VSS eNewsletter 17 September 2009
17 September 2009
Tanjung Sutera Getaway: 17-18 Oct
VSS Forum Upgraded
Oct-Nov VSS Talks at Public Libraries
YouTube Video Introduces
Asian Vegetarian Congress – 6-10 Nov
Volunteer Opportunity: Organic Outlet List Needs Updating
More Followers for VSS Twitter Page
Letters to ST Forum about JB Factory Farm
Vegetarians: Please Read This
DIY Sugar-Free Wholesome Homemade Mooncakes
Workshop by Dr Lai Chiu-Nan – 25 Oct
New Restaurant in Bishan
UK School Council Votes to
Slaughter a Sheep Raised by Students
Non-Veg Restaurant Goes Extra Kilometre
Free Samples at Opening of Vegan Bakery
– Sat, 19Sep
Hosting an Intern to Work on World Hunger
The early bird catches the nice discount – just two weeks left, so do register soon to enjoy the sea breeze and panoramic views at our Tanjung Sutera getaway. Our newly revamped forum even has a thread on the subject. Do have a look.
Dr George M Jacobs
2 days / 1 night trip organized by VSS; 17-18 Oct (Sat & Sun).
Imagine a cliff-top ocean-facing nature resort with panoramic views of sky and sea meeting seamlessly.
Imagine an idyllic Eden of undulating gardens, coconut trees, lily and fish ponds.
Welcome to Tanjung Sutera ( Cape Silk ), a home-style resort sited on a ‘Magical’ spot, 40 metres up from the South China Sea .
Join us for a rejuvenating weekend at Tanjong Sutera, just 1½ hours from JB. Register by 1 Oct and enjoy early bird discounts. More details here.
One of the best parts of the VSS website is the Forum - http://www.vegetarian-society.org/my_forums - a place in cyberspace where like-minded (mostly) folks can exchange views and information, and just generally connect. Hope you like the new version. Feedback welcome: info@...
Beginning on 3 Oct, VSS, in cooperation with NLB, is hosting a series of four free talks you won’t want to miss, each by a well-qualified speaker. The first talk, by Veron Lau of Cat Welfare Society, takes place on 3 Oct, 3pm at Bishan Public Library.
Seating for all the talks is on a first come, first served basis. The first hour of each of the two hour sessions will focus on what the presenter has to show and tell; the second hour will be open to the public to interact with the presenter and fellow audience members.
1. Presenter: Veronyka Lau, Cat Welfare Society
Topic: Caring for Animal Companions and Farm Animals
Date/Time: 3 Oct, 3pm-5pm
Venue: Bishan Public Library, Programme Zone (capacity: 70pax)
2. Presenter: Dr Sanjay Doshi, Mediline Wei Min Clinic
Topic: Anti-Aging through a Vegetarian Diet
Date/Time: 31 Oct, 3pm-5pm
Venue: Toa Payoh Public Library, Multi-Purpose Room (capacity: 30pax)
3. Presenter: Louis Ng, ACRES
Topic: Making a Difference for Animals
Date/Time: 21 Nov, 3pm-5pm
Venue: Central Public Library, Multi-Purpose Room, B1 near lending library (capacity: 70pax)
4. Presenter: Dr Harvey Neo, Geography Department, NUS
Topic: Meat Production and Land Use
Date/Time: 28 Nov, 3pm-5pm
Venue: Central Public Library, Multi-Purpose Room, B1 near lending library (capacity: 70pax)
The 2009 Asian Vegetarian Congress (AVC) will be held right next door in Batam, 6-10 Nov. One of the main organizers is Susianto Tseng, COO of the Indonesia Vegetarian Society (pictured here). For a quick promotional video on the AVC:
Our friends at Lapis Lazuli Light – see announcement below of next month’s workshop by Dr Lai Chiu-Nan – have put together a very useful list of organic outlets. Of course, just like VSS’s list of veg outlets, this list of organic outlets is constantly in need of updating.
If some people could help to update the list, we could publicize it. Outlets’ phone numbers are listed. Please contact, info@... to volunteer.
More people are signing up to follow VSS on Twitter: https://twitter.com/vssnews
Sometimes, news appears on Twitter before it shows up in this eNewsletter. Let’s see how fast we can get up to 100 people. We’ll have a long way to go to catch up to this eNewsletter, to which more than 5000 people are subscribed.
By the way, the co-founder of Twitter is a vegan: http://vegetarianstar.com/tag/Biz-Stone
Last week, The Straits Times had an article about a factory farm in JB. Two VSS wrote in response. One of their letters was published in the newspaper’s online edition. Here it is, followed by the unpublished letter.
1. Why do we espouse kindness to animals and yet eat them anyway? Your caption “Chicken with Cushy Lives” (ST, 9 September 09) embodies such irony.
No amount of air-conditioning, pricey herb-feeds, mood lightings and Mozart can ever compensate for the pain and suffering a chicken, or any animal for that matter, undergoes when being slaughtered. The plight of chickens which are bred in captivity for the sole purpose of being eventually slaughtered, begins from as early as when they are chicks. They have to be de-beaked and have their wings clipped – to prevent them from inflicting injury to their fellow inhabitants.
Chickens bred in factory farms – the very type depicted in your pictorial - suffer cramped living conditions and endemic diseases. They are administered powerful cocktails of steroids and antibiotics engineered to accelerate growth to shorten their lives to hasten their harvest. While the antibiotics suppress disease amongst the animals, their use leads to the emergence of newer and more powerful strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria which are more than ever, able to transcend the animal human borders.
Feeds fortified by Cordyceps and cultured lactobacillus underscore the inefficiencies of meat sources of food. A lifetime of fortified fowl feed – being anywhere from 4 to 9 weeks, translates to only a few days worth of human meals without any assurance that such fowl feed fortification passes on greater nutrition down the food chain. If such nutrients can withstand the rigours of slaughter and cooking, just imagine the avian virus and other contaminants that must be surviving the transition equally well!
Expending land, water, nutrients and energy for lighting and music on animals means less of such limited resources are available for man’s own benefit. Why not deploy these directly for mankind instead, to optimise them while reducing methane, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions and waste by-products which poison water supplies and necessitate expensive treatment plants.
Doing good to animals is great. Isn’t it better that we first did them no harm?
2. Here’s the unpublished letter:
I refer to “Fed pricey herb, to strains of Mozart’ ST (Sep 9). Expensive food and nice music do not compensate chickens for a completely unnatural life in what effectively is a prison, followed by execution despite no crime being committed. We are treating chickens as if they were mere objects, when they are intelligent, feeling fellow beings, as revealed by researchers who have studied them. Imagine please how we would feel if more intelligent beings from another planet took a liking to human flesh and treated us the way we treat chickens. Would healthy food and Mozart make it okay?
3. Our friends at ACRES – www.acres.org.sg – also published a very nice letter on the topic:
Especially if you're a vegan (a vegetarian who takes no eggs or diary or any foods of animal origin), you should consider supplementing your diet to make sure you get enough Vitamin B12. You can read about B12 in detail at http://www.veganhealth.org/b12 or http://www.vegansociety.com/food/nutrition/b12 or http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2007/b12.html
Vitamin B12 protects the nervous system. In cases of severe deficiency, serious nerve related problems can results. These problems may occur without being immediately symptomatic. The current best available evidence suggests that plant sources of B12 may not be well absorbed by the body.
Fortunately, B12 can be easily manufactured via bacterial fermentation and is available in foods fortified with Vitamin B12 (read the label) or in B12 supplements that can be found in vegetarian form in many shops selling supplements. Also, please get tested your B12 level tested every now and then.
Does taking supplements or eating fortified foods make the vegan diet invalid or unnatural? Not at all. We live in a very different world from the one that existed even 100 years ago.
The best available medical evidence, as summarised in a recent position paper by the American Dietetic Association (ADA), states that “appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes”.
Making sure we take enough B12 is part of the appropriate planning that the ADA is referring to.
Three types of mooncakes will be taught during this hands-on, 4hr workshop. You’ll even learn how to make the fillings from the raw ingredients. All ingredients are vegan.
Venue: Wholesome Living, Blk416 Pandan Garden #01-130
Course fee: $80 (include ingredients)
When: 20 Sep (Sun) or 26 Sep (Sat) or 27 Sep (Sun), 1-5pm.
http://www.wholesomeliving-sg.com/Mooncakes2009.html or 9653.1734.
International health expert, Dr Lai Chiu-Nan, will be doing a Mandarin language workshop entitled ‘Growing from Sickness and Danger, Returning to Joy’. We hear that tickets are going fast.
The date is 25 Oct, 10am-4pm; the place is Bright Hill Temple . Details at
More and more veg eateries in the Bishan area! Here's the latest, a restaurant which opened last month.
Name: Yi Xin Vegetarian Cuisine
Address: Block 505-A, Bishan St 11, #01-440, S. 571505
Open: 8am-9pm every day, except the day after the 1st & 15th of lunar month
Landmarks: behind Bishan Library
Onion & garlic? No
MSG (ajinomoto)? Yes
Brown rice? Yes
Dairy? Yes (in curries)
Price Range of Main Dishes: $5-$10
Delivery? For 30 or more
Last year, a fictional Japanese movie named ‘School Days with a Pig’ - http://moonpointer.com/new/2009/04/
bittersweet-school-days-with-a-pig/ - told the story of primary school students raising a pig and debating whether to send the pig to his death.
A similar situation is threatening to take place in real life with a sheep who has been living at school in the UK : http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/
As eating less or no meat becomes more popular, non-veg outlets are expanding their veg offerings. Here's an example reported by a VSS member after a recent visit to a non-veg restaurant that he made with a big group of colleagues.
Ambrosia Cafe on Baghdad St (Kampong Glam) just recently came under new management. The new owners (a husband and wife team) catered for us really well. Usually we wouldn't go near anywhere that isn't vegetarian, but we made an exception for Ambrosia, as they stopped taking orders for non-vegetarian products at 9pm the night before our event, washed the kitchen out and used new utensils etc for the vegetarian food, to avoid any cross contamination. I spoke to Chef Daniel at the event and he mentioned that they are keen to keep a separate set of preparing equipment for vegetarian food, and very happy to cater for vegetarians and vegans!
The menu included ginger pumpkin soups, a variety of starters (dips etc) and main courses that include a 'doner kebab' made with falafel.
The vast majority of the buffet was vegan, and it could all be vegan on request too.
I was thinking that this might be an interesting inclusion for a future VSS newsletter - in terms of how a non-vegetarian establishment is going out of its way to serve 'purely' vegetarian food and making the effort in terms of the menu but also in the way that the food is prepared. What do you think?
This Sat, 19Sep, from 6pm-9pm, stop by for free samples at the opening of EPG Organic Vegetarian LLP, a vegan bakery at 8A Admiralty Street #06-30, S. 757437 in FoodXchange. From Sembawang MRT, take bus 962 five stops to FoodXchange.
Contact: 9667.4023, healthy@... http://www.epg-group.com
A student organization at NTU that works on the issue of World Hunger, AIESEC - http://www.aiesec.org.sg - has asked VSS if we can find someone to provide a homestay for an intern from another country who would work to educate people here about how to help the approximately one billion of our fellow humans who are chronically hungry.
Hundreds of these people, many of them children, die daily from malnutrition and related ailments. Meat consumption exacerbates this problem, because many kgs of plant food, which could feed hungry people, are instead diverted to meat production but produce only one kg of meat. Earlier this year, a VSS representative did a talk at a Hunger Banquet - www.hungerbanquet.org -that AIESEC organized at NTU.
If you might be able to help, contact Yvonne Sim at 9677.1276 | sim.yu_xian@...
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