VSS electronic newsletter 23 Dec 2005
VSS eNewsletter 23 December 2005
Merry Christmas to All Our Christian Readers
VSS is participating in the Giving Tree @ North East, Singapore’s largest volunteer fair, which is being held from 2-31 December next to Tampines MRT. The fair’s goal is to encourage people from around the island to become volunteers or to expand their volunteer efforts. A wide range of organizations, including VSS, are there seeking more volunteers.
Earlier this year, we wrote asking for donations to create a sculpture to help bring home the connection between world hunger and meat eating. The sculpture is just completed and on display at the VSS booth in Tampines.
Also at The Giving Tree @ North East is an Adopt-a-Tree programme. Details at http://www.eco-singapore.org.
The VSS corporate membership scheme has been enhanced by the addition of a Corporate Member page on our website: http://www.vegetarian-society.org/revamp/html/index.php?module=Static_Docs&func=view&f=corporate.htm. The page provides a forum for businesses to let readers know about their veg-friendly products and services.
Please urge businesses to become VSS corporate members. It costs only $100 per year, whereas individual membership is at $30 per year. The main benefit of VSS membership (individual or corporate) is the satisfaction of knowing that you are promoting vegetarianism. The membership form – it’s the same form for all membership categories – can be downloaded at http://vegetarian-society.org/downloads/MembershipForm5threv.pdf. There is also a membership form in the sleeve of the VSS VCD.
A Free Holiday Gift
Give your friends and family a free holiday gift, a gift that keeps on giving. Subscribe them to the free VSS electronic newsletter. The newsletter appears about 45 times a year, providing news, event information, and insights related to vegetarianism. As one reader put it, “In this not so veg-friendly world, the VSS e-Newsletter reminds me of all the many good reasons to be veg and gives me the emotional support and health tips I need to keep on keeping on.”
To subscribe someone, just go to the Mailing List page on the VSS website: http://www.vegetarian-society.org/revamp/html/index.php?module=Static_Docs&func=view&f=vssgrp.htm. Then, type the person’s email address into the yellow box. Next, inform the person that they will be receiving an email from Yahoo! and that they need to reply to that email to start receiving their free subscription.
We are printing another 10,000 VSS VCDs. Many people say that the VCD was instrumental in convincing them to go veg or to stay veg. To save money, we pack the VCD ourselves with the sleeve and the clear plastic casing.
We’ll be doing that on Sat morning, 7 Jan. We meet at Payar Lebar MRT control at 9.30am. If you can come, please email first: yeow@... or violet@.... Also, donations are needed to pay for printing the VCDs. Each VCD costs about 60 cents.
Three New Veg Outlets
Wow! Three new vegetarian eateries. Here’s the scoop:
YI XIN VEGETARIAN
Blk 316-B #01-11 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1
Tel. 96943056 / 98551161,
Open 11am-3pm & 5pm-10pm, Closed Wed.
Blk 117 #01-05 Aljunied Ave 2,
Tel. 9847 6686,
(note: until Jan., only open till 2pm)
At NTUC Pasir Ris Downtown East, just opposite Cheers convenience store
Tahu Goreng, Fried Fish / Prawn Rice, Thai Tom Yam, Spaghetti, Lor Mee, Fried Spring Roll, Burger (All vegetarian, of course)
Open: 7:30am - 11:00pm, closed Wed.
Favourite Singapore Organic/Vegan Food Haunts
Can.com.sg is a popular local internet site. Here’s what their readers said about favourite organic/vegan food haunts:
A reader back from a visit to Malaysia wrote to recommend Vegan Salad & Herbs House, 22 Jalan Kubu , 75300 Melaka. “It’s a simple, friendly old coffee shop, open every day except for Thursdays and public holidays, 10.00am-4.00pm. Jalan Kubu is a little road branching off Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock.”
I was born in 1959. When I was growing up in Singapore , one of our neighbours used to purchase live chickens from the market, bring them home and slaughter them. I watched the entire slaughtering process countless times. I still very clearly remember the whole thing, from the screams before the chickens’ throats were slit, right up till, still struggling, they took their final breath. Although I continued to eat meat, the experience left a deep imprint on my mind as I was growing up.
As an adult, I was still eating lots of meat until 1998 when I was introduced to Buddhism. Like other religions, Buddhism teaches compassion for others, especially the less fortunate. I learned not to harm any sentient being and that life is dear to all. As I thought about compassion, the slaughtering of the chickens I had witnessed while a child kept replaying in my mind until I finally realised that chickens are thinking, feeling being just like us humans. The chickens’ screams upon seeing the knife were actually fear, and the chickens’ hopping and rolling on the grass verge until their final breath were in fact because they were feeling great pain.
Later in 1998, I woke up one mor ning and told my wife that from that day on, I would be a vegetarian. It had taken me so long to realise the mea ning of suffering to those poor animals. Now, whenever conditions are right, I will purchase and set free fishes or birds, in my own capacity, to prevent them from perishing in cages or ending up as meals. I also try my best not to buy belts or shoes made from leather. Instead, I buy those made from canvas or human-made materials. As the slogan says, “When the buying stops, the killing will too.”
To all human beings, I would like to say: Do not harm other sentient beings, as life is dear to all.
Warmest regards, Ken Ng
Editor’s note: In his great piece on why he became vegetarian, Ken Ng mentions the issue of buying captive animals for release. Earlier this year, Andrew Tay gave a talk on this for VSS. We asked Andrew, formerly Nature Society ( Singapore ) – www.nss.org.sg – Education Officer, to summarize what he said in his talk.
With regard to information on the release of animals, here are some facts:
1. Wild animals are captured and put on sale in shops to cater to the demand of those who want to buy and keep them as pets, to eat them, to use them for alleged medicinal qualities, or to release them. When we buy these animals, we are supporting and encouraging the capture of more animals from the wild. Demand = Supply. When no one buys these animals, then the trade in wild animals will finally stop.
2. Animals in the shops are usually kept in cruel conditions. In fact, some shops purposefully keep them in dirty conditions to attract sympathy from potential buyers. For example, the small Munia (sparrow-like) birds are stuffed by the hundreds in small, dirty cages. In these crowded unhygienic conditions, many contract diseases and infect others. If these animals are released into the environment, they will most likely spread diseases to others in the wild. Bird flu is an example.
3. Many animals on sale in our shops are not native to Singapore, that is, not found naturally here. These have been imported into the country, commonly from faraway countries like China , India , and the U.S. Because they are from temperate climates, when released into our tropical climate, they may not be able to adapt and die. Or if they do adapt and survive, they aggressively compete with our native wild animals for space, food, breeding areas, etc. For example, red-eared terrapins from the States have been released into our reservoirs, ponds, canals, and forest streams, and now are more common than our native freshwater turtles.
Below are some alternative, responsible actions we all can take to have compassion for our fellow animals. These suggestions were part of an exhibition on animal release held at Bright Hill Monastery and have been read by hundreds of people,
1.Rescue and care for animals when the need arises. Some examples: A baby bird who has dropped out of its nest; a turtle found in the middle of a road; an injured animal; a fish in a drying puddle. But first, we have to be very certain that the animals are really in need of our help or in immediate danger. For wild animals, we should always leave them alone as much as possible.
2. Join a wildlife protection or animal welfare group to provide protection and improve conditions for all animals.
3. There is an opportunity to do even better deeds for animals. Join the environmental movement to protect the seas, wetlands, and forests. These are homes to countless animals.
4. Encourage other humans to feel compassion for other sentient beings, and inform them of the need to protect animals and the importance of conserving nature and our environment.
5. Encourage and educate pet owners to love and give proper care to their companion animals.
6. Encourage others not to buy animals who are not suitable as pets. Inform them why we should not patronise shops which sell unsuitable pet animals or who do not give proper care to the animals in their shops.
7. Help make others aware of the need to conserve endangered and protected species. Inform them on why we should not buy them to keep as pets, for consumption, or for release.
8. Volunteer your help, even for a few hours or one day, to organisations that care for animals, the elderly, the homeless, or the terminally ill. These organisations do need your help.
9. Do other good deeds daily.
10. Eat vegetarian more often and eat less meat. Or become a vegetarian.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this Newsletter is solely for the consideration of the subscribers, and does not constitute an endorsement by VSS.
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