VSS eNewsletter 26 November 2009

Vegetarian Society (Singapore)
26 November 2009
In This Issue

Editor's Note

VSS NEWS

Last VSS Library Talk of 2009 – 28 Nov
 
The Age of Stupid -
Movie and Dinner under the Stars - 5 Dec

 
VSS Gets a New Face!
 
Check Out Our Corporate Members
 
Report on China Xiamen
International Vegetarian & Organic Fair 2009

 
Quoted in My Paper
 
Forum Page Letters on
World Hunger and Global Warming

 
GENERAL NEWS

Life in Sg Keeps Getting Better for Vegetarians
 
How I Became a Vegetarian at Age 7
 
Losing Weight the Veg Way
 
Brownie Factory in New Location
 
After Skinny Bitch, Now It’s Skinny Bastard
 
NutriHub News
 
World Vegan Day Message
 
Three Little Pigs Revisited
 
Sarah Palin’s View of Veg – No Surprise
 
Animal, Vegetable, Miserable
 
Talk on Physiology & Waldorf Curriculum
 
VegVibe’s Nov09 Issue
 
Amazonia Exhibition till 30Nov

With Hopenhagen just over a week away, VSS is screening climate change movie
THE AGE OF STUPID. Do the smart thing - join us on 5th Dec for movie and dinner under the stars!
 
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

 


Last VSS Library Talk of 2009 - 28 Nov

VSS’s final 2009 library will be on Sat, 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

 
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The Age of Stupid - Movie and Dinner under the Stars - 5 Dec

Hailed as an incredibly powerful and emotional film, The Age of Stupid is a drama-documentary starring Oscar-nominated Pete Postlethwaite. In the devastated world of 2055, he watches 'archive' footage from 2008 and asks: why didn't we stop climate change while we had the chance? (More details here.)


 
“It is definitely going to change my life. It was so powerful and so moving I wanted it to go on for another hour." Gillian Anderson, actress
 
Catch this thought-provoking film in a beautiful garden setting, while enjoying a delicious, earth-saving, vegan vegetarian dinner from Loving Hut.
 
More details and registration here.
 
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VSS Gets a New Face!

Drop by our website and you’ll notice a brand new symbol perched on top left - the new VSS logo!
 
At once a butterfly as well as four leaves, the new image embodies change towards a more natural way of living.
 
Thanks to long-time friend and vegan, Juggi Ramakrishnan, for helping to develop it!

 
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Check Out Our Corporate Members

VSS has a new corporate member. Tian Ran Vegetarian Food manufactures and imports a wide variety of veg foods. You can visit their store at Block 3017, Bedok North Street 5, #03-30 Gourmet East Kitchen, S. 486121, Tel: 6445.1686, http://www.tianranveg.com.sg
http://www.vegetarian-society.org/CorporateMember
 
Also, in the right frame of our homepage – www.vss.sg – you’ll see two ads from other corporate members, The Whole Earth and Naïve restaurants.

 
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Report on China Xiamen International Vegetarian & Organic Fair 2009

Earlier this month, VSS engaged with the world's 3rd largest economy, when, in conjunction with the 1st China Xiamen International Vegetarian Food Fair, we were part of a forum which had five speakers discussing three broad topics – vegetarianism’s evolution and how Asia can play a larger role in vegetarianism’s future; nutritional aspects of vegetarianism; and how businesses can serve vegetarians and meat reducers. VSS member Lee Song Mau was our representative, touching on the business aspect.
 
Speaking in Mandarin, he gave a concise discourse of the various factors that support a booming vegetarian industry, what vegetarians want and some suggestions on what people can do to build sustainable businesses. What surprised him was that people from Malaysia, Mongolia, Taiwan and, of course, all over China were very enthusiastic and sincere in learning everything they could about vegetarianism. Name cards were exchanged and possibly, some overseas links could be established in the near future. With this successful inaugural vegetarian fair and forum, let's hope that vegetarianism will prosper in the most populous nation and the world!

 
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Quoted in My Paper

A VSS Exco member was quoted in an article in My Paper of 16 Nov. Written by Kong Soon Wah, the article is titled, “Say ‘No’ to foie gras and veal”. The VSS member is quoted as writing, “Imagine 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, fishes and pigs, for example. This cruelty is graphically documented in videos such as Meet Your Meat at www.goveg.com/factoryFarming.asp”.
 
To conclude his article, Mr Kong follows the VSS quote by writing, “So, the next time you are in a restaurant, spare a thought for ducks, geese, calves, lambs, sharks… Make an informed choice”.
http://www.vegetarian-society.org/node/957

 
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Forum Page Letters on World Hunger & Global Warming

Writing to the media, both the traditional media and the new media, offers one way to get veg voices heard. Of course, our letters/comments won’t always be published. Here are two letters. The first was not published by ST, but the second appeared in the online edition of TODAY: www.todayonline.com/voices
 
Letter #1 (unpublished)
 
I refer to “Save the hungry, give one euro a week” in the Straits Times of 15 November, 2009 and “Gearing up for the end of cheap food” in the Straits Times of 14 November, 2009. As these pieces point out, the situation is indeed urgent with approximately one billion people
 
In addition to donating money, as proposed by the World Food Programme, we can also address world hunger by changing our diets, because what we eat strongly impacts the world’s food supply. When we eat one kg of meat, we are actually eating many kgs of plant food, the plant food fed to the animals on our plates.
 
In fact, there is already more than enough food to feed everyone, if some of that food were not diverted to become feed for meat production. Estimates of how many kgs of plant food are required to produce one kg of meat vary widely, but certainly chickens, pigs, etc. are not going to gain one kg of weight for every one kg of plant food they eat.
 
The point is that we who can afford to eat meat regularly make a choice each time we have a meal. Will I eat food that comes directly from the earth, nurtured by the sun’s energy, or will I eat indirectly by eating animals fed plant foods? It’s not just a lifestyle decision; it’s not just about what tastes best. It’s also about freeing resources to feed our fellow humans.
 

Letter #2 (published online)
 
I refer to “Earth will get hotter”, TODAY, 19 November. The large majority of climate scientists are warning that we must prioritize the reduction of our greenhouse gas emissions or face catastrophic, possibly irreversible, consequences. This is not a science fiction movie, such as the recent film ‘2012’; this is ever-worsening reality.
 
Fortunately, there is one easy way to cut our greenhouse gas emissions: eat less meat. The UN’s 2006 report, Livestock’s Long Shadow, attributes 18% of our greenhouse gas emissions on livestock, whereas transportation accounts for 13%.
 
As a result of this and other research, more and more international leaders, including Nobel Peace Prize winner, Al Gore, are asking us to reduce meat consumption. Instead, global meat consumption is projected to double by 2050.
 
Dr R. K. Pachauri, head of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change believes that reducing meat consumption is the biggest single contribution people can make to curbing climate change, and he has called on people to try going meatless one day a week. He himself goes meatless every day.
 
Others are following Mr Gore and Dr Pachauri’s lead. For instance, the cities of Ghent, Belgium and Sao Paulo, Brazil have one day a week in which everyone is encouraged to enjoy meatless meals. In the UK, meat-free menus are being promoted in hospitals as part of a National Health Service strategy to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
 
The German government’s environment agency went further, advising people to eat meat only on special occasions. Meat reduction for green reasons is in line with a trend in Germany to eat less meat for health reasons. According to Destatis, Germany's federal statistics agency, meat consumption there has dropped from 64kg per capita per year in 1991 to 58.7kg today.
 
Let’s hope that the world’s governments meeting in Copenhagen in December reach an agreement that can strongly reverse our greenhouse gas emissions. However, we need not leave everything to government. Every day, every time we eat, we can do our part by enjoying a diet lower in meat. And, who knows, our health may benefit too.

 
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Life in Sg Keeps Getting Better for Vegetarians

Here are two hopeful experiences that your faithful editor had this month. These stories give hope that healthy vegetarianism is on the rise here.
 
1. At his neighbourhood veg stall there was, lo and behold, a raw dish: shredded green and red cabbage lightly seasoned with vinegar and plum sauce. The stall assistant said that they now have a raw option a few times each week.
 
2. He went out for Sunday breakfast with seven meat eaters who chose a shop that didn’t have any veg options; so, he went to the next door shop to get something to take over to eat with his seven friends. As he was ordering, in comes another person who was there for the same reason. Although she was also vegetarian, she hadn’t yet heard of VSS. They had a nice chat and agreed to gently encourage the shop to include a veg option.
 
3. He went to a new organic vegetarian restaurant: http://www.vegetarian-society.org/node/1124 You might also like to visit and give them your feedback.
 
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How I Became a Vegetarian at Age 7

At the Assembly of Youth for the Environment event at Labrador Park, we met a Sec 1 student who described how all by herself she went veg when she was seven. Here’s her story.
 
I was seven years old when I became vegetarian. I decided to become a vegetarian, as all the meat started to taste weird to me. There wasn’t any special event that occurred. I didn’t read any pamphlet or watch any video, and no one else in my family was vegetarian.
 
At first, my parents objected to my vegetarian diet. They worried that I wouldn’t get enough nutrients; so, they tried many ways to convince me to eat meat again. As the years passed, they realized they should accept my vegetarian diet and not force me to do something that I’m not comfortable with. My friends had no reaction to me being vegetarian. I have remained as a vegetarian as I’ve grown up. Now, at age 13, I have no regrets about changing my eating ways.
 
I am a vegetarian that’s not going to give up on my diet any time soon. I feel that being a vegetarian is probably my own way of lessening the number of animals being killed daily. Trust me, after you’ve seen the way the animals are slaughtered, you won’t feel like eating meat any more.
 
I’ve also learnt only recently how the shark fin in shark fin soup is obtained. After the sharks are caught, their fins are cut off. Then, they are tossed into the ocean and left to die. It’s pretty sad how humans treat our fellow animals in order to get the meat that we humans think they need. That’s why I think more people should join me in being vegetarian. That way, we can lessen the cruelty of slaughtering animals.

 
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Losing Weight the Veg Way

According to an article from the world famous Mayo Clinic, “Research has shown that, on average, people who follow a vegetarian diet eat fewer calories and less fat than do nonvegetarians. Vegetarians also tend to have lower body weight relative to their height than do nonvegetarians. This makes sense, since a diet that largely consists of fruits and vegetables generally has fewer calories. However, switching to a vegetarian diet doesn't guarantee weight loss”. Full article at:
 
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/
vegetarian-diet/AN01580


 
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Brownie Factory’s New Location

The Brownie Factory has re-located from its store at Takashimaya to Raffles Xchange Shopping Mall, B1 (above Raffles Place MRT station). Their Vegetarian Triple Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Vegan Brownie are still available at their Raffles Xchange store. Open: Mondays to Fridays, 11am-7:30pm.
 
Look out for their Christmas Brownie gift box. For enquiries, browniefactory@pacific.net.sg or call our fellow vegetarian, Mahn Ling, at 9180.9501. You can also get a free copy of the Global Warming flyer that VSS did with NUS SAVE. Something to read while munching on your brownie.

 
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After Skinny Bitch, Now It’s Skinny Bastard

The authors of the 1million+ selling Skinny Bitch, now have a vegan manifesto aimed at men, titled - what else? – Skinny Bastard:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/23/
books/23skinny.html?_r=2&emc=eta1


 
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NutriHub News

NutriHub, the organic fusion café, has another round of Dine and Learn Workshops that you won’t want to miss. Here are the titles, dates and times.

 
1. Harmonising Your Body Energy II, Sat, 28 Nov, 10am-12noon or Fri, 4 Dec, 7-9pm
2. Raw Like Cooked – Series 1, Wed, 9 Dec, 2-4pm
3. Nutrimeal Cooking – Series II, Sat, 12 Dec, 2-4pm
4. Lunar New Year Cooking, Sat, 19 Dec, 2-4pm



 
For details: http://www.nutrihub.blogspot.com
 
Members or associates / corporate members, enjoy discounts. Non-members: 10% discount when registering for 2 workshops or more. 10% discount for group of 2 persons or more registering for 1 workshop. To register, contact the Café at 6738.2746 or sms Ms Vinitha Ang at 9236.8402. Enquiries: contact Ms Vinitha Ang at 9236.8402.
 
Also, their retail shop in RedHill will be moving and sharing the Cuppage Plaza premises with NutriHub Café.

 
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World Vegan Day Message

Here’s a very nice piece by a animal welfare philanthropist:
http://www.deccanchronicle.com/supplementary/
sunday-chronicle/vegan-lifestyle-holds-key-
spiritually-evolved-society-855

 
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Three Little Pigs Revisited

Here’s an update on pig cognition. It’s nothing to turn up your snout at:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/10/
science/10angier.html?_r=2&em


 
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Sarah Palin’s View of Veg – No Surprise

Sarah Palin, the unsuccessful vice-presidential candidate in the 2008 U.S. elections, recently published a memoir, ‘Going Rogue: An American Life’. Palin, known for hunting non-human animals via helicopter in the U.S. state of Alaska, where she served as governor, writes, “If any vegans came over for dinner, I could whip them up a salad, then explain my philosophy on being a carnivore: If God had not intended for us to eat animals, how come He made them out of meat?”
 
She goes on to state, “I love meat. I eat pork chops, thick bacon burgers, and the seared fatty edges of a medium-well-done steak. But I especially love moose and caribou. I always remind people from outside our state that there's plenty of room for all Alaska's animals -- right next to the mashed potatoes.”
 
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Animal, Vegetable, Miserable

This opinion piece, contributed to The New York Times, shows that our agenda is no longer being dismissed as kooky and, thus, beyond the realm of acceptable discourse. Our issues are becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. Let’s use this advantage to speak ever more strongly:
 
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/22/
opinion/22steiner.html?_r=2


 
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Talk on Physiology & Waldorf Curriculum

Dr. Lakshmi Prasanna is a paediatrician (neonatologist) with 25 years of experience. Before starting private practice, she was the Head of the Department in Child Development Unit at Apollo hospitals, Chennai. She then founded Little Hearts Children's Hospital in Hyderabad. Dr. Lakshmi also founded the Saandeepani Centre for Healing and Curative Education in 2004 for children with special needs.
 
She will be speaking at the function room of Park East Condo, 77 Jalan Tua Kong on 4 Dec, 6:30-9:30pm. Admission is $40. To register, 9118.7153, 9067.3726, 8200.7710

 
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VegVibe’s Nov09 Issue

Don’t miss the Nov issue of VegVibe magazine, available online at http://www.vegvibe.com with a picture of the International Day of Climate Action event that VSS helped to organise.
 
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Amazonia Exhibition till 30Nov

This free exhibition, at Old City Hall, St Andrew's Road, opposite the Padang, is all about raising awareness on sustainable development and conservation of the Amazon forest, “The lungs of the planet”. Much of the deforestation of the Amazon forest occurs due to demand for meat, with huge areas of trees cleared to create grazing land and to grow feed. The exhibition is open 10am-7pm and closes on 30Nov:
http://social.amazoniainsingapore.info
 
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