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VSS eNewsletter, 13 May 2008

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  • George Jacobs
    VSS eNewsletter, 13 May 2008 VSS News Please Help Staff Vesak Day Exhibitions VSS to Participate in
    Message 1 of 1 , May 12, 2008

      VSS eNewsletter, 13 May 2008


      VSS News

      Please Help Staff Vesak Day Exhibitions

      VSS to Participate in Singapore Animal Welfare Symposium

      Feedback on VSS AGM

      Feedback on the VCD Packing

      Letter to the Forum Page on Shark's Fin Soup

      Jashu Shah, Vegetarian Leader for Asia , Passes Away


      Other News

      Singapore Ultramarathon Approaching – Vegucation Opportunity

      Two Reports Condemn Factory Farming

      Maneka Gandhi on Excuses for Not Being Veg

      Three New Classes from Chef Oh Chong Fah

      Vegetarian Noodles Cooking Class – Starting 31 May

      Laugh Your Way to Health with Tom Low – 18 May

      Special Dialogue Session with Ray Kent – 25 May

      Singapore Vegetarian Meetup Visits a Sikh Temple – 17 May

      Facebook Group for Vegetarian Dogs and Their Human Friends

      How to Live Past 90


      VSS News

      Please Help Staff Vesak Day Exhibitions

      VSS is a non-religious organisation, but we work with a wide range of religious organisations. For example, we are doing two exhibitions around the Vesak Day holiday, one at Bright Hill Temple in Bishan and the other on Spring Street near Maxwell Road Food Centre in Chinatown .


      Be sure not to miss this chance to visit our exhibition, meet like-minded volunteers, and promote meat reduction for a better environment, better health and less animal suffering. Your efforts will not be wasted as many people there are likely to be receptive to our message. So please come to help out.

      The Bright Hill exhibition will be held continuously from Sun, 18 May, 4pm to Mon, 19 May, 5pm. And yes, that is overnight, and we still need help to staff the exhibition!


      At the same time, VSS has another exhibition at a Vesak carnival on Spring St., in Chinatown . The Bright Hill dates are 18-19 May, and the Chinatown dates are 16-19 May, 10am-10pm. If you can help for a few hours, please contact lauwenjin@...


      VSS to Participate in Singapore Animal Welfare Symposium

      A VSS Exco member will be speaking as part of the Singapore Animal Welfare Symposium to be held Sat, 24 May, 8.30am-6.30pm, at SMU's Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium. Vegan lunch and tea snacks will be provided.


      Registration is free and closes on 16 May. Details at http://www.animalwelfare.sg


      Feedback on VSS AGM

      The VSS AGM was held on 22 Mar. Here is some feedback we received from one non-member who attended. One clarification of something in the last paragraph is that non-vegetarians who support VSS's goals are most welcome to join, although only vegetarians can be officers of the Society. Here's the feedback, slightly edited for clarity and brevity.


      I was an observer during the AGM. At the AGM, I watched the presentation on VSS's efforts in 2007, including how VSS helped students do projects related to vegetarianism. In addition, at the AGM, I heard a VSS member telling about being a vegetarian during his time in National Service. After the AGM, we even had dinner together at the venue. The taste of the food might not have been as delicious as its meat counterparts, but it was healthier & friendlier. I was satisfied with it.


      I used to think that vegetarians live a "miserable" life in terms of diet, depriving themselves of delicious meat food items in buffets & barbecue sessions. However, since July 2007, after viewing the VSS exhibits and reading the VSS e-newsletter, I have come to realise that meat eating is destructive to the environment, animals, human health, & even the workforce.


      I even visited several vegetarian websites, especially www.goveg.com These websites explain why we should seriously consider going vegetarian. There are numerous details mentioned.


      I can only be welcome at the AGM as a guest or observer, not a VSS member, because my family does not agree to a vegetarian diet. In addition, there are still days that I eat meat, especially during the reunion dinner during Chinese New Year Eve. In order to protect the name of the organisation, I should not sign up as a member.


      Feedback on the VCD Packing

      A couple weeks ago, more than 20 people came together to pack another 10,000 of the VSS VCD, Seeds for a Better World. Here's some feedback from one of those people.


      It [the VCD packing] was a worthwhile experience for me, being able to meet fellow vegetarians and finding out about their attitudes and mentality. It was exhilarating to learn that vegetarianism is on the rise. The most important aspect was that we were able to exchange experiences and ideas, and learned what more can be done to help promote a good cause. Although the packing session was kinda dull and monotonous, what made it fun was the surrounding people, who made small talk and jokes with each other, thus making it an enjoyable gathering, I guess.

      Iven Ong, new volunteer


      Letter to the Forum Page on Shark's Fin Soup

      A VSS Exco member sent the following letter to the Forum page of The Sunday Times. The newspaper has declined to publish it.


      I refer to the article 'Shucks, no fin?' in The Sunday Times of Sunday, 11 May 2008. The article discusses the issue of whether to eat shark's fin. The good news is that more and more people are trying to eat ethically, as your reporter, Tan Yi Hui, states. Not only are people here in Singapore questioning whether to eat sharks fin, but in other countries, a growing minority are also refusing to eat meat from land animals, such as pigs and chickens, who are raised in cramped, unnatural conditions and fed growth hormones and antibiotics.


      The larger question is why do we need to eat our fellow animals at all when governments, such as that of Singapore and the U.S. , assure us that we can be healthy on a vegetarian diet? Thus, the issue becomes not how the innocent animals, be they sharks or chickens, are killed, 'humanely' or otherwise, but whether they should be killed at all.


      Imagine that another species came to Earth, a species wiser and more skilled than ours, and that this species took a liking to the taste of human flesh. Soon, human hand soup became a delicacy at the weddings of members of this species. What would you say to the soon to be newly weds from Krypton when they were planning the menu for their special day?


      Jashu Shah, Vegetarian Leader for Asia , Passes Away

      VSS is a member of the International Vegetarian Union, and we have the honour to meet vegetarian leaders from around the world. It is with sadness that we announce the passing of one such leader, Mr Jashu Shah.


      Jashu was a pioneering figure of the vegetarian movement in Asia . He attended his first IVU congress in India in 1957 and gradually became more involved, eventually becoming a member of the IVU International Council in 1982, the Regional Secretary for 20 years from 1986 until 2006, when he retired during the IVU Congress which he organised in Goa . Jashu was also the first president of the Asian Vegetarian Union in 1999, continuing in that role until he retired last year, and Secretary of the Vegetarian Society (Reverence for Life) in Mumbai for many years.


      For more on Jashu's devotion to the vegetarian movement, including photos, please visit http://www.ivu.org/members/council/jashu-shah.html


      Other News

      Singapore Ultramarathon Approaching – Vegucation Opportunity

      Interest is building in the Sundown Marathon, an 84km ultramarathon to be held here on 31 May: http://www.sundownmarathon.com/index.php


      Last time we checked, the race's website didn't list any of the well-known ultramarathoners who might be participating. However, the race is a good chance to let people that one of the world's leading ultramarathoners is a vegetarian, Scott Jurek: http://www.scottjurek.com


      Among Scott's many accomplishments is being seven-time champion of the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. Maybe he's not coming to Singapore because the race here is too short for him!


      Anyway, the race is a great chance to educate people that vegetarians (actually, Scott is a vegan) can be very fit. Here's an interview with Scott: http://www.eliterunning.com/features/54


      If anyone would like to try to use the event to educate people about the virtues of plant-based diets, please contact us at info@...


      Two Reports Condemn Factory Farming

      Factory farming comes under scrutiny in two recent reports.


      1. Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production, a project of the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, conducted a 2.5-year study of American animal agriculture. The report condemns factory farming as hazardous to our fellow animals, to humans and to the environment. Read the report or an executive summary at http://www.ncifap.org

      or newspaper article based on the report at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/29/AR2008042902602.html or http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120951584294254683.html


      2. According to a new Union of Concerned Scientists report, the true cost of meat and milk produced in massive CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations) includes billions in unaccounted-for taxpayer dollars that pay for the economic, health, and environmental problems CAFOs create.

      CAFOs are supported by misguided government policies. Meanwhile, modern, alternatives are already in practice today that can produce the quantity of food we need, often without government subsidies. These alternatives can safeguard our health while protecting the foundations of our food supply--like healthy soil and fresh water.


      The report, "CAFOs Uncovered: The Untold Costs of Confined Animal Feeding Operations", can be viewed at



      Maneka Gandhi on Excuses for Not Being Veg

      Maneka Gandhi is an Indian politician and an outspoken activist for our fellow animals. She is a vegan and chairperson of the organisation People for Animals: http://www.peopleforanimalsindia.org


      Here are her rather sharp views on her interactions with non-vegetarians



      Three New Classes from Chef Oh Chong Fah

      One of Chef Oh Chong Fah's specialties is vegan baking. Here are three new workshops in which he will teach you to make Chinese and Western baked goods, including bing, and delicious spreads to go with the baked goods.


      All workshops are bilingual – Chinese/English. Please contact Chong Fah at 6560.1337 or info@... for the venue.

      1. Wholesome Bakery, 24 & 31 May, Sat, 3-6pm

      2. Chinese Snack Bing 2, 25 May, Sun, 3-6pm

      3. 30 May, Fri, 7-10pm


      For details on the classes, including pictures on what you'll be making, please visit www.wholesomeliving-sg.com


      Chef Oh provided the food and the food demo for the lunch-time talk that VSS did recently for a company in Jurong. You might also like to visit his shop, Wholesome Living, at Blk 416, Pandan Gardens , #01-130, S. 600416, 6560.1337, info@...


      Vegetarian Noodles Cooking Class – Starting 31 May

      Mdm Tan Boo Bay is the instructor for this 8-session cooking class.


      Dates: Weekly for 8 sessions from Sat, 31 May

      Time: 3-5pm

      Venue: Singapore Buddhist Federation, 375 Race Course Rd, S. 218644

      MRT: Farrer Park

      Registration: Form available from SBF, downloadable from


      Price: $75 for the entire 8 sessions

      Language: Mandarin

      Details: 6744.4635


      Laugh Your Way to Health with Tom Low – 18 May

      Vegetarian health educator, Tom Low, who is also a certified Laughter Yoga Trainer, the author of "Your Kitchen Is Your Pharmacy" and has been called by Radio Australia "the Singaporean Juice Healer", is offering at no charge Part 1 of his Anti–Aging program: "You Are What You Think, Do and Eat".


      Tom will teach us how, in addition to eating a vegetarian, we can use regular doses of laughter as part of the path towards becoming and staying healthy.


      Date: Sun, 18 May

      Time: 5pm-6pm

      Place: SWAMI Home Auditorium, 5 Sembawang Walk, S. 757717

      Price: Free

      Language: English with Mandarin translation by Raymond Kwek

      Details: 9750 6092; ahealth@...


      Special Dialogue Session with Ray Kent – 25 May

      Ray Kent is the founder of Our Place International. He will be holding a dialogue session: "Finally, The Truth About Health!"


      Date:   Sun, 25 May

      Time:  Registration at 1:30pm; Dialogue Session at 2pm sharp - 5pm

      Venue: Seminar Room @ Professional Investment Advisory Services

      Address: #05-01 Bank of China Plaza , 133 Middle Road

      Fee: $20 per pax

      Language: English with Chinese Translation

      Details: 6542.2951, 9296.2422 (After 1.30pm), chngngim@...


      Singapore Vegetarian Meetup Visits a Sikh Temple – 17 May

      Our friends at Singapore Vegetarian Meetup are having another interesting event for adventurous vegetarians who like to meet new people and try different food. The Sikh religion has a strong current of vegetarianism within it, and we understand that vegetarian food is the only food served at local Sikh temples.


      If you're interested in this event, google 'Singapore Vegetarian Meetup' to visit their webpage and RSVP. That way, the organiser, Joe Goh - xorandor@... - will be able to update you on the event. Plus, Joe needs an idea of how many people will be turning up.


      When: Sat, 17 May, 12noon

      Where: Gurdwara Sahib Silat Road 9 Jalan Bukit Merah

      Meet: Outram Park MRT control (at the East-West line, not the North-East line) between 11:45- 12noon.


      A vegetarian lunch will be provided at the temple, and there will be a short tour of the temple premises. Please bring along some money for donation to the temple after lunch.


      Visitors are required to wear a scarf over their heads when visiting the temple, and scarves are provided by the temple. You may also choose to bring your own scarf. Photography is allowed, so bring along a camera too!


      After lunch, people can head over to a cafe/teahouse for drinks and more chit-chat.


      Facebook Group for Vegetarian Dogs and Their Human Friends

      One of the people who started the VSS Facebook Group, someone with the colourful name of Pauline Vegemight, has started a new Facebook Group, "Vegetarian Dogs Singapore". Here's what Ms Vegemight has to say about this new group.


      "Many vegetarians who live with pets feel that feeding meat to their companions is a contradiction to their beliefs. In my case, I adopted my dog 7 years ago when he was five, so changing his diet seemed drastic and harsh. 


      Dogs are apparently omnivorous, just like us. I only wished I had learnt about vegetarian pet nutrition back in 2001 when my darling dog came into my life, but I'm glad to have chanced upon a vegan dog product recently. It's still too early to see what long-term effects it has on my four-legged friend's health, but my now 12-year old canine co-habitant is definitely loving his new diet, and cleaning up after him is no longer an offensive smelling task! I'

      (Message over 64 KB, truncated)

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