VSS eNewsletter Dec 31 2006
VSS eNewsletter 31 Dec 2006
Last year at this time, did you make a resolution to send your Season’s Greetings card before the New Year, instead of having to apologetically send belated greetings to all the punctual people who had sent to you? Let VSS help you. Here’s our meaningful message for a happier, healthier, more harmonious new year:
VSS belongs to the International Vegetarian Union (IVU). The 2006 IVU Annual Report is now on the website at http://www.ivu.org/news/2006/index.html
VSS thanks all of you for reading our newsletter this year.
Many people tell us this work is noble and very important for the world in so many ways. VSS is encouraged and has many ideas and projects in mind to promote vegetarianism further.
However, we can’t find enough people to carry out and follow through on these ideas and projects, because vegetarian work gets very low priority or no priority at all in many people’s lives. Instead, people decide to be “practical” and “realistic”.
We would like to say that saving lives is in truth a very practical and realistic endeavour.
We need people who can give this important movement high priority because the ways of the world need a change - desperately. Please let us know if you have leads on people who would like to be activists: info@...
Thx again for reading this newsletter in 2006. VSS hopes that, with your support, we can do even more in 2007 to build on the worldwide momentum for change in the way that we humans eat. Happy 2007!
Yuan Xin Vegetarian Buffet (9693.0662) is the latest business to become a VSS Corporate Member. It is not a restaurant; instead, they do catering.
VSS has only a few corporate members. Please consider supporting them. To find out more about Yuan Xin, please see their advertisement on the Corporate Member page of the VSS web:
The next time you go to a food place and can’t find anything vegetarian, don’t just walk away. Let the manager know there is a demand for vegetarian food. Give the outlet staff our newly designed postcard. You can view both sides of the card in pdf (Adobe Acrobat) format on the Download Page under VSS Postcard
No need to put the postcard in the mail; you can just leave it with the staff at an outlet. VSS hopes to have more postcards in the future if this one is a success. Stay tuned for information on where to obtain the postcard. For now, you can download it from our site, collect from Kampung Senang Holistic Lifestyle Centre, Blk 106 Aljunied Crescent (Aljunied MRT), #01-205, 6742.6627, or write to us at info@...
To close the year, here’s an excerpt from the opening, keynote speaker at the 2006 IVU World Vegetarian Congress in Goa , Dada J. P. Vaswani. The October 2006 issue of the newsletter of the Vegetarian Society (Reverence for Life) of India contains a transcript of the speech. Below is an excerpt. (please excuse the use of ‘men’ to refer to all humans)
Men have their rights. Do animals have no rights? Men have their rights. Do they not have duties towards the animals who have befriended man since the dawn of creation: the dog, the horse, the cow? Do they have no rights? The time has come when all animal lovers should come together and formulate a charter of animal rights and a charter of man’s duties towards the animals. Every animal has certain fundamental rights and the very first right of every animal I believe, the very first right of every animal is the right to live, for we cannot take away that which we cannot give. And since we cannot give life to a dead creature, we have no right to take away the life of a living one.
The year 1789 is a landmark in the history of humanity. It was in that year over two centuries ago that the French National Assembly adopted a declaration of the rights of man. That was the beginning of a new era in the history of humanity. Until then, mean had no rights. Kings were sovereign’ they could do whatever they liked. The 18th century gave rights to man. The 19th century gave rights to slaves, for there was a time when slaves had no rights; they were treated as we treat animals today. … The 18th century, as I said, gave rights to man. The 19th century gave rights to slaves. The 20th century has give rights to women. The 21st century I verily believe will give rights to animals. That will be a great and glorious day in the history of humanity.
Last July, VSS held an exhibition at the Central Library on Victoria Street . NLB was impressed with our posters, videos, statue and other materials. As a result, we were invited to put up our exhibition at Woodlands Regional Library from 9-21 Jan.
Here’s the necessary info on the library and how to go there:
900 South Woodlands Drive
Woodlands Civic Centre, #01-03
Mon - Sun: 10.00am - 9.00pm
Tel: 6332 3255
Buses: TIBS 169, 178, 187, 856, 858, 900, 901, 903, 911, 912, 913, 925, 926, 960, 961, 964, NR2
(SBS 168 goes to Woodlands Interchange/MRT Station)
Chinese Veg Stall at Bestway Building Closes
The Chinese veg stall at Bestway Building on Prince Edward Road has closed. There’s an opening for a new veg stall holder, in case you know of someone. In the meantime, there’s an Indian veg stall just two or three stalls away.
There was a mix up in the article about the new place selling brown rice smoothies. In fact, Stanley Tey was not a SMU graduate. Instead, he graduated from NUS many years back. He says that he would have enrolled at SMU if he was born later (just joking). He started this new business to create a product for the lactose or dairy milk intolerant consumers. In terms of nutritional value, the smoothie is high in calcium, dietary fibre and protein but low in sugar and calories, with no cholesterol and fat. The product has recently been accredited by HPB as a healthier choice. Furthermore, it is prebiotic, meaning it helps to stimulate the growth of good bacteria in the colon and, hence, can create a healthy microflora environment in the colon which may reduce colon problems. The drink is sold at Stanley 's RiZZ shop located at Great World City Mall, B1 at Cold Storage, beside the Guardian Pharmacy. Hours: 10am-10pm daily. For more info, call Stanley at 9817.6974.
Our last issue reported a study from the UK which found that people with higher IQs at age 10 were more likely to be vegetarians later in life. You can read the entire article at http://www.bmj.com/cgi/rapidpdf /bmj.39030.675069.55v1
The article has quotes from Shakespeare and Benjamin Franklin, the famous scientist, publisher, and politician of the 18th and 19th centuries, about the effects of diet on intellect. One of Shakespeare’s characters, Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night (Act 1, Scene 3), states; “I am a great eater of beef and I believe that does harm to my wit.” Franklin is quoted as stating in his autobiography that a veg diet provides one with “greater clearness of head and quicker comprehension.”
Here are three responses to last week’s request for help from someone with a non-veg spouse.
1. The writer lives in a non-vegetarian household and has a 7-year-old grandson who at most meals says, “Try a little meat, just for once”. I prepare most of my meals, or ‘steal’ veggies before they meet the meat. After a time, people get used to this and even help me out.
As for my grandson, every time he suggests I eat meat, I explain with patience why I don’t. He’s beginning to understand that he always get the same answer. I believe
one day he will follow my way.
Whatever you do in a non-vegetarian home, never feel guilty if you’re forced to compromise. Simply do your best, smile, be compassionate and understanding. Try to establish mutual respect.
Eating out can be upsetting to non-vegetarians who feel you’re not entering into the spirit of the occasion. If you cannot find a single thing to eat, quietly go for the drinks or desserts and snack when you reach home. At typical Chinese dinners, I eat lots of rice and chillies. Important – keep smiling and don’t talk about vegetarianism. Make friends, not adversaries.
2. Well, it's not easy to convince your spouse or colleagues or friends or relatives to accept vegetarian food, as the majority think that vegetarian food is not so healthy, is tasteless, is all gluten and does not have enough protein, vitamins, etc.
It takes time and patience to convince them, as not everybody can become vegetarian over night. Maybe you should let your wife know that vegetarian food is healthier than eating a large amount of meat and show her some vegetarian cooking books or recipes that you can easily find on websites.
I'm sure she loves you too. Therefore, she must understand why having a vegetarian diet is important to you. Perhaps, there should be a compromise, for example, when you go to a non-vegetarian stall or seafood restaurant, have them to cook some dishes without meat like "sa bo tofu" or frying simple vegetable dishes. Let her join you and start from there.
Meanwhile you may learn to cook some vegetarian dishes or bring her to some nice vegetarian restaurant (Miao Yi Restaurant on Bt Timah where they are famous for their vegetarian suckling pig and other dishes) or food stalls such as the ones at Shaw Tower on Beach Road) and let them know that vegetarian food is good after all.
3. I practice fasting and I have been a veg for 7 years. My husband is not a pure veg but does not mind eating veg food with me. I cook veg for him when I am fasting and not eating. Sometimes I cook veg for him while I decide to eat raw (tofu salad, fruits). It is important to cook your own food if you are a veg. I do not find it troublesome as I enjoy cooking.
I will change husbands but will not cook dead animals. I do not take egg, garlic, or onion. However, I fry egg with onion for my husband. I made my own decision to become a veg before marriage and communicated it clearly to my husband.
It is not easy for a non-veg to understand our way of eating or for us to change our spouse’s mindset. We have to respect our spouse’s eating habits - it takes time to change a person's diet. I share with him the benefits of a veg diet, fasting, raw eating and what is the best diet for children. I hope we will have less conflict when we have our child in the future.
News that meat and dairy products from cloned animals in the U.S. will not receive any special labeling may be one more reason why people will want to avoid animal-based foods:
New York Times on Meat and the Planet
One of the world’s top newspapers, The New York Times, has joined the chorus linking meat with environmental destruction. You can read the entire editorial at the link below, although registration may be required. Here’s an excerpt:
Consider these numbers. Global livestock grazing and feed production use “30 percent of the land surface of the planet.” Livestock — which consume more food than they yield — also compete directly with humans for water. And the drive to expand grazing land destroys more biologically sensitive terrain, rain forests especially, than anything else.
But what is even more striking, and alarming, is that livestock are responsible for about 18 percent of the global warming effect, more than transportation’s contribution. The culprits are methane — the natural result of bovine digestion — and the nitrogen emitted by manure. Deforestation of grazing land adds to the effect.
In our last excerpt from The China Study, the book’s main author, Prof Colin Campbell discussed five challenges people face when they try a veg diet for a month. In the following excerpt (p. 246), he gives four pieces of advice.
1. In the long term, plant-based eating is cheaper than an animal-based diet, but as you learn you may spend a little extra month trying things. Do it. It’s worth it.
2. Eat well. If you eat out, try lots of restaurants to find some great vegan dishes. … Learn what’s out there.
3. Eat enough. One of your health goals may be to lose weight. That’s fine, and on a plant-based diet you almost certainly will. But don’t hold back—whatever you do, don’t go hungry.
4. Eat a variety. Mixing it up is important both for getting all the necessary nutrients and for maintaining your interest in the diet.
Next issue: Prof Campbell shares an associate’s experience with going veg.
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