VSS eNewsletter 8 December 2009

Vegetarian Society (Singapore)
8 December 2009
In This Issue

Editor's Note

VSS NEWS

VSS Cooking Class
Fills Faster than You Can Say ‘Mango Dream’

 
The VSS Team
 
‘Asia for Animals’ Conference in Sg – Jan 2010
 
VSS Xmas Tree at Botanics
 
GW Letter in ST Online Forum
 
GENERAL NEWS

More Signs of the Times
 
Health Care Savings Could Start with Diet Changes
 
Brunei Update
 
When Will Circuit Road Food Centre Reopen?
 
New Veg Stall Near Farrer Park MRT
 
And Another New One in Ghim Moh
 
Worth-a-Look Books
 
Test Tube Meat Update
 
Fiesta Veg Cooking Class by Ananda Marga
 
Vegan Xmas Buffet, Talk and Carolling
 
Life in Sg Keeps Getting Better for Vegetarians

With Dr Pachauri and Sir Paul McCartney as veg ambassadors, awareness that Less Meat = Less Heat is certainly growing. Here in Singapore, life for vegetarians just keeps getting better - with more veg cooking classes, food outlets and X'mas events!
 
Dr George M Jacobs


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Visit us at www.vss.sg
 


VSS Cooking Class Fills Faster than You Can Say ‘Mango Dream’

Seems that lots of vegetarians have a big sweet tooth. ‘Lila's Delightful Desserts’, another in our series of Anyone Can Cook Vegetarian classes filled up super fast.
 
Let’s ask Lila about doing a repeat next year.
 
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The VSS Team

Ever wonder who are the people behind all the motion in the VSS ocean? Read profiles of some of the people who power VSS at: http://www.vegetarian-society.org/Team Maybe your picture will be there someday soon.
 
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‘Asia for Animals’ Conference in Sg – Jan 2010

VSS is proud to give a talk at the Animals for Asia conference, 15-19 Jan, at Furama Hotel. Our friends at ACRES are organising this event, and people from many Asian countries will be participating: www.asiaforanimals.org
 

One outstanding feature of the conference will be its optimistic focus. Rather than listening to long talks about the many problems that we humans are causing for our fellow animals, the conference will focus on what people are doing and can do to improve the situation. For instance, there will be a workshop on Running Effective Education Outreach Programmes.

 
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VSS Xmas Tree at Botanics

As the final event of its 150th anniversary celebration, the Singapore Botanic Gardens offered 150+ Xmas trees, each to be decorated by a different local organisation. VSS was invited, and to decorate our tree, we laminated the ‘Love Us, Not Eat Us’ stickers, along with quotes from famous vegetarians and facts about the hazards of meat production.
 

To add a bit more colour to our tree, we’ve also hung plastic fruits and vegetables. The trees will be on display at Botanics throughout December. At last report, our tree was located near the symphony stage.

 
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GW Letter in ST Online Forum

VSS published the following letter in The Straits Times online forum on 3 Dec. Let’s write to the media, including blogs and other new media, to make a lot of noise in hopes of influencing the Sg government and others to put meat reduction front and centre on the agenda of the Copenhagen Climate Change conference. Here’s the VSS letter:
 

Boost health, slow global warming with Eat Green days
 

I REFER to Tuesday's report, 'Eat less meat for the green cause', a table talk with Dr Rajendra Kumar Pachauri.
 

Dr Pachauri was instrumental in the establishment of Veggie Thursdays in Ghent, Belgium earlier this year as a way for people to voluntarily cut their global warming impact. Similar days have been started elsewhere, including in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
 

This week, Dr Pachauri and Sir Paul McCartney are addressing the European Parliament with the 'Less meat = less heat' message, calling on mayors and other policymakers to follow Ghent and Sao Paolo's example.
 

Here in Singapore, the National University of Singapore (NUS) has taken the lead with Meatless Thursdays, a voluntary campaign endorsed by the university president, Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, and led by an NUS environmental organisation, Save (Students Against Violation of the Earth).
 

Perhaps other educational institutions, organisations, businesses, as well as families and even individuals would like to start such weekly Eat Green days.
 

Not only would we slow global warming, we may also boost our health by adding more fibre and antioxidants to our diet.

 
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More Signs of the Times

Want more proof vegetarian activism is changing things? Here are five pieces of evidence from three heavy meat eating countries.
 

1. Karen Dawn of DawnWatch notes:
 

On November 19, the icon of American homemaking, Martha Stewart, for the first time in her television’s history, devoted the hour to vegetarian Thanksgivings. One of her guests was author Jonathan Safran Foer, with whom she made a vegan casserole. She noted that she would be having a vegetarian Thanksgiving meal at her daughter Alexis’s home. Alexis is veg. You can watch the entire episode online.
 

2. 60 Minutes Australia did a primetime feature on the horrors of the pig industry. Video and transcripts at:
http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com.au/
article.aspx?id=973831

 

3. In recognition of India’s veg roots, the U.S. government put on an almost complete vegetarian meal to welcome the Indian PM: http://www.nbcnewyork.com/around-town/
food-drink/Obamas-Call-On-Local-Chefs-
Expertise-73553672.html

 

4. A Stanford University biochemist (featured in Forbes magazine) has a new mission: "Eliminate animal farming on planet Earth." http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2009/1130/
thought-leaders-mcdonalds-global-warming-
drop-that-burger.html

 

5. At Windsor Castle, Prince Philip and UN Secretary Ban Ki Moon hosted a vegan dinner:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/berkshire/hi/
people_and_places/religion_and_ethics/
newsid_8337000/8337997.stm


 
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Health Care Savings Could Start with Diet Changes

With health care costs skyrocketing, the New York Times article cites experts who explain why the right diet can greatly cut health expenditures. Here are some excerpts.
 

“We need to put food back in the heart of health care,” says Zoe Finch Totten, Full Yield’s chief executive. “It’s the cheapest way to deal with health and the simplest, and definitely the most pleasurable”…
 

Ms. Totten contends that overeating doesn't result from a nationwide failure to count calories, but from the fact that so many people consume a diet of processed, refined foods. "People overeat Doritos because those foods are designed to trick the body's beautiful ability to be able to self-regulate," she said. "When you eat primarily health-supporting foods you will recover those protective mechanisms".
 

A study in the January-February 2009 issue of the journal Health Affairs concluded that 75 percent of the country's $2.5 trillion in health care spending has to do with four increasingly prevalent chronic diseases: obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Most cases of these diseases, the report stated, are preventable because they are caused by behaviours like poor diets, inadequate exercise and smoking.
 

Obesity alone threatens to overwhelm the system. In a recent study, Kenneth Thorpe, chairman of the department of health policy and management at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, found that if trends continued, annual health care costs related to obesity would total $344 billion by 2018, or more than 20 percent of total health care spending. (It now accounts for 9 percent.)
 

Dr. Thorpe also said that if the incidence of obesity fell to its 1987 level, it would free enough money to cover the nation's uninsured population.
 

Complete article at
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/29/
health/policy/29diet.html


 
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Brunei Update

A reader living in Brunei sends this update:
 
There are now more vegetarian outlets in Brunei. Some non-vege restaurants are also offering a “Vegetarian” menu. The Brunei Health Ministry has been contributing to the popularity of vegetarian by promoting more fruits and vegetables for a healthy diet.

 
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When Will Circuit Road Food Centre Reopen?

A reader wrote in to say that the Circuit Road Food Centre, one of Sg’s veg oases, is closed for renovation, but she was not sure when it will reopen. If you know, please send the info to info@vss.sg Thx.
 
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New Veg Food Stall Near Farrer Park MRT

Le Le Vegetarian is the name of a new veg stall open 7am-2pm, except Sundays, at 166, Jalan Besar, Berseh Food Centre. For details:
http://www.vegetarian-society.org/node/1131
 
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And Another New One in Ghim Moh

The Green Vegetarian
Address: Blk 19 Ghim Moh Road #01-263 (coffeeshop)
Operating Hour: 11am-8pm/9am-8pm on 1st   15th Day of Lunar Month
In-charge: Miss Chen Dan
Contact: 9011.5093
Details: http://www.vegetarian-society.org/node/1136

 
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Worth-a-Look Books

Here’s a review of ‘Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs And Wear Cows’ by Melanie Joy, PhD. Be sure to watch the video of a dramatisation of a scene from the book.
 
http://www.vegsource.com/news/2009/11/why-we-
love-dogs-eat-pigs-and-wear-cows-book-review.html


 
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Test Tube Meat Update

At the VSS talk last month by Professor Harvey Neo of the NUS Geography Dept., the topic came up of meat manufactured in test tubes without any factory farms or killing involved. Prof Neo suggested that this is still a long way off. Here’s an update on recent developments.
 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/
6680989/Meat-grown-in-laboratory-in-world-first.html

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/
growing-plants-indoors-no-longer-rooted-in-
sci-fi/article1330448/


 
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Fiesta Veg Cooking Class by Ananda Marga

Ananda Marga Yoga Society is hosting another cooking class. Here are the details:
 

Date/Time: Sat, 19 Dec, 1:30-3:30pm
Place: 21 Jalan Pokok Serunai
Cost: $55 (non-members of Ananda Marga); $50 (Ananda Marga members)
Dishes:
- Carrot Cake (Eggless)
- Dim Sum: Siu Mai
- Dim Sum: Tofu Skin Roll
- Honey Sago
 

Recipes are provided as well.
Registration or Enquiries: 6344.6519 / yoga@anandamarga.org.sg

Website: http://www.anandamarga.org.sg

 
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Vegan Xmas Buffet, Talk and Carolling

Our friends at Kampung Senang work hard to make people of all faiths feel welcome at their centres. In keeping with that spirit, Kampung Senang is organising a Xmas event.
 

Date/Time: 19 Dec (Sat), 12-3pm
Venue: Blk 106, Aljunied Crescent - Kampung Senang's Holistic Lifestyle Centre
Cost: $30 (public) $25 (member)
 

Featuring: Talk by Dr Koh Lam Son
Topic: Reversing + Preventing Alzheimer's, Dementia & ALL lifestyle diseases naturally + Q & A + Discussion
Plus: Vegan Xmas lunch and caroling
 

Dr Koh graduated from the University of Bristol UK in 1972. He worked at the Hammersmith Hospital and St Thomas Hospital in London before he returned to Singapore in 1979 with a double postgraduate degree in obstetrics & gynaecology and general surgery. In addition to working as a doctor, Dr Koh was also a Member of Parliament from 1984-1991.
 

In 2006, he retired from active O & G practice and started a clinic on age management and regenerative medicine. He co-chaired the 2008 First Asian Conference on the Science of Aging and Regenerative Medicine with Dr Robert Goldman, the co-founder of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine

 
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Life in Sg Keeps Getting Better for Vegetarians

Here are three more signs that it continues to continue to be easier to be a healthy vegetarian in Singapore.
 

1. While organising the Singapore Vegetarian Meetup event after Professor Harvey Neo’s Library talk last month, Neil Madhvani and I were chatting with the owner of Kwan Im restaurant. We asked if they could supply brown rice. She said that this was the first time anyone had asked but that she’d be glad to do so.
 

Moral of the story: if we want healthier veg food, we should use not only the eating function of our mouths but also the talking function.
 

2. Neil was telling me that Ananda Bhavan veg restaurants, with 3-4 outlets, plus one coming up at Changi Airport, is now offering a brown rice set.
 

Moral of the story: Change is happening, and we should support it by purchasing healthier options.
 

3. I was talking to a teacher in her 30s who was limping and complaining of leg pain because of gout.
 

George: “What does the doctor say you can do?”
 

Teacher: “Cut down on meat. Yes, I know you’re a vegetarian and some of my colleagues are also veg and they are telling me I should stop eating meat.”
 

George: “How many vegetarian teachers are there at your school?”
 

Teacher: “There used to be two, but now there are six”.
 

Moral of the story: It’s going to be easier for her to switch with all that support; much easier than doing alone. Thus, we should let colleagues, friends, family members, etc. know that we are here for them if they want to move towards a less meat or no meat diet.
 

4. A reader wrote in: “I stay at Bukit Gombak. I would like to inform VSS that Chua Chu Kang Sec has a pure vegetarian stall in their canteen. Plus, I was told that Bukit Batok Sec has a vegetarian stall too. For my Bukit Gombak area, there are about 6 vegan stalls. They are at Blk 323, Blk 376, Blk 373, Blk 385, Blk 347, Blk 359.
 

Moral of the story: Starting kids off right is important for many reasons. We should tell other school about these pioneers and encourage not just veg stalls, but also veg options at all stalls.
 

5. When the International Vegetarian Union’s Manager, John Davis, came thru Sg to attend the Asia Vegetarian Congress, he flew on Emirates Airlines and was very impressed with all their veg options:
 

http://www.emirates.com/uk/english/plan_book/
essential_information/dietary_requirements.aspx

 
And, it’s not just Emirates; more and more airlines that fly into and out of Sg are offering more and more veg choices. But the best story I heard in connection with this was told by a vegetarian who had to book his flight at the last minute and didn’t have time to request a veg meal. No worries, when he boarded the flight, he informed one of the flight attendants of his needs and received what he called, “The best in-flight veg meal of my life”.
 

Moral of the story: Be a ‘noisy’ vegetarian, because “The squeaky wheels get the grease”. Of course, I hope your veg meals aren’t too greasy. :)

 
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