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From industrial farming to feminism: The best pre-holiday reads

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Happy holidays from the blogs section! Though there's still a little early, we're getting into the holiday spirit with five stellar holiday treats -- all excellent pieces of journalism, specially selected to give you some much needed-thinking time amid the hectic holiday rush. So sit back, relax, and grab some tea -- these reads will have you captivated.

Thinking of giving up beef for environmental reasons? You may want to think again. Jesse McLaren has been looking into the true environmental cost of the cattle industry, and the results aren't as clear-cut as they may seem. He's debunked some of the popularized tropes in Cowspiracy, a hit documentary linking beef production to global warming. Though cows are gassy, the idea that all cattle farming operations are equal is just plain BS.

Speaking of BS, there's plenty to go around on campus. Nora Loreto explores white responses to anti-racism movements in Canadian Universities, and how professors and administrators are able to dismiss the movement for change by labelling it as yet another example of our coddled youth. The result is detrimental to both sides, as the reinforcement of long-established academic traditions ensures neither students nor faculty are challenged with new material.

That's not the only case where a popularized narrative has stalled social progress. David Climenhaga turns to Alberta, where Rachel Notley has been receiving a steady stream of sexually charged, violent, and hate-filled comments over social media --including several death threats. Though much of the abuse has been played-off as routine politics, this is not the commentary of a few disgruntled progressives –- the roots of this problem are grounded in sexism, and go much deeper.

Speaking of the sexism women face, Meghan Murphy has been exploring the continued erasure of women's experiences, even within the feminist movement. Looking at journalism, she outlines how censorship and social ostracization are real consequences for female journalists who toe the party line and seek to branch out from universally agreed-upon "safe topics." It's a story of sex, lies, and scandal -- and it's well worth the read.

And finally, Scott Weinstein looks into the political motivators behind some accusations of anti-Semitism. Though Canadian media can take such allegations at face value, these accusations are the "main public weapon" used by the Israel lobby to globally attack Palestinian rights activism. It's a growing phenomenon that's often not supported by facts, so what should you look for in media coverage, and how can you find the truth in the spin?

And that's the week at rabble! Though there may not be much hope for a snowy holiday in parts of the country, we're still wishing you all the best this holiday season. And, if you're in the mood for more festivities, be sure to check out the dozens of excellent posts our bloggers are pushing out.


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