VSS eNewsletter 3 April 2010
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3 April 2010
VSS Launches Student Membership
Three More Library Talks in May, Jun & Jul
The VSS InBox
Letter to The Straits Times – Not Printed
Activities by Kampung Senang
How I Lost 180 Pounds on a Veg Diet
How I Became a Vegetarian – Thanks to a Fish
Veg Billionaires Build Home the Veg Way
Metta Carnival 2010
New Veg Vocab: ‘Hegan’
Do You Want Lots and Lots of Veg News?
If you're a full-time student and 23 or below, you can now become a VSS member for free! Enjoy many member benefits and network with other students. Click here to learn more.
Dr George M Jacobs
VSS devotes a good deal of our efforts at reaching out to students. After all, they represent the future. To take our student outreach to a higher level, we have launched a free student membership scheme for full-time students 23 years old and below: www.vss.sg/student
Not only is student membership free, it also includes the following benefits:
- Attend members-only talks, gatherings and events
- Network and share ideas with other students
- Receive Food Vouchers
- Enjoy discounts to all VSS organised events
- Enjoy discounts at VSS partner restaurants and establishments
- Get a free copy of Meat Less in Singapore, mailed directly to you
Our first 2010 Library Talk took place on 3 Apr at Bishan Public Library. Our next three talks will be at Bukit Merah Community Library:
Our next talk, on Sun, 9 May, 2.30-4.30pm, features Dr Raymond Yuen, speaking on ‘Healing Chronic Illnesses through Your Diet’.
The next two talks will be by VSS Executive Committee member, Douglas Teo, a TCM physician. On Sun, 27 Jun, 3-4.30pm, he will speak in Mandarin on ‘Vegetarian Diets according to Your Body Type. Then, Douglas will address the same topic, but in English, on Sun, 25 Jul, 3-4.30pm. Again, the May, Jun and Jul talks are all at Bukit Merah Community Library.
More and more climate change experts link meat production to global warming. In the face of this growing recognition of this additional danger caused by meat, The Straits Times published an article headlined, “Less meat not equal to less heat: Expert”. VSS and at least one VSS member responded, but ST declined to print our letters. Here is the one that VSS sent.
I REFER to “Less meat not equal to less heat: Expert” (March 25). The article reports statements by Professor Frank Mitloehner that reducing meat consumption will not reduce global warming. Previously, a UN report, ‘Livestock’s Long Shadow’, had attributed 18% of human-produced greenhouse gas emissions to livestock.
Professor Mitloehner argues that to combat climate change, we should focus instead on energy and transportation. Possible flaws in the professor’s argument include:
a. Animals whom we eat emit the greenhouse gases methane and nitrous oxide. Professor Mitloehner believes “smarter animal farming” will solve this problem.
Perhaps, but the same could be said for smarter cars, planes and power stations that are envisioned for the future. Right now, this smarter farming is not being practiced, and each day means more greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere.
b. Professor Mitloehner believes that raising non-human animals for food accounts for only 3% of greenhouse gas emissions. Certainly, estimates differ widely. For instance, a Worldwatch Institute publication put that figure at about 50%.
Many factors cause global warming, and many actions need to be taken to stop climate change from wreaking havoc. It is not a question of finding the one solution. Instead, we need to work on many fronts.
c. Professor Mitloehner claims that reducing meat production will exacerbate world hunger. This ignores the tremendous inefficiency of meat production, with many kgs of plant food fed to the cows, chickens, etc. to produce just one kg of meat.
Indeed, the inefficiency of meat-based diets means that huge amounts of forests are chopped down to grow the food we feed to the non-human animals whom we eat. For example, much of the destruction of the Amazon rainforest occurs to grow soybeans and other foods to be fed to cows, etc. Rainforest destruction releases carbon dioxide, the most prominent greenhouse gas.
To conclude, some skeptics have questioned whether human activity has any role in climate change. Can we afford to take a chance that the catastrophic effects of climate change might not occur? That would be taking a terrible risk.
Others skeptics, such as Professor Mitloehner, question whether meat reduction constitutes the best way to address climate change. We should not limit ourselves to single solutions. Furthermore, meat reduction offers us health benefits and helps the non-humans animals whose lives are made short and miserable by being converted from the thinking, feeling beings they are into mere objects.
Our friends at Kampung Senang run a wide array of wonderful activities, including ones that promote meat reduction. Below are just a few. Contact them for details: http://www.kg-senang.org.sg, 6785.2568, 6749.8509, email@...
1. Detox Programmes (both local and overseas): Detox, De-stress, Rejuvenate Retreats give your mind and body an opportunity to purify themselves and reconnect with the planet and provide a revitalising makeover that enables you to enjoy a healthier, wiser life.
2. Vegetarian Cooking Classes: Learn how to cook healthy organic vegan dishes for better health.
3. Taiwan Tour: 8-days Extraordinary Organic/Natural Vegetarian Taiwan Tour – 14-21 May. Highlights of the trip: Good, delicious & healthy organic/natural meals, stay in resort farm surrounded by nature, hands-on activities such as making of wooden bowls.
4. Harmony Day Fair: Stalls selling organic products, healthy meals preparation demonstrations, organic set meals for our Eco-kitchen
This video from the U.S. captures the story of a woman who read the best selling veg book Skinny Bitch (the photo shows the book’s authors) and followed its advice with remarkable results.
The following story, translated from Spanish, was found on the website of the Vegetarian Union of Paraguay (in South America). The author is Pedro Poyen Lin, the organisation’s General Secretary.
I have been a vegetarian since birth, due to an experience my mother had more than a year before I was born. Here is the story. One day, my mother went to the market and bought a live fish to cook for dinner the following evening. Upon reaching home, my mother put the fish in some water. The next day, she went out to work, not thinking much about the fish.
After work, as she was about to enter her apartment, my mother heard loud noises from within. Quickly, she opened the apartment door and looked around, but saw no one; everything appeared to be in order. Then, she looked down and saw the fish thrashing about on the floor. The noise my mother had heard must have been the fish knocking against the apartment door, perhaps hoping to escape.
Shocked by the fish’s act, that very evening, my mother thoroughly cleaned all the kitchen utensils, pots and pan. Then, she looked up to the heavens and firmly declared, “Never again will I cook the flesh of a sentient being!” That was 27 years ago.
And, I was one of the tools that my mother used to influence others, because through me, she was able to demonstrate that a healthy baby could be raised on a vegetarian diet. With this example, my grandmother and great-grandmother became vegetarians too.
This story tells how vegetarian billionaires are insisting that the workers building their Perth mansion eat only veg food while on the construction site:
Now in its 13th anniversary, the carnival is one of our main outreach events that aims to build family resiliency and community bonds, while raising funds for Metta’s - www.metta.org.sg - welfare initiatives and services. Among their services is the Happy Art Café which is a veg café:
The event details are as follows:
When: Sun, 6 Jun, 9am-6pm
Venue: Metta Building/Metta School, 32 Simei Street 1
Free shuttle bus from Simei MRT from 8am-6pm
Estimated turnout: Over 5000
Highlights: Over 100 trade, food and game stalls that purvey treats ranging from vegetarian food to unique handicrafts, trendy apparel to henna painting. The event also features continuous stage performances and a walkathon led by Guest-of-Honour Ms Jessica Tan, MP for East Coast GRC.
Info: 6580-4688, email@...
This seems a bit silly, but a newspaper in the U.S. has coined a new word, hegan, meaning male vegan:
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