VSS eNewsletter 1 May 2011
1 May 2011
Where To Buy the VSS Food Guide
Env Exhibition at St Margaret’s Secondary
Veggie Thursday at Bottle Tree Park
Melville Park Invites VSS for Earth Day
In AMICA Fashion Magazine
Food and the Elections
Restaurants That Can Do ‘No Added Oil’ Dishes
The VSS InBox
Learn from a Close Friend of Dr Esselstyn
Beaver in Ice Cream?? Yes
Boundless Love: Kampung Senang Fundraising Dinner
A New Face on the Veg Cooking Class Scene
Blog from Malaysia
TV Documentary: Veg in HK
Want To Be a Vegetarian Chef?
On the Passing of Sai Baba
New Veg Restaurant in Ang Mo Kio
Vegetarian Confinement Lady
Website Discusses Pro/Con on Veg
Genetically Modified Foods: Good or Bad?
Raw Food Class with Linda Loo
Another Veg Oasis
How To Slow Wrinkles
The VSS Food Guide is your ticket to the vegetarian side of SG’s food paradise. Don’t leave home without it!
Dr George M Jacobs
If you have any comments or suggestions, feel free to drop us a line here.
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Visit us at www.vss.sg
VSS members enjoy discounts at these fine restaurants and establishments.
The 2011 edition of VSS’s Singapore Vegetarian Food Guide is out now, and features over 100 restaurants where you can savour the most delectable, animal-friendly veg creations – from lip-smacking healthy organic eats to luscious local favourites. All this in a convenient, easy-to-carry booklet!
• 77 pages (with many mouth-watering photos)
• Write-ups on over 100 restaurants
• Conveniently organised by precincts
• Locate healthy and delicious vegetarian versions of
• Features the best organic eats
VSS members are entitled to one free copy. Subsequent copies are available for $3.30 (includes 50c postage) per booklet. Minimum order is 4 copies. To purchase individual copies, visit the Whole Earth restaurant or the Guide is available at many bookshops, although we can’t guarantee it will be in stock.
Also, a version of the Guide is available as an iphone app at
VSS has a wide range of exhibition materials, including colourful posters and thought provoking statues. As part of the Earth Week events at St Margaret’s Secondary, VSS was invited to put up some of our exhibition materials for the week of 11-15 Apr.
Our exhibition shows how reducing our meat consumption can help address climate change, world starvation and the poor health epidemic. We always offer to do talks and to show videos along with our exhibition; however, in this instance, no VSS speaker was needed, as a group of students did a very good job of making the case that meat harms the environment. Now, that’s progress!
Similarly, a couple months back, two VSS members served as judges for an island-wide speech contest on the environment for upper primary school students. After the contest, some adults spoke to the students on the same theme. Unfortunately, there was no space in the programme for the VSS members to speak on the meat-env connection. Fortunately, during question time, one of the primary school students raised the connection to one of the speakers, an NUS lecturer, who agreed that yes, we should be green by eating less meat. Let’s hope that these students are backing up their excellent words with excellent deeds by going veg.
Well, actually 22 Apr was a Friday, but that didn’t matter as VSS helped Nature Society (Singapore) make the case that diet change is a key way to counter climate change. We did that by distributing Veggie Thursday flyers as part of the Earth Day celebrations at Bottle Tree Park , organised by Ground Up Initiative.
On Sat, 23 Apr, a VSS member was an invited speaker at Earth Day celebrations at Melville Park condo in Simei. This event, attended by about 80 people, was a great example of grass roots activism. VSS is happy to support such efforts, and not just with speakers but also with exhibition materials, food demos and workshops, flyers, videos, stickers and more.
Looks like veg is becoming fashionable, and not just the trend of the month, but a lifelong way to live. The April/May issue of AMICA, “the intelligent woman’s luxury fashion magazine”, has an article about how a person’s friendship with a cow during a farmstay in England changed their views on meat.
To accompany the article, AMICA’s editor asked VSS for a short piece on meat and the environment. You can read both pieces here.
During election campaigns, politicians are known for walking around kissing babies, shaking hands and eating food. However, food should play a larger role in the upcoming General Elections.
In the election campaign, all we seem to hear about regarding food is the price of food, but the real price of the food we eat is seen in our worsening health situation, in escalating environmental damage and in the horrifying lives of the animals whom are trapped in the mad meat production system. Food is literally a matter of life and death, as our escalating consumption of meat and other animal based foods is leading to a tsunami of negative consequences.
Please take every opportunity to raise these food related issues to the various parties during the campaign. This is a chance to get their attention and engage them in a serious discussion of SG’s favourite pastime.
In addition to recommending that we eat an exclusively plant based diet, Dr Caldwell B Esselstyn, Jr., who spoke here back in March, also recommends cooking without oil. He believes that oil damages the lining of our blood vessels, contains little nutrition and helps make us fat.
VSS put together this short list of veg restaurants that can cook plant based dishes for us without using oil:
No doubt, many other veg eateries can do the same. For instance, the next time you order dosa, ask them to cook it without oil. Still tastes nice.
This is the second instalment of a VSS representative dialogue with a vegetarian student from an Indian international school.
Dear VSS (from the student)
Thank you for your feedback. I am actually a vegetarian myself and we do try to use minimum processed food and look through labels to find out whether products contain meat products.
A few things I found out are:
– Most companies use cow bone char as the preferred filter for cane sugar refinement.
– Jellies and marshmallows contain gelatine (used to make Jello and other desserts) which is made from the boiled bones, skins and tendons of animals. An alternative substance is called Agar-Agar, which is derived from seaweed.
You’re right. In fact, it’s impossible to live in civilization and not be involved in the exploitation of our fellow animals. Even non-food items contain elements derived from animals. Plus, our cars, planes and other vehicles kill many animals accidentally.
The answer, I believe, is not to spend all one’s time trying to achieve the impossible task of being pure. The answer is to spend some of one’s time convincing others to:
a. see fellow animals as the thinking, feeling beings that they are, beings worthy of respect, not objects to be used
b. stop eating meat, as meat is the #1 way we harm other animals.
Thanks for dialoguing on this. ––VSS
Want to live the lifestyle and diet advocated by
Dr Caldwell Esselstyn? The 4 day intensive Newstart Lifestyle Program will teach you just that. Dr Clarence and Mrs May Ing, close friends of Dr Esselstyn, will be in SG from 29 May to 1 Jun to give health lectures and cooking demonstrations.
Interested? Please email your name and contact number to johncheang@... or call John Cheang at 8125.1374.
More info at
Annalakshmi is one of SG’s iconic vegetarian restaurants, a place that we local vegetarians enjoy showing off to visitors. Yes, Annalakshmi features a wide variety of Indian dishes, but what really stands out is the artistic ambience. Staffed by volunteers, the restaurant raises funds to support Indian arts classes and performances. Furthermore, the restaurant’s ‘Eat as you wish, Pay as you feel’ policy encourages diners to do a bit of reflection.
After several years at Chinatown Point, Annalakshmi has, due to circumstances, been forced to relocate by 15 June to #01-04, Central Square , Havelock Rd, S. 059765 (near Ministry of Manpower).
Furthermore, Annalakshmi Janatha, at 104 Amoy Street, S. 069924, near Tanjong Pagar MRT (exit Telok Ayer), is now serving buffet lunch and buffet dinner, from Mon to Sun. Timings are: Lunch, 11am to 3pm; Dinner, 6pm to 9pm.
For details: 6223.0809, 6339.9993, annagov@..., www.annalakshmi.com.sg
Here’s one more reason to stay away from processed foods and foods with dairy. On a popular U.S. tv show, well-known food author Jaime Oliver revealed that some ice creams contain an ingredient derived from the anal gland of beavers. It’s an ingredient called castoreum, which is labelled as a ‘natural flavouring’, so how is anyone going to know that it comes from animals.
In honour of mothers and all parents, on Fri, 13 May, 6-10pm at the Orchid Country Club Ballroom, our good friends at Kampung Senang will be holding a dinner to support their wonderful work for the disabled, elderly, the sick, disadvantaged youth and Mother Earth.
The program for the event includes:
• An exhibition of fine art
• Eco-friendly charity dinner
• Songs, cultural and art performances
• Financial assistance awards
• Presentation of collection items to donors
Info: 6749.8509 or email hlc@... / volunteer@...
Come and learn a variety of tasty vegetarian cuisines – Indian, Southeast Asian, Soups & Salads, Cooking with Tofu, Vietnamese Vegetarian, Vegan cooking and lots more!
Interesting, healthy dishes that are full of flavour and easy to create with a bit of passion and creativity! Classes conducted by Shalu Asnani, a vegetarian chef who learnt cooking all over Southeast Asia and worked in Beijing for the last 4 years. For full schedule, pricing, venues and other details, email shalua@....
Here’s a blog from one of our neighbours in Malaysia , Chan Kah Yein. She promotes kindness towards our fellow animals, including not putting them inside burger buns.
Kah Yein runs the AnimalCare charity which does lots of good stuff, such as rehoming companion animals. Check out her books about her experiences caring for non-human animals. She shares lots of heart warming stories about saving all sorts of animals.
The Pearl Report: Vegetarianism / Green Tooth
On Air Date: 2011.04.18 (Mon) 8pm
English with Chinese subtitles
As society becomes more health and environmentally conscious, many people are choosing to eat less meat and even go vegetarian.
Reporter Diane To looks at the many reasons people go veg and how easy or hard it is to be vegetarian in Hong Kong ?
Someone wrote to VSS asking about where to learn to be a vegetarian chef. We offered a link to this place in the UK and they supplied the following links:
While VSS is a secular organisation, we do recognise that for many people spirituality plays a major role in their decision to eat less or no meat. Thus, we appreciate the many spiritual leaders who urge people to show kindness to our fellow animals via their dietary choices.
One such spiritual leader was Sai Baba who passed away on 24 Apr. Here is an example of his words on why to go veg:
[W]ith meat the body will get the proteins, but mental proteins will not be there. If you are keen on spiritual life, eating meat is not worthwhile; but if you are keen on worldly life, it is all right. There is another spiritual reason. When you kill an animal you give him suffering, pain, harm.
God is in every creature, so how can you give such pain? Sometimes when someone beats a dog he cries, he feels so much pain. How much more pain then in killing. Animals did not come for the purpose of supplying food to human beings. They came to work out their own life in the world. When a human being is dead, the foxes and other animals may eat, but we have not come to provide food for those that eat the human body; we have not come for that ourpose. Similarly, man eats the animal, but the animal has not come to provide man with food.
John S. Hislop, Conversation with Sathya Sai Baba, p. 19
Mai Zhi Su Vege Health Station
Address: 128 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3 St. 12, #01-1853, S. 560128
Tel: 6456.3307, 9272.3708
Buses: 13, 86, 138, 162
Operating Days and Operating Hours: Tue-Sun: 8am-9pm, Mon Off except Public Holiday & 1st or 15th of Chinese Lunar Calendar
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