You Write It Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of our You Write It Contest in the April 8, 2013, issue. We couldn’t have written these articles better ourselves!

Click here to read the You Write It interview that inspired these articles.

Check out the winning entries below:

“Crusading for Chickens”

Henry M.
Eastsound, WA

Orren Fox, 16, is a chicken lover. Since fourth grade, Orren has raised chickens. He has volunteered on a local farm and now has 32 chickens of his own. On his blog, Orren shows people how to get started raising chickens. He has inspired a lot of people.

A goal of his blog is “to educate people about where their food comes from,” he says. Orren has learned a lot of things, and he says, “you can’t force an idea on anyone, but you can inform them.” He believes that eating from local farms is better for us, the earth, and the animals. He’s learned a lot of “grisly information about how animals are raised on factory farms.” Chickens are kept in tiny cages and almost never get to see sunlight. They are usually pumped full of hormones in factory farms so they grow faster. Small-scale local farms, on the other hand, usually treat their animals a little more humanely. They don’t transport their eggs all over the country polluting the planet even more.

Orren Fox even got to go to a discussion hosted by the United States Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. There were many fascinating people there, but Orren was definitely the youngest. He even got to go on a tour of the White House. When Scope Magazine asked Orren if it is hard to have such a unique hobby, he replied, “Not really. You shouldn’t let other people affect your interests.”

Orren is an inspiration to all of us because he reminds us that we shouldn’t try to fit in. Being different is OK. We should pursue our passions and never give up, no matter what people think.

Kyla H.
Medford, OR

While most sixteen-year-old boys are skateboarding or glued to video games, Orren Fox of Newburyport, Massachusetts is blogging to inform people about where their food is coming from, and he is telling them ways to make themselves healthier. Orren’s blog even took him to Washington, D.C. to be part of the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) forum on local farming.

Raising, blogging about, and teaching others about chickens are things that Orren is very passionate about. When he was in fourth grade, he started getting really into chickens. Now he owns 32 of them. Orren’s blog is all about chickens: informing, talking, and reviewing books about chickens are its focus. Orren also promotes buying from local farms. He states that this is the healthiest option for people, animals, and the planet.

Orren invites others to learn about healthy farming in general. His blog is about information not persuasion. As he states, “I’ve learned you can’t force an idea on anyone, but you can inform them.”

Orren is an inspiration to teens who don’t like to just follow the status quo. He has proven that no matter what you want to do, if you just go after it, anything is possible. Like Orren says, “If there’s something you really like, pursue it. Don’t give it up just because it’s different—that’s all the more reason to keep doing it.” Orren is a very inspirational teen who enjoys his hobby even if it’s a little unusual, and hopefully Orren will continue to rise in chicken fame.

Wills Clarke
Asheville, NC

Chickens, how do you like them? Fried or cooked? Orren Fox loves them alive. Fox, a high school chicken crusader, will fight for chickens’ rights to the death. Now, there is probably a question brewing in your head, and that’s, “Why does he love these feathery creatures so much?” When Fox was in fourth grade, he went to work on a local farm in his hometown of Newburyport, Massachusetts. He learned a crucial piece of advice, and that was to always buy produce and meats from local farms because chickens are treated in a more humane way. Which, in other words, is better for you and the chicken.

Also, he grew fond of chickens. Nowadays, at 16, Fox has 32 chickens of his own. But raising that many chickens wasn’t enough for Orren. He now has his own blog where he speaks the word of equality for chickens. He points out that the average chicken is pumped “full of hormones” and is put in a crowded coop with hundreds if not thousands of other hormone-full chickens. He has now taken his work to the capital of the United States of America, Washington, D.C. There at the United States Department of Agriculture, he met fellow chicken crusaders, of which he was the youngest. Fox even got to go on a tour of the White House. He stated, “Later I got to go on a tour of the White House, which was unbelievable!” After returning from Washington, D.C., Fox came home to his 32 beloved chickens.

Fox, a junior in high school, has helped feathered kind to be treated in a more kindly fashion. When asked, “Is it hard to have such an unusual hobby?” Fox replied, “Not really. You shouldn’t let other people affect your interests. If there’s something you really like, pursue it. Don’t give it up just because it’s different—that’s all the more reason to keep doing it.” Orren Fox is a very wise teenager. So, next time you have chicken baked or fried, ask yourself, did it have a good life?

 

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