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Olympic Gender Inequality in London 2012: Women Still Stride Behind

August 9th, 2012 Posted by General No Comment yet

Olympic Gender Inequality

It is obvious that women still get discriminated against in many areas in the world, including many of the most developed nations. However, I’m actually shock to know that gender inequity still stares in your eyes glaringly under the Olympic spot light!

I’m not just taking about the female athletes wearing hijab on the track and field in the Olympics. Granted, taking into the consideration their starting point, their attendence itself is already a leap. I’m refering to Australia and Japan. Seriously? In Australia? Where the Prime Minister’s first name is Julia?

The current world champion, the Japanese female football team flew premium economy while their less successful male counter flew business. The Japanese Football Associate (JFA) has suggested that its women footballer may get an upgrade on their way home. “May” is not good enough, JFA! There is an online petition on for JFA to change their discriminating treatment towards its female players. Support it here!

And do you know that there are 5 men’s Olympic canoe events but none for women?  A female canoeist, Samantha Rippington, the current British champion in canoeing, has launched a legal challenge last month to the Olympics organiser for a good reason for the exclusion. Would there be?

When I first read the Straits Time article on July 21st, “Fury Over Second-Class Trip”, I could not believe that this disparate treatment is right in the open. And that the chirvalous Australian male basket ballers let that happened to their female counterparts! (Ok, I should stop being sarcastic here). Not to forget that the Australian men basket ball team (ranked 9th) has not gotten an olympic medal before while their female counterpart has won 3 silver and 1 bronze and is currently ranked 2nd in the world.

The disparate treatment is also mirrored in Australian soccer and cricket team. And the poor excuse given by the Football Federation Australia that “The Socceroos tend to be scattered all over the world and need to be flown into various locations on short time turnrounds…” Yes, the last time I check, you do not fly faster when you are seated in Business class.

Cricket Australia’s excuse was that “the men’s team generated a high percentage of the revenue that is then plunged back into the game to develop women’s cricket.” Obviously, the “plunge-back” was not enough.

If there were so many “unjust” events happening in the open, guess what could be done in the dark? I do not call myself a feminist but hey, it is 2012! Women were first allowed to compete in Olympics in 1896, 116 years ago. It’s about time the stride towards gender equality be taken with more Olympic gusto! Olympic gender inequality persists.  Note that one of the key missions of the International Olympic Council is to “Encourage and support the promotion of women in sport at all levels and in all structures with a view to implementing the principle of equality of men and women.” I cheer to that!

Starbucks is not Vegetarian!

April 3rd, 2012 Posted by General No Comment yet

I am never a big Starbucks fan. Since I’m transiting from being a lacto-vegetarian to vegan (read my article on vegetarianism here), I have been avoiding Starbucks for its lattes, hot chocolates and frappacinos. But one thing that I could never guess is that there is Beetle Extract in their Frappaccinos! How could you, Starbucks? No, it is not acceptable that you are using “we are moving away from artificial dyes” as an excuse for crushing the Beetles. Yes, we do not want artificial coloring, but we do not want any beetles either! I guess “no artificial coloring” is no longer a safe label for all health nuts, unless you are bug friendly.

What is alarming to me is that Starbucks acknowledges they cannot guarantee that their drinks are free from animal-derived products due to cross contamination. Yes, cross contamination with milk might be acceptable to many Vegans, but cross contamination with bettle juice? – NO THANKS!

Read more here. (Source:

“Starbucks enraged vegetarians this week after confirming that its strawberry flavored drinks contain a new ingredient of cochineal extract — a red dye made out of crushed cochineal beetles.A vegan Starbucks barista first leaked the news on by providing a list of new ingredients used in the Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino and strawberry-flavored smoothies.

Two years ago the company launched the”However-You-Want-it Frappuccino” and confirmed the drinks could be made vegan if made with soymilk.

Starbucks explained in a company statement that the new extract is part of a wider move to minimize the amount of artificial ingredients in its products. Though it can create a vegan ingredient drink, it can’t guarantee a completely pure drink thanks to cross-contamination of animal-derived products at stores. The company’s complete statement reads in full:

At Starbucks, we strive to carry products that meet a variety of dietary lifestyles and needs. We also have the goal to minimize artificial ingredients in our products. While the strawberry base isn’t a vegan product, it helps us move away from artificial dyes.

Many Starbucks ingredients can be combined to create a beverage free from animal-derived products; however, we are unable to guarantee this due to the potential cross-contamination with other animal-derived products in our retail locations.

Cochineal is nothing new. Deemed safe by the FDA, the extract is an additive found in a number of food and cosmetic products. The World Health Organization, however, found that cochineal extract can cause severe allergic reactions in some individuals, while asthma may be triggered in others. Co-founder and managing director of Daelyn Fortney took to to start a petition to stop use of the dye in the drinks. With 717 out of 1,000 signatures so far, the campaign is under way to get Starbucks to opt for other natural alternatives.




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