Posts filed under ‘Misconceptions’

It Never Ends

Wherever you go, wherever they’re from and whatever they look like, people are pretty much the same wherever you go, especially when it  comes to things like trust, honesty and heated conflicts.

Trust because there are only a few people you’ll ever meet that you can actually trust. 
Unfortunately, a lot of people put too much trust in people who aren’t as reliable as they may think, meaning they tend to find this out the hard way. On top of that, it’s not necessarily in the nicest way; it’s not unusual for many to get hurt in the process.

Honesty because people will always lie to you.
There are so many two faced people out there where lying is a second nature to them. What’s sad about it is that at times people can put more trust into the liars rather than those few who are telling the truth. By the time people may realise this it’s probably too late, as by then, the liars may have somehow twisted and manipulated you.

Conflict because it tends to be the outcome of the two things mentioned above
Conflicts commonly spur from a lack of trust or honestly in between people. Though mainly verbal, they can sometimes get physical or more damaging [mentally or physically] as people get older.

Such conflicts are usually associated with high school. However when it comes to the work place, things aren’t that different.
While
many would think that people would grow out of it once becoming an adult, many simply don’t. They remain as the cold, bitter bitchy people that they were in high school and college who still form cliques and single out individuals they don’t like for whatever reason. They continue to bully, abuse and harass those who simply don’t deserve it.

So how can this be avoided?  That’s the issue it can’t. Wherever you go there will always be someone who has an of issue with you or someone you many know. While you may not be able to always get away from them, you don’t have to put up with it.

January 11, 2010 at 8:33 pm Leave a comment

Addressing The Misconceptions of Vegetarianism

The following are general misconceptions or stereotypes about vegetarians. These are the main ones I know about, meaning there are probably more that won’t be addressed.

1. We don’t get enough protein
This seems to be one of the most common misconceptions about vegetarians.
The list of foods is too long for me to put on here w/o going over my word limit, so [click here] for the list. Meat may be an easy source of protein, but it isn’t the only source. Just like oranges aren’t the only source of Vitamin C. There are probably those who aren’t getting enough protein, however that’s down to a bad diet, it has nothing to do with the fact they are vegetarian. If you look at the list of foods containing protein, you’ll see that vegetarians have more than enough ways to get the amount they need. Whether they choose to eat those foods or not in the right quantities is up to the individual.

2. We are pale, weak, super skinny and malnutritioned
People’s body have a certain build due to things like metabolism or genetics, it has nothing to do with whether they do or don’t eat meat. People cut out a certain item of food rather than a whole food group when not eating meat, meaning that those who become vegetarians have pretty much the same body type they had when they ate it [unless they purposely gain or lose weight]. I personally haven’t become any skinnier, my weight has remained the same. This also applies to those that I’ve seen/known to also be vegetarian.

Those who are pale, weak, super skinny etc. are like that due to not eating much/any food at all. It’s not down to cutting out a single item of food.

3. People are only vegetarian for ethical purposes (In other words, we do it as we think it’s “wrong to kill animals for food”)

You’ll find more people doing it for health, environmental and religious purposes rather than to “save the animals”. Nevertheless, ethical reasons are still an important factor for many vegetarians. Alot of people just don’t feel comfortable eating meat after realizing how it got there

4. All we eat is salad
Vegetarians [including myself] aren’t necessarily big salad fans, meaning we don’t each it much if not at all. We’re vegetarians not rabbits

5. We eat fish. If we don’t, we are no longer vegetarian, but vegan
Meat is defined as flesh that comes from an animal, making fish another subgroup of meat, those who call themselves vegetarian but still eat fish are not vegetarian.
By definition, they are Pescatarians, something that has no relation to vegetarianism. Vegans don’t eat meat [including fish] AND animal products [dairy, eggs, honey etc.] while most vegetarians still do. Calling vegetarians vegans because they don’t eat fish just shows how little people generally know about vegetarianism.

6. We are generally unhealthy
We actually have lower risks of getting heart disease, high levels of cholesterol, blocked arteries or even certain types of cancer by not eating red meat and have lower risks of getting mercury poisoning by not eating canned tuna [to name a few], so if anything we are healthier than those who do eat meat as our risks of getting the things listed above are significantly lower.
Here’s a question to those who think eating meat’s healthier:
Why are millions of doctors ordering so many of their patients to lay off things like red meat if “it’s good for you”?

Vegetarians are more health conscious. We simply don’t care about “how good it tastes” because in the long run, we know it won’t benefit us. We realize that we’re contributing to a longer healthier life rather than possibly shortening it by something like a “sudden” heart attack


January 8, 2010 at 10:19 pm Leave a comment

The Lou Jing Situation

A few months ago, a lot of speculation was made about Lou Jing, a 20 year old Chinese student from Shanghai who entered a Chinese talent show called Let’s Go! Oriental Angel. What gave her the attention in China was not necessarily her talent, it was her skin colour; The attraction from it reportedly made her one of the most famous talent show contestants in China, and she didn’t even win the show.

Lou grew up in China her whole life, meaning she speaks fluent Shanghai and Mandarin chinese. On the show, it was revealed that her mother had an affair with an African American man, resulting in the conception of Lou. Many chinese blogs and forums blew up with insults towards Lou and [mainly] her mother as a result. Some gave Lou the name 小黑鬼 (xiaoheigui) meaning “little black devil” [click here for more comments made about her]

It exposed the narrow minds of many Chinese people and how bigotry is still very much alive in the country during the 21st century. However, as racist as the whole outcome has been, people [especially those criticizing the issue] must remember two main things

1. Lou Jing’s Father
On the internet, many Chinese people used this as an example to justify the stereotype that black men abandon women once they’re pregnant, leaving them to to single mothers. While there is some truth in that, men of other races do the same thing, however it’s highlighted more in black men. In the case of Lou Jing’s father, he left China with no idea that he’d gotten her mother pregnant, meaning he probably still doesn’t know of Lou’s existence

2. Such racism does not only occur in China
As distasteful and offensive as the comments were again Lou and her mother, there are just as many [if not more] people who have the exact same views as those Chinese commenters outside of China. When hearing her story a lot of people seem to forget that such racist views are apparent everywhere. There are people in almost every country who feel the same way about people who are black, mixed or any other race/ethnicity that isn’t the same as theirs. Perhaps what’s given China so much attention on it is the fact that they don’t have a long history discriminating against black or mixed people compared to places like Britain or the United States.

People must also remember that not all Chinese people were against Lou Jing’s racial mix.
She had support from alot of Chinese people aswell as her friends, professors and Chinese journalists. One author even wrote on their blog:

In the same year that Americans welcome Obama to the White House, we can’t even accept this girl with a different skin colour.

– Hung Huang –

China isn’t the first, and definitely won’t be the last country to express such racist views in the 21st century. Unfortunately for Lou, it was the first time she experienced any racial hatred in her life. With such a story, people should also remember that the same views are also felt by those in their countries of residence, not just in the country of question.

Lou Jing’s story [in more detail]:
http://abagond.wordpress.com/2009/09/29/lou-jing/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lou_Jing

An opinion from another perspective [this person is the same mix as Lou Jing]:
http://african-chineseguy.blogspot.com/2009/09/lou-jing-sad-story-of-black-chinese.html

January 7, 2010 at 10:12 pm 2 comments

Chimamanda Adichie: The Danger of A Single Story

The video that inspired my last post:

January 2, 2010 at 1:06 pm Leave a comment

The Dangers of a Single Story

Single stories are everywhere. They are one sided stories that give people the wrong idea about a certain place, thing or group of people.
What makes them such an issue is that they create stereotypes. Instead of highlighting how similar people or places are they highlight the differences. We have all believed a single story at one point in our lives, some of us still do.

My Grandmother believed a single story when she left St. Lucia for the UK. People there convinced her she would have no difficulty getting a job, and that England was a wonderful place where the streets were literally paved with gold. Despite this, no one told her that England had areas below the poverty line and that most of the time she would be refused a job as the colour of her skin was an issue. One example of me personally believing a single story is when I went to America for the first time. I found it strange to see poor areas and homeless people living on the streets everyday as beforehand, I didn’t believe that such a thing existed in America. It was nothing like the way I’d seen/heard of it before.

While there’s some truth in single stories, they all have one thing in common, they leave important things out. A good example can be seen with the author Chimamanda Adichie. Raised in a Middle Class family in Nigeria, she decided to go to College in the US. When meeting her American room mate, she was surprised that Chimamanda could speak English so well, despite being told that English was Nigeria’s official language. She was surprised that Chimamanda knew how to use a stove as she didn’t think that such basic facilities existed in Africa. When she  asked if she could hear some of her “tribal music”, she was pretty surprised when Chimamanda pulled out her Mariah Carey CD.

Like mentioned before, single stories leave vital bits of information out, making it very similar to propaganda as they’re used to manipulate people into thinking a certain way about a various noun. In the case of a continent like Africa, vital bits of information are constantly left out. While it’s true that there are people there who suffer from things like AIDs, conflict and poverty this only happens to some of them, not everyone, (in the same way that AIDs and poverty only affect some people in Britain and the United States rather than the whole nation). What’s left out is the fact that there are just as many there with average lives. There are middle class people who work and do things like drink coffee and read newspapers daily just like their counterparts in places like America, however many people will never know or believe this due to them hearing single stories that leave all these factors out.

While we all can’t control what is being said in these single stories, we can control whether to believe them or not. We also have the choice to look more into the topic and find out those vital parts of information that are being left out.
There are two sides to every story, in the case of a single story, we have to option to hear that other side and know the truth rather than one’s misconceptions.

January 2, 2010 at 1:04 pm Leave a comment


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