VSS eNewsletter - 03 June 2009
03 June 2009
In this issue...
Dr Jane Goodall, a living legend for her ground-breaking work with chimpanzees in Africa , is also one of the planet’s most famous vegetarians and a tireless activist for the environment and our fellow animals. As noted in our last newsletter, Dr Goodall is returning to Singapore for a series of events in June, and VSS will have a booth at one of them.
Green Generation Concert
Fri, 5 June, 6–9pm
Palm Valley, Singapore Botanic Gardens
Green is in, and this June, there’s no better way to celebrate World Environment Day and have a blast than joining in the fun with us at 2009’s biggest conservation and entertainment event, the Green Generation Concert, which features world-renowned primatologist, Dr Jane Goodall as keynote speaker.
VSS at Re-Live 2009 at Bugis Junction, 5-7 June – Volunteers Needed
Dr R K Pachauri, head of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Nobel Peace Laureate, encourages people in developed nations to go vegetarian for one day a week in an effort to reverse Global Warming and Climate Change. However, countries are slow to take up this suggestion. But fret not, you can volunteer at an upcoming event, and ask members of the public to eat one vegetarian meal in the next one week to do their part for the environment. At the same time, you can give out some of our educational materials.
What: Re-Live! 2009
When: Fri-Sun, 5-7 June
5 June: 5pm to 10pm
6 June: 10am to 10pm
7 June: 10am to 7pm
Where: Bugis Junction, fountain area
Organisers: ECO Singapore and Earthlink (NTU Green club)
Job scope: Ask members of the public to sign a pledge to eat a vegetarian meal in the next one week and give out our educational materials
Time period: Volunteer slots are 2-hours long
Qualifications: You do not need to have a Ph.D. in rocket science and you do not even need to be a full-time vegetarian. You only need lots of passion and compassion.
For more information or to register to volunteer at the VSS booth: wenjin@...
Low Carbon Singapore is an online community dedicated to helping Singapore reduce her carbon emissions and move towards the goal of a low carbon economy. The aim is to educate individuals, communities, businesses and organisations on issues relating to climate change, global warming and clean energy, and to help them take action and reduce their carbon footprint through useful information, news, tips and resources.
As recognition grows of the role our diets play in global warming and other forms of environmental endangerment, it’s no surprise to see VSS mentioned on Low Carbon Singapore ’s web at http://www.lowcarbonsg.com/2009/05/08/be-conscious-of-the-food-you-eat
Plus, there’s another Singapore low carbon site, and it advocates eating meatless meals twice a week: http://www.mycarbonfootprint.sg/action_page_1.html
Over the past month, VSS has been working to migrate our website to a new server as requested by the service provider. During that time, you may have experienced difficulties with some features of the site, such as the Forum - http://www.vegetarian-society.org/my_forums
We hope everything is working fine – or even better – now. For example, the Food Outlets page – the most popular page on the website, listing more than 400 veg outlets – is now searchable by MRT station, by the name of the outlet, by address, etc.
Last week, VSS sent the following letter to the Minister of the Environment, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, and Cc-ed to the PM and Minister of Health. No reply yet, but the government usually does reply and we’ll let you know if there’s any good news.
26 May 2009
Dear Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister of Environment and Water Resources,
This is written to suggest that Singapore might in its own way build on and improve upon steps being taken elsewhere to encourage dietary changes as a way to reduce human impact on the environment. In particular, we would propose that Singapore be the first in Asia to move towards a weekly meatless day, as is being done in Ghent , Belgium : http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/may/13/ghent-belgium-vegetarian-day
Other meat reduction initiatives for enhancing the health of the environment include the German environment agency’s efforts to reduce the country’s environmental footprint by greatly cutting back on meat: http://www.thelocal.de/national/20090122-16931.html
In a similar move, the UK National Health Service is promoting meat-free menus in hospitals as part of a strategy to cut global warming emissions.
Ghent’s move was inspired by a talk given there last year by Dr R.K. Pachauri, head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize: http://www.rkpachauri.org Dr Pachauri is tentatively scheduled to visit Singapore on 10 November of this year.
Singapore has many advantages in promoting meat reduction:
a) We already enjoy a reputation as a green city
b) We already lead in many green initiatives (low tech and high tech), such as tree planting and water treatment
c) We boast a lively and innovative food culture
d) We have an increasingly well-educated population, a caring government and excellent infrastructure.
Meat is fast becoming the new cigarettes, a major environmental danger, the mounting costs of which can no longer be ignored.
We are not urging that meat be banned or that all government ministers and employees become vegetarians. The basic premise is to introduce ways of lessening our meat consumption.
Thank you for considering this.
Here’s the blurb from the book’s website http://www.wedonteatanimals.com
‘That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals’ takes a candid, compassionate look at the plight of animals on factory farms, using gorgeous artwork and lively text to introduce vegetarianism and veganism to early readers.
An endearing cast of animals is shown both in their natural state—rooting around, bonding, nuzzling, cuddling, grooming one another, and charming each other with their family instincts and rituals—and in the sad conditions of the factory farm. The book also addresses the effect eating animals has on our environment, rainforests, and endangered species. At the end, a section entitled “What Else Can We Do?” suggests ways children can learn more about the vegetarian and vegan lifestyles.
The boldest step yet in children’s literature, this heartfelt, informative book offers a key resource to inspire parents and children to talk about a timely, increasingly important subject.
This article - http://cme.medscape.com/viewarticle/702780?src=cmenews (free registration required) - cites research that adds to previous findings which suggest that being vegetarian or at least reducing meat consumption can reduce the risk of obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Vegan diets seem particularly helpful.
Thanks to Dr Sanjay Doshi of Mediline Wei Min Clinic for sending the link.
Last year, National Geographic magazine had an important article about how non-human animals think and feel:
This year, their June issue has an insightful article about the ongoing food crisis, including a section on how growing meat consumption worsens this crisis (see pages 4 and 5 in the online version of the article):
Here are a couple of selections from page 5:
“For as tasty as that sweet-and-sour pork may be, eating meat is an incredibly inefficient way to feed oneself. It takes up to five times more grain to get the equivalent amount of calories from eating pork as from simply eating grain itself—ten times if we're talking about grain-fattened U.S. beef. As more grain has been diverted to livestock and to the production of biofuels for cars, annual worldwide consumption of grain has risen from 815 million metric tons in 1960 to 2.16 billion in 2008.
Even China , the second largest corn-growing nation on the planet, can't grow enough grain to feed all its pigs. Most of the shortfall is made up with imported soybeans from the U.S. or Brazil, one of the few countries with the potential to expand its cropland—often by plowing up rain forest. Increasing demand for food, feed, and biofuels has been a major driver of deforestation in the tropics. Between 1980 and 2000 more than half of new cropland acreage in the tropics was carved out of intact rain forests; Brazil alone increased its soybean acreage in Amazonia 10 percent a year from 1990 to 2005.”
The intensive pig farming industry in the UK lodged a complaint against an advertisement by Compassion in World Farming (CIWF). However, the complaint backfired when the UK ’s advertising regulator, the ASA, backed CIWF’s claim that piglets feel pain just like a human would when their teeth are clipped without anaesthetic.
The advertisement appeared in the national press earlier this year, including in the magazine of food celebrity Jamie Oliver. The ad shows a picture of a pig and asks: “What noise does a piglet make when its teeth are cut off with pliers – without anaesthetic? Same as you.”
A farmer complained stating that piglets don’t get distressed if their teeth are clipped properly without anaesthetic. The ASA looked at the scientific evidence and concluded that Compassion in World Farming was truthful in stating that piglets squeal in pain when they have their teeth clipped without anaesthetic. This is because piglets’ teeth contain nerves, and they feel pain as a result of tissue damage just like humans would.
Routine clipping of the teeth of young pigs is banned under EU legislation, yet it happens regularly in most standard intensive pig farms in the UK . Despite the ban, the British Pig Executive (BPEX) reported last year that 57% of pig farmers in the UK clip the teeth of all of their pigs.
A punk rock band called Rise Against wear black, scream their lungs out and are vegans who, with one exception, also stay away from alcohol, tobacco and other drugs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rise_Against and http://www.riseagainst.com
June Classes and More at
NutriHub, Cuppage Plaza, #B2-25 (behind OG Orchard, near Centrepoint), was one of the outlets that brought their delicious food for people to sample at last Saturday’s Botanic Gardens launch of VSS’s Singapore Vegetarian Food Guide. Here’s their June line-up of classes and talks.
1. Wed 10 June, 2-4pm, “Nutrimeal – Raw like Cooked”
$50 inclusive of lunch plus learn how to make simple, nutritious raw foods look like cooked food.
2. Sat 20 June, 2-3pm, enjoy an organic set lunch plus free talk on “Enriching your Diet with TCM Herbs” by a TCM physician for only $10. Plus, to celebrate their 1st anniversary, NutriHub is giving away a free gift to the first 20 participants. Lunch will be served between 1pm to 2pm.
3. Wed 24 June, 2-4pm, “Nutrition & Nutrimeal Cooking”
$50 inclusive of lunch and learn how to prepare simple, nutritious & healthy meal for your family. Also. learn about nutrition and meal planning.
4. Sat 27 June, 11-1pm, “Harmonising Your Body Energy I”
$40 inclusive of lunch. Learn how to protect yourself from harmful electromagnetic radiation, how to use a pendulum to check your body & food energy, and how to harmonize your body energy with visualization, organic juices and other methods.
5. Sun 28 June, 2-3pm, enjoy an organic set lunch plus free talk on “Skin Care & Mineral Cosmetics” for only $10. Lunch will be served between 1pm to 2pm.
Except for 20/6/09 & 28/6/09, VSS members will enjoy 10% discount on these workshops.
For non-members, those registered for two or more workshops will enjoy 10% discount, except for 20/6/2009 & 28/6/09, or 10% discount for groups of two or more who register for one workshop.
For registration and enquiries, call NutriHub Café at 6738.2746 or SMS Ms Vinitha Ang at 9236.8402.
Here’s a new podcast. Howard Lyman, the cattle rancher turned veg activist, and Jerry Cook have a conversation about the effects on the environment associated with our current day animal production (factory farming). They also chatted about swine flu, the subsidies associated with the fast food hamburgers, transportation associated with feed lots and our foods, effects of deforestation and a bit about Mad Cow Disease (more info at http://www.madcowboy.com/).
There are also links to three other Howard Lyman Interviews by the Animal Voices Podcast: http://www.animalvoices.org
Wholesome Living’s June Classes
1) Wholesome Vegan Desserts & Snacks - Part 2
* Apple Pie
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