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VSS eNewsletter 1 July 2011

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  • Vegetarian Society (Singapore)
    Vegetarian Society (Singapore) 1 July 2011 In This Issue Editor s Note VSS NEWS How I Became a Vegetarian VSS Participates in
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 30, 2011
      VSS eNewsletter


      Vegetarian Society (Singapore)

      1 July 2011
      In This Issue

      Editor’s Note

      VSS NEWS

      How I Became a Vegetarian
      VSS Participates in Veggie Thursday Launch
      Visiting KL
      Interning wth VSS
      Talk-Cum-Movie for Students
      Feedback to the Government
      VSS at Green Living Carnival in Bukit Panjang
      Trip to JB Animal Sanctuary: Full
      Dinner & Talk: Joints, Muscles, & Bones: Full
      The VSS InBox: 4 Items

      Save the World's Saddest Dolphins
      Guide to Food Ingredients
      US Unis Add Veg Eats & Courses
      Consultancy Available for Veg Outlet Startups
      Veg Restaurant Guide for SE Asia
      New Classes from Halimah

      This newsletter features
      an occasional column
      'How I Became a
      '. The instalment in this issue

      is not to be missed.
      Please send your
      story to info@....
      Dr George M Jacobs

      If you have any comments or suggestions, feel free to drop us a line here.
      Subscribe to this newsletter here. Unsubscribe here
      Visit us at www.vss.sg

      VSS members enjoy discounts at these fine restaurants and establishments.


      How I Became a Vegetarian

      Natalie Teo, pictured here, is an NTU Communication
      and Journalism student. Here's the inspiring story of
      how she went veg.
      Why I crossed over to "the dark side".
      Every time I get asked this question I find myself
      rattling off the same chain of reasons that most people
      have already heard – for the environment, for our
      animals, and also because of the cruelty of factory
      farming. But what really started me on the road to
      vegetarianism was my mother – ironically now the
      one who constantly hovers over me, worried that
      I'm missing out on nutrition.
      I recall the months after my 'A' levels when I was
      pretty sure I had bombed my examinations quite
      spectacularly and was looking at the possibilities.
      I even considered signing on with the army!
      My mother then went to a temple and prayed for my results, promising to go vegetarian for three months
      if I managed to make it to University.
      Long story short, I made it. My results were far from
      sterling but they were pretty good. I took on
      my mother's promise and went vegetarian for three
      months even though I'm Christian. I lost a bunch of
      pounds and felt a lot cleaner inside. But that didn't
      quite motivate me to continue.
      Fast forward a year with massive weight gain from
      freshman year and really clogged up insides from
      the hostel life of nightly suppers, alcohol and unearthly,
      dangerous sleeping hours – I decided to go vegetarian
      to save my health (and hopefully my waistline).
      It worked – I dropped the weight again and I made
      longer miles at the gym.
      What really changed this time that made me stick to
      vegetarianism, however, was not how a plant-based
      diet could make me look better. I began to discover
      more about the killing of animals for food and worse –
      the cruel, inhumane conditions of factory farming.
      The issue of global warming became very real to me
      as I watched videos, read reports and looked at
      the numbers.
      What have I gained from being vegetarian? I think
      health reasons aside, I feel a lot happier and like a
      much better person. I've become more conscious of
      the environment and the importance of preserving it
      as best as we can. And now that I form the minority
      in my circle of mostly carnivorous friends, I suppose
      I am more acutely aware of how difficult it must be
      to be different, and I try to be more tolerant and
      accepting of others. I think opting to go
      meatless turned my life around, and I will probably be
      doing this for a long, long time.


      VSS Participates in Veggie Thursday Launch

      Veggie Thursday – www.veggiethursday.sg
      is a project of about 28 local NGOs who have come
      together to encourage people to go plant based
      at least once a week. Veggie Thursday had its
      media launch on Thu (of course), 16 Jun. The event
      was held at Le Caire, a Middle East restaurant on
      Arab Street, and drew coverage from Shin Min,
      Lianhe Wanbao, YES933 radio and 938Live.


      Visiting KL

      On 25 Jun, at the invitation of our friends at
      the Malaysia Vegetarian Society (and at no cost
      to VSS), a VSS representative was a panellist at
      the Health Education & Health Awareness
      (pronounced 'HeeHah') exhibition at Mid-Valley
      Megamall in KL. The event was an opportunity to meet

      Malaysia's Health Minister, Dato' Sri Liow Tinong Lai
      (pictured here), who is a vegetarian. Also present
      were Dr Kamalanathan Sappiah, president of MVS,
      (which had a booth at the exhibition);
      Mr Jowly Yohanesh, Secretary of the Indonesia Vegetarian Society; Prof Li Duo, organizer of the
      Asia Vegetarian Congress, to be held 8-9 Nov in
      Hangzhou, www.5avu.com, and Prof Maitree Suttajet,
      president of the Asia Vegetarian Union.
      Upon meeting the Minister, we invited him to attend
      the event in Hangzhou . He explained that the health
      situation in Malaysia continues to worsen, partly
      due to diet. For example, Malaysia is #1 in obesity
      in SE Asia , and 43% of adults suffer from high blood
      pressure. Mr Liow observed that mobilizing people
      to fight communicable diseases, such as dengue,
      is easier than convincing people to tackle
      non-communicable diseases, such as
      heart disease and diabetes.
      In response to the ongoing epidemic of
      non-communicable disease, Malaysia 's government
      has roped in ten ministries, including MOE.
      The government also welcomes NGOs, such as
      St John's Ambulance, to apply for grants to do
      campaigns that emphasise prevention.
      Mr Liow discussed the negative role of meat and
      urged people to ignore the siren song of
      meat advertising. He recounted that when he was
      a boy, meat was only eaten on festive occasions.
      And, when meateaters tell him how much enjoyment
      he is missing by being veg, Malaysia's Health Minister
      counters by telling them how they are missing the
      enjoyment he gains from the taste of fresh vegetables.


      Interning wth VSS

      Earlier this year, VSS was fortunate to begin our intern
      with a non-veg SMU student. We are very happy with
      her work. Here's a report from her perspective. If you
      know anyone interested in interning with VSS, contact
      info@... [Warning: salary is only $300/month]
      Interning with VSS has been an eye-opening experience
      for me. For one, all my friends are envious that I have
      the luxury of planning my own time. For another,
      I've learnt the importance of eating less meat to help
      not only myself, but also to be kinder to my furry friends.
      Through this internship experience, I have met many
      interesting people from varied walks of life. Through
      helping the VSS Exco, I have learnt that staying
      connected with people and helping them is important.
      You may never know when you might need their help.
      As a saying goes, "No one is an island". VSS is a
      place where I have grown – inside and out.


      Talk-Cum-Movie for Students

      On 26 Jun, VSS Executive Director for Education and
      Outreach, Yeow, did a talk and video showing for
      students from P4 and older. VSS has a wide variety of
      videos and can speak on a wide variety of topics,
      including health, environment, kindness to our fellow
      animals and the intelligence and emotions of
      non-human animals.


      Feedback to the Government

      Following on from VSS's participation in the successful
      Animal Welfare forum last month, the event organisers,
      ACRES, invited VSS to submit proposals to be
      discussed with the government. Here is what we sent.
      You are welcome to send your own proposals,
      following the format below, to ACRES –
      www.acres.org.sg – to be forwarded.
      Overview of the Issue:
      The eating habits children form when young can impact
      them for their entire lives. Furthermore, the beginnings
      of many killer diseases, such as heart disease and
      diabetes, can be traced to the food people eat when
      young, even if the symptoms appear many years later.
      Thus, we need to strive to do what we can to start
      children on the right path. In turn, children may even
      be able to influence their adult family members.
      Constructive feedback:
      The food in most school canteens, even much of the
      vegetarian food, does not match health experts'
      guidelines, as canteen food tends to be high in oil,
      low in whole grains, high in animal products, low in
      plant foods. Of course, children's preferences play
      a part. Indeed, they often reject food that is good for
      them. One reason for this rejection is price. Children
      can be very price sensitive, and healthier food can be
      slightly more expensive.
      Proposed solution:
      The government might want to consider subsidising
      healthier options in school canteens. Vegetarian
      Society has experience working with school canteens.
      Our experience is that even when healthy, plant based
      food meets kids' taste test, they won't buy it unless the
      price is right.
      We understand that there is already a precedent for
      subsidising healthy food. At Khoo Teck Puat Hospital,
      whole grain foods are cheaper than white rice:

      Yes, subsidies cost money, but if we think long term,
      perhaps we actually save money, because of reduction
      in health care expenses and in lost time due to illness,
      not to mention the suffering of individuals and their
      families. Perhaps, a few schools of various types –
      preschools, primary, secondary, JC, ITE –
      could pilot such as scheme, including development
      of age appropriate dishes.


      VSS at Green Living Carnival in Bukit Panjang

      We were invited to take up a booth at the Green Living
      Carnival @ North West, at Bukit Panjang Park , jointly
      organised by Jane Goodall Institute ( Singapore ) and
      the North West Community Development Council.
      The carnival was free and open to all.
      Green Living Carnival is a festive approach to share
      with everyone how we can help to reclaim our planet
      and our health by the way we live. Every individual has
      the ability to make a change every day by choosing
      what we want to eat and how we want to work or play.
      Guest of Honour was world famous primatologist and
      environmental educator, Dr Jane Goodall. Dr Goodall
      is a vegetarian whose most recent book is titled
      'Harvest of Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating'.


      Trip to JB Animal Sanctuary: Full

      Our 3 Jul trip to Noah's Ark Natural Animal Sanctuary
      (NANAS) is full. We hope to have another NANAS trip
      soon. We will blast the details as soon as they are
      In the meantime, you can visit animal sanctuaries here
      in SG, such as SPCA and Animal Lovers League.
      The nonhuman animals who live there will appreciate
      your visit. And, even better, you might wish to take on
      the joyful responsibility of inviting one of them to
      become part of your family.


      Dinner & Talk: Joints, Muscles, & Bones: Full

      The VSS talk on 3 Jul is fully subscribed. The talk by
      Dr Casey deRoos is titled 'How Nutrition Affects Joints,
      Muscles and Bones'. Dr Casey is a Doctor of
      Chiropractic D.C, Cum Laude (USA). We have more
      talks scheduled for later this year. Details soon.


      The VSS InBox: 4 Items

      1. Our last issue contained correspondence about
      so-called 'free range' eggs. Upon reading that, reader
      Jaipal Gill, from SPCA – www.spca.org.sg – wrote in
      to say (reprinted with Jaipal's permission):
      I just read your latest copy of the newsletter,
      a fantastic read as always!
      There was a short bit about "Freedom Eggs". Does this
      refer to the newly introduced Freedom Range Eggs
      which are produced locally? If so, they are not
      free range as the name cheekily suggests. The AVA
      does not permit free range chicken farming in
      Singapore due to bird flu concerns. These eggs are
      barn laid. The chickens can actually be seen if
      you drive past their farm at Lim Chu Kang.
      While there are many welfare problems associated
      with the barn farming system (and free range as well),
      it's still better than the traditional battery farms.
      2. A reader wrote in to say that she was committed to
      going veg but having health problems adjusting to
      a veg diet. VSS does not dispense individual health
      advice. However, we do have a list of health
      professionals who, for their usual fees, will provide
      health advice to vegetarians. She asked for that list.
      To see the list, write info@.... No word back
      from the reader.
      3. Similarly, some JC students wrote in with questions
      for a veg dietician, and we referred them to one on
      the above list. The students wrote back to report a
      satisfactory result.
      4. About three issues back, we had a query about
      veg shoes, and we referred the reader to the advice
      offered by our friends at ACRES. Among that advice
      was to try MacBeth shoes – www.macbeth.com
      which are not only non-leather, but also use glue of
      non-animal origins. The good news is that another
      reader recently spotted MacBeth shoes at a Bata shop.
      The bad news is that if you're going for an interview for
      the job of CEO of a Fortune 500 company, MacBeth
      may not have any shoes for you.



      Save the World's Saddest Dolphins

      VSS supports ACRES' ongoing "Save the World's
      Saddest Dolphins" campaign, in which we humans
      speak up for dolphins and urge Resorts World Sentosa
      to shelve their plans to house 25 wild-caught dolphins
      in their upcoming marine park attraction.
      ACRES is doing a roadshow 1-3 Jul (Fri-Sun),
      The Cathay, 2 Handy Road , 11am-9pm. Watch the
      campaign videos and, most importantly, take a petition
      photo on the spot. Please help the dolphins by
      speaking up for them and asking Resorts World to
      please let the dolphins go!
      Find out more here:




      Guide to Food Ingredients

      Vegetarian Resourc

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