VSS eNews, June 2016

Vegetarian Society (Singapore)
1 June 2016
In This Issue
Editor’s Note
VSS NEWS

VSS Outreach Materials Storage

VSS Weighs in on Diabetes-Rice Link

Letter on Animal Welfare Published

VSS Forum Letter Submission

VSS Speakers at Food That Heals Conference

Updates from Animal Allies - The Outreach Arm of VSS!

Why don't Vegans Wear Silk?

GENERAL NEWS

Burger King NZ Switches to 100% Free-Range Eggs

Genesis Special Prices for VSS Members

Another Vegan Diet Success Story

Real Food is the Real Diet

While many of us take a quick middle-of-the-year breather this month, it might be timely to remind ourselves of the many human and (especially) non-human beings who do not get to make that choice.

Gangasudhan,
Communications Officer

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VSS members enjoy discounts at these fine restaurants and establishments.

VSS Outreach Materials Storage

Want to help the animals and have space but not time? Now that VSS is doing regular outreach to the public, we need to have a central place to store our "kits" in between outreaches (so that volunteers can pick them up). If anyone lives fairly central has space for 1 tall shelf, 1 bike, and a stack of large bins and would allow volunteers to pick up and drop off at varying hours (about 2 - 5 times a month), please contact mike@vss.sg.

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VSS Weighs in on Diabetes-Rice Link

The following is a reply by VSS President George Jacobs to add on to a previous Straits Times article on how rice can contribute to diabetes. It was published online at http://www.straitstimes.com/forum/letters-on-the-web/vegetarian-diet-can-lower-diabetes-risk and we encourage everyone to share their thoughts in the comments section because that is one way to demonstrate the public interest in such issues.

"The report on May 6 ("Diabetes: The rice you eat is worse than sugary drinks") suggests that we can combat diabetes by switching from white rice to brown rice.

But where can we find brown rice when eating out?

In my experience, the two best places for brown rice are eateries with thunder tea rice (lei cha) and vegetarian restaurants and food stalls.

Not all vegetarian eateries offer brown rice, but those that do often also offer healthier vegetarian food, such as more vegetables and less deep fried food.

In addition to often providing brown rice, vegetarian eateries can help us lower our diabetes risk (or even help reverse diabetes) because meat reduction combats diabetes.

For instance, a 2010 research review in the peer reviewed journal Current Diabetes Reports found that people on vegetarian diets and especially those on vegan diets experienced 'significant benefits for diabetes prevention and management'."


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Letter on Animal Welfare Published

VSS ExCo member Michael Broadhead wrote in to the Straits Times to suggest that a mindset shift is needed in society so that animal welfare can focus on preventing ethical dilemmas to begin with rather than work on humane solutions after the fact. His letter was published on the ST Online Forum at http://www.straitstimes.com/forum/letters-on-the-web/change-mindsets-on-animal-exploitation. We encourage everyone who has been impacted by the fact that cruelty is inherent in all zoos and circuses to add their opinions in the comments section. It is only when we put our voices together that society can hear us.

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VSS Forum Letter Submission

VSS President Dr George Jacobs sent out the following letter to the Straits Times but it was not published.

"I refer to 'Blood-to stage protest in Spain (ST 25 May, 2016). This peaceful piece of theatre serves to remind us that the meat which looks so neat and tasty in a supermarket, wet market or eatery is actually the product of the unfortunate way we treat our fellow animals.

Take, for example, the chickens whom we humans eat at a rate of more than 40 billion per year (http://faostat.fao.org/site/569/DesktopDefault.aspx?
PageID=569#ancor
– you have to use the FAO’s calculator and multiply by 1000). They originated in the jungles of Southeast Asia
(http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/how-the-chicken-conquered-the-world-87583657/
?no-ist
), but today, these formerly wild creatures never even set foot outside. Instead, chickens spend their entire lives in huge, foul-smelling buildings with tens of thousands of other captives.

We deprive chickens of any opportunity to take part in their natural behaviours, such as building nests and dust bathing. Furthermore, we deprive them of their families, as chicks are born in hatcheries and never see their mothers.

Can you guess how long the average chicken lives before being slaughtered? Six weeks. Yes, weeks, not months or years.

Researchers have revealed surprising findings about the intellect and emotions of the chickens, cows, pigs and other animals whose body parts we see in markets and on our plates (http://www.nature.com/scientificamerican/
journal/v310/n2/full/scientificamerican0214-60.html
).

Fortunately, our markets and eateries also have on offer many tasty, healthy alternatives to meat. Thus, let us remember the theatre piece from Spain the next time we shop for food. Let us remember who (not what) lies under the plastic wrap."


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VSS Speakers at Food That Heals Conference

Dr George Jacobs and Ms Pauline Menezes will be speakers at the Food That Heals Conference that will be held on 24-25 June. The conference aims to broaden the knowledge of food and healthcare professionals on the healing power of food. The 2-day seminar-cum-workshop will be held at At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy. More information on the event is available at http://www.foodthatheals.sphereconferences.com.

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Updates from Animal Allies - The Outreach Arm of VSS!

Documentary Outreach
Animal Allies has started a new program where people can host private screenings of Earthlings, Cowspiracy, or Forks over Knives - for free! You can also request guest speakers to attend for a Q&A. More details at http://AnimalAllies.sg/Documentaries.

iAnimal Virtual Slaughterhouse
We launched our new outreach kit, which puts people inside a slaughterhouse using virtual reality. The immersive experience helps people awaken their ignored compassion for what happens to animals to produce their food. You can see the trailer and all out other kits at http://AnimalAllies.sg/Action. If you have an event upcoming, you can also request us to set up!

Website Updates
We've updated what's vegan at Starbucks and the top list of vegan fine dining restaurants:http://AnimalAllies.sg/Where-Can-I-Find.

Sponsoring Outreach
Each time we head out, we take a photo and share on social media to thank whoever sponsors our outreach. If you don't have time to volunteer but want to help inspire the veg message in SG, please consider sponsoring an upcoming event at http://AnimalAllies.sg/Action.

Letter to Editor
This was published in Straits Times by Volunteer Director of Animal Allies: http://www.straitstimes.com/forum/
letters-on-the-web/change-mindsets-on-animal-exploitation
.

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Why don't Vegans Wear Silk?

People usually recognise the cruelty of leather, but often don't realise silk worms are killed in the production of silk. Silk comes from the cocoon which is formed as a protective barrier for the worm while it undergoes metamorphosis into a moth. Silkworm farmers kill the moths before they emerge, usually by boiling the cocoons. With satin being an alternative fabric with similar qualities, there's no need to harm the silk moths simply for fashion.

To learn more, please visit http://www.peta.org/about-peta/faq/whats-wrong-with-silk/.

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Burger King NZ Switches to 100% Free-Range Eggs

Burger King NZ has decided to phase out the use of eggs from caged hens, switching to using free-range eggs instead. According to John Hunter, CEO of Burger King NZ, a partnership has been formed with New Zealand’s leading egg producer, Zeagold, to become the first large burger chain to move to 100% free-range eggs in New Zealand.” In the US, other companies, including Starbucks, McDonald's and Ben and Jerry’s have also made commitments to shun caged eggs in the region. These decisions are proof that it is possible for major companies to change their supply chain and, in turn, help to work towards phasing out some of the cruelest factory farming practices.

ACRES in Singapore is encouraging companies based in Singapore to join this global shift and lead the change towards a kinder future for the hens in Asia. You can ask Burger King Singapore to extend their commitment to use free-range eggs in Singapore, by writing a positive note on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BurgerKingSG.

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Genesis Special Prices for VSS Members

Genesis Vegan Restaurant located at 115 Owen Road (Tel:64387118) is offering some special discounts on its bread range for members. The first ten items listed below will be at a 20% discount while #11 and #12 will be given a 10% discount. Members will need to place their order by Monday and collect on Tuesday afternoon at 1pm by presenting their VSS membership card.

1. Organic Bread (100% wholemeal flour, no sugar or oil) - $7.00

2. Raisin Walnut, 350g - $4.50 or 650g - $7.50

3. Onion Dill, 350g - $4.00 or 850g - $7.00

4. Cinnamon Rolls, 4 pcs - $4.50 or 8 pcs - $7.50

5. Plain Wholemeal Bread - $6.00

6. Organic Sweet Brown Rice Dumpling - $6.50

7. Organic Sweet Brown Rice Dumpling (Nonya Style) - $6.50

8. Frozen Vegetable Pau (50% Wholemeal) - $2.50

9. Frozen Mushroom Pau (50% Wholemeal) - $2.50

10. Red Bean Pau with Black Sesame (50% Wholemeal) - $2.20

11. Almond Butter Spread - $11.90

12. Cashew and Chia Seeds Butter Spread - $12.90

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Another Vegan Diet Success Story

In case you didn't notice this story, read about a polytechnic lecturer who changed to a vegan diet and experienced a change to his diabetic condition which he has been struggling with for over 20 years. While we encourage everyone to work with medical professionals closely to develop a strategy that is both responsible and effective, such success stories suggest that we should be open to exploring the what we eat as part of the diagnostic process.

Read the full story at http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/all-the-problems-went-away-after-he-changed-his-diet.

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Real Food is the Real Diet

Like it or not, diet has one of the most important factors when it comes to health. Poor diets can lead to premature death and chronic disease while optimal eating can increase life expectancy, dramatically reduce the lifetime risk of all chronic disease. Unfortunately, there are too many fads and trends that claim that a certain diet is the best and in many instances, the people advocating are benefitting in some way for their endorsement. No study has attempted to rigorously compare different diets using methodology that avoids bias and so Dr David Katz and Stephanie Meller of Yale University embarked on such an analysis. They arrived at the conclusion that a "diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention and is consistent with the salient components of seemingly distinct dietary approaches".

You can read the journal article at http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-032013-182351.

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