VSS eNewsletter 27 October 2009

Vegetarian Society (Singapore)
27 October 2009
In This Issue

Editor's Note

VSS NEWS

International Day of Climate Action – Wrap-Up
 
VSS Speaks at Green Drinks – 29 Oct
 
Library Talk, 31 Oct:
‘Anti-Aging through Anti-Oxidant Foods’

 
Cycling on Palau Ubin - 1 Nov
 
Green Talk at LKY School – 11 Nov
 
Countdown to Copenhagen Concert – 13 Nov
 
Assembly of Youth for Environment –
Labrador Park - 17 Nov

 
Letter to my paper – Meat and Fur Are Both Cruel
 
GENERAL NEWS

From Sg - How I Became a Vegetarian
 
How I Became a Vegetarian – A US Story
 
New Restaurant on Upper East Coast Road
 
Sign of the Times: Draft Animal Cruelty Law in China
 
Update from One Meatless Day Campaign in Brazil
 
Fun Way To Send a Message to Copenhagen
 
Watch ‘HOME’ Online

The hot topic is climate change - here in Singapore and around the world, thousands of events marked the International Day of Climate Action. And in cyberspace, Greenpeace gives new meaning to the term 'thinking out of the box'.
 
Dr George M Jacobs


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

 

International Day of Climate Action – Wrap-Up

VSS was one of the main organisers of the International Day of Climate Action events in Singapore: www.350sg.com. According to the international website, there were more than 5000 events in more than 170 countries, making it possibly the most widespread concerted action for change in the history of the world: www.350.org
 
Click here for visuals from the Singapore event. Here’s - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9LLXLkeZSI - a YouTube video by Bhavani Prakash who runs the website ‘Eco Walk the Talk’: http://www.ecowalkthetalk.com
 
We’d like to thank all the other organisations and eateries that made the events possible: ECO (our co-organiser), Acres, Loving Hut, Whole Earth, Naïve and 7 Sensations.
 
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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.
 
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=
109+Rowell+Road%2C+Singapore%2C+Singapore
Info: 9688.7449.
 
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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.
 
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
 
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Cycling on Palau Ubin - 1 Nov

On Sun, 1 Nov, 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.
 
Program
 
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.
 
Contact
 
TS at 9296.1943 tschua@waltoninternational.com.sg
 
Kheng at 6258.5031 kheng@vss.sg
 
Website:
http://www.meetup.com/Singapore-Adventurous-Group/
calendar/11549311/

 
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Green Talk at LKY School – 11 Nov

Wed, 11 Nov, 5-7.30pm, VSS is helping to organise a panel discussion, titled “Green Talk”, by IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) experts. The venue is the auditorium of the LKY School of Public Policy.
 
Details: Lim May-Ann, Senior Executive, Public Education, Policy and Research. Please attend and help the veg voice to be heard.
 
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Countdown to Copenhagen Concert – 13 Nov

VSS is a supporter for the Countdown to Copenhagen Concert, Fri, 13 Nov, from 10pm, at Indochine Empress Place. Copenhagen is hosting the big international climate change conference, starting 7 Dec: http://www.hopenhagen.org.
 
Organisers are hoping to attract 2000 people, and VSS has been invited to do outreach to them. Any ideas/want to help: info@vss.sg
 
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Assembly of Youth for Environment – Labrador Park - 17 Nov

The inaugural “Assembly of Youth for Environment” will be held in Labrador Nature Reserve, Tue, 17 Nov, 9am-12.30pm, in conjunction with International Energy Week. This event is jointly organized by Eureka Junction (MOE’s S2 Cluster Science and Innovation Centre), National Parks Board, Singapore Polytechnic and Addest Technovation; and supported by the National Environment Agency, Singapore Environment Council and VSS.
 
The event aims:
(a) To raise the awareness of sustainable energy and climate change among youths.
(b) To empower youths to make an improvement for an environmentally sustainable future
(c)To provide a platform for youths to embark on collaborative environmental improvement projects
 
On-line registration at http://www.queenswaysec.moe.edu.sg/
environment/environment.html

 
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Letter to my paper – Meat and Fur Are Both Cruel

The following letter by a VSS member appeared, in a slightly changed form, in ‘my paper’ of 21 Oct.
 
I refer to Kong Soon Wah’s expose “Buying a fur coat? Watch this video first” (my paper, 19 Oct). Sadly, such horrible treatment is suffered not only by the fellow animals whom we use for fur but also those whom we use for food.
 
We are treating chickens, pigs and other non-human animals as if they were mere objects, when, in fact, they are intelligent, feeling fellow beings, as revealed by researchers who have studied them. Imagine, please, how we humans would feel if more intelligent beings from another planet took a liking to human flesh and treated us the way we treat chickens, fish, pigs and others.
 
This cruelty is graphically documented in videos by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), such as ‘Meet Your Meat’ - http://www.goveg.com/factoryFarming.asp - and others of the growing number of organisations worldwide that are speaking up for defenceless animals. Warning: do not watch these videos just before you are planning to tuck into a meat dish; you may end up losing your appetite. Best to plan for a vegetarian meal after you finish viewing. Not only your stomach, but also your heart and mind, will thank you.
 
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From Sg: How I Became a Vegetarian

Here’s another in our occasional series in which people recount their path to vegetarianism. This one is by Mr Ong Wee Heng.
 
Never did I think that I would switch to become vegetarian. Meat was my first love. Then, one day I watched a video that showed a “red lake” created by the blood of thousands of animals slaughtered at a large abattoir in the U.S. The video contrasted this horrible red lake with a beautiful blue sea. The contrast started me thinking, and I began to cut down my meat consumption. After the Sichuan Earthquake in May, 2008, I decided to be a vegetarian for one month. After the month was up, I decided to continue into a second month.
 
During that period, I was still not very firm on being a vegetarian. I told myself that when the time was up, I would go back to enjoying my meat. But into the third month, I developed a strong feeling that in order to help others and the planet I should do away with meat completely and forever.
 
As a senior manager in my company, I have to attend many entertainment functions. When I first became vegetarian, I felt awkward telling others about my new diet. However, after the second month, I decided to be honest about it and was pleasantly surprised by the positive response. For instance, when my company hosted a seventh lunar month dinner for staff and their guests, they even requested a vegetarian table for me. Nowadays, I see meals with others as an opportunity to gently promote vegetarianism.
 
Nowadays, whenever I walk past a roast meat stall, there is no more ‘urge’. Sometimes, I even feel it is smelly. After getting over my desire for meat, I started to abstain from drinking. As a result of these changes, my weight has gone down, and I have become much healthier.
 
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How I Became a Vegetarian – A US Story

This is a five-page article from the New York Times - http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/11/
magazine/11foer-t.htm?pagewanted=1
– part of a non-fiction book titled ‘Eating Animals’ by an up-and-coming novelist, to be published this November - http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/
0,28804,1920701_1920699_1920686,00.html

 
Here’s an excerpt from the middle of the article, but the best part is right at the end, about the author’s grandmother who almost died of hunger during WWII.

 
While the cultural uses of meat can be replaced, … there is still the question of pleasure. A vegetarian diet can be rich and fully enjoyable, but I couldn’t honestly argue, as many vegetarians try to, that it is as rich as a diet that includes meat. (Those who eat chimpanzee look at the Western diet as sadly deficient of a great pleasure.) I love calamari, I love roasted chicken, I love a good steak. But I don’t love them without limit.
 
This isn’t animal experimentation, where you can imagine some proportionate good at the other end of the suffering. This is what we feel like eating. Yet taste, the crudest of our senses, has been exempted from the ethical rules that govern our other senses. Why? Why doesn’t a horny person have as strong a claim to raping an animal as a hungry one does to confining, killing and eating it? It’s easy to dismiss that question but hard to respond to it. Try to imagine any end other than taste for which it would be justifiable to do what we do to farmed animals.
 
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New Restaurant on Upper East Coast Road

Thanks to a reader for alerting us to a new veg restaurant: Natural Green Vegetarian Restaurant, 91 East Coast Road, S 428791, 6348.1338. Details at http://www.vegetarian-society.org/node/1119
 
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Sign of the Times: Draft Animal Cruelty Law in China

The famous civil rights campaigner, Martin Luther King, Jr., once stated, “The arc of justice is long but bends toward justice”. Another sign of the oh-so-slow, but seemingly sure trend towards greater justice for our fellow animals is the recent draft animal protection law in China - http://tinyurl.com/yz5xywv
 
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Update from One Meatless Day Campaign in Brazil

The campaign is going VERY well - many possibilities at hand - we are planning now launching in Rio (with support of some BIG names - already Marisa Monte - who will wear our T-shirt - and many more. Next is coming Salvador, Brasilia, Floripa, Campinas, Sao Lourenço da Serra (this one the Mayor is veg).
 
And, here’s more on the international growth of the one meatless day per week movement: http://www.meatlessmonday.com/join-the-movement
 
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Fun Way To Send a Message to Copenhagen

Greenpeace has come up with a fun online way to sent a message to the world leaders gathering at the UN Climate Change conference in Dec in Copenhagen: http://www.action-pact.org/copenhagen-times/
?source=conf&sesid=1256231617.010393027

 
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Watch ‘HOME’ Online

Click on the link below to see the full length film produced by French photographer and environmentalist Yann Arthus Bertrand, just released this year. It is made available, free of charge, on the Internet so that as many people as possible can see it. Look at what's happening to the Earth, our Home. Look at it from above, from the air: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqxENMKaeCU
 
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