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Blog#2 Legalization of Marijuana

For the past week I have proceeded in researching more on my topic about the legalization of marijuana. New information I have found include current event articles as well as some done in the previous years.

To add onto my research I've been doing some searching for contacts of authors from opinionated articles that include a quote from president Richard Nixon. "Neither the marihuana (sic) user not the drug itself can be said to constitute a danger to public safety." In this President Nixon states his opinion on the drug problem of 1972. Also I have found that there was in fact another actual study by UCLA's Dr. Donald.

When constructing my own research I've found that age can account for the type of results I've received. It seems as though the older age group negate the possibility of legalization while the young adults and teens seem to think there wise. Although my research hasn't been through survey but many personal relations I feel as though the answer you'd get is dependent on the age of the questioned.

For further research in my topic I would maybe like to get more opinions from that of a person in the government that might be in a position of economic and law field. But in my opinion I feel as though this topic has much relevance to myself. In low class neighborhoods dealing with drugs is a major trend. Marijuana being one of the top sellers dealers sell today because of the income it brings. Both young and old deal with the drug the younger citizens seem to face hard penalties, turning that one time convict into a harden criminal because of the harsh treatments in jail. Here is my bibliography.

Blog 1.

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Teen Pregnancy Part 2

In my research, I found some new interesting statistics. They were about race, age, STIs and other various things relating to teen pregnancy. Some of the statistics were very shocking to me. I will share the most shocking in this blog post.
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I originally was only looking for statistics on pregnancy, but this relates to it and I found this shocking. Almost half of the new cases of STIs are from 15-24 year olds. This lets me know that even if a teen does decide to have sex, they are risking pregnancy but more predominantly, infection.
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I found the last statistic very frightening. This means that almost no one who has a child as a teen will receive a college degree. Anyone who becomes pregnant will most likely not have a career, but just a job to support their child. I imagine that is an unfulfilled life to have.


One aspect I did find encouraging is that compared to previous decades, most statistics with teen pregnancy have improved. 
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Even though this is true, it doesn't mean that teens are at any less of a risk experiencing pregnancy. It is just that the prevention methods are more public and easy to obtain than back then. So teenagers should use the resources to their advantage and prevent teenage pregnancy.

Also, in this link, it shows that teenagers with lower incomes are the direct source of children being disadvantaged in their life. According to this research, income has an impact on whether a teenage pregnancy is a drastic curse or a manageable mistake. Basically, it's saying that not all cases of teenage pregnancy end in a dreadful nightmare. If you have the income to support the child, it will not be as difficult as if you do not. But research is still new, and can not definitely say this is 100% accurate.
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Trayvon Martin Case

In the Trayvon Martin case, there have only been a few outbreaks.

According to Florida’s special prosecutor Angela Corey at a news conference has charged George Zimmerman with 2nd degree murder. He is being held with no bond. If George Zimmerman is convicted, he could face life in prison. (The link to Angela Corey announcing to the press that Zimmerman was being charged) 


 Also, they have uncovered the weapons in the killing and the photo of the exact spot he was killed at. News reports say Trayvon Martin had marijuana in his system before he was killed.



                                   9 mm handgun used by Zimmerman




                George Zimmerman being taken into custody in the far

                                         left of the photo.



To add to my research, I have looked up more information and looked up various videos and news reports on this case. I’ve also read many news articles about this case. My findings were helpful and gave me more insight on my issue. Finding out more about the case then I already knew made me realize there is a lot more than it seems to this cause. It’s more than just an African American teenager being killed by someone of a different race.


In my opinion, I think that Zimmerman has a bad judgment of people that were a different skin color than him, so that really gave him a reason to physically fight, then kill Trayvon. I also think that Zimmerman had no reason to shoot. Trayvon was unarmed. To me that wasn’t necessary. Even though Trayvon was taller and more fit then him, he still shouldn’t have shot him just because he got over powered. Other things could have been put in place then to kill an unarmed teenager. Like calling the police, or filling a report on Troyon, not leaving him dead and his family left to morn over his death.


I’m left wondering if this was really an act of racism and why did it take 44 days for Zimmerman to finally be arrested. I wonder would the situation had been different of Trayvon wasn’t an African American teenager. Maybe the outcome would have been different if Trayvon was white or of a difference race that wasn’t African American. But Zimmerman is the only person that was there at the shooting. He may tell his side of the story, but Trayvon Martin couldn’t live to tell his side. I think no one really knows what actually happened. Everyone has his or her own opinion on this. This is just what I think.


                            Zimmerman’s head after the shooting

But an unarmed teenager is left dead while he survives with a few cuts and bruises. 

Click here for my Bibliography.


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English 9, You and the World

            As an American growing up we are always told the amount of freedoms that we have and how amazing it is to live in our country. In only the past centuries African Americans and women have gained their rights. Now my rights as a woman are going to be taken away from me. For women a major step since gaining our rights is the Violence Against Women Act. This is what a women needs to stay protected and be given her rights as a United States Citizen. What is also apart of this act is Roe V. Wade, which legalizes early term abortions. Since this was added there has been a lot of backlash mostly from the Republican Party. This time they might get their way.

            Over the past few months Republicans have made a bill changing the rights of women. While reading the next part of this blog post imagine yourself as a woman having to live through these types of regulations. In one point the bill that is trying to be passed states that if a woman is on her death bed and it is between her and the child’s life no matter how far along in the pregnancy the child will always saved and the mother WILL DIE. In another point in the bill it says that in order for a woman to have an abortion first a rod must be stuck up her vagina and she must watch the fetus before she has an abortion. In one article I read  it discusses how Senator Farnese says that is this law is passed then men who need Viagra should need postate exams. Sarcastically describing how ridiculous this law is. There has been no proven medical reason that this needs to happen; the only thing it is helping is to scare women from doing what is best for them, ABORTION. During another point in the bill that the republicans are trying to pass it says that there will no longer be funding for hospitals for emergency abortions when the woman’s life is in danger.

            Many republicans before have tried to shut down family facilities like Planned Parenthood when in fact only 3% of their services consist of abortions. It went so far that many clinics were sued in Texas in 2011. In Arizona they banned funding leaving many woman without access to abortions putting their children in worse situations. If they can’t even pay for an abortion how are they going to take care of a child for 18 years?

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            While attending a breast cancer walk with my mother and family on May 8th we witnessed people walking around with signs with pictures of open breast asking if they would do that to their own children. Basically saying destroying their bodies. To many people who that day had such importance to it ruined it. As a women in the United States of America IT IS MY RIGHT TO DO WHAT I WANT WITH MY OWN BODY. Most of the information and pictures that they had were wrong. Most women have abortions in there first trimester when it is only a fetus in their stomach. They showed pictures of full grown babies. Every year 1.37 million women in America have abortions. This is a large number and without clinics to have abortions or anywhere else that provides them most children will be brought into awful situations.


I do understand that sometimes people do not believe in abortions morally, religiously, and for other reasons. But no one is asking them to get one the only thing that we are asking is for women to get the rights to their bodies. When my mom was younger she worked in a women’s health center and has told me many stories about the awful things that she has experienced because of it. It becomes bigger than just us but at what point can I chose what I do for myself.  The article I read talks about how far people will truly go to stop women from many rights. What can we do to make a change?

Here is a link to the video of my mom(Alison Sprague) and I, discussing what it meant for her to be a social worker at Elizabeth Blackwell. 

​Here is a link to my first blog.
Here is a link to my bibliography.
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Illiteracy in American Post 2

    I have found that illiteracy has a lot to do with poverty. In 1st grade many of the students who come from a lower income family have far smaller vocabularies then those who come from higher class families.
This is often because illiterate adults do spend the time or energy checking their child's homework of grades. Not only don't they but if they tried many of them couldn't. This sets a bad example for the child as they don't see anything else. They often don't see a reason to go to school and do well. If their parents can't read, why should they be able to?

    Being able to read will allow these people to help their community in large and small ways. They will be able to do things as small as reading a lost dog poster,
or things as big as being informed in current events. People will be able to understand what is going on in their community, in their state, in their country. They will be able to form their own educated opinions without hearing already opinionated information from their friend down the street.

    I have always had such a deep connection with reading that the fact that there are so many people who can't leaves me baffled. At first I just don't understand. How could that happen? How did you not learn to read when you were little. It's amazing how much I pride myself on my ability to read. Even when I thought it was common, I liked it about myself. I guess I liked more how much I read.

    Although there are many programs that help both adults and children learn to read many adults are too embarrassed to admit that they need help. They don't want other people to know so they have a designated person to help them. A friend or relative will write or read things for them. The thing that I find most upsetting about this is that the friend or relative often doesn't try to help them learn, they just mindlessly do things for them. It's like the proverb, "Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime." That directly describes this illiteracy problem. These relatives are "giving them a fish," doing them a favor. They will be helped for today but when tomorrow comes and a new letter or bill comes in the mail, they are still incapable. If these friends were to sit down and say, "I'm teaching you to read," it may be hard in the beginning but in a lifetime it would be less time then reading everything they need for them.

    Some of the programs that help kids and adults learn to read are the MCOL (Mayor's Commission on Literacy and Books Aloud. MCOL is an organization that helps to ensure that adults are getting a good enough education
To view my sources click here
To view my previous blog post click here
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You and The World: Cyberbullying

In some cases, cyberbullying incidents have resulted in death. Suicide, as well as homicide. That, to me, is one of the worst parts about any type of bullying. The fact that it can turn an innocent, friendly child into a murdering monster. It can also send them into a depression so deep that they kill themselves. Either of those results is absolutely horrible, and they could be so easily avoided, if people would just be more kind.

An example of a cyberbullying incident gone too far is the story of Megan Meier. Megan was 13 years old when the incident took place, and the consequences were fatal. Click Megan, to read the entire story, and see just how far cyberbullying can take a victim. In cases like this, the incident doesn’t just hurt the victim; it could also affect the family in a very bad way. Their emotions could range from blaming themselves, to hating the offender, to blaming everyone. It could tear a family apart.  

For a bar graph of cyber bullying rates and data, click here. You could be an advocate to stop cyberbullying, but before you try to do anything, make sure you’re not doing any cyberbullying yourself. It is easy to slip into that hole without actually realizing it. Something you find funny, or that you and your friends take as a joke, could be seriously hurting the person on the other end. You just have to be careful about what you’re putting out there.

Another way you could help victims of cyberbullying is telling an adult. It’s just as if you were in school and someone were bullying you or someone else that you could see. Tell an adult you trust, someone that you know will do something to help. You could also try your parents, if a teacher doesn’t help. Although you may feel bad about telling on someone, but you could possibly be saving a life. Always speak up before it’s too late.

See my bibliography here.

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The Killer "Cancer" Part 2

In my pervious blog I talked about what cancer is and how it forms. I also talked about how the environment is affecting our bodies in appalling ways. Finally I talk about some statics of cancer in America. In this blog I am going to talk about people’s social class and how that affects cancer. I will also be talking about how people with cancer sometimes don’t get the right treatment because of the health system in America.

15.1% of people in America live in poverty. This means that most of these people don’t have any health coverage this also means if they get sick they will not be able receive a good doctor.  Health Coverage should be equal for all people no matter how much money that they make. These people that are living at the poverty level may be forming cancer and not even know it because they don’t have the right doctors. America is controlled by how much money you have. Treatments for cancer are expensive and most people are not able to pay for it. Not only does their family suffer but they also suffer. When you have money you are more able to pay for the treatments that you need.



It’s not just people without health coverage it is also people with health coverage. A large number of people when they find out that they have a cancer their employer misplace their sponsored coverage, because they don’t want to pay for the high bills. But that is not fair your health coverage is supposed to cover you in the time of need and they are not doing that in some cases. Not having the correct health coverage can disable someone from getting preventative cancer screenings. 24% of people aged 40 and above are not able to get correct cancer screenings because of their health coverage’s. In American we spent $895 billion, on cancer treatment, this number is growing fast because of the aging population.

Support Health Care 


Childhood cancer is the leading cause to childhood deaths in America. In developed countries such as America many children that have cancer and are never able to be diagnosed, or are diagnosed to late. The UICC (The international Union Against Cancer) wants to help make sure all children are diagnosed. Children are covered for health insurance only if their parents are. Even then some health companies bail out when a parent needs help for a child who has cancer. The American Cancer society wants to make sure every person is covered if they are ever in need.



How can I start getting involved to help make sure everyone is able correct for health coverage? Well you can always volunteer with the American Cancer society. They are open to any ages; they just want to end the miss-treatment of health coverage. 

My last Blog.

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International Domestic Animal Abuse - #2

If you missed out on my last blog entry, I have been looking into the subject of domestic animal abuse within the world, and what I could do in order to help stop what is happening. Before, I packed in a lot of information about serious abusive situations and why I wanted to be a part of this kind of change. With this next entry, you'll find some more information, but more importantly, what I think of my topic at this point in my research.

I still have been keeping tolls on what has been going on with the health of domestic animals. While looking for some news to talk about, I found this article on the relations between domestic violence and animal cruelty from the ASPCA website. In that article is a list of stats comparing different concepts that have to do with domestic abuse and animal abuse happening under the same roof. For example, according to the article, studies have shown that those who abuse their pets do so in order to show control over the household and to intimidate the victims of domestic violence. The ASPCA has been finding ways to respond to those situations and help out as much as possible.

This is a venn diagram showing the relationships between different forms of domestic abuse, including animal abuse. Child maltreatment is also in the equation because in domestic abuse, there is neglect towards mostly children, women, and animals.; source

​To add on to all of this, I have started to look into why animal abusers do what they do, to attempt to answer my questions from my first post. Some of the answers to that question came up on the article I just read and mentioned above. However, the questions like "What types of abuse happens in labs instead of homes?" and "How can people prevent abuse besides donating?" I have yet to tackle. I'll definitely have that by next week's post. On a different note, finding local people to talk openly about the subject has not been easy. Most people in abusive situations, even if it is "only" pets, do not just come clean to strangers. I can understand that logic, for if I were in the situation there would be no way I share my personal life on the spot, either.

Going throughout this whole research project, I developed an even stronger opinion on animal abuse than I had before. For example, when I say "Animal abuse is wrong," I can back it up with more ways as to why it's wrong and examples of situations involving animal cruelty. Right now, I still want to find more reasons as to why pet owners find reasons to abuse their animals. Was it the way they were raised? Did their parents do the same thing? Is there a connection to emotional problems somewhere in there? Also, I am dying to know about what happens to animals used for testing in labs. More information is to come very soon! Thanks for reading!

The before & after of a dog that has been saved from animal cruelty. This is the goal of many animal care organizations–to have pets be cared for and healthy after their previous life of neglect.; source

For my bibliography, click here.
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Immigrant Rights Part 2: Fuerza

For those who have not yet seen my frist blog, you can find it here
   One in eight students in Philly have been raised with English being their second language. Services for these children are being decreased because of budget cuts. This is affecting many families in the city, both legal and illegal. The budget cuts are just one of the many barriers for immigrants in Philadelphia. In Pennsylvania new laws were introduced including the SB9, HB 439, and the E-Verify Bills. These bills will affect many families of the state. They will deny protection to workers, lead people into poverty, and leave many businesses to close down.

            I have already begun to start my project for change, which is to educate myself and to bring awareness to my topic. Last Wednesday, May 16, I joined a group called Fuerza. This group is part of a larger organization called Juntos, which is a community of Latino immigrants in Philadelphia who strive to earn human rights in the fields of labor, education, and immigration. The group I joined consists of several other teenagers who have come to educate themselves about the topic of immigration rights and fight for their rights.

            I first heard of Fuerza through my cousin who was in the group. I asked her about the group and I made a decision to go to the weekly meetings. At the meeting we had a speaker from CNS (Campaign for Nonviolent Schools). We talked about the decrease in the amount of counselors in high schools and the budget cuts and how it affect the community of immigrants. Another thing we discussed was the high drop out rates among Latinos.        

This chart shows the percentage of graduating students based on race and gender. Source here
One thing that we do in Fuerza is we go out into the world to help fight for immigrant rights. Last May 7th the group went, along with hundreds of many other people from the state of Pennsylvania, to Harrisburg, to help state representatives make their decision in saying “no” to the proposed anti-immigration laws for Pennsylvania. We wanted to prevent the state from following the path of Arizona and it’s SB1070 bill, which led to its loss of $140 million dollars. The protest was featured in the program “Bandera” on the Telemundo Philadelphia channel. In the report the director of Juntos, Erika Almirón, was asked about the motive behind the manifestation. She said “ Today, Juntos decided to come to Harrisburg and we stayed all day, since the morning talking with legislators”. I was also able to ask Selena Zacateclo (an attendee of the protest and new friend) what had happened. Selena responded, “Well it was really powerful. We demanded our rights, spoke out and fought for what we wanted...We asked them [the legislators] not to pass the anti-immigration laws because we don’t want to be separated from our families, that we found the laws unjust and they were basically against human rights.”
The protest at the state's capital. More than 500 people attended in order to speak against the anti-immigration laws. A slideshow may be found here 
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Erika Alimrón, the director of Juntos, speaks out against the anti-immigration laws.
            Hearing about the things Fuerza did and will continue to do has sparked up my interest in the organization. We will continue to fight against the anti-immigration laws until they are completely gone from the list of proposed laws. For this reason I am sharing a legal petition against these laws. Only we can help the legislators and representatives decide on which side they are on. This leaves me wondering how much time do we have left before the decision is needed and will our representatives make the right choice?

My Bibliography may be found here
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Privatizing Public Schools, Part 2

Since my last post, I have been doing a lot of thinking about my topic (for those who have missed it, I am blogging about the privatization of public schools, you can find my previous post here). I have been researching and gathering more and more information. Along the way, I have also been gathering more and more anger. How can we expect corporations who are out to make money to keep the interest of the students in mind? How can we expect them to keep the parents or teachers interests in mind? 
Protesting the privatization of public schools in Philadelphia. Some signs are sporting the slogan "I don't have a price tag. "Picture can be found here.

To quote New York Senator Bill Perkins “Charter schools came on board with the promise that they could do better for less… No sooner than they became they started advocating for more money…they began advocating to be a part of those public schools, to take over those public schools. So it’s a switcheroo kind of a thing. They came in with one expectation, and now they’re in the public schools creating all kinds of chaos. And the Mayor is closing down schools, with the plan of putting in these charter schools. And I think it’s outrageous that they’re getting paid so much.” 

Private corporations who are only looking to make money are running our schools. Does anyone else find anything wrong with this statement?

Protester holds sign sporting the slogan "Don't privatize, our schools are not for sale."  at demonstration. Pricture can be found here.
Who’s to blame for this mess? 

The School Reform Commission has proposed a plan that will close 64 neighborhood schools in the next 5 years. The SRC also wants 40% of all Philadelphia students to be attending a private school in the next 5 years.

Which company the schools actually go to is still undecided. Some ideas that are floating around include having “Achievement Networks” and decisions about schools would be made within each. These decisions would be about curricula, discipline, staffing, supplies, etc. As retired teacher, education activist, and writer said Lisa Haver said in a Daily News article “District officials have admitted that this new system would do nothing to lessen the deficit…. A bidding process would determine who controls each network. Anyone may be chosen: former district personnel, charter school operators, corporations, or politicians including State Rep. Dwight Evans, who last year bullied one charter school behind closed doors in order to override the choice of parents at Martin Luther King High School. How have we arrived at a point where the public school system can be auctioned off to the lowest bidder?”

I am strongly against the privatization of public schools. After doing even further research, I learned that when a school becomes privatized, they no longer have to be transparent to the taxpayers who support it. They don’t have to release the salaries of the CEO’s or staff, do not have release whether or not they have the required level of certified teachers, and do not have to say whether or not those teachers are even teaching the subject they are certified in.

In some ways, I wish I could talk to the SRC. I would have plenty questions for them. How am I supposed to learn geometry from a certified gym teacher?  How am I supposed to become a member of by global community, and an active, contributing citizen if my government doesn’t value my education? How can I trust the SRC to be a powerful advocate for my education if, as Lisa Haver said, “its policies can be dictated by billionaires with deep pockets and rigid contracts”? 

Hearing these things sparks something inside of me. It's a hard feeling to describe when you pledge allegiance to the flag every morning to have the SRC/American government send the message that they don't value your education.

Well, government, if you don’t care about my education, how can I believe that you care about me?

You can find my bibliography here.



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STDs in the teenage world #2

STDs are one of the most dangerous diseases to have. It makes you very sick, and you won’t be able to grow up to have babies because you won’t be able to have intimacy because of the risk of giving the disease to other people. Especially if you are a teenager. One in every four female in the U.S has a case of STD. Between the years of 1997 and 2011 the percentage of teens with STDs jumped a total of 53 percent.

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There is a theory for the reason as to why teens get STDs. Children go through puberty earlier because of  better nutrition, and the immature cervix of teenage girls is especially vulnerable to infection. Psychology: Kids with raging hormones think they are invincible and take stupid risks. Sociology: Children who grow up in the inner city take risks because they can’t imagine a decent future. Technology: Better screening detects more STDs. Poverty: A lack of access to medical care means those infected won’t know they have an STD and will continue to spread it. Culture: Casual high school hookups have replaced the romance of dating. The media: Kids are being sexualized in ads, movies and on the Internet. All these reasons can be a possible factor as to why kids get STDs. Or maybe it’s that they weren’t raised with the mindset that we were given by our parents not to have sex and to use a condom when we do.

Personally, when it comes to this topic i blame the parents. It’s supposed to be their job to tell the child to job to tell the child about the dangers of STDs and how they can be prevented. My theory is that the parents of these teenage children with the disease is that they don’t care, or they too have experience with more than one partner. i believe that if parents warn their children and teach them the rights from wrongs in intimacy, the teenage rate of STDs would be a lot shorter.


As I go about with my research i still wonder lots of things about teenage STDs. Why are teenagers more subject to getting affected. How was this disease first discovered, and how is it best treated? These thoughts are going all through my head and want to be answered.

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Human Trafficking- Modern Day Slavery #2

What is Human Trafficking? It’s the form of slavery in which people control and exploit other human beings in order to create a profit.

Why is this a problem? Because until slavery and trafficking is fully abolished, the world is not a free one. Because no matter where the slavery is in the world, our freedom depends on the abolishment of it. Because, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, ‘no man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent.’

Since my last post, I've taken some time to conduct some research outside of school. As it turns out, 1 out of every 5 people that I interviewed, between the ages of 14 and 18, didn't even know that Human Trafficking was a large world issue.  

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Where is Human Trafficking occurring? Everywhere. Almost every single country on the planet is affected in some way by Human Trafficking. This map shows only a segment of the trafficking trade around the world:

This chart shows the flow of trafficking victims from country to country. It only shows the larger, more prevalent countries in the world. However, we can see that almost every country or continent is affected in some way- whether a country of origin, destination, or transit stop.
I've done a little more research on this topic. As it turns out, a lot of rescued trafficking victims never receive treatment after being brought out of trafficking. This includes not having proper health care, housing, ect.  The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur site gives an insight into how the trafficking victims are treated, and also gives a few options on things to do to help.

This visual gives an insight into how the governments of different countries are combating Human Trafficking. If the country is marked as 'Tier 1', it means the government has recognized Human Trafficking as an issue, and is actively trying to abolish it. However, the amount of Tier 1 countries is not enough, because it is not the whole world, or even the majority. When we compare that chart to this one, we see something shocking:
Many of the countries where government action on Human Trafficking is low, is exactly where Human Trafficking occurs the most. This map shows where in the world victims are usually taken from. 

So now we know this:

-That Human Trafficking is a WORLD ISSUE that many people don't even know about.
-That every country is affected by Human Trafficking, and no one is safe. 
-That the countries with a high rate of trafficking have governments that are not active in trying to combat it.

 But this still begs the issue: What can be done? 

Don't forget to look at my bibliography here.
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The effects of HIV/AIDS on homeless people

After I did more research, I realized that there are many ways how people become homeless and poor. There are also many consequences. For example, 3-20% of homeless people have HIV/AIDS. Also when someone has AIDS it is 44% harder for them to find housing in Philadelphia, PA. I learned that some of the reasons that poverty causes HIV/AIDS is that they do not have access to good health care and adequate medications. The issue at hand does not affect orphans that much because most of them are  placed in foster homes and stay with relatives. Although, for the ones that are homeless, they are still suffering from poverty, hunger and either bad education or none at all.

I am not living in poverty but my mom is having trouble earning money through her business and she will have to work for the rest of her life. Because of this, as a family, we have had to cut back on some things and really think about our priorities.

I thought it would be a good idea to promote awareness to this topic by asking people for donations to an organization called Stand up for kids, because “three quarters of American families donate to charity, giving $1,800 each, on average” (ABC 20/20).This encourages me that my goal to raise money for this organization will go well. However I am still left wondering how much students and their families will donate to this cause.

ln my opinion every child needs education and somewhere to stay. I think that this is an important issue that is not talked about a lot and things are not being done to help it frequently enough. I strongly believe that this organization can help children who are lacking these things in their lives. However, organizations like this one are not the only ones that have to make a change. I believe that the government should strongly encourage everyone to get tested for HIV/AIDS. This video explains the importance of preventing HIV/AIDS and what the government should do to help.


Here is my bibliography

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Social Networking: Positive or Negative #2

Here is my first blog post where you can learn more about social networking.​

Since my first blog post, I have become much more aware of the effects of social networking. The main thing that I noticed, which I found rather amusing, is the use of social networking from my peers to promote their own “You and the World” projects. This is one of the pros that I talked about in my first blog post: spreading the word about something that you are doing. I saw about 10 of my peers post on facebook or twitter about their projects, asking people to fill out surveys and things like that. From using social networking, they are even further promoting my reasoning for the use of social networking. For example, my friend Julian made this picture his cover photo on Facebook, and from there he was able to get people interested in this topic:
For this project, I made a survey on Google docs to find out more about the use of social networking. To get people to fill out my survey, I posted it on my facebook page, twitter account, and tumblr blog. I also had a teacher of mine post it on his facebook to attempt to get more people to fill it out. As a result, 110 people have already filled it out because I spread the word about it through social networking. (By the way, results from the survey will be posted about next week.)

            While I was trying to promote my survey, I was also doing more research into the world of social networking and found that many businesses use social networking as a way to raise support, awareness and money. According to a reporter Debbie Miller, when marketers were asked if social networking was important to their business, 62% of them said, “strongly agree” and 28% “agree”. In addition, she made a chart about the pros of social networking in business:

A huge question that I’m still wondering about is how distracted people get from social networking sites. I just posted that question on my facebook, tumblr, and twitter so gather responses, so I will have those responses by next week as well!

Here is my bibliography again!
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Blog Post #2 Smith

 Hello everyone again I come to you with my 2nd post on government spending on prisoners vs. students. One of my main issues is the fact that the government gives convicted killers, rapists, kidnappers, etc. health care that a lot of kids in America don’t have and food housing and more opportunities that most kids don’t get. Some new info I picked up is about private prisons. Although they are beneficial to saving money it also has its faults. For starters the security is very bad in some places as it said 3 murderers had escaped before. Also with private prisons they put high profile prisoners in low security places.



This added to my knowledge because although it’s good to use private prisons for financial reasons it is not for safety purposes. It costs less if the government pays a private prison rather than run it themselves. In my opinion safety comes 1st cause if we aren’t safe than having money means nothing. After we get our security up to protect the people then we can worry about money. Although we can solve the safety issue by just putting low profile prisoners in the private prisons with medium security and leaving the high profile prisoners in the max security prisons. I have an idea that could work but it would take a lot of work and maybe money but the results will benefit us in the long run. 

  What if we built an island like Alcatraz and put all the high profile prisoners and low profile prisoners there with no resources to help them escape and a high wall around the perimeter with sharks swimming around so they wouldn’t try to escape that way. In the long run we would save billions because they wouldn’t have to keep building new prisons and prison cells and also having to pay guards to watch over them. I think this could work if we perfect what my main idea is and if we put the time and effort into it. I wonder if any other people care about this topic as much as I do. I am going to ask teachers and principals if they can help me get in touch with government officials to help this problem get fixed. My bibliography 


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Troops In Afghanistan Blog#2

Lots of new stories have just come up in the news about the troops in Afghanistan. The most recent one is about Marine Corps Gen. John Allen, the top commander in Afghanistan has just been expected to leave his command at the end of this year to go to the US European Command to take over. General John Allen is a very important man, spending most of his life dedicated to finally signing a long-term security agreement with Afghanistan and also to see a drawback in troops in Afghanistan. He has shifted American Troops from a counterinsurgency (military or political action taken against the activities of revolutionaries) strategy to a simpler mission strategy by having troops train Afghan militia. There is no final decision on who will replace Gen. Allen in Afghanistan. One possibility is Army Gen. David Rodriguez, who as the Number 2 commander in Afghanistan. More information that has been released is that two British soldiers shot in southern Afghanistan on Saturday. The ministry said, “…shot and killed by Afghan police force…” but NATO’s force in Afghanistan on that Saturday, indicated they were insurgents (or rebel) dressed as police. News reports have stated one of the rebels was killed but the other is still being searched for.

Basically, to add to my research I focused on the news. The other night I was watching the news with my family when the story about the soldiers being killed came on, I remembered about it and wanted to include it in the new information. I also visited AOL and CNN every night to check for new stories and new events happening in Afghanistan. 

So far I’ve sent out a survey asking people certain questions about the War. In the end I ask them to give me a response on their opinion and when they believe we should bring the troops home.

The story about the two “police” officers who shot and killed troops helped to prove the point about how when we killed Osama Bin Laden, it may have upped this countries risk on more terrorism. The point of killing Osama was to reduce the Al Queda was to reduce it until it was nothing, but if the terrorist group is still around, this can change the outcome of our future. First, we could be at higher risk of another terrorist attack like 9/11. Second, this could influence President Obama to have our troops remain in Afghanistan to fully eliminate the Al Queda threat, which can take even longer. We just don’t know the outcome yet, we will have to wait and see. But this helps my thoughts about whether or not we should start to bring home our troops just yet, because if the Taliban and Al Queda forces don’t begin to decrease, we could see an increase in our troops.

Personally, I feel as though we should begin to bring home our troops but not an overwhelming amount. There is still a high threat against America so I believe we should stop that threat first, then come home.

 I still wonder about, whether or not it’s worth losing our own to help another country that with the right training can fix their own problems. But if we do well for others we have them as friends, right? I guess that’s just what America is trying to do.

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Post 6_deeper reflection/explanation

Through this project I wanted to learn something, anything, it didn't really matter to me what I learned I just wanted to walk away from this project feeling smaller and accomplished  and I did. 
Post one When I first started this blog I wanted to explore how food relate to culture. But it was a bit difficult to ask people questions that related to that and stay on topic.My first conversation went well but then I had to go so I was not able to finish that conversation. So later I started another one with Hector Gutierrez who lives in Brazil. He answered my questions but in English. So I kept the conversation going to see if I would learn anything that way.
Post two This person Charles was nice and willing to talk to me. Our conversation went well there was something to talk about and it was patience during the conversation, there were times when I did not respond as fast because I had to figure out a way to work my question or response. While talking to different people on shared talk I have come to the realization that is it no what you say to a person it is how you say it. By that it can be how detailed you are with an answer when someone body asks yo a question. When you are not very detailed with an answer it gives people room to make more inferences about who you are as a person.
Post three During this chat, I talked with Ezequiel Guerreo from Spain. He did not know English very well but he was still willing to help me with my Spanish, and correct me while we spoke with one another. During this conversation I felt confident because I knew what Ezequiel was talking about and I was able to comment, respond and ask questions and I was not suing anything to help me for most of the conversation. I felt as if I were having a conversation in English, it was very exciting for me.
Post four  For this post I was confident starting both conversations I entered. I didn't get a change to finish them but these two chats I had made me think of what I wanted to talk about in blog number five. Sometimes people just leave the chat, in my opinion the people become impatient. Then decided to leave the chat, it's sometimes a bit funny when you think everything is going well and then the next thing you know the chat looks as if you are chatting yourself.  
Post five In this blog I just noted the times when I was talking in a conversation and t was just a complete fail. Either the person had to leave for a reason or they just left the conversation. I called it a fail because it seemed as if every time a conversation started well and I knew what was going on and the person could understand me. The conversation ended. 
Post six is directed to the first project for Spanish I posted on slate this year. I linked post six to my Trader Joe's to show that, during this project while I was speaking in Spanish on Shared Talk to people the conversations took a normal length of time not too long. But to make a flyer for a cause I was in support of took days to write in Spanish. When I first got this project I thought talking to people whos' native language is Spanish would be hard, but after remembering all the things I have learned this year, talking was not as difficult as I thought it would be. After doing all the blogs I decided to direct my overall goal a bit differently.
*Me gustó aprender cosas diferente de las conversaciones con diferentes personas. Todos ellos preguntó sobre los Estados Unidos. A veces yo no dicho mi pregunta correcta, pero que no sabía lo que quería decir. Me gusta mi proyecto completo. Mi proyecto es diferente y era simpre, pero veo que mi español es mejor. Hablé con muchos  personas y todos ellos eran boba y divertida o loco, pero yo me gusta sharedtalked y estoy saliendo de mi lugar seguro para hablar en otro idioma.  
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Support the LGBT community *Blog Post #2

    This is my second blog post as assigned from my 9th grade English teacher Mrs. Dunn. Also as a part of the "You and My World" project this is one of the requirements and afterwards there will be one last blog post to complete this amazing project. I have encountered myself  with new facts and information about my issue and they are listed below;
  • The organization called ACLU which stands for ( American Civil Liberties Union ) brought their first LGBT case in the year of 1936.
  • The ACLU is an organization that helps people that are for example Lesbian,Gay,Bisexual, and Transgender. It helps them towards enjoying their constitutional rights of equality, privacy, personal independence, and also freedom of expression.  
  • Then, there's this project, the LGBT project that includes the society of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and lastly Transgender and this project was found on the year of 1986.  
  • Last but not least, there is plenty of support for the LGBT community and throughout the nation there are over 700 LGBT clubs including in colleges and even on their own college campuses. Which means that people like this are never alone.
   For more information about  the ACLU and the LGBT community please CLICK HERE

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    Therefore, by looking over plenty of websites and information about my issue I have realized that even though everyone has different opinions about this issue it will be great to know that people that aren't apart of the LGBT community can at least respect these people that like their same sex. Hating people that are part of the LGBT community doesn't make a change in society and not respecting them doesn't help either. My opinion on this issue is that even if your Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender you should be accepted for who you are and what you like, being different isn't a crime being different defines who you truly are. This matters because everyone is society is different and being different is what we need in society, if we were all the same then this world would be much more dull.
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If someone ask you are you Gay, Straight, Bi, or Transgender just remember this phrase and say I AM A PERSON.

     Somethings that I have done to add to my new research would be survey people that are from diverse ethnicities and also religions. I did this because I would get different responses and different reactions from these people about this issue. This survey took place in Norris Square Park. Therefore, it left me plenty of distinct answers. The responses to my question are listed below;
      What do you think about the LGBT community?
  1. I don’t like it but, it’s life.
  2. I’m cool with that.
  3. I look at them the same way I look at others, equality!
  4. Equality.
  5. I don’t think nothing about them, it’s fine.
  6. Aye everybody is on their own.
  7. I don’t have a problem with them.
  8. It’s okay we need to respect it, we all have the right.
  9. Long live homosexuality.
  10. Don’t know.
  11. I don’t agree with it , because they’ll mess up my kid.
  12. I’m not in favor of it because god made both a man and a woman. I’m against it.
  13. I believe everyone is titled to their own opinion.
  14. If they want to be like that let them be, it’s not you.
  15. I think it’s just people who are born different, with a different sexuality then others. They should be able to have all the rights that straight people have no matter what.
  16. I say leave them alone. They’re people too.
  17. I think it is a touchy topic, schools need to be more prepared to support students who might be/might not be sure....whether or not people support it, we need to support the children.
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After surveying people and hearing about their opinions, at the end of the day my opinion has never changed.
     From this survey and actual results I realized that the negativity is discrimination and the positivity is support. I have noticed this because everything positive that was said was from people who have members in their family that are this way end up actually respecting  these people in general. And this is SUPPORT,  it’s the LGBT’s support system. People who give this type of feedback are the ones who respect people who were born this way and there’s nothing wrong with that. Unlike others, the negativity is discrimination because people who I surveyed and question were very harsh and cruel with their answers. Some simply replied that by nature we are born as a man or woman while others didn’t even care or know about this issue. Although, my overall goal might be complex all I’m aiming for is to minimize discrimination towards the LGBT community. In my opinion this could be done by educating people as well as giving speeches to a larger audience.
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The LGBT community is an issue that everyone should care about I mean why discriminate when you can SUPPORT instead.
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I may only be a teenager, but teenagers can also Make A Change.  I want for the LGBT community to gain more respect and support. Hopefully, this goal will be accomplished.

         At this point in the project, I really don’t have any roaming question about my issue. In my perspective the only one that roams within me is why are people so judgemental and straight forward when it comes to this issue. Opinions do change but others don’t always see it that way. It’s extremely bothersome knowing that once someone sticks to one opinion it might never change.
To check out my first blog, click here


For more sources, check out my Bibliography.
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Proyecto de Conversación 4

What does food look like in Salvador? Conversation with Denis Ronaldo from Salvador.

My partner taught me that food in Salvador is much like food in America, with some minor differences (like how it is prepared). I learned that my partner is a very enthusiastic person, although he did sometimes tend to loose interest in the chat. I learned that I enjoy talking to others, as the conversation lasted for a while once again. As we spoke more and more, I became increasingly interested in his cultural traditions. Once again, I was surprised that my partner was so friendly. If someone tried to chat with me about a school project, I doubt that I would be as cooperative as he was. I am proud that I learned something about food from the chat, as trying new foods can be a fun experience. I had a fear that my partner would suddenly exit the chat from boredom. Luckily, this did not happen. Next time, I plan to ask more probing questions.
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Philadelphia Rising Murder Rate Part 2

            In case you’re just visiting my blog for the first time, I will reiterate what this entire blog is focused around, the current, and rising murder rate in Philadelphia. As said in my previous post, this is a serious epidemic for any Philadelphia citizen, and everyone should be aware of the danger that people everywhere are faced with from most of the useless violence that surrounds them.


Now since my last blog entry I have done some more research in my local area about one of the major safety precautions that each block, in each neighborhood, in each part of the city should have; a neighborhood watch. Through my research, and investigation I have found out that my personal area does have a neighborhood watch. But honestly, what is the point of having a neighborhood watch, if they will not do much to keep the neighborhood safe. For example, after talking with my teacher Ms. Dunn, and her telling me that not only does her area have a neighborhood watch, but also they are almost always on duty, and they are well known in the area, I realized that I didn’t even know if my area had a neighborhood watch. That in itself obviously shows a lack of work being done when most people in the neighborhood doesn’t even know their neighborhood watch exists. Even when going to my mother, she didn’t know that we had a neighborhood watch. I had to go about 4 doors down from my house before one person even said that we do.


With this realization that my own block doesn’t have an active neighborhood watch, but doesn’t have that much violence, it led me to guess that some of the areas in Philadelphia that are much more violent most likely do not have any kind of neighborhood watch, and I think that could make a major difference if these areas were to get one. I personally believe that a certain area is not bad, it is those few people in that area that are bad, that cause an entire area to be stereotyped as a “bad” neighborhood. With a neighborhood watch, these areas would have more of a grip on those people that give that area a bad name, and in turn could eventually change the reputation of that area.


I truly believe that Philadelphia is not a completely violent city. Even though it has had an increasingly high murder rate, Philadelphia as a whole population is not to blame. It is that of the individuals who cause the violence’s fault. These individuals are the ones who give Philadelphia this reputation, and the number of these individuals could be lowered if neighborhood watch existed in EVERY neighborhood.


Although I have learned a lot, there are a few things I am still left wondering about when it comes to the Philadelphia violence. I am still wondering where exactly in Philadelphia are they’re the most homicides. I am also wondering what exactly the Mayor has been trying to do to stop, or try and drop the homicide rate in Philadelphia.

My bibliography available here.

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Animal Cruelty- Blog Post #2

         Hi, my name is Jasmine Nieves incase you didn’t know. In case you didn’t know, I have a project called you in the World and I was focusing on animal cruelty. This topic is still a major importance to me because I can’t resist thinking of the lives these animals are having. It breaks our hearts and especially my heart to find these animals still like this. We need to make a change for these animals.

      Basic information you need to know on my recent blog post is that I’ve found some recent information. The new information that was found was that everybody now is committed to prohibiting animal cruelty from happening. 41 states have been found with these felonies of animals. They would even kill animals for fur. Tragedies like this are the reasons why animals get killed. Fifteen million animals that are warm blooded are used in research laboratories. Click Here for more info on animal cruelty.

      What I’ve done to research more of this topic was using the same process as my last post.  I just kept searching and searching until I found something interesting about animal cruelty to talk about. Videos such as this one are very sad, but videos like this one will show how much animal cruelty means to me and I want it to stop. When I said on my last post, that there should be a public awareness for these animals, I really meant it from the bottom of my heart. From just looking at the videos, I just want to cry and I know you do too. To make a change, I will have a presentation at my school advisory and we are going to help each other sell cupcakes to end it.

      I have compared my latest research to my previous research. It has shown that animal cruelty was starting to wear away. When I saw that this was happening, I felt relieved. My heart was starting to fill back into place, but I still want to make and awareness in my advisory that should help the situation.  Soon afterwards, I hope my advisor will help me tell the principal of the school to help us spread out the word. This would be a big change for me and for the animals.

      This adds to my understanding of this issue by just simplying saying JUST END ANIMAL CRUELTY!!! This is an important message to spread out because they would see how much animals and pets are like taking care of babies and how it’s so important to take care of them. I hope people can see the way I feeling on the inside. Hopefully, this word would spread more around the world. This is a big change for me to handle but it’s for my own good. That’s all I have to say.

      My personal opinions on this issue are the it is wrong. It is wrong because these animals have feelings but some people don’t see them. The animals are both hurt on the inside and the outside. People in their right mind would know not to do this. This is a very empowering situation to fix. We all have our fears and it all comes to this, animal cruelty. These animals are feeling alone. When these two different worlds collide, they would be able to survive. They had dreams and their dreams are to be saved. They need to find a find a home and a new love for them.

      Something’s I’m still wondering about will people have the faith to help them. I am still wondering if the people who did cruelty to them will see my point that I’m trying to make. It would probably break their hearts if they found out. I hear this almost all the time while doing the project and it also. When days are low for them will this cruelty happen again and break the Laws of Endangerment for Animals. Just remember they can’t think for themselves and that they don’t have their own voices. We have to do it for them.

Click Here to see my Bibliography.

Click Here for video

Click Here for interview

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Public Education in the US: What is the problem?

The United States continues to drop globally in education, this was established in my last blog post. But why?

Some would argue that its spending, that the US doesn't spend enough on education. This is simply not true. The US ranks among the highest in spending, yet among the lowest in achievement. This chart illustrates that countries that spent moderate amounts of money on education score the highest. This shows that the problem is not something easy, like not enough spending, but something bigger.

That something bigger is the entire system itself. The model used in most classrooms today is based on Horace Mann's philosophy on education. Mann believed in a primary education for all. His education philosophy was that students of different ages should be separated by age. Each grade had certain requirements, and those who didn't meet those requirements were not promoted to the next grade. Students were also to have summers off, mostly due to how hot it would be in the school year. Mann believed that education should be decided federally, rather then locally. Most classes were taught using lecture.

One problem with this is that Manns education system is mainly fact based. Mann emphasized the memorization of facts. Now that we have the internet, memorizing Abraham Lincolns birthday or the location of the Czech Republic is not very important. What schools should be teaching instead is how to apply these facts to the real world. Memorizing facts and spitting them back out does not require any form or original thought. What should be emphasized more in schools is critical thinking.

Another problem with this is that curricula are set by the state rather then locally. If teachers had more freedom to write their curricula, then they could tailor them to the needs of individual students and incorporate all learning styles.

Our education system is incredibly outdated. It was designed during the industrial revolution to give as many students the most uniform education as possible. But education is not "one size fits all". It needs to be tailored to the individual student to fit his or her needs, and our system does basically the opposite of that. To improve how public education in the US works, we need to scrap the old system and design a new one.

Here is an interesting TED Talk by Ken Robinson, an education activist. 

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La Tomatina- Blog 4

I wish to speak to someone about La Tomatina. Mostly everyone I talk to is from Spain, so I want to ask someone about this.

Mis preguntas son 

¿Tú sabes sobre "la tomatina"?

¿Qué tipo la gente assiste?

¿Tú pagas asistir?

I think La Tomatina sounds so amazing so I'm excited to hear about it from natives. 

I'm not really nervous about anything, the people are not intimidating.

I chose to speak with Jeff who is from Spain and is 20 years old. This was the first time I had spoken with him.

This interaction helped me toward my personal goals because I really just want to feel comfortable conversationally speaking and a topic about something they experience falls within that. 

I spoke with Jeff for a long time, but I include the best piece of our conversation

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Testing on animals, Post #2

Hello readers! My name is Amy Farrell and this is my second blog post about an issue I care very deeply about, testing on animals. If you wish to read my first post, click here

Since my last post, I have found several new websites with useful information on them. Also, I have found things you could replace animal testing with. Before, when a woman had a pregnancy test done, the laboratory procedure involved killing a rabbit. Now, you can buy a home pregnancy test over the counter with no harm to animals. Instead of dissecting real frogs or animals for a science classroom, there are many online  alternatives such as this. For some skin tests, scientists have developed a synthetic skin that can be used in place of animal skin. If the test is not that dangerous, they will do it on human volunteers under serious supervision. Some people argue that these methods cost more, but in reality they cost less. The scientists do not have to keep buying and breeding and cleaning up after animals anymore. The question is, why don’t they just stick to alternative methods? 


I believe they don’t use the alternates  because they are afraid. If the test goes wrong they could get into a lot of trouble. What many people don’t realize, is that a little less than half of the tests that are conducted are inaccurate. For example, some companies test mascara on rabbits. One brand caused the rabbit to go blind, but they still sold it to customers anyway. 


By doing this project, I have discovered the many sides of animal testing. Some feel it is the worst possible thing that could happen, while others feel that it’s the only option they have. I hope that by reading my blog posts, it will help everyone become more educated and learn more about this topic.

PETA is an organization for the protection of all animals. They try to spread awareness of what's really happening to animals that the public do not know about. Through their work, thousands of animals are saved every year. To learn more about PETA, click here

Click here for my bibliography
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