Friday, 4 September 2015

Animal testing is advancing science. Don't become your opinions.

There are two ways you can store your opinions.

You can carry them around in a basket, swapping them for other, more informed, opinions along the way, or you can wear them. You can stitch your opinions into your skin and once you do that, you allow them to be a part of who you are.

Today I want to tell you why the latter is destructive.

Recent plans to build a Beagle puppy farm for drug testing purposes have been given the go ahead. As you can imagine, rage has ensued and 350,000 of us have signed a petition against it. Puppies are cute, right? How can anyone be in favour of such horrific plans?

Well, quite easily actually. Hear me out.

Until now, I hadn't really thought about animal testing ethics.

But then I did think about it. I thought about it a lot when these Beagle puppy farm plans first cropped up in the news. And I decided we can’t live in a world where we praise medical researchers for fighting the war on cancer in the same breath we condemn them for testing on animals. 

It makes no logical sense to reap the benefits of our brightest scientific minds whilst attacking their morality and treating them the way we treated our parents as teenagers – endlessly ungrateful but still happy to rely on them. 

I support any researchers looking for an alternative method of scientific animal testing, I do. But the fact is, animal testing is the reason we (and our loved ones) are beating disease. Animal research was essential for the development of Herceptin and Tamoxifen, two medicines that have saved the lives of thousands of women and men with breast cancer.

And the lives it didn’t save? If you think in the end you would choose a puppy’s life over theirs, you’re lying.

Often with these debates it’s choosing the lesser of two evils while we look for an alternative. And with scientific research, that's the case here.

But if you wear your opinions, you lose your diligence, your willingness to listen, and any ability to compromise falls apart. And once you lose those things, you lose your credibility.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

7 things you should know about your GCSE results

1. Unless your results have hindered you from progressing to the next stage of your education, you don't get the trophy for worst results day ever. (That's reserved for the retakers, bless their sullen hearts).

2. That said, news just in, a long line of bad grades isn't good. It's no use trying to make yourself feel better, if you haven't put in enough effort, that sinking realisation is going to kick you down for a couple of days. And so it damn should, you slacker.

3. You can drop one bad grade. Most people have one not-so-good subject. My French grade dug an ugly little hole in my little line of results, (sacré bleu!) but there's no need to sweat it. As far as my CV is concerned, I didn't even do a French GCSE. Sorted.

4. If you have done badly, use it as motivation. Oh you want to breeze through your A Levels? Not going to happen my over optimistic friend. If you've scraped enough to get you into sixth form you better get studying now to make sure this doesn't happen when there are higher stakes at hand. Are you listening?!*

5. If you're one of those students with straight A's and one B, no one is going to have any sympathy. Which is annoying, because that one B does make a frustrating little dent. But there is 0 point mentioning it because only your fellow child genius friends will understand. Go moan to them about it.

6. Try not to get yourself into that situation where people ask what you got and you proclaim your undying dismay only to find out they did much worse than you. And even worse, don't try to tell them 'that's not so bad' after you've publicly shamed your own results. Just give them a knowing nod.

7. If your results aren't great, work harder. And if your results were great, work harder anyway because A Levels will suck the life from you like a soul thirsty Dementor.

*Fun fact, I once said this to a primary school teacher and she made me stand up and screamed at me for 15 minutes


Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Since we're talking about #GOALS, here are mine

#BoyfriendGoals  #MakeUpGoals  #WardrobeGoals  #FriendshipGoals  #HairGoals  #ContourGoals #FaceGoals  #BodyGoals

...just a quick scoop of some of the ones I've seen.

Anyway, yawn. Here are some actual #GOALS that get me out of bed in the morning.

#1 Owning your own house that you have paid off with money that you've made.

#2 Writing something great and seeing it printed in a publication that you have respect for. Walking along holding the copy in your hand knowing your words have made up some part of it and feeling awesome about it.

#3 Treating your whole family to a fancy dinner because it's someone's birthday and you knew they'd love it here.

#4 Introducing yourself at a networking event and watching a flicker of familiarity in their eyes when you explain the work you've produced

#5 Having the intern flinch when you walk in the room because you're wearing heels bigger than his head but flashing him a quick smile so he knows you're not an insane Devil Wears Prada type of boss.

#6 Making it through that night you had to stay up to finish a project before finally collapsing into bed at 5pm the next day

#7 Learning to speak another language because you have Fridays off now and you've always wanted to do that

#8 Walking into Burberry and finally, finally, buying that smart coat 18 year old you lusted after

#9 Getting your keys to a car that doesn't splutter and cough

#10 Zipping up your boots as you get ready for work and kind of clipping your heels together when they're done because you're still 12 at heart and, now you come to think of it, it's kind of funny you work in such a big place.

#11 Working so hard in the gym the body builder guys are intimidated

#12 Having the luxury of picking anywhere you want to eat on date night and pulling on your Burberry coat as you go out the door.

There's nothing wrong with coveting make up or wanting your hair as long as the girls on Pinterest, but if you're planning on pushing through a career, you're going to need something a little stronger to pull you through.
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