On September 18th in the Music Building, Queens College students were greeted by a familiar voice that may have entered their childhood homes some time ago. This time, Fran Drescher wasn’t running after doting children as “the Nanny,” but instead engaging students in a discussion about healthy consumerism.
Drescher entered the room with a glass Voss bottle in hand. She then went on to explain that this Voss bottle represented her effort to stop using plastic bottles.
It took two years and eight doctors to properly diagnose Drescher of her unfortunate uterine cancer. 17 years later Drescher wrote “Cancer Shmancer” which became a New York Times bestselling book. Based on her experience, she felt it to be her life mission to use her platform to create the organization Cancer Shmancer, which aims to educate and raise awareness about cancer prevention. 90% of cancers are environmentally produced, and, as Drescher said, “The place we spend the most time in is usually the most toxic: the home.”
Drescher spoke about the role of big businesses. Drescher told the crowd that “Greed is the systematic malignancy for all the woes in the world… There is a lot of money in sickness, crime, and war.” This point was met with great applause from the audience. By remaining in our own silos, divided into groups supporting all different causes, we are giving businesses exactly what they want: our money. Drescher warned the audience to be skeptical of what they are spending their money on. “If it makes money, it probably isn’t in your best interest,” Drescher advised.
Drescher also encouraged consumers to read labels on everything. She pointed out that most of the popular, tight-fitting gym wear worn today is made of petroleum and plastic, contributing to our carbon footprint and containing toxins. Drescher warned, “If it couldn’t have grown in your grandma’s garden… don’t eat it!” Drescher is a vegan, and spoke about the industrial farming industry’s mistreatment of animals.
Drescher’s forum was refreshing. Her use of expletives throughout the event had the audience laughing, and allowed for the atmosphere to be relatable to a room full of college students, parents, and alumni. Alissa, a senior majoring in neuroscience said, “As an aspiring doctor, Drescher’s forum was really enlightening because I want to be nonconventional, and present natural solutions to health issues. There needs to be more people supporting her cause.”
Kelvin, an undeclared second semester student, veteran, and member of the veteran’s club said, “Fran Drescher had an amazing talk with all of us. She challenged us to change our way of thinking, and to really look at how we consume our products. I would also like to applaud Fran Drescher for speaking the truth. It takes a very brave person to speak the truth, and so I too hope to inspire Queens College students to speak the truth.”