Different Cultures’ Perspectives on Human-Animal Relationships

As a human, are you always thinking about animals? I believe humans cannot live without animals because we depend on them to eat and survive. However, the animals humans eat differ. Each person has his or her symbol animals, which are determined by the environment around the person. Japanese people live on an island, so they mainly eat fish. As many people know, the famous Japanese cuisine is sushi. Native American people live in the middle of a continent, so they eat animals, which live in the continent. Depending on the tribe, the animals they eat are different.

Buffalo and Lakota People:

I chose to write about the relationship between buffalo and Native Americans because I went to a Buffalo Harvest with the Native American Center. Before I went there, I have never seen the killing of animals except killing fish. When people eat the buffalo, they pray for him and express their appreciation for him. I felt how important buffalos are for Native people. “As the buffalo roamed the Plains, so did the Lakota. The entire existence of the people centered around the buffalo’s epic migration across the vast plains of North America – from Canada to Mexico; the Pacific Northwest to the Appalachian Mountains” (Prairie Edge June 16 2011).


Grazing buffalo

Photo used by Fair Use.

Fish and Japanese People:

Japanese people cannot separate from fish. For me, fish plays an important part in my food. I grew up in the countryside of Japan. When I went to my grandparents’ or relatives’ house, I always ate fresh raw fish with my family. I learned how to gut fish on a school field trip. I was always told by my mother to eat fish and not eat too much beef or pork for my health.

Since the past animals have supported the lives of humans. In the past, people knew how important the animals were. However, I think people have forgotten this and many people choose to eat unhealthy junk food. They are not eating “real food”. Real food is defined by the as local/community-based, fair trade, ecologically sound and humane. There is an organization, “Real Food Challenge”, which requires 20 % real food in our campus by 2020. Our sustainability team started working to educate students in Fort Lewis College. I want to teach students in Fort Lewis College how important the real food is.


By Hanae Miyabo

The problem of nuclear power plants

Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

Have you ever thought about the problem of nuclear power?

Nuclear power is an important world problem. After the earthquake on March 11 in Japan, I had a lot of opportunities to think about nuclear power plants. For instance, “How can people continue getting energy without nuclear power plants?” “Which is more important: safety or its usefulness?” and so on. As a Japanese person, I would like to write about nuclear power. I would like people to know more about the situation in Japan and how dangerous nuclear power plants are.

Nuclear power and Japan

Now in Japan, the problem of nuclear power plants is very important. Because of the earthquake, the nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture has collapsed. And the people who were living around the power plants took refuge from where they lived. Still now, they cannot go back there. That is why there are many problems in education, economy, and health. For example, in the case of education, many children who got affected by the nuclear power plant and took refuge became late in their studies, and because of it, the difference in education is increasing. I got this information through newspapers or on TV before I came to Fort Lewis College and while teaching junior high school children who took refuge from the Fukushima prefecture. Before the accidents of the nuclear power plants, Japan was aiming to increase the number of nuclear power plants in order to increase the self-sustenance of energy in Japan. However, now Japan is searching for new ideas to keep the balance between the safety and reaching energy stability.

Nuclear power and Native Americans

After I came to Fort Lewis, I learned about Native Americans. In my class, I learned about Native Americans and the environment. This is the news I got from Native American times:

“In all, about 10 percent of all power plants operate within 20 miles of reservation land, according to an Associated Press analysis of data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Many of those 51 energy production centers are more than a half-century old and affect roughly 48 tribes living on 50 reservations. Fewer than 2 percent of all people in the United States identify as Native American and only a small portion live on tribal land.” (Native American times 6th July 2012 – http://www.nativetimes.com/news/environment/7422-many-native-americans-live-next-to-power-plants)

The reason why the government tries to establish nuclear power plants is to help the economy. I would like for Native American leaders to look at the situation in Japan and think about the health of their people, because I believe that without health we cannot keep the economy well.

~ Hanae Miyabo