VSS eNewsletter 1 December 2010

Vegetarian Society (Singapore)
1 December 2010
In This Issue

Editor's Note

VSS NEWS

Two VSS Library Talks in Dec
 
New, Lower Price for China Study
 
Three Forum Page Letters
 
Giving Feedback to the Government
 
GENERAL NEWS

Sharkwater on YouTube
 
Taste of Natural Closes
 
Counter of Animals Killed for Meat
 
A Meat Eater’s Dilemma
 
New Issue of VegVibe Almost Everywhere
 
'Rise of the Power Vegan’ from Business Week
 
Yet Another Study Says: Eat More Veggies
 
All Because of This Sticker
 
Super Blenders

Knowledge is power. Increase your power at VSS’s two library talks on 5 and 8 Dec.
 
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
 

VSS members enjoy discounts at these fine restaurants and establishments.
 


VSS Library Talks

This has been a banner year for VSS library talks, thanks to Mark Soh, who is the main organiser of the varied collection of talks. December ends the year with a bang: two library talks, by two back-by-popular demand speakers.
 

(1) On Sun, 5 Dec, VSS Exco member and TCM physician, Douglas Teo speaks in Mandarin from 2-3.30pm in the Auditorium at Tampines Regional Library. http://golibrary.nlb.gov.sg/Event.aspx?EventID=34925
 

Title: Steps in Becoming Vegetarian (In Mandarin)
 

Synopsis:
1. Is a vegetarian diet suitable for me?
2. How do I move towards being vegetarian, step by step?
3. How do I eat a balanced vegetarian diet?
4. How does a vegetarian diet affect my health?
 

(2) On Wed, 8 Dec, NUS Geography professor, Dr Harvey Neo (pictured above) speaks in English from 7-8.30pm, in the Multipurpose Room, Level B1, on the Central Public Library on Victoria Street. http://golibrary.nlb.gov.sg/Event.aspx?EventID=35216
 

Title: Business Opportunities via Diet Change in the Age of Climate Change
 

Synopsis:
When most people think about business opportunities arising from human actions to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, they leave something out. They think about businesses that do green energy generation and conservation for vehicles, electrical appliances, lighting, etc. What is left out is the fuel we use to generate the energy for our bodies, that is, the food we eat. Moving towards plant based diets can powerfully decrease human greenhouse emissions. This talk explains the role of diet change in addressing climate change and suggests business opportunities that arise as people change their diets.
 
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New, Lower Price for China Study

Last year, VSS had the honour of hosting Cornell professor, T. Colin Campbell, author of The China Study:
http://www.thechinastudy.com. Since then, we’ve been selling this breakthrough book on our website, as a service to people here.
 

The good news is that the publisher has reduced the price, and now, we can offer this potentially life changing book for on SGD19.60 at
http://www.vegetarian-society.org/node/1338
 

During Prof Colin’s visit to Singapore, we met a U.S. based cardiologist turned banker who after reading The China Study bought 1000 copies to give to family, friends and associates!
 
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Three Forum Page Letters

Too often we vegetarians are ‘quiet’ vegetarians, not sharing our dietary choices and our strong secular reasons for living those choices. The media, both traditional newspapers and magazines, as well as new media, offer us many opportunities to be ‘noisy’ vegetarians. Here are two letters sent by a VSS member to my paper and Letter 3 to The Straits Times.
 

Letter 1
 

I REFER to the advertisement on the back page of my paper (Nov 15) for the ‘TaPau’ Eco set of containers by Tupperware. Using those containers instead of Styrofoam and plastic bags when we tapau food back home or to our workplace will make Singapore a greener place.
 

The food that we put in the Tupperware containers also impacts the environment. Plant based foods are the greener choice for two reasons. First, plant foods are more efficient, because many kgs of plants must be fed to the animals whom we later eat to reap just one kg of meat. Second, the UN has estimated that more than 10% of the greenhouse gases generated by humans derive from meat production.
 

Letter 2
 

I REFER to “MM: Health care must innovate” (my paper, Nov 16). MM Lee stated that health care institutions need to “adapt the best of international practices to suit the country”.
 

Unfortunately, for too long, we have ignored the wise old saying that “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Instead, health care has overly focused on curing illnesses rather than working with the public to prevent illnesses before they arise or recur.
 

Fortunately, the balance between prevention and cure may be righting itself. For example, in recognition of the growing evidence that people are eating too much meat and not enough plant foods, the world renowned Johns Hopkins Hospital in the U.S. has launched a Meatless Monday campaign to encourage patients and staff to eat more healthfully:
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/
Press_releases/2010/04_12_10.html

 

In Singapore, we have a similar campaign, known as Veggie Thursday. Veggie Thursday has been endorsed by health organisations, such as HealthXchange, a part of SingHealth, WINGS, and the Macular Degeneration Society Singapore, as well as by environmental organisations, including Nature Society (Singapore) and the Singapore Environment Council.
 

Let’s hope that a greater emphasis on prevention can reduce the need for medical services, as it prolongs and enriches our lives.
 

Letter 3
 

I REFER to ‘Some heartening advice about fish’ (Nov 20). In his article, Andy Ho recommends that we eat fishes to obtain sufficient quantities of omega-3 fatty acids.
 

However, eating fishes has drawbacks. First, fishes ingest toxins from our polluted seas. Second, overfishing is wreaking havoc on marine ecosystems.
 

Third, recent research suggests that fishes, far from being mere “vegetables of the sea”, do feel pain and are intelligent in a variety of ways. For instance, in a book published earlier this year, ‘Do Fish Feel Pain?’, Victoria Braithwaite, Professor of Fisheries and Biology, Pennsylvania State University (USA), summaries the growing body of research suggesting that fishes are more cognitively competent than previously suspected.
 

Furthermore, the fact that tens of millions of vegetarians in India have survived for generations without eating fishes suggests that omega-3 can be obtained without involving fishes. Non-animal sources of omega-3 include flaxseeds (easily obtained at most supermarkets), walnuts and canola oil. Indeed, some of these plant based sources of omega-3 can even be less expensive than buying fishes.
 
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Giving Feedback to the Government

Do any of you take part in the REACH (Reaching Everyone for Active Citizenry@ Home) programme - http://www.reach.gov.sg/Home.aspx - via which the government seeks to garner feedback?
 

Recently, one of the topics was ‘Fight the Flab’, reporting the growing problem of obesity and what can be done. Here’s what one VSS member wrote.
 

Subsidise vegetarian food, both in the markets and in the eateries. Tax unhealthy food to pay for this. Yes, people have the right to eat what they want, but we should discourage them from making harmful choices, just like we use ERP, car taxes, etc. to discourage people from driving too much.
 

In many ways, what we eat is not an individual choice. First, if we mess up our health, others often have to pay for it. Secondly, it's well established that meat production disproportionally damages the environment. Third, the billions, many billions, of animals whose lives are grossly distorted and prematurely ended so that we can eat meat deserve a thought, don't they?
 

Read the background info and other comments, plus post your own comment here.
 
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Sharkwater on YouTube

Sharkwater - http://www.sharkwater.com - is an exciting documentary about efforts to curb the shark fin industry. Beautiful underwater photography too.
 

You can now watch it on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vog3z1NsMYU
 

Contact Project Fin to arrange showings at schools, etc.:
http://www.facebook.com/
group.php?gid=271905012232&v=info

 
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Taste of Natural Closes

Located in the Banquet Food Court near Clifford Centre, Taste of Natural was well-liked for providing healthy, tasty, varied, halal-certified plant based food at a reasonable price. Thus, it is with regret that we announce its closure. Thanks and best wishes to the staff and owners. Fortunately, there are still two veg outlets at that Banquet: a Komala’s and a Chinese veg.
 
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Counter of Animals Killed for Meat

Last year, we approximately 6.8 billion humans ate about 60 billion land animals and probably more marine animals. The enormity of this annual toll is now captured in an iphone app -
http://iphoneakc.tumblr.com – in a counter you can put on your website, blog, etc. -
http://www.adaptt.org/killcounter.html or
http://drupal.org/project/animals - and on a MySpace app - http://www.unleashed.org.au/
change_the_world/life_saving_counter

 
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A Meat Eater’s Dilemma

As the horrors of factory farming become more widely known, more and more meat eaters struggle with their consciences. Here are the thoughts of one such person, a teacher in the U.S.
 

I struggle with this dilemma. I am a meat eater. I am aware of the practice of factory raising meat animals and I am disgusted. That information has led me to begin to produce my own food on my little hobby farm. I have chickens and eat their eggs. When they stop laying, they are delicious. I raised and butchered a turkey for last Thanksgiving’s feast.
 
I am currently raising cattle with the intention of giving them a stress free, content life right up until the moment their status changes from friend to food. I struggle with it but in the end, I tell myself that their lives could have been very different with the same end result. It does pose a dilemma; a big one. I am going to read The Omnivores Dilemma. I have heard it’s a very good book. I loved The Botany of Desire by the same author. Until I can work through all of this, I’ll continue to treat them as friends who will eventually end up on my table. It’s ridiculous, isn’t it?
 
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New Issue of VegVibe Almost Everywhere

The Nov/Dec 2010 issue of VegVibe, SG’s own veg magazine, is out, online and at 70 locations:
http://vegvibe.com/swf/VegVibeNovember2010.swf

The cover story tells us about Amy Corrigan, the vegetarian Education Director of ACRES: www.acres.org.sg Other fascinating pieces on a wide range of issues, from Styrofoam to a local veg soup kitchen. Plus, there are the usual food reviews and recipes that you won’t want to miss.
 

Here’s a list of some of the places where the print edition is available – while it lasts!
 
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‘Rise of the Power Vegan’ from Business Week

This article focuses on Steve Wynn, casino resort owner and real estate developer, who recently become vegan, partly because he’s an animal lover and partly because he saw the film Eating: http://www.ravediet.com. After going vegan, Wynn bought 10,000 copies of Eating for his staff. Too bad he didn’t get either of SG’s casinos.
http://www.businessweek.com/
magazine/content/10_46/b4203103862097.htm

 
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Yet Another Study Says: Eat More Veggies

Head on over to TIME.COM and check out a recently published study in the Archives of Internal Medicine. This was a big study over 14 years, which found the higher blood concentrations you have of the antioxidant alpha-carotene -- found in a variety of vegetables -- the lower your risk of dying.
 

The lower amount of veggies you eat, the quicker you perish.
 

How many more studies do you need to underscore the obvious? The last paragraph of the article starts: "Americans could use a push to eat more vegetables."
 

What it really should say: "People everywhere could use a push to eat only plants!" Read the entire article at

http://healthland.time.com/2010/11/22/
study-veggies-still-really-good-for-you

Thanks to VegSource.com for telling us about the article.
 
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All Because of This Sticker

The above Love Us, Not Eat Us sticker is produced in many languages and distributed internationally by a Singaporean who does it all for free in order to spread the veg message: http://www.loveusnoteatus.com
 

Here, in the reaction of one person, is an example of the power of the sticker:
 

I saw this sticker on a car and then I started to do some research, and my family and I are now vegetarian. And, it was all because of this sticker.
 
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Super Blenders

Among VSS’s most popular activities are our smoothie workshops and demos. We encourage people to buy their own blenders and make their own smoothies on a regular basis. Fortunately, new blenders can be purchased for $50 or less, and, of course, second hand blenders can be even less expensive.
 

At the same time, you can spend more than $1000 on blenders that purport to have many advantages over their less expensive cousins. A reader requested that we share info on such possibilities. Here it is:
 

1. Vitamix
A Vitamix retailer is giving a discount for the Vitamix Prep 3 if a bulk purchase is made. For purchases of 5 units, there will be a $50 discount per unit off the original price $1050 with free delivery. For purchases of 10 units, the discount will be $100 per unit. The Vitamix Prep 3 is of 3 horse power and has a 3-year warranty.
 

Separate arrangements are being made to purchase the BPA-free Vitamix jug in bulk as well. If interested in either the Prep 3 blender or the BPA-free container or both, please contact 6451 4360 / 9017 7674 or email lqinghui@gmail.com by (*1 week after the newsletter is published*) to place your order. Please pass on this message to anyone who might be interested.
 

2 Blendtec
All Blendtec blender jugs are BPA-free. Adeline, who promotes green smoothies, distributes Blendtecs, and she also promotes Veggie Thursday. Here are a few ways to contact Adeline and to find out more about Blendtecs and their prices, as well about smoothies.
 

http://linssmoodees.wordpress.com
adelinetan@linssmoodees.com
http://www.facebook.com/linssmoodees
 
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