VSS eNewsletter 8 May 2007
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VSS eNewsletter, 8 May 2007
The VSS Online Forum provides a venue for you to share ideas and information about veg-related topics: http://www.vegetarian-society.org/forums
The VSS stall at LianHe Wan Bao’s Beauty & Healthcare Fair 2007, 5-6 May was very popular, with lots of people coming by to snap up our educational materials, such as VCDs, flyers and stickers. Plus, about 80 people signed up to receive the free eNewsletter you’re reading now. Thanks to LianHe WanBao and to everyone who staffed the VSS stall.
One person who came by wants to invite us to do a similar exhibition at his CC and do talks at a primary school near the CC. If you have other ideas for venues for VSS educational materials and activities, please contact info@...
VSS has signed on to a statement on the problem of Global Hunger. This statement, initiated by the European Vegetarian Union, will be sent to the U.N. later this month. One piece of background information is that in many European countries a large amount of money is spent to subsidize meat production.
Not all vegetarian activists agree with everything in the statement. For example, the tone is a bit harsher than we would have liked. Also, Dr Stephen Walsh, Science Officer of the International Vegetarian Union – http://www.ivu.org – correctly criticized the following sentence in the statement:
"The production of meat is uneconomical and can only be maintained with
huge financial subsidies, leading to harsh social injustice."
Here is what Stephen wrote:
I believe meat would continue to be produced and consumed on much the same scale as now even if all subsidies were removed. Agriculture is a very small part of GDP in developed countries but meat consumption is a strong part of the culture in these countries. EU subsidies through the Common Agricultural policy amount to some 70 billion US dollars and global subsidies reach about 250 billion US dollars. These are certainly big enough numbers to distort world agricultural markets but amount to only about 200 US dollars per person in the developed world. If these
subsidies were withdrawn then global agricultural markets would adjust quite readily to meet the entrenched demand.
If, for example, subsidies were withdrawn in the European Union then: some inefficient EU producers would stop producing; there would probably be some further shift in EU production from cattle (land intensive and hence benefiting most from subsidies linked to area) to poultry (feed intensive); there would be a further shift to use of imported feeds (already high, particularly for soya); and there would probably be an increase in land purchase in developing countries by multinationals.
I doubt, however, that global meat consumption would alter significantly, much less cease. A suitable alternative might be: ""The production of meat is inherently inefficient and incompatible with resolving our pressing environmental problems and resource conflicts."
Dr Neal Barnard and his colleagues at Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine - http://www.pcrm.org - have launched a new site to provide nutrition information with a vegetarian perspective: http://www.nutritionmd.org/index.html
The Third Asian Vegetarian Congress will be held 3-7 Nov 2007, in Kaohshiung , Taiwan . The conference theme is “The Spiritual Perspective on Vegetarianism”. A wide range of speakers from Asia and beyond are scheduled to address the gathering. Also, included are exhibitions, cultural performances, yoga, massage and, of course, lots of delicious vegetarian food.
For details and to register, please visit: http://www.tianfoor.com
Probably the only restaurant in Singapore with a collection can for VSS is Mdm Sophia Teh’s New Green Pasture Café on Level 4 of Fortune Centre, one of Singapore ’s veg oases.
Once again, Sophia has kindly agreed to share her considerable culinary expertise with the public via a Mandarin language cooking class.
Dates: 3, 10, 17, 24 June (Sun)
Investment: $200 (4 classes, include dinners)
Sweet and Sour Kebab
Grilled Abalone Mushroom with Sweet Sauce
Steamed Golden Tofu Custard
5-Grain Buckwheat Congee
Heavenly Soup of Vermicelli
Green Pasture Pasta
Rojak da' Ganges
Coco nuts about Sweet Potato Ball
Fragrant Red Rice
Vietnamese Sushi Rolls
Ananda Marga Yoga Centre - http://www.anandamarga.org.sg - is sponsoring a 4-day trip to Titi Eco Farm – http://www.titieco.com.my/default.htm - in Negeri Sembilan , Malaysia . The trip includes fasting lessons and yoga.
Depart 27 May (Sun) and return 30 May (Wed). Price: S$350 (adults) and S250 (kids). For details, call Mamata at 9751-6910 or visit http://www.anandamarga.org.sg/files/TitiEcoFarm.doc
Sze-Chuan Court restaurant in Raffles The Plaza hotel is the latest high-end restaurant to offer a special veg menu. For the entire month of May, they are advertising ‘The Beauty and Spirit of Vegetarian Dining’: http://edm.singapore-plaza.raffles.com/EDM/Vegetarian_Dining/index.html
For reservations: 6431-6156.
As this article about the U.S. , from the Associated Press news service, shows, it’s not just in S’pore that veg food is going mainstream.
Adventist Community Service presents a vegetarian cooking demonstration and tasting on 20 May (Sun), 4pm to 7pm (dinner provided) at 6 Ashwood Grove (Woodlands), S. 739956. The special fee is $20.00 per person. Also included is a short health talk on the nutritional value of the food that will be demonstrated and cooking demo on veg sushi, healthy salad, apricot candy, vegetarian pomfret, and sumptuous wild rice.
To register, sms Mark Chan at 9743.8362. The first 20 registrants qualify for a lucky draw.
The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper invites readers to write in about something that ‘makes their blood boil.’ Below is what one vegetarian wrote. One great bit is this one: “I am sure you are all right, I am sure that it [meat] tastes great, but perhaps it is worth considering that taste is just not a good enough reason to be a carnivore.”
No Bones about It, I've Been Vegetarian Since Conception
May 1, 2007
I AM A vegetarian. Before you say anything, let me answer all of your questions. Trust me, it will save everyone a lot of time.
I am a vegetarian because I believe that it is wrong to eat animals. My mum and brother are also vegetarian but my dad eats meat.
No, I have never eaten meat. No, I am not kidding. I have been a vegetarian since birth. I am 21 years old.
No, to the best of my knowledge I have never accidentally eaten meat. No, I don't wish that I ate meat. Yes, if I was in a aeroplane crash and had been starving in the jungle for three weeks and there was no possibility of imminent rescue I would eat meat to survive.
Any more questions? No? I didn't think so. I know this because I have had this conversation with so many people over the past 21 years that it is an easy one to predict. The thing that gets me is I can't understand why anyone wants to eat meat.
It is a total mystery to me. Every day I seem to discover a new reason not to.
Seriously, just think about it for a second. I am sure it really does taste great, everyone keeps telling me, but think about all the reasons not to.
Eating meat is bad for the environment. It is irrefutable; meat eaters are responsible for more greenhouse gases than vegetarians, not to mention land clearing, bird flu and mad cow disease.
Raw meat is disgusting, so is cooked meat a lot of the time. Surely even non-vegetarians would have to agree with that.
Need I go on? OK, I will. Tapeworms are commonly contracted from undercooked meat; too much red meat increases the risk of some kinds of cancer and there are high levels of cholesterol and fat found in many meats. I don't think I need to explain the health problems that they can cause.
More? Still not convinced? Are you sure? OK, you don't have to support the killing of animals that, while not necessarily cruelly treated, are certainly not living as nature intended; then there's the high incidence of salmonella bacteria in chicken meat ...
I won't go on, but the next time I tell someone I am vegetarian, maybe, just maybe, they could consider all of the good reasons to be one before they start trying to convince me that I am missing out on some vital part of life.
I am sure you are all right, I am sure that it tastes great, but perhaps it is worth considering that taste is just not a good enough reason to be a carnivore.
I hope this gives you some food for thought. Enjoy your dinner tonight.
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