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VSS eNewsletter, 20 September 2007

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  • Vegetarian Society (Singapore)
    VSS eNewsletter, 20 September 2007 VSS News Tunnel Party at Substation - 22 Sep - 4.30pm-11.30pm VSS Talk at Library@Orchard - Sun, 7Oct - 3-4pm Costume Makers
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 19, 2007
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      VSS eNewsletter, 20 September 2007



      VSS News

      Tunnel Party at Substation – 22 Sep – 4.30pm-11.30pm

      VSS Talk at Library@Orchard – Sun, 7Oct – 3-4pm

      Costume Makers Needed


      Other News

      McD’s Going Green?

      Just for Laughs?

      New Veg Eatery in Marine Parade

      Wholesome Living Bread Course in October

      Globalisation and Food: Free Talk and Video

      Veg Stall Sighting in Thomson Area

      Plants and Pain

      Omega-3 and Veg Diets

      Free Online Nutrition Newsletter

      Stats on Number of Fellow Animals Consumed by Americans         


      VSS News

      Tunnel Party at Substation – 22 Sep – 4.30pm-11.30pm

      The Substation has invited VSS to participate, along with other local NGOs, in what is being called a Tunnel Party at the Substation and in the SMU concourse between the Fort Canning Tunnel, SMU and the National Museum of Singapore. Here’s Substation’s invitation:


      We're throwing a big party and everyone's invited! The reason? We're celebrating our community and diversity and seeing as we hardly ever come together as a whole community, we're going to create an event to bring people together. There will be exhibitions, performances, bands on stage including Tiramisu, TypeWriter and Great Spy Experiment, film screenings, a flea market including arts and civil society groups and more! There will even be a yoga class just before sunset, right on top of the Fort Canning Tunnel so bring your yoga mat!


      The day is Sat – the date is 22 Sep – and the time is 4.30pm-11.30pm.


      VSS Talk at Library@Orchard – Sun, 7Oct – 3-4pm

      VSS will do a series of talks at Library@Orchard leading up to our exhibition there, 3-18 Nov. The first talk, by one of VSS’s most popular speakers, Bala, is on Sun, 7 Oct, 3-4pm and is titled Breathe! And Be Free! This repeat talk is by special request of NLB staff who liked it a lot when Bala did it at Tampines Regional Library during the VSS exhibition there during Singapore Meatout Week 2007. Bala is a trained yoga teacher and all-around great guy!


      Volunteers are needed to staff the exhibition, 3-18 Nov – open every day, 10am-9pm, Shifts are 10am-2pm, 2pm-6pm, and 6pm-9pm. Please arrive at least 10 mins before your shift begins. Contact info@... if you might be able to take some shifts. Duties include handing out flyers to any who is interested and talking with anyone who would like to chat about what they see in the exhibition. You don’t need to know answers to every possible concern or question – no one does.


      Costume Makers Needed

      Roots and Shoots is a youth organisation founded by Jane Goodall, the famous scientist who studies chimpanzees in Africa . (We hear that she’s a vegetarian.) Roots and Shoots works to raise environmental consciousness among youth and to involve youth in pro-environmental activities. On Fri, 2 Nov, 5-7pm, the local Roots and Shoots chapter is having an exciting event, a costume parade entitled the Wildlife Stampede. VSS is invited.


      Plus, VSS is invited to a workshop, 30 Sep – Sun – 3-5pm, for making costumes for the Wildlife Stampede. Our costumes will be of fruits and vegetables. We have rented such costumes a couple times in the past to take part in The New Paper Big Walk. It costs about $100 to rent one costume. To save money, we’d like to make our own costumes. We can use these at various times of the year, for instance, for talks at primary schools.


      If you can help – you do not need to come to the workshop – please contact info@...


      Other News

      Everyone Wants To Be Green – Veg Is Green

      Note: The following two items are adapted from material suggested by a reader. Such contributions are most welcome and can be sent to info@...


      In the papers on 7 Sep was news that McD's in Japan were offering Big Macs at half the usual price to customers willing to “show” commitment to the environmental cause (e.g. global warming) - by checking 39 boxes on a form in the government's Environment Ministry's website. The heavy traffic crashed the website.

      This is most ironic - because the main ingredient of hamburgers is, of course, meat, and according to the 2006 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), “Livestock's Long Shadow” - “The livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems at every scale from local to global... The livestock sector is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions measured in CO2 equivalent. This is a higher share than transport.”

      Also, animal waste can contain both methane and nitrous oxide. Scientists at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency say these gases have greater global warming potential than carbon dioxide. Methane traps more than 21 times more heat than carbon dioxide, while nitrous oxide absorbs 270 times more.

      The many environmental hazards of eating meat led the Worldwatch Institute to list reducing meat consumption as one of its ten ways to go green.

      So meat restaurants can show a commitment to saving the planet, not by reducing prices on their meat options but by having more veg options and reducing prices on those. 

      Just For Laughs?

      In a segment of the “Just for Laughs” TV show, which is essentially a “Candid Camera” kind of show, there was an insightful prank played in a supermarket. At the counter where “fresh” fish is wrapped in paper for shoppers, the guy staffing the counter swaps the package with the dead fish and substitutes a package containing a mechanical fish. He passes it to the shopper. Much to the shopper’s horror, the moment the shopper holds the package, the mechanical fish inside the package starts to wriggle. The shocked shopper hurriedly puts the wriggling package back on the counter. The counter guy then brandishes a huge mallet, and attempts to knock out the “fish” in the package - but to no avail - to the further horror of the shopper!

      Now, this TV skit is both a good and bad joke for various reasons. Though meant to be funny, in real life, our fellow animals are, of course, unwilling to die so that we humans can unnecessarily eat them. Also, this TV skit begs the question - Is it okay to kill other animals as long as we do so quickly? The answer is obvious - just place yourself in the position of these animals. Would you mind being killed as long as it was done quickly to satisfy the taste buds of others?

      The darkly humorous gag reminds us that meat consumers are those who pay others to do the dirty job of killing for them - “out of sight, out of mind” - but this is wilful denial. All meat was live animals who didn’t want to die. So, it's not “just for laughs”!


      New Veg Eatery in Marine Parade

      A reader reports a new veg stall in Kim Tat Seng Eating House, a coffee shop at 5 Marine Parade Central - near the hawker centre opposite OCBC. The stall’s name is Good Earth Vegetarian, and the address is 5 Marine Parade Central, #01-05. Opening hours are 7.00am - 2.00pm. They do not serve egg.


      Wholesome Living Bread Course in October

      Chef Oh Chong Fah will be doing one of his most popular bilingual courses, Wholesome Bread (Without Oven). Here are the details.


      Course Duration:                2 sessions, each session 2 hours

      Date:                                        Wed Workshop  3 & 10 Oct 2007, 7-9pm

                                                                  Fri Workshop 19 & 26 Oct 2007, 7-9pm

      Fee (includes ingredients):         $90/$80 for early payment

      Venue:                             Wholesome Living, Blk 416 Pandan Gardens , #01-130,

                                            S. 600416          

      Tel/Fax:                           6560.1337

      Email:                              info@...

      Class size:                        12 pax, on first-come-first-serve basis.

      Payment Method:               Cheque payable to Wholesome Living or electronic fund transfer (write in for details), must be received 1 week before the class commences


      Globalisation and Food: Free Talk and Video

      Have you ever wondered where your food comes from and whether it really contains the nutrients and anti-oxidants that help you fight aging and disease?  When cities are encroaching on natural forests and farmlands, have you ever wondered if there will be enough land to grow the food that will feed the world?


      Watch a video on this and listen to a very knowledgeable speaker, Evelyn Eng-Lim, an organic farmer in Singapore . Evelyn conducts outdoor educational programs for adults and students at her organic farm, Green Circle Eco-Farm. Previously, she was an analytical chemist, teacher, businessperson and a full-time volunteer with Nature Society ( Singapore ). At NSS, she held various posts, from Chair of the Education Group, Honorary Secretary, to founding and managing the publication of the quarterly magazine, Nature Watch.


      Date:            Sat, 22 Sep

      Time:            5pm-7.30pm

      Venue:          Whatever Yoga-Healing Space, 31 Keong Saik Rd

      Price:            Free

      Call:             6221.0300 to register your attendance. 


      Veg Stall Sighting in Thomson Area

      A reader reports sighting a veg stall at Shun Fu Market which is near to Thomson area. The unit number is, #02-02, and they sell brown rice.


      Plants and Pain

      A perennial question that vegetarian face is: “You say you’re concerned about the suffering of animals, but don’t plants suffer too? To be consistent, you should also stop eat plants.” Here’s a response from an Internet Discussion Group of the International Vegetarian Union.


      I suppose much depends on your definitions. Plants can sense tissue damage and initiate a chemical response, so that might be said to be sensing pain. What they clearly lack is the CNS (Central Nervous System) necessary to be "conscious" of the pain - they can't think "ouch that hurts". For comparison consider you have a trivial bruise - there is no sense of pain (no awareness), but there is the tissue damage and the chemical response just the same. Therefore plants can not suffer.

      These kinds of arguments about plant pain are not very helpful, because all food is derived from plants ultimately and eating animals instead of plants directly, requires more plant destruction via the food chain.”


      Omega-3 and Veg Diets

      Last month, Mind Your Body ran a letter claiming that veg diets are necessarily deficient in Omega-3. Mark Chan, a Health Educator with Adventist Community Services, contributed this reply, based on information from Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power, Volume 1, pp. 124-127 & 240-241 & Volume 2, p. 215. Contact Mark if you would like to buy the encyclopedia: markchan@adventist. org.sg or 9743.8362.


      Plant-Based Omega-3 Fatty Acids Are Simply Better

      Omega-3 in plant foods are better because they contain lots of vitamin E to keep the omega-3s fresh and prevent them from turning rancid, but omega-3 fatty acids in fish are not protected by vitamin E and therefore turn rancid much more quickly.

      Long-chain fish omega-3s enter the blood and cells more rapidly and produce more rapid effects than short-chain plant omega-3s. However, alpha-linolenic acids ( ALA ) found in plant sources are converted to the long-chain fatty acids in sufficient time for the human body to use. This is why hundreds of millions of people in  India who have been vegetarian for centuries have survived perfectly well without ever eating fish.

      Plant-based foods rich in Omega-3 include flaxseeds, olive oil, whole grains, walnuts, primrose and canola oils.

      Free Online Nutrition Newsletter

      Paul Appleby is Secretary of Oxford ( UK ) Vegetarians and contributed this. Paul is also Senior Statistician at Cancer Research UK at their Epidemiology Unit in Oxford, UK . He has co-authored several papers arising from studies of the long-term health of vegetarians, including the Oxford Vegetarian Study, the Health Food Shoppers Study, and the Oxford arm of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) which includes 20,000 vegetarians.

      The latest Arbor Clinical Nutrition Update (www.nutritionupdates.org) tackles the subject of bone health in vegetarians and vegans.

      The conclusion is reassuring:

      "Overall, we think that a well balanced vegetarian diet should provide
      no grounds for worry regarding bone health. However, that is not to say
      that we cannot learn from studying vegetarians more about optimal
      nutrition for building bones.

      In those vegetarians following diets involving significant restriction,
      particularly elimination of dairy foods, some supplementation of calcium
      and vitamin D may need to be considered. It would be prudent to ensure
      adequate B12 status. All this would be especially important in children,
      lactating and post-menopausal women."

      Subscriptions to the standard edition (of which this is one) are free of


      Stats on Number of Fellow Animals Consumed by Americans         

      In his talk last week in Singapore , J.P. Vaswani talked about the number of our fellow animals whom humans eat in a lifetime. He stated that all of these animals loved life and that none of them existed as resources for humans. Furthermore, he predicted that while the 18th century first gave rights to some humans, with the 19th century extending those rights by abolishing slavery and the 20th century extending those rights to woman, the 21st century will see rights extended to our fellow animals.


      The statistics below are excerpted from data on the number of animals eaten by the average American in a year and a lifetime. To save space, not all animals are listed.


      The population of the United States in 2006 was approximately 299,398,484 people.

      The average American life span is 77.8 years (2004).



      ·         Total number killed for food: 8,968,916,000  

      ·         Average number consumed per American: 29.96

      ·         Average number consumed per American lifetime: 2,330.61



      ·         Total number killed for food: 255,323,000

      ·         Average number consumed per American: 0.85

      ·         Average number consumed per American lifetime: 66.35



      ·         Total number killed for food: 28,081,000

      ·         Average number consumed per American: 0.09

      ·         Average number consumed per American lifetime: 7.30



      ·         Total number killed for food: 104,844,600

      ·         Average number consumed per American: 0.35

      ·         Average number consumed per American lifetime: 27.24


      Steers and Calves

      ·         Total number killed for food: 33,850,300

      ·         Average number consumed per American: 0.11

      ·         Average number consumed per American lifetime: 8.80


      Marine Animals

      ·         Total number killed for food: 32.06 billion

      ·         Average number consumed per American: 107.08

      ·         Average number consumed per American lifetime: 8,331


      All Animals (Yearly Totals)

      ·         Average number consumed per American, excluding sea animals: 31.38

      ·         Average number consumed per American, including sea animals: 138.46


      All Animals (Lifetime Totals)

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