• Start a Veg Pledge campaign in your organization!

    A Veg Pledge is a pledge for people to try out a vegetarian/vegan diet for a certain time period.

     

    Learn from us on how we conducted a Veg Pledge in Yale-NUS College (YNC) and use our information and resources to plan a Veg Pledge in your organization! :)

  • Why Veg Pledge?

  • Veg Pledge Campaign

    Below you can see the different things that we did for our Veg Pledge campaign, such as creating a logo, organizing events, giving out wristbands, and more!

     

    Veg Pledge Logo

    We designed a logo that was simple and catchy which we could include in our different posters.

    (designed by team member Valerie Pang)

    Veg Pledge Poster

    This poster allowed people to know the details about Veg pledge, why they should try it out, and the events that would be happening across the rest of the week. We also provided a simple sign up link for people to sign up.

     

    We distributed posters through different channels:

    1. College students' facebook group

    2. Elevators/lifts in the residential colleges

    3. Emails to Veg Pledgers

    4. Facebook group chat comprising of Veg Pledgers

    Sign-Up Form

    This was the sign-up form for people who wanted to take the Veg Pledge.

    Wristbands

    We bought wristbands that had the words "#YNCVegPledge" printed on them, and distributed it to all the people who signed up for our pledge (Veg Pledgers). These wristbands served as a present for our Veg Pledgers and a reminder to them to eat vegetarian/vegan. Also, it served as a way to promote the Veg Pledge to others and show other people that their friends were trying to become vegetarian/vegan.

    Veggie Taco Night + Movie Screening

    We organized a Veggie Taco Night and a screening of the documentary Cowspiracy.

     

    Cowspiracy is an engaging and convincing film about the negative effects of animal agriculture on the environment, and is a documentary we strongly recommend screening to your peers. You can find the documentary at www.cowspiracy.com

    Vegan Baking Night + Movie Screening

    We organized a vegan baking night where we taught people how to bake coconut macaroons and vegan raspberry truffle brownies. (We bought all the ingredients beforehand).

     

    While waiting for the macaroons and brownies to bake, we screened the documentary What The Health.

     

    What The Health is a powerful and impactful movie about the negative effects of meat and animal products on people's health, and how the meat and pharmaceutical industry has been covering it up. This is a MUST WATCH. It can be found on https://vimeo.com/ondemand/whatthehealth

    Vegetarian Restaurant Owners Panel

    We organized a panel discussion where owners of various vegetarian/vegan restaurants in Singapore shared about their experiences in setting up vegetarian/vegan restaurants and how they went about gaining traction and customers for their restaurant.

    Restaurant Lunch Outing

    As a reward to the Veg Pledgers for completing the Veg Pledge, we sponsored a group outing to a Vegetarian restaurant where people could have a free lunch. This allowed for the Veg Pledgers to eat together, try out a vegetarian restaurant outside of school, and share with each other about how their experience going on the Veg Pledge was like.

  • Video

    YNC Veg Pledge Promotional Video

    We got a popular athlete in our school who was vegetarian to be featured in a promotional video for our Veg Pledge, where he asked people to sign up for the Veg Pledge and join him in becoming vegetarian.

    Facebook post promoting Veg Pledge

    We posted a facebook post on our College's facebook group which included the promotional video as well as poster explaining what Veg Pledge was about, and asked people to sign up on the link that we provided.

  • Daily Emails

    For the 7 days of the Veg Pledge, we sent an email out to our Veg Pledgers which

    (1) provided them with more information about vegetarianism and veganism,

    (2) informed them about the event we were organizing on that day and

    (3) gave them a vegan recipe that they could follow.

    (For brevity's sake, the recipes are not included, but you can easily find some at http://allrecipes.com/recipes/1227/everyday-cooking/vegan/)

    (Credit: These emails were adapted from the 30-day vegan pledge by https://www.vegansociety.com/)

    Day 1 Veg Pledge: Why Take the Pledge?

    Dear Pledgers!

     

    Thanks for being part of the Yale-NUS Veg Pledge! Over the next 7 days, you’ll be receiving a daily email with hints or tips on how to make the most of your pledge, and about vegetarianism/veganism in general.

    Here are a few simple things you can do today to get started:

    1. Collect your #YNCVegPledge bracelet from Elm Dining Hall during lunch time and wear it!

    2. Mark the exciting events (see poster attached) on your calendar so you can attend!

    All of our food in the dining halls is labeled to be either V (vegetarian) or Ve (Vegan), so keep an eye out for these to make your food choices easier. The labels also show whether a dish has dairy (blue) or shellfish (red), so give a quick look to see what the food contains.

     

    So why is this Pledge important?

    There are so many reasons to be vegetarian/vegan, including but not limited to: animal ethics, environmentalism, and health.

    Watch this video to find out 10 reasons why you should switch to a veg diet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtqXeym7H8A

    WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND READING this great page by Veganuary, which addresses 60 common myths about veganism. Do read it to address any questions that you or your friends might feel about a vegetarian/vegan diet!

    We hope you enjoy being part of a movement that embraces non-cruelty towards animals, reduces environmental impact, and boosts health. Wear your wristband and have fun meeting others taking the Pledge during the lunch tags! Don’t forget to post your first veg meal with #YNCVegPledge on Instagram!

    In case you’re into cooking, each email will include a delicious recipe at the bottom which you can try out!

     

    Bon appetit,

    YNC Veg Pledge

    Day 2 Veg Pledge: Veg for the Environment

    Dear Pledgers,

     

    Before getting into the main topic, we’d like to applaud and thank every one of you who has decided to be a part of this movement. With over 60 pledgers, participation has far exceeded our expectations, and we are thrilled to have run out of the 50 wristbands that we ordered! It was great sharing vegan tacos with you over “Cowspiracy” and those of you that couldn’t make it last night, fret not--it’s free to watch at cowspiracy.com with the promo code “CLIMATEVEGAN”. Whether you’ve set the goal of going “flexitarian”, vegetarian, or vegan, every action does make a difference. As Gandhi once said, “Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.” This attitude towards small actions reflects the dynamic known as the Butterfly Effect, where small actions can ripple outwards to produce great change.

     

    Vegetarianism and the Environment

    World meat production has quadrupled in the past 50 years and farmed animals now outnumber people by more than three to one. In other words, the livestock population is expanding faster than the human population and is projected to continue to expand as the Chinese middle classes increasingly adopt meat-centered diets and as the Western taste for meat, eggs and dairy products continues to grow.


    This trend will continue to contribute to global warming, widespread pollution, deforestation, land degradation, water scarcity and species extinction because more animals mean more crops are needed to feed them. The planet cannot feed both increasing human and farmed animal populations.

    So if we are trying to reduce our car use, limit the amount of water we waste, become more ‘energy-efficient’ and generally lessen our environmental impact, we must also examine the most important factor of our personal ecological footprint: what we eat. The livestock sector is responsible for at least 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, but is estimated to be as much as 51% by some studies (as Cowspiracy shows). As meat, dairy and egg consumption contributes vastly to soil degradation, water scarcity, land degradation, pollution and global warming, becoming vegan is one of the best things an individual can do in order to tackle environmental issues.

     

    Eating mindfully,

    YNC Veg Pledge

    Day 3 Veg Pledge: Justice for Animals and Vegan Baking

    Dear Pledgers,

     

    You're almost halfway there!

    And tonight, you’re all in for the magical deliciousness that is vegan baking! There’s a whole corner of the internet dedicated to whipping up dairy-free indulgences by replacing butter with a variety of plant-based oils (coconut, sunflower, vegetable) and by sometimes replacing eggs (if need be) with applesauce, flaxseed meal, and mashed bananas. See the poster attached for the details on vegan baking tonight, happening from 8-10pm at the Elm Rector's Commons.

    More good news; vegans do eat chocolate! If you’re vegetarian, no worries, but those trying out a vegan diet should feel relieved to know that most dark chocolate out there is vegan-friendly (just check no milk powder on the label).

     

    Let’s take a second to consider the sentient beings that directly benefit from people like you switching to a plant-based diet. In the words of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) founder Ingrid Newkirk, “When it comes to pain, love, joy, loneliness, and fear, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. Each one values his or her life and fights the knife.” Over 99% of all cows, pigs, and chickens in the United States are raised on factory farms from wretched birth to cruel death. They are crammed in overcrowded cages, denied fresh air and natural light, subject to routine mutilations without anesthesia, forced to breed against their will, administered irresponsible doses of antibiotics to compensate for their unsanitary living conditions, and, perhaps worst of all, tortured, mocked, and manhandled by workers in ways that would offend any self-respecting consciousness. We rise in anger in response to such acts against human beings; why, then, should allow such abuses upon similarly living, sentient beings to continue? 70 billion farmed animals are reared annually worldwide, and more than 6 million animals are killed for food every hour.

     

    And those numbers don’t even account for the fact that we’re in the midst of the so-called “Sixth Extinction,” the largest mass extinction activity in 65 million years. Animal agriculture consumes a third of the world’s freshwater supply, occupies 45% of our total landmass, has created more than 500 nitrogen flooded ‘deadzones’ in oceans worldwide, is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction, and produces more greenhouse gases than the combined exhaust from all transportation. The United Nations has identified a global decrease in meat consumption as a potential key in the fight against world hunger and climate change.

     

    We should also be aware of the very real human cost to animal agriculture - the industry is notorious for labor abuse, as employees work long hours at little pay whilst enduring a high risk of disease and injury from their appalling working conditions. Consequently, they often develop respiratory and cardiovascular disorders from their consistent exposure to carcasses, hazardous waste material, and other particulate matter, or suffer chronic aches and pains, physical impairment, and even death from operating slaughter equipment. In some cases, they even succumb to stress-related injuries from the nature of their work. The very etymology of the term ‘dehumanize’ should illustrate the dire gap that we can and must bridge in the 21st century.

     

    Congrats on being almost halfway there!

     

    Yours,

    YNC Veg Pledge

    Day 4 Veg Pledge: Dining Out and Social Hurdles

    Dear Veg Pledgers,

     

    Thanks so much for coming and baking with us last night! We hope you enjoyed the macaroons and raspberry truffle brownies, and now have an idea of what goes into vegan treats in place of dairy products.

     

    Many people say that one of their main worries about going veg is facing negative reactions from friends, family or colleagues. Saying that you’re trying vegetarianism or veganism will almost always lead to questions and while this may seem daunting, it’s a good sign. Not only is it important for encouraging others to think about their own decisions, but the fact that they know of someone giving it a go means that they will be far more likely to try it for themselves. Talking positively about your decision is one way to achieve this: learn how to do this here.


    Enthusing about vegetarianism/veganism shouldn't be hard, as it is now more accessible than ever before. There’s no need to skip out on dining out now that there’s plenty of options even in chain restaurants; you can impress your non-vegetarian/vegan friends with a dinner party that doesn’t involve hours and hours slogging away in the kitchen.


    If you still have some friends and family members who still really aren’t getting it, then this blog '10 great videos to help non-vegans make the connection' may make them think twice about their next meal.


    Some new vegetarians or vegans may find things are harder for them when talking to their family or friends about going vegan. In these instances, check this page for when you need a helping hand with challenging situations. Just remember: there are many unexpected benefits to what you’re trying, and soon those around you will realize this too.

     

    Happy eating,

    YNC Veg Pledge

    Day 5 Veg Pledge: Plant-based nutrition

    Dear Veg Pledgers,

     

    It's Friday, and tonight we have a Rector's Tea planned about Plant-Powered Restaurants in Singapore. Owners of several local vegetarian and vegan restaurants will be coming to have a panel discussion with students about their experiences running vegetarian/vegan businesses in Singapore. There will be vegan food catered, happening at 6:30pm in the Elm Rector's Commons!

     

    As with any way of eating, it’s good to pay attention to what you put into your body. When you are living vegetarian/vegan, it is useful to monitor your intake of Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D, gained from eating fortified foods. A big bowl of fortified cereal with fortified plant milk will take care of many of your daily vitamin and minerals before the day has even started, while adding fortified nutritional yeast flakes to beans, soup, toast or any main meal will enrich your body with B12. If you’re not sure you’re getting the recommended daily amount with fortified foods, you can also take a daily or weekly supplement. Remember, not all vegan replacement foods are fortified so double check you're picking up the right kind.

    For your very basic nutritional needs, make sure to eat some whole foods such as beans, brown rice and whole grain bread, as well as a rainbow of brightly colored vegetables including dark leafy greens and fruit.


    - The Vegan Plate: Adapted with permission from Becoming Vegan: Express Edition and Becoming Vegan: Comprehensive Edition by Brenda Davis, RD, and Vesanto Melina, MS, RD.
     

    Keep eating healthy!

    YNC Veg Pledge

    Day 6 Veg Pledge: Veg for Health!

    Dearest Pledgers,

     

    The Veg Pledge is almost over! Just one more day, and then tomorrow we will all convene for a vegetarian lunch at Greendot (free for you!).

     

    Being vegetarian or vegan has benefits beyond its aiding of animals, people and the environment; it can also help you too. Vegetarians and vegans may tend to be healthier as a result of the attention we pay to what we eat, and the amount of veggies and other delicious and nutritious foods that tend to fall onto our daily plate. Of course, everyone makes their own choices as to how healthy they eat: it’s your body, it’s your decision. But just be confident in the fact that a plethora of scientific research suggests that numerous animal products may be responsible for causing a number of illnesses, thus anyone singling out your veg diet as ‘unhealthy’ hasn’t done their research. Following a well-planned diet may help you avoid these ailments, and will no doubt help you feel better and healthier too.

     

    As long as you eat a varied, healthy diet that includes green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, beans, grains, fruit and a number of fortified foods you should be getting your daily amount of nutrients. Remember that these include essential fatty acids, calcium, vitamins, protein, iron, iodine and zinc. If you are unable to get hold of foods fortified with B12 and iodine then you may require daily supplements to ensure you are meeting the RDA. Farmers feed cattle B12 and iodine supplements because they no longer occur naturally in the soil. This means that vegetarians and vegans are not 'unnatural' for taking supplements: we are just receiving them from a more ethical source. You can bust more myths here.

     

    Happy Saturday!

    YNC Veg Pledge

    Day 7 Veg Pledge: Congratulations!!

    Dear Pledgers,

     

    Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of the YNC Veg Pledge – well done! Today we will go together to have lunch at Green Dot at Buona Vista (sponsored by the Pledge) leaving from school at 12noon from Cendana Lift Lobby A to reflect on how the week went for us.

    We hope that you’ve enjoyed the experience and learned a lot more about veg living. And we hope that you feel that it isn't so difficult after all. If you can do a week, think about what else you could achieve. To celebrate, here are some videos of other animals being given second chances.


    Thank you so much for taking the Pledge. Just over the course of this week you’ve already begun to make a positive social impact. A profound socio-political change is happening; and you’re part of it.

     

    See you for lunch!

    YNC Veg Pledge

  • Feedback form

    This is the form that we sent to Veg Pledgers to gather their feedback about how the Veg Pledge experience was like for them.

    Rationale

    These questions are meant to find out how the experience of the Veg Pledge was like for our participants, as well as to gather feedback that we could provide to the food caterer in our school. In so doing, we hope to improve and expand the vegetarian/vegan options in our school's dining halls, and make future Veg Pledges better for participants.

  • What are you waiting for? Start a Veg Pledge in your organization today! :)

    Be the change you want to see in the world.

  • Checklist

    This is a checklist of the things you can do in order to plan for a Veg Pledge in your school!

    5 Weeks before Veg Pledge

    1. Form a team of 4 or more people to organize a Veg Pledge campaign
    2. Think of the events that you want to organize, the logistics and the budget it would involve (feel free to take inspiration from ours and plan similar events!)
    3. Find sponsors to provide money for your events (food, wristbands)

    4 Weeks before Veg Pledge

    1. Book the venues for your events
    2. Send invitations to external speakers asking them to speak at your event
    3. Order wristbands saying “Veg Pledge” - estimate the number of people you think will sign up

    2-3 Weeks before Veg Pledge

    1. Design posters about the Veg Pledge and about your events (take inspiration from ours!)
    2. Film a video promoting the Veg Pledge featuring a popular athlete in your school who is vegetarian
    3. Create a survey form for people to sign up for the pledge
    4. Create a survey form for people to give feedback after the pledge (feel free to adapt from ours)
    5. Prepare the script to be said during your events (optional, you can give impromptu speeches too)

    One Week before Veg Pledge

    1. Print out and put up posters about the Veg Pledge around your school
    2. Advertise Veg Pledge on various school Facebook groups and get friends to fill up the survey to sign up
    3. Write the daily emails to be sent to Veg Pledgers (feel free to copy ours) - include the posters of your events in the emails
    4. Order the food for your events and buy ingredients for Vegan Baking Night

    During Veg Pledge

    1. Put up posters about the various Veg Pledge events around your school
    2. Send the daily emails to Veg Pledgers
    3. Create a facebook group chat of everyone participating in the Veg Pledge (get the names from your survey)
    4. Set up a table/booth advertising the Veg Pledge and distribute the wristbands to the Veg Pledgers
    5. Set up the venue before the event starts
    6. Announce the various events a few hours before they start on your school’s facebook group and the Veg Pledge facebook group chat
    7. Have Veg Pledge group meals on some days (coordinate via facebook group chat)
    8. Remind people to post on social media about #VegPledge
    9. Take photos during your events

    After Veg Pledge

    1. Send survey form to Veg Pledgers to get their feedback
    2. Have a group meeting to discuss the takeaways from the Veg Pledge and how you can improve in future ones
    3. Send an email to us letting us know how your Veg Pledge went! - how many people signed up, photos, feedback etc.

  • Organizing Team

    Here's the team that organized the inaugural Veg Pledge at Yale-NUS College!

    Darrel Chang

    Animal Rights Activist

    Darrel is a sophomore majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, and minoring in Environmental Studies. He is the President of the Yale-NUS Association for the Protection of Animals from Cruelty (YAPAC), as well as the Yale-NUS Society for Academic Research (YNSAR). As President of YAPAC, he spearheaded the successful campaign for “Green and Healthy” lunches in Yale-NUS’ dining halls, and is currently drafting the Yale-NUS Animal Cruelty Prevention Charter; as President of YNSAR, he will be presiding over the 2nd volume of the Yale-NUS Undergraduate Academic Journal.

    Alaine Johnson

    Vegan Baker & Boxer

    Alaine Johnson is a third-year Environmental Studies student at Yale-NUS College interested in food and energy systems, agrarian change, and social justice. Alaine has lived and worked in developing countries since she was 15 and co-founded an animal rights organization in Swaziland. She is passionate about vegan cooking and baking, and would love to see more of this lifestyle incorporated into Southeast Asian cuisine. Alaine also practices a fusion of martial arts: MMA, Tang Soo Do, Muay Thai, and American Kenpo.

    Peter Lewis

    Vegan Activist

    Peter is a third year environmental studies major at Yale-NUS College who is passionate about the potential for a plant-based shift in the global food system to combat climate change, improve public health, and uproot the systemic exploitation of animals and ecosystems. After learning about the central role of animal products in environmental destruction, he made the switch to veganism in October 2016. He interned at Conservation International and is eager to continue work with Climate Healers to support the global adoption of veganism.

    Valerie Pang

    Tech Marketer and Designer

    Valerie is a final year environmental studies student at Yale-NUS College. She’s really passionate about technology, business, social good and environmental issues. She interned in 9 different startup organizations, and spent a year interning in startups in Silicon Valley and studying entrepreneurship at Stanford. She also co-founded a social enterprise, SDI Academy, that provides migrant workers with English courses and helps them better integrate into society. She is involved in the effective altruism movement.

  • Contact Us

    We would be so happy to hear if you are organizing a Veg Pledge in your organization, please let us know if you do! Also feel free to let us know if you have any feedback or suggestions for us :)