Earlier this winter, Andrew Jacobs of The New York Times asked the question “Is Dairy Farming Cruel to Cows?” In attempting to answer this, he focuses on the story of two dairy farms in upstate New York that are attempting to improve welfare standards to respond to, what Mr. Jacobs refers to as, the “growing anti-dairy movement.” In his case study of these two specific farms, Mr. Jacobs acknowledges that these models are not “easily replicable” elsewhere and will always require the slaughter of male calves, painful dehorning, repeated artificial insemination and the theft of mothers’ newborns. If even the…


Being a young person in 2021 comes with a lot of emotional trauma. Looking out at the future, it can be hard to ignore the rising tide of intersectional crises facing the world. The climate crisis, first and foremost; but also, a changing job market that seems to offer increasingly insecure gig work to a debt-burdened cohort of graduates and the creep of right-wing authoritarianism. …


[A modified version of this article was first shared in May, 2016]

Carnism, a term first coined by author and social psychologist Melanie Joy in 2001, refers broadly to humankind’s attitude towards our use of animals, particularly the consumption of meat. As such, carnism has been described as the dominant belief system in most of the world when it comes to the treatment of animals and their use as a major food source. Thus, by its very definition carnism is a belief system built upon the argument that animals are rightfully purposed to serve humans, including but not limited to…


During the first two months of the coronavirus shutdown, between March 18 and May 19, while millions of Americans lost their jobs and their homes, the total net worth of America’s billionaires rose by over $434 billion. This has prompted many, me included, to bring new urgency to calling out massive wealth inequality in America. …


On any given night in America, more than half a million people experience homelessness. The coronavirus and our failed national response have decimated the job market, and with bans on eviction scheduled to end within weeks, the situation is going to get a lot worse over the coming months. As cities continue to grapple with how to address this growing crisis of housing and homelessness, more should adopt a housing first approach.

Traditionally, homelessness has been dealt with by cities as either a nuisance to be policed away or as an issue of personal responsibility that governments ought only to…


The housing affordability crisis in New York City is so ubiquitous it has almost become a cliché. Rents continue to rise, neighborhoods change, and housing supply growth has trailed new job creation for years. One common enemy developers often point to for obstructing the necessary construction of new housing stock is the Community Board. Now a common feature of many large metropolitan cities, Community Boards in New York City grew out of a reaction to mid-century city policies which demolished and displaced many in lower-income communities of color.

This article argues that community involvement in the planning process is important…


Executive Summary

This brief uses economic analysis and an overview of recent developments in the literature to recommend the adoption of a national rent control plan. The United States is in the middle of a national housing crisis, in which rents and evictions are soaring while homeownership affordability plummets, and more than half a million Americans experience homelessness on any given night. The literature has shown that rent stabilization legislation does not have a significant negative effect on new home construction and has many positive effects from lower eviction rates to lower rent for neighboring non-controlled units. Representative Alexandria Ocasio…


[Spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 5]

As we head into the final episode of Game of Thrones this coming weekend, the show’s ultimate question remains unanswered: who will end up on the Iron Throne? For many fans of the show, a longtime favorite to take the throne has been Daenerys Targaryen; an exiled daughter of the former monarch. For several seasons, Dany grappled with power and leadership in the so-called Free Cities of Essos before heading West across the Narrow Sea to reclaim what she saw as her birthright. …


The second half of Robert Mueller’s 448-page magnum opus, simply titled Volume II, focuses entirely on actions taken by Donald Trump that may constitute obstruction of justice. After an extensive review of almost a dozen actions taken by the President that were clearly meant to distract, disturb, or destroy the Special Counsel’s investigation, Mueller decided not to make a “traditional” prosecutorial decision.

The decision not to decide explicitly one way or the other was undoubtedly the result of much thought on the part of the Special Counsel’s team. In ‘General Statements’ made about the President’s conduct, Mueller is careful to…


Technologists have a key role to play in combating climate change, but they could do with some perspective

Science journalist Charles C. Mann recently published a book titled The Wizard and the Prophet, in which he discusses the modern environmental movement through the story of two scientists. Each of these scientists is representative of an archetype Mann sees in the world. One is the prophet, a stand-in for the traditional environmentalists sounding the alarm and urging us to cut back and restrict in order to save the planet. …

Michael Swistara

Canadian-American law & policy student. Fighting for environmental, racial, species, and economic justice. PIC Abolitionist. Vegan. He/him.

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