VSS eNewsletter 8 September 2009

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Vegetarian Society (Singapore)
8 September 2009
In This Issue

Editor's Note


Getaway to Tanjung Sutera: 17-18 Oct
‘Anyone Can Cook Vegetarian’ Cooking Class - 26 Sep
VSS Now on Twitter
Greetings from VSS’s First Intern
Mark Your Calendars: Oct-Nov VSS Talks at
Public Libraries


Update on Meatless Thursdays in Belgium
New Veg Restaurant on Serangoon Road
What Most People Don’t Know about Eggs
The Kind Diet
Learn Zen Japanese Vegetarian Cooking
Cooking with Kampung Senang
Swine Flu DVD Available
Meatout Thursdays at NUS
How I Became a Vegetarian

Not as unorthodox as crushing noodle packets in supermarkets, but certainly more rejuvenating – discover Tanjong Sutera with us in Oct and put the wind back in your sails.
Also meet Jennifer and Mo, our two vegetarian personalities this issue; diverse as they come, but one in veg.
Dr George M Jacobs

If you have any comments or suggestions, feel free to drop us a line here.
Subscribe to this newsletter here. Unsubscribe here
Visit us at www.vss.sg

Getaway to Tanjung Sutera: 17-18 Oct

2 days / 1 night trip organized by VSS; 17-18 Oct (Sat & Sun).
Imagine a cliff-top ocean-facing nature resort with panoramic views of sky and sea meeting seamlessly.
Imagine an idyllic Eden of undulating gardens, coconut trees, lily and fish ponds.
Welcome to Tanjung Sutera (Cape Silk), a home-style resort sited on a ‘Magical’ spot, 40 metres up from the South China Sea.
Join us for a rejuvenating weekend at Tanjong Sutera, just 1½ hours from JB. Register by 1 Oct and enjoy early bird discounts. More details here.

‘Anyone Can Cook Vegetarian’ Bilingual Cooking Class - 26 Sep

VSS is starting a series of cooking classes to make it easier for people to eat less or no meat. The teachers for our first session will be the bilingual Mrs & Mr Chng, who run a veg stall for Spore Technology staff. Of late, VSS members know them for the great veg food they have provided for VSS functions. People often askg the Chngs to share their cooking secrets. Now’s your chance to find out how they do it.
Date: 26 Sep (Sat) 2 – 5pm
Fee: $40 for VSS members / $50 for non-members
Limited to 15 participants. Please register early. Your reservation is confirmed when we receive your payment.
Recipes taught and tasted:
1) chicken rice
2) rojak
3) herbal soup
4) salad dish
5) mixed soya protein dish
6) dessert (lotus seed in green bean)
Location: Second Avenue - details will be sent upon registration.
Registration: email to whatscooking@vss.sg

VSS Now on Twitter

Now you can get updated on VSS news on Twitter. Please thank our member Kishore Balakrishnan who kindly launched the VSS Twitter page and helps update it. https://twitter.com/vssnews.
If you can help with other ways for VSS to spread our life-saving and earth-saving ideas and information, please contact us at info@vss.sg

Greetings from VSS’s First Intern

VSS has its first intern, Mo. He’s committed to vegetarianism and easy to get along with. We’d love to have more like him. Unfortunately, he’s only able to help until sometime in Oct. Below, Mo says hello.
Dear supporters of vegetarianism in Singapore,
People call me Mo, and as part of my studies at the Philipps University in Marburg (in Germany) I am currently doing an internship with Vegetarian Society (Singapore).
I still remember quite clearly how I slowly became aware of the horrible conditions under which animals are kept for meat production. That was in 2003. I did some research and also created a blog to help spread awareness. I began to boycott major fastfood chains, and a few months later, I asked myself what right we humans have to treat fellow beings as commodities. Consequently, about one year later, I decided to no longer contribute to demand for meat and leather.
At first, it was quite difficult, because I didn't know any people in my immediate environment thinking similarly. But I did it, and I can happily report that my parents and even some friends are cutting down their meat consumption lately as well. By being a vegetarian, I can not only help to reduce the demand for products made of captivity and suffering, not to mention the environmental destruction, but I can also help to make the negative impacts of meat consumption a topic everywhere I go and everywhere I eat. To consciously say no to meat is a statement which emanates.
In conclusion, although as a vegetarian, you can feel ostracised at times, please remember that you are not alone and that it is the only right thing to do.

Mark Your Calendars: Oct-Nov VSS Talks at Public Libraries

Beginning in Oct, VSS, in cooperation with NLB, is hosting a series of four free talks you won’t want to miss, each by a well-qualified speaker. Seating is on a first come, first served basis. The first hour of each of the two hour sessions will focus on what the presenter has to show and tell; the second hour will be open to the public to interact with the presenter and fellow audience members.

1. Presenter: Veronyka Lau, Cat Welfare Society
Topic: Caring for Animal Companions and Farm Animals
Date/Time: 3 Oct, 3pm-5pm
Venue: Bishan Public Library, Programme Zone (capacity: 70pax)
2. Presenter: Dr Sanjay Doshi, Mediline Wei Min Clinic
Topic: Anti-Aging through a Vegetarian Diet
Date/Time: 31 Oct, 3pm-5pm
Venue: Toa Payoh Public Library, Multi-Purpose Room (capacity: 30pax)
3. Presenter: Louis Ng, ACRES
Topic: Making a Difference for Animals
Date/Time: 21 Nov, 3pm-5pm
Venue: Central Public Library, Multi-Purpose Room, B1 near lending library (capacity: 70pax)
4. Presenter: Dr Harvey Neo, Geography Department, NUS
Topic: Meat Production and Land Use
Date/Time: 28 Nov, 3pm-5pm
Venue: Central Public Library, Multi-Purpose Room, B1 near lending library (capacity: 70pax)


Update on Meatless Thursdays in Belgium

Earlier this year, the city government of Ghent, Belgium declared Thursdays to be Meatless Days. We asked Tobias Leenaert of the Belgian organisation EVA (Ethical Vegetarian Alternative) for more on what’s happening there.
1. Please tell us the history of how Meatless Thursday came to be. What was your society's role in making this happen?
EVA started its “Thursday Veggie Day” campaign at the end of 2007. Last year, we managed to convince IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) chairperson, Dr Rajendra K. Pachauri, to come to Ghent and give a talk about meat and global warming: http://www.evana.org/index.php?id=36895&lang=en
Tom Balthazar, the Ghent councilman responsible for the environment, was there, and, after that, he became more and more convinced of the importance of meat reduction. We made contact with two of his staff who were also enthusiastic, and we suggested that they ask Balthazar if he would be prepared to officially proclaim Thursdays to be veggie days in Ghent. Apparently, he didn't need much convincing, and he managed to get his colleagues on the executive council of the city to go along with him.
2. How does the city government support the Meatless Thursdays? Is it just lip service?
The city supports the campaign in several ways: we receive financial support; several city employees have already spent many days on the campaign; we have developed and distributed campaign materials together; we organized the launch event together; and from October, 2009 onwards, city funded schools will have vegetarian dishes by default on Thursday. The latter was decided by the councilman for the environment. So no, it’s definitely not just lip service.
3. What is the public reaction? What percentage of people would you estimate are reducing their meat consumption?
We haven't done any research yet; we plan to that in October. But so far we have heard many, many positive comments, and many people tell us they are participating.
4. Are other Belgian cities or towns thinking of following Ghent's example?
The town of Hasselt has already declared that it will start in October. There have also been some other towns expressing an interest, and we will start working on the bigger cities, like Antwerp and Brussels. Internationally, Sao Paulo, Brazil is already convinced, and they're working on it in France, UK, Austria, Israel, etc.
5. Has your organisation grown as a result of the success of Veggie Day?
We have certainly received a lot of attention and inquiries, and we have attracted new advertisers and interested potential partners. We recently also received a national sustainability award. I can feel that the whole campaign has brought us a lot of recognition and that the road is wide open for further growth. We have also received a lot of international inquiries from sister organisations all over, and it's particularly rewarding to see that our campaign has inspired other people.
6. What is being planned to broaden and deepen Veggie Day?
We are now trying to organize something on the European level, and are checking if we can collaborate with the Meatless Monday campaign by Paul McCartney. We are also getting the support again of Dr. Pachauri, who will urge other cities to follow Ghent's example.

Furthermore, we want to make sure Ghent succeeds as a pilot city and serves as an example for other cities to follow.
7. Any advice for organisations hoping to do something similar?
My main advice would be to take this from the environmental and health angle, not from an animal rights angle. The meat reduction angle is also much more successful than the all-or-nothing vegetarian angle. Obviously, it's good to present the benefits for the city or the city official involved. Make them concrete (CO2 saved, health benefits…). In general, I think it is fruitful to work at a city level rather than a national level.
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