VSS eNewsletter 15 April 2011

Vegetarian Society (Singapore)
15 April 2011
In This Issue

Editor’s Note


The Esselstyns on DVD
Dr Esselstyn on Primetime Morning
Interview with Healthwise Magazine
VSS Goes to Preschool
Do Southern Ridges Trail with VSS
Our Talk at Republic Poly
VSS Endorses Green Corridor Plan
Talk to Geography Teachers
Put Your Growth Dividend To Good Use
Letter to ST Forum
The VSS InBox


More on Meat and Climate Change
Confinement Nannies Sought
Pro-Veg Philosophy & Meditation Course
Cooking Classes Galore from Kampung Senang
Soy Research Review

Pls help VSS help SG more by donating part of the government’s Growth Dividend you receive.
Dr George M Jacobs

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The Esselstyns in SG on DVD

The SG talks by Dr Caldwell B Esselstyn, Jr. and Ann Crile Esselstyn attracted more than 500 people to DBS Auditorium on 27 Mar. If you were there and want to share the experience with a loved one, or if you weren’t able to attend, here’s a chance for people to watch the event from the comfort of their living rooms, and to hear the Esselstyns’ potentially life saving ideas.

A dvd has been produced by our friends at Adventist Community Services and is now available at $25 each - special price for VSS members. Usual $30 each. Those interested to order the dvd should contact John Cheang at 8125.1374 or email johncheang@adventist.org.sg.



Dr Esselstyn on Primetime Morning

On the last day of his one-week visit to SG, Dr Esselstyn taped a brief interview on Channel News Asia. The interview was broadcast on 11Apr and will be available online till about 24 Apr at
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/ptm under “Interviews”

Interview with Healthwise Magazine

Yeow, the VSS Director for Education and Outreach was interviewed by Healthwise magazine, which is circulated mainly to hospitals and clinics to encourage healthy lifestyles. The magazine was particularly interested in our recipes, both for cooked dishes and for raw dishes, such as our smoothies.

VSS Goes to Preschool

We reprinted some of our posters just in time to send them and some of our flyers for an Earth Day exhibition at a branch of Eton House preschool. The goal is to encourage healthy, kind eating habits among children.

Our posters touch on many of the reasons for eating less or no meat, including improved human health, protecting the environment and showing concern for our fellow animals. The posters make for a colourful, eye-catching and informative exhibition. To borrow them, contact



Do Southern Ridges Trail with VSS

We’ll be returning to one of our favourite haunts, Southern Ridges trail - on Sun, 24Apr, meeting at 3.45pm, HarbourFront MRT, Exit D, near Seah Im Hawker Centre. (Click here for a detailed map of the route.)

Why do we like Southern Ridges so much? Let us count the ways:

a. easy to get to

b. most anyone can do the trail

c. takes only about 1.5hrs

d. lots of varied scenery

e. ends at the lovely Hort Park.

What to bring:

a. friends and family members

b. good shoes

c. something in case of rain

d. lots of drinking water

e. some food, if you might get hungry.



Our Talk at Republic Poly

For the past four years, VSS has done an annual talk at Republic Poly explaining the many benefits of eating less or no meat, and countering reasons people give for continuing to eat a diet high in animal based foods. Our talk always generates a good crowd, filling a small lecture theatre, sometimes even with students sitting on the stairs.

This year’s speaker was the editor of VegVibe magazine -
www.vegvibe.com - Mr Ganga Sudhan. Vegvibe is an independent local publication which appears every two months in hard copy and online. The hard copy version is distributed free at veg eateries. However, they tend to disappear quickly; so, you may need to go online to read the Mar / Apr issue.



VSS Endorses Green Corridor Plan

Nature Society (Singapore) has submitted a proposal, 'The Green Corridor: A Proposal to Keep the Railway Lands as a Continuous Green Corridor’, to the Singapore government. NSS proposes to retain the current KTM Railway Land as a Green Corridor after the train operations cease.

One proposed use of the Green Corridor would be for people to grow their own food. VSS has joined many other green orgs to endorse the Green Corridor:



Talk to Geography Teachers

A VSS representative spoke to 190 teachers at the Geography Teachers Association’s annual seminar, on 9 Apr at Park Royale Hotel. The VSS speaker highlighted the cruelty of modern factory farming by comparing our image of farming, as seen in the children’s song, 'Old MacDonald Had a Farm’, and the reality that our fellow animals are trapped in today.

Teachers were reminded that vegetarianism needed by either / or, and that middle ground exists, such as trends along the lines of Veggie Thursday -

As always, we spoke of VSS’s willingness to work with students and teachers to make schools more animal-friendly places. For instance, we can work with canteen operators to offer more and healthier vegetarian options.


Put Your Growth Dividend To Good Use

This issue of the VSS eNewsletter gives a good idea of all that VSS does to promote healthy and wise lifestyles. We could do a lot more with more funding. Fortunately, many Singaporeans are receiving a gift from the government; maybe you’d like to invest some of that in promoting sane living.

From 5 April 2011, Singaporeans who are eligible for the 2011 Growth Dividend will be receiving letters from the Government informing them of their payout.

If you are eligible, you may donate all or part of your Growth Dividend to charity by visiting

If you are not eligible for the Growth Dividend but still wish to donate, you are welcome to do so using the website

http://www.vegetarian-society.org/support_vss. You may donate using PayPal or by cheque.

Whether it be $10 or $100 or other amount, your donation will go a long way to help us continue our charitable work for people, the environment and the non-human animals.

Thank you for your support.


Letter to ST Forum

A VSS member sent the following to The Straits Times Forum page. It seems that it has not been published. By way of background, statins are a class of drugs used to lower cholesterol.

In addition to writing to forum pages, another idea is to write a comment in an online fora, such as
http://www.straitstimes.com/ST+Forum/ST+Forum.html. Registration is often required, but it’s one time and free.

I REFER to ‘Getting to the heart of statin use’ by Andy Ho (Apr 2). The article discusses doubts about the widespread use of statins in the treatment of coronary heart disease (CHD).

Fortunately, another evidence-based path exists for combating CHD and lowering cholesterol: diet change. Last month, Dr Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., Director of the Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Reversal Program at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, was in Singapore to speak with cardiologists and others.

His research, published in the American Journal of Cardiology and since replicated, describes how moving to a plant-based, oil-free diet saved the lives of heart disease patients. Adopting such a diet wasn’t easy for Dr Esselstyn’s patients in the U.S., but most of them have stayed on that diet for more than 15 years, as described in his book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.

Consider the alternatives to diet change: seriously impaired health, untimely death, medicines with side effects and expensive surgery with the attendant risks and with the probability that the symptoms will recur.

Fortunately, Singapore is a good place for adopting such a plant-based diet, as the culinary wizards in our food paradise, including those at our approximately 100 vegetarian restaurants, enjoy a challenge and look forward to serving their customers’ gustatory and health requests.


The VSS InBox

A VSS representative engaged in the following dialogue with a lacto vegetarian student from an Indian international school.

Dear Mr Jacobs,
I heard you have given up milk. In fact, there is a brand of milk that does not use hormones and lets the cows roam free, they are not locked up in small enclosures. It is called Organic Valley (brand name):
. I bought it at Fairprice Finest (Marine Parade).

p.s. - I met you at the Scholastic Environment Fund (SEF) oratory competition.

Write Back,

[name deleted]

The VSS representative’s reply appears below. His position is not VSS’s official position and lacto ovo vegetarian have a large presence in VSS, including in our Exco
1. Is there any monitoring system for the cows’ welfare at this farm, or do we have to trust the company to tell us the truth?
2. How is the price of the milk affected by this supposed betterment of the cows’ welfare?
3. What is the average life span of the cows compared to their natural life span?
4. What happens when calves are born? How long do they stay with their mothers? What happens to the calves when they leave their mothers?
5. Are any methods used to increase a cow’s milk production above the normal rate?
6. What happens to the cows once they are no longer producing at an optimal rate? Are they allowed to retire and spend the rest of their lives in a field?
7. Do you know that milk has high amounts of fat, and that we can obtain all the calcium and protein we need from plant foods?
Thanks again for writing to me. Best wishes to you, your schoolmates and your teachers.


More on Meat and Climate Change
Here are two links, one a talk and the other a video, on why moving to a plant based diet is one of the best - not to mention one of the easiest - things we can do for the environment.

1. The link below is to a talk by Robert Goodland, co-author of the November / December 2009 World Watch magazine cover article ‘Livestock
and Climate Change’.
Read more

2. A short slideshow style video on why a plant based diet is best for the environment. You may have heard most of this before. What may be new is the comparison between locally produced animal based foods and any plant based foods. The video claims that it’s more eco-friendly to eat plants from afar than the flesh or other products of non-human animals who were our neighbours.


Confinement Nannies Sought

From time to time, vegetarians write to VSS asking how to find a confinement nanyy. If you are a confinement nanny who works with vegetarian families or know who is, please send contact details to info@vss.sg.

Pro-Veg Philosophy & Meditation Course

Our friends at the Singapore Lodge Theosophical Society
- http://www.singaporelodge.org - support vegetarianism, and they brought many members to Dr Esselstyn’s talk last month. Also, a VSS representative has given a well-attended talk at their lodge. The Theosophical Society is a non-sectarian movement engaged in the promotion of Universal Brotherhood and study of the Laws of Nature governing the universe.

To learn more about the society, you might wish to attend 'A Course in Theosophy and Meditation’ from 4-23 May. The course comprises ten segments of 2 to 3 hours each. The course is free of charge. For details and to register,
www.singaporelodge.org/med_course_dates.htm or 6732.7727.


Cooking Classes Galore from Kampung Senang

Preparing our own veg food not only is a great way to provide ourselves and our families with a large supply of healthy, tasty food, it can also be a lot of fun and a great way to bond. Our friends at Kampung Senang want to show us how easy it can be to make our own plant based food.

A) Wholesome Bakery
Are you tired of eating commercial breads which use chemically bleached white flour, chemical agents, preservatives, inferior ingredients and non-natural nutrition?

Mastery Wholesome Bakery 1 - Making Organic Wholemeal Steam Bun for Beginner

Teaching Method: Hands-on
Date&Time: 15 May, 9:30am-12:30pm

Mastery Wholesome Bakery 2 - Making Italian Bread (No-Kneading) 意大利面包(无须揉面)

Teaching Method: Hands-on
Date&Time: 22 May, 9:30am-12:30pm

B) Mastery Homemade Wines - Red Wine, Fruit Wines, Sparkling Wines& Root Beer

No special equipment required. Foolproof method. No Chemicals. Vegetarian wines.

Homemade wine is a rewarding and enjoyable hobby and the quality of homemade wines today are better than ever! Researchers have found numerous health benefits offered by red wines if consumed in moderation. With a small investment in equipment you can continually make good quality homemade wine for a fraction of the cost of store bought wine.

Teaching Method: Demonstration
Date&Time: 5 Jun, 9:30am-12:30pm

C) Supercharged with raw energy - Mastery Salad Dressings

Raw vegetables are well known for their rich vitamins, organic minerals, enzymes and dietary fibre. Learn to flavour your raw veggies with delicious, healthy dressings and sauces, using just basic ingredients.

Session 1 - 12 Jun, 9:30am - 12:30pm
Session 2 - 19 Jun, 9:30am - 12:30pm
Teaching Method: Demonstration

D) Special - Making Miso Paste Secret Unveiled!

This is a special workshop on miso making

Teaching Method: Demonstration
Date&Time: 17 Jul, 9:30am - 12:30pm

E) Homemade Sake and Amazake
Homemade rice wine (the Japanese Sake) and Amazake (fermented rice syrup drink are known for thei great taste and superior nutritional values. Researchers have found that consuming they can have the following benefits:
Prevent hypertension, lower cholesterol level, prevent osteoporosis and prevent diabetes.

Teaching Method: Demonstration
Date&Time: 24 Jul, 9:30am - 12:30pm

Classes will be conducted in English and Mandarin.
For enquiries, 6749.8509 or


Soy Research Review

Jack Norris is a registered dietician and president of Vegan Outreach - http://www.veganoutreach.org. Jack also oversees the Vegan Health website:

He recently concluded a review of about 130 studies of the health effects of human consumption of soy products: http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/soy_harm

His findings are summarized as follows:

In addition to reducing the risk for breast cancer as mentioned above, soy also provides benefits for preventing prostate cancer, lowering LDL cholesterol, and improving menopausal symptoms. When you add up all the research on soy, there is no reason to think that two servings per day are harmful to most people, and good reason to think soy will provide some health benefits.


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