when meat legislation was being reviewed so that students could see actual law-making in action.

This class needs to exist for the very simple reason that there is so much ignorance about food production here in the United States. Very few people know what exactly goes on inside a slaughterhouse, and yet even fewer care. As a passionate environmentalist and political activist myself, I consider meat production to be one of the most embarrassing secrets this country has. If Americans were to step back and look at the meat production debacle from an interdisciplinary standpoint, we would really begin to understand the implication when a McDouble in Southern California tastes the same as one in Beijing. I want to live in a world where the meat industry does not have the power to squeeze animals, corrupt governmental officials, and damage the environment, and Pomona College might just be the first step to making that dream a reality.

EF_Kevin 8 / 13,335 129  
Dec 21, 2014   #2
chasm between how food is produced and the consumer

Hi! You have a great writing style.. I will point out a possible problem here, though, and I wonder if you'll agree: This idea of a chasm cannot apply to 'how it is produced' and 'the consumer'... I think you mean to refer to how it is produced that the how consumers would like it to be produced.

I really enjoyed reading this. It gave me the insight that sweeping the dirty practices under the carpet is possible because the average consumer cannot be knowledgeable enough to see through the trickery -- so many things seem healthy and are not. And marketing is so powerful. We have a conflict of interests, because increasing the quality of food interferes with profit. Only resolute, educated consumers can ensure their own wise choices when buying food.

This sentence is not written correctly:
This class needs to exist for the very simple reason: There is so much too ignorance about food production here in the United States.
I made a correction using a colon, and I think that is cool.

The poor are kept poor so the rich can get richer, and cheap food businesses want to sell food at the prices poor people can afford!

Well, your essay has a great quality -- it is actually interesting to read. Most academic essays are not interesting. : ) I think it will make a good impression.

***If this is supposed to reflect knowledge of specific information they expect you to research (stuff mentioned in the prompt) be sure to include information that shows you did the reading/research.
OP Maxbradley 1 / 7  
Dec 21, 2014   #3
Great thank you so much! I made some edits to the essay, and I came up with this for the first sentence.
In today's world, the chasm between the facts of food production and the consumer is not only massive; it is widening.
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Dec 21, 2014   #4
I think you have written a very good essay about a subject close to your heart. However, since it covers 2 semesters, it is no longer just a special or elective college course, which was the main intention of this essay. Since you have it covering a full school term, you should find a college major to connect it to. That way the unique class that you developed will have a real reason for being a part of the curriculum. It is a very serious topic that needs to be studied with a keen interest instead of just a passing fancy such as the examples given by the university prompt. I believe you need to do that in order to create a solid foundation for the essay and show precisely the kind of students who may be enrolling in such a concept class at the university. I believe that by connecting this to some sort of agricultural major, you will be able to wisely and fully utilize your classroom and exposure immersion ideas for the school year.
OP Maxbradley 1 / 7  
Dec 22, 2014   #5
I went ahead and changed the essay so it only covered a single semester. While vangiespen's idea were absolutely fantastic, I think it would be better to stay within the guidelines for the prompt. Here's what I came up with.
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Dec 22, 2014   #6
Thank you for taking my suggestions into consideration. I can see the marked difference in the two essay versions after your editing work. It really feels better written and more applicable to the prompt now. It continues to be a well written, properly developed, and informative essay. Your idea is unique and might actually work as an elective course if applied in real life :-)

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