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My parents, brother, and I decided to relax from a bustling week by catching a late-night Friday showing of Hacksaw Ridge. Little did we know that by the time our arms became independent of the cushioned armrest to leave, we would be enthralled by the movie’s empowering message. I believe that Hacksaw Ridge should be watched by everyone world-wide because the message of perseverance is vital and applicable to any individual.

The movie is set in the World-War II era, and focuses on a young soldier named Desmond Doss. Doss is committed to being faithful to his religion by following the commandments, thereby vows not to pick up a gun nor kill during his tour. This, presently, continues to be unheard of by the vast majority of soldiers that join the military, but mostly in his battle on the island of Okinawa which was one of the bloodiest. Private Doss didn’t want to surrender his religious beliefs, so instead he stood tall and fought for them. Although his intentions were pure, Doss faced reprimand from his commanding officers and soldiers. After much persistence, Doss was allowed to not use a gun nor kill. In the end Private Doss stuck to his beliefs, overcame opposition, and saved more than 70 human lives. He never once touched a gun, or killed anyone while serving. The movie sends an inspirational message about how no one should stop fighting for their beliefs, although society might pressure them to do otherwise.

I chose this movie because not only does it send an encouraging message for all, but it closely resonated with my personal life-changing experience. In my freshman year of high school, my health teacher unveiled my eyes to the inhumane treatment that animals face in the infamous factory farms. Suddenly, a light switch in my life turned on. I was bewildered by the fact that I had never been taught of all the sufferings animals endure in the factory farms. I felt so guilty and I couldn’t simply forget this information and continue with my omnivorous diet.

After a year of yearning to become a vegetarian and thorough research on the diet, I converted into one. In that year, I learned that not only is the animal treatment horrendous, but the consequences of consuming factory-farmed meat are severely damaging to one’s health and the environment. Unfortunately, I faced strong opposition from my very own parents. My other relatives and peers teased me and made me feel awful when all I wanted to do was help the innocent animals and the environment. It was impossible for them to grasp this concept. For the first month, I ate beans and rice practically every day, until I started cooking for myself. I didn’t change my beliefs for anyone, and I’m so grateful for that. A year later, I became a strong animal activist and made a successful club called Animal Advocates at my high school to teach people about the inhumanity in factory farms, and how beneficial a vegetarian diet can be to one’s own health and environment. Since my club was founded, I have had many members, friends, acquaintances, and relatives tell me that I inspired them to consume less meat and animal products and thank me for circulating this information through my club, social media, and other outlets. This experience also changed my life in another way. This experience allowed me to decide on a career that consists of researching and educating about sustainable lifestyles to help the environment, and researching anthropogenic effects including meat consumption. I, like Doss, fought for what I believed in and persevered. We are not the only ones to have fought for our beliefs and we certainly won’t be the last. Everyone in the world needs to watch this movie because they will walk out of the theatre wholly inspired and convinced to stand up for their beliefs.

 

 

 

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