VSS eNewsletter 15 October 2009

Vegetarian Society (Singapore)
15 October 2009
In This Issue

Editor's Note


International Day of Climate Action -
24 Oct, Padang & SMU

Anyone Can Cook Vegetarian! -
with Nazli Anwari - 7 Nov

Exhibition at NUS Central Library
Sg Veg Food Guide Now at Bookstores & News Stands
VSS Speaks at Green Drinks – 29 Oct
Library Talk, 31 Oct: ‘Anti-Aging through Anti-Oxidant Foods’
Cycling on Palau Ubin - 1 Nov
Can’t Wait for the Next VSS eNewsletter?
Follow VSS on Twitter

What’s VSS Up To?

Health Story
Veg Diet Tips from the US Government
Are Vegetarians Preachy Fanatics?
Burger Beware
Beak Trimming of Chickens
Korea as Veg-Friendly
Altruism in Other Animals
Free Documentary at NUS – 22Oct – ‘The Witness’

What's in a number? Perhaps the difference between climate safety and catastrophe. Learn why 350 is so significant and join hundreds in Singapore for a fun and meaningful day on 24th Oct!
Dr George M Jacobs

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International Day of Climate Action, 24 Oct, Padang & SMU

Be part of an international day featuring over 1500 events worldwide on Sat, 24 Oct. Details on the Singapore events at: http://www.vegetarian-society.org/350

Anyone Can Cook Vegetarian! - with Nazli Anwari - 7 Nov

Be inspired by the delectable and health-giving cuisine of spa consultant & horticulturist, Nazli Anwari. Learn to prepare these exquisite dishes:
Gotu Kola Salad
Mediterranean Digestive
Drumstick Spicy Dhal Salad
Celery Medley
Humus and caramelized vegetables
Limited to 20 persons. Click here for registration and more details.

Exhibition at NUS Central Library

An NUS student group, Peace (People Ending Animal Cruelty & Exploitation) - http://blog.nus.edu.sg/animalwelfare - formerly the Animal Welfare group, invited VSS to display our exhibition materials as part of a larger exhibition at the NUS Central Library Lobby Area from 14-23 Oct. If you would like to help to staff our exhibition, pls contact info@vss.sg and let us know which weekdays from 9am-3pm you might be available.

Sg Veg Food Guide Now at Bookstores and News Stands

VSS is very happy to announce that our Singapore Vegetarian Food Guide is now on sales in many bookstores and news stands. For a list of outlets, please visit http://www.vegetarian-society.org/svfg

VSS Speaks at Green Drinks – 29 Oct

Held every last Thursday of the month, Green Drinks is a platform for companies, social groups and individuals to raise awareness of environmental issues, and a space for people who want to find out how they can make a difference and meet like-minded people. Already active in 615 cities worldwide, Green Drinks sessions start from 8pm (closer to 8.30 in Sg) and include presentations by people in the green circle, and are held in an informal atmosphere.
The Oct session of Singapore’s Green Drinks incarnation - www.greendrinkssingapore.com - takes place on Thu, 29 Oct and features a Q&A session on the topic of permaculture, organic and non-organic farming, as well as food issues. A VSS representative, along with Andrew Tay, from ACRES, and others will be fielding questions.
The venue is Food #03, at 109 Rowell Road in Little India. By bus - 21, 23, 64, 65, 66, 67, 131, 139, 147, 857, NR6; MRT - Farrer Park (NE8), exit G.
Info: 9688.7449.


Library Talk, 31 Oct: ‘Anti-Aging through Anti-Oxidant Foods’

Toa Payoh Public Library, Multi-Purpose Room, is the venue for the next VSS talk, on Sat, 31 Oct, 3pm-5pm. The speaker, Dr Sanjay Doshi, of Mediline Wei Min Clinic, will explore ‘Anti-Aging through Anti-Oxidant Foods’. As the room we have at Toa Payoh Public Library holds only 30 people, please be on time to secure a seat.
Seating for all the talks is on a first come, first served basis; no reservations are possible. 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.
Here’s the schedule for the two November talks.
Date/Time: 21 Nov, 3pm-5pm
Presenter: Louis Ng, ACRES
Title: Making a Difference for Animals
Venue: Central Public Library, Multi-Purpose Room, B1 near lending library (capacity: 70pax)
Date/Time: 28 Nov, 3pm-5pm
Presenter: Dr Harvey Neo, Geography Department, NUS
Title: Meat Production and Land Use
Venue: Central Public Library, Multi-Purpose Room, B1 near lending library (capacity: 70pax)
We hope to have another series of talks next year. If you’d like to help plan them, pls contact VSS at info@vss.sg


Cycling on Palau Ubin - 1 Nov

On Sun, 1 Nov Sun, VSS is planning another joint bicycling event with the Singapore Adventurous Meetup Group. This time, instead of ECP, we'll be going to Palau Ubin.
Imagine cycling on rustic Singapore roads. Imagine that you see only green, coconuts trees and barking dogs, with no traffic (not to mention no traffic jams), scenes that are long gone in our daily life on mainland Singapore.
You can take this time travel trip on Pulau Ubin. Cycling is the best way to explore this slice of good old Spore.
8.30am: Participants gather at Changi Ferry Terminal for boat trip to Ubin (best to arrive on Ubin early to get good bikes and to beat the Sunday crowds)
9.00am: Quick breakfast on Ubin
9.30am: Choosing & testing bicycles
9.45am: Safety briefing/grouping/planning of cycling route -> cycling start
12.15pm: Cycling ends/feedback & comments
12.45pm: Arrive back at Changi Ferry Terminal
1.00pm: Lunch on your own or with your newfound friends
Please bring cash for the following expenses
1. Cost of the bumboat: $2.50/person/trip (wef 15 Apr 08).

--- Maximum 12 passengers per trip
--- additional charge if you bring your own bike on the ferry
2. Bicycle rent will vary from $6 - $10 depending on type of bicycle you chose. Bicycles with full suspension highly recommended
3. Breakfast & Lunch
Things you MUST bring or wear:
1. at least 1.5 litres of water/isotonic drinks
2. comfortable shoes & sport wear
3. cap
4. sun block
Please ensure you know EXACTLY how to get to the meetup point and that you arrive ON-TIME. To make sure you arrive on time, it's best to share taxi, as the bus route is very long and unpredictable.
TS at 9296.1943 tschua@waltoninternational.com.sg
Kheng at 6258.5031 kheng@vss.sg


Can’t Wait for the Next VSS eNewsletter? Follow VSS on Twitter

VSS is proud of our free eNewsletter, especially with its new look, with the content that readers send it and with about 5400 email addresses subscribed. But enewsletters are so Web 1.0. To keep up with the times, VSS also uses Web 2.0 media, such as Facebook and Twitter. With Twitter, any time we have news to share, we can tweet it to those who follow us on Twitter.
To sign up - it’s free - go to http://twitter.com/vssnews


What’s VSS Up To?

This is a new feature that talks about things VSS is working on that aren’t yet ‘ripe’ enough for inclusion as a regular article in the VSS eNewsletter. If you’d like to help make these events happen, contact info@vss.sg. If you want more information, please wait for things to ripen. Thx.
1. The Asian Vegetarian Congress, 6-9 Nov, in Batam. We will be giving talks, helping with logistics and, as Batam’s neighbour, entertaining visitors from around the region and beyond.

2. Visit by Dr R.K. Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore. He is tentatively scheduled to appear, via video conference, on 9 Nov. Do you know of places with video conferencing equipment?

3. Visit by Dr Caldwell Esselstyn, author of ‘Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease’. Scheduled for March, 2010.

4. GIRO fundraising scheme.

5. More letters to the Forum pages of newspapers and other publications.

6. ‘Meat Less in Singapore’ Starter Kit



Health Story

Recently, VSS asked people to share their stories about how going veg or at least eating less meat seemed to have led to improved health. Of course, such stories do not constitute scientific evidence. Here’s one story from someone who went veg to show kindness to our fellow animals, but seems to have received a health bonus. Please send your story to info@vss.sg
I just wanted to share that my health has improved a lot since i became a vegetarian. I used to fall sick very often. In fact, I had colds almost every week. I was constantly sniffling away and generally weak. It affected my concentration, and I had to put in double the effort to focus at work which, of course, caused fatigue which, in turn, brought on the illnesses again. So, it was a vicious cycle.
However, when i became a vegetarian, I began to fall ill less often. In fact, I can last a few weeks without falling ill. I did not even notice this initially. The people around me pointed it out. I am so happy, especially now that I can concentrate and focus so much better.

Another change has been to my asthma. Before I went veg, if I did not use my inhaler every night, a few hours later, I would have an asthma attack. However, since going veg, on the few occasions that I forgot to use my inhaler, I was still ok even till the next afternoon.
I became a vegetarian, because I wanted to do my part in saving the animals especially knowing the horrors of factory farming. I never thought that there would be such positive health benefits as well. I would strongly urge everyone to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle. Not only will you be making a difference to the animals, you would also be making a difference to your health.
Andrea Kwan
Campaigns Officer
Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES)



Veg Diet Tips from the US Government

Life is full of contradictions. Here’s one. The U.S. government spends huge amount of money subsidizing production of animal based foods and encouraging their consumption. Yet, the same government’s US Department of Agriculture also puts out information on how we can be healthy on a plant based diet: http://www.mypyramid.gov/downloads/


Are Vegetarians Preachy Fanatics?

Some meat eaters claim that vegetarians are arrogant people who are always preaching at others about the horrors of meat consumption and production. In this article, a vegetarian responds: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ari-solomon/

The moving YouTube video mentioned in the article is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUkHkyy4uqw

Burger Beware

The following is a detailed article from The New York Times about food poisoning in hamburger meat and its occasionally disastrous effects. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/04/health/


Beak Trimming of Chickens

Chickens have the dubious distinction to humans’ favourite animals (at least land animal) to eat, with more than 40 billion eaten annually. And, their lives before slaughter (at about the age of 6 weeks) is no party either. For instance, to lessen injuries on the terribly crowded factory farms, chickens’ beaks are cut. Earlier, the UK enacted legislation to ban this from 2011, but a move is afoot to roll back the ban.
Our friends at Compassion in World Farming (makers of the video ‘Eat Less Meat’) have a petition drive to save the ban: http://tinyurl.com/yjvjzae


Korea as Veg-Friendly

It’s an unmistakable trend. Countries that used to be considered as vegetarian obstacle courses are now becoming veg-friendly. Korea is a case in point, as described in the following article (in English) from a Korean newspaper:

And, here’s something about veg-themed films at a film festival in Korea: http://tinyurl.com/yko8pw2
For veg vocab in Korean: http://www.ivu.org/phrases/easia.html


Altruism in Other Animals

Some meat eaters tell us that it’s okay to eat other animals because they have little or no intelligence and don’t experience emotions the way that we humans, the highest animal, do. Here’s a video that adds yet another piece of evidence that seems to debunk that view. (Note: one can never be too sure of the accuracy of what’s found on the internet.)
This raises the issue of whether it is altruistic to be vegetarian. It might be since we are helping our fellow animals. On the other hand, since there’s evidence that being vegetarian is good for our health, maybe vegetarianism is a form of self-protection, not altruism. What do you think?


Free Documentary at NUS – 22 Oct – ‘The Witness’

NUS PEACE is sponsoring a free showing of the film, The Witness - http://www.witnessfilm.org - on Thu, 22 Oct, 6.30-8.30pm, NUS Central Library Theatrette. Here’s from the website blurb.
How does a construction contractor from a tough Brooklyn neighborhood become an impassioned animal advocate?
In the award-winning documentary THE WITNESS, Eddie Lama explains how he feared and avoided animals for most of his life, until the love of a kitten opened his heart, inspiring him to rescue abandoned animals and bring his message of compassion to the streets of New York. With humor and sincerity, Eddie tells the story of his remarkable change in consciousness.
THE WITNESS has been an official selection in 32 film festivals where it has received eight awards for Best Documentary and two for Best of Festival. It has been broadcast on the independent film showcases of several regional PBS stations, as well as LinkTV, FreeSpeech TV, and United Kingdom's Community Channel. Thus far, the film has been translated into 11 languages, including Russian and Chinese.


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