Is Marriage An Outdated System?

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The History of Marriage

“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, with the same person.”             -Mignon Mclaughlin

The argument of whether marriage is an outdated system is an ongoing debate.‘The House believes that marriage is outdated.’ So said the motion at a University College London Union debating society. On its Facebook page leading up to the event, ‘the House’ said: “Over recent decades, the rate of marriages in the UK has fallen markedly, while the divorce rate has steadily increased. With more and more couples opting for domestic partnerships rather than tying the knot, is there still a case for getting married in the 21st century? Or is marriage merely a defunct symbol belonging to a society we no longer live in?”

The institution has been in constant evolution, through different eras and cultures. “Whenever people talk about traditional marriage or traditional families, historians throw up their hands,” said Steven Mintz, a history professor at Columbia University. “We say, ‘When and where?'”.

The first recorded evidence of marriage contracts and ceremonies dates to 4,000 years ago, in Mesopotamia. In the ancient world, marriage served primarily as a means of preserving power, with kings and other members of the ruling class marrying off daughters to forge alliances, acquire land, and produce legitimate heirs. Even in the lower classes, women had little say over whom they married. The purpose of marriage was the production of heirs, as implied by the Latin word matrimonium, which is derived from mater (mother).

One of the most important questions, however, is how important a role was love in marriage? For the majority of human history, almost none at all. In fact, love and marriage were deemed incompatible to one another. A Roman politician was expelled from the Senate in the 2nd century B.C. for kissing his wife in public — behavior the essayist Plutarch condemned as “disgraceful.”
The most interesting fact, in my opinion, was that love itself only became a reason for marriage within the 17th and 18th century. This was when Enlightenment thinkers pioneered the idea that life was about the pursuit of happiness. As people took more control of their love lives, they began to demand the right to end unhappy unions. Divorce became much more commonplace.

Changes In the 20th Century

For thousands of years, law and custom enforced the subordination of wives to husbands. But as the women’s-rights movement gained strength in the late 19th and 20th centuries, wives slowly began to insist on being regarded as their husbands’ equals, rather than their property. “By 1970,” said Marilyn Yalom, author of A History of the Wife, “marriage law had become gender-neutral in Western democracy.” At the same time, the rise of effective contraception fundamentally transformed marriage: Couples could choose how many children to have, and even to have no children at all. If they were unhappy with each other, they could divorce — and nearly half of all couples did.

Marriage had become primarily a personal contract between two equals seeking love, stability, and happiness. This new definition opened the door to gays and lesbians claiming a right to be married, too. “We now fit under the Western philosophy of marriage,” said E.J. Graff, a lesbian and the author of What Is Marriage For? In one very real sense, Coontz says, opponents of gay marriage are correct when they say traditional marriage has been undermined. “But, for better and for worse, traditional marriage has already been destroyed,” she says, “and the process began long before anyone even dreamed of legalizing same-sex marriage.”

My Views

Marriage to many people, including me, simply means celebrating your love, cementing your relationship and locking together your lives. It brings security, the sense of us vs. the world. The sense that people can get through anything together. They make a public commitment to care for one another, to look out for each other. They are on the same team.

I think that is important to highlight the fact that people no longer need to marry, but instead want to be married. Marriage itself – the simple coming together of two people in love – will always have a place in modern society.



Why Are People Going Vegan? Some facts.

According to figures from the Vegan Society, the number of vegans in the UK has risen 350 percent over the past ten years, 42 percent of which are aged between 15 and 34. If the results of Vegan Life Magazine and the Veganare are anything to go by, we may need to reevaluate our idea of Vegans.


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Veganism is a trend.

But what exactly is making Millennials turn vegan? It could be a result of the findings posted by the World Health Organisation last year, linking processed meats like bacon and ham, to cancer. Many could argue that they’re following in the footsteps of their favorite celebrities.”Looking at some of the prolific names in the vegan movement (Ellie Goulding, Novak Djokovic, and David Hayes, to name a few), there is a real move away from the negative image it has suffered from in the past,” says Maria Chiorando, editor of Vegan Life Magazine. Additionally, the ethical and environmental benefits of the diet is also a persuasive factor. Veganism

Is A Vegan Diet Healthy?

A vegan diet consists of vegetables, grains, nuts, fruits and other foods made only from plants. Someone living purely on crisps or chips, for example, would be technically following a vegan diet, but it would in no way be healthy.

Research has shown that the average vegan diet is higher in vitamin C and fibre, and lower in saturated fat than one containing meat, all of which are beneficial. In addition, statistics show that vegans have a lower BMI (height-to-weight ratio) than meat eaters – in other words, they are skinnier.

A diet without any meat or dairy products is likely to contain a lot less saturated fat, which is related to increased cholesterol levels and increased risk of heart disease. We also know that fat contains more calories per gram than other foods, and so vegans may consume fewer calories as a result.

By eliminating food groups from your diet, you are potentially at risk of missing out on certain micronutrients. By avoiding animal and animal products, a vegan diet is at risk of being low in calcium, vitamin D, iron, vitamin B12, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids. Therefore, if you follow a vegan diet it is essential that you get enough of these nutrients through specific vegan food sources – and may even need to take additional supplements.

Many people see the word vegan on the label and they assume it must be super healthy, this is false. Even if it’s vegan, it’s just as important to look at the ingredients list and the nutrition information to see how much fat, sugar and salt something contains. Coconut oil is hugely popular in vegan baking and its health benefits are ubiquitous. However, it’s also worth noting that coconut oil is high in saturated fat. This is not to say you shouldn’t use it or it can’t be healthy in small amounts, but too much of it will have adverse effects.

The Bigger Picture

We should all be reducing meat consumption and eating more plant based foods…

According to the “eatwell” plate, you will see that less than 15% of our diet should be made up of protein.  Try and moderate intake of both red and white meat and replace with plant-based proteins like beans and pulses, tofu, nuts and seeds, as well as having a few meat-free days a week.

The good news is there IS something we can do about it. Every time we shop or order food in a restaurant – every time we eat – we can choose to help the animals. Every time we make the switch from an animal product to a vegan one we are standing up for farmed animals everywhere. Going vegan is easier than ever before with veganism becoming increasingly mainstream as more and more people from all walks of life discover the benefits of living this way.

I personally will not be able to follow this rule religiously as I am an obstinate meat-lover. But those of you who are more docile than I am – go for it!


Bullfighting: Culture vs. Morality


The Topic

Bullfighting. A popular sport and form of entertainment in Spain that dates back to 711 A.D. Bulls are tortured and killed for the sake of entertainment on a yearly basis – estimated numbers are 40,000 bulls annually. However, this is only in Europe – with Latin America included the numbers rise up to over 200,000 bulls annually.

The conclusion of a Spanish bullfight is almost always the same: The matador plunges his or her sword between the bull’s shoulders, puncturing the animal’s heart and killing it.

Those who advocate bullfighting often present a variety of reasons in support of the practice varying from false equivalencies to the slaughtering of animals for meat production to the economic impact if the sport were to be banned.

Recent polls suggest 81% of Spaniards have no interest in bullfighting (2016). Activists such as PETA (including the U.N.) have put forward a motion to ban children from attending bullfights. Bullfighting’s days are thankfully numbered due to the sustained pressure.

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An Overview of Bullfighting

Before the fight has even begun, the bull suffers terribly in order to weaken the bull. Just to create a visual, here is what they do to the bull: wet newspaper stuffed in its ears, Vaseline rubbed into its eye to half blind it, cotton stuffed into its nose to hamper respiration, and a caustic solution rubbed onto the back of its legs to prevent it from sitting down as well as hampering the bulls balance (Bullfightin: The Facts 2017). Sadly, that is not all they have to endure before being slaughtered. Laxatives are placed into its feed to further weaken the animal and it is kept in a dark box before the fight, as soon as the box is opened the bull charges for the light and into the stadium where odds are it is to be ritually slaughtered for the enjoyment of the crowd (Bullfighting: The Facts 2017).

The actual fight is separated into three “acts” or parts meant to run for approximately 20 minutes. The first sequence of events begins with the picadors on horseback tiring the bull further and using bladed weapons roughly eight inches long and two inches thick called pica into the bull that cause gaping wounds and can result in the bleeding to death of the bull. Then the assistant matadors plunge banderillas, harpoon-like weapons, into the bull. The final act is where the matador kills the bull, this is meant to be done in the most efficient way possible but often tends to prolong the suffering often requiring a further thrust into an artery near the bull’s heart. The bull can take a further three minutes to die (Bullfighting: The Facts 2017). In addition to the cruelty endured by the bull, horses may be injured by the bull in the initial act. Many of these injuries are so severe that often the horse will be put down.

The Main Argument Against The Sport

“Cock-fights and bull-fights, the chase of the hare and the fox, fishing, and other amusements of the same kind, necessarily suppose a want of reflection or a want of humanity; since these sports inflict upon sensitive beings the most lively sufferings, and the most lingering and painful death that can be imagined.”(Bentham 1802)

Although it is true that Matadors have died or seriously injured by the bull (which is screams a big hoorah for the bull), statistically, these incidents are rare. In light of this, it is important to remember that the matador actively chooses to go into the fight, the bull has no choice whatsoever other than to be ritually slaughtered for those attending.

There are many arguments against bullfighting. However, the greatest argument against the practice is the intolerable cruelty suffered by the bull and the needless violence experienced by the horses. What value system are we promoting future generations, do we honestly want children to believe that cruelty displayed to animals is morally appropriate. Just because this is classified as ‘tradition’ and ‘culture’, it does not make this sport morally acceptable. The sport is outdated, and barbaric beyond contemporary times. We should not turn animals suffering into a sport – this is psychopathic.


Should athletes earn more than doctors? An athletes viewpoint.

Mayweather WinAs 2 days have passed since the ‘money’ fight between Mcgregor and Mayweather, the topic of whether athletes should earn more than your standard occupation has come into question.

Many people believe that they should, and many believe that they shouldn’t. In many cases, they are both right.

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An Athletes Viewpoint

Growing up as an athlete and taking part in various kinds of sportsI have become accustomed to the kind of training athletes endure to reach the highest level of their profession. I myself was a professional athlete; moving to Spain at the age of 17 to pursue my “once in a lifetime” opportunity and progressing further, managing to obtain a trial with Fulham Fc in London only to see myself get rejected. This lead to my change into focusing on my education, but thats a story for another day.

Many would argue that football (or any other sport) is easier when you compare it to studying Engineering or Finance. When in actuality, it takes about the same amount of time and commitment in order to reach the stage of professionalism for athletes.

I remember sitting down in my High School in Spain and my teacher would create weekly debates on all sorts of topics. This being one of them. My short answer was “If people are willing to pay the amount they do to watch a soccer match, the players are earning a fair amount. After all, they are the ones entertaining the spectators”. As one might predict, there was always those few stubborn individuals who would remain in denial. They told me that I was just supporting athletes because I myself am one – which admittedly, is partially true.

Why They Should

Imagine earning $USD 350 million after one boxing match. That is exactly how much Mayweather earned in 27 minutes 2 days ago against Conor Mcgregor (hence why it was called the ‘money’ fight). To be exact, that is $13 million dollars a minute and $216,000 a second.

These are record breaking numbers, however, now let’s have a look at a more conventional athletes salary. Professional boxers median annual pay is $40,060.  What many people fail to take into consideration is that athletes like Floyd Mayweather are amongst the best in the world at what they do (among the top 1% of athletes). If we were to compare these exceptional athletes salaries to Bill Gates (the richest man in the world), who is a programmer and entrepreneur, and arguably the best at what he does, the athlete’s salaries are minuscule compared to his. To be quite frank, athletes will never be able to achieve $84 billion dollars; if they do ever manage to reach that point – it would definitely not be justifiable.

Athletes do not bring economic value to the world, they do not save lives, but they do bring many of us joy and entertainment – and heck we are willing to pay for it!

Becoming a professional athlete takes years of practice, much like it does to become a doctor and study for the job. I am aware that doctors save lives whereas athletes entertain, however it brings me back to the argument of how much people are willing to pay to watch these athletes do what they are good at which is a palpable reason for their high salaries.

Americanisation has led to the greater amount of monetization of sports such as sponsorships and endorsements, resulting in even larger increases in salaries. Football has become a business rather than just a “game”; it has led to celebrity-like fame to the very best athletes which have helped elevate their success.


After further analysis and research on the topic, I can say that athletes do not earn a significantly larger amount of money than other occupations if we were to compare average salaries. Athletes have just become victim to discrimination.