Will Tuttle has a master's degree in humanities from San Francisco State University and a Ph.D. in the philosophy of education from the University of California, Berkeley. A professional pianist, composer, and teacher, he has for the last 15 years presented at progressive churches, vegetarian and human potential conferences, and intentional communities throughout the country. He trained in Korea as a Zen Buddhist monk and has worked extensively in Tai Chi, yoga, meditation, intuition development, and spiritual healing. In July, 2007 he received the prestigious Courage of Conscience Award from The Peace Abbey. He lives in Healdsburg, California.
An outline for understanding the far-reaching implications of our food choices. Will offers a set of universal principles for all people of conscience that shows how we can move our consciousness forward.-- (01/13/2006) Food is our most intimate and telling connection both with the living natural order and with our living cultural heritage. By eating the plants and animals of our earth, we literally incorporate them. It is also through this act of eating that we partake of our culture's values and paradigms at the most primal levels. It is becoming increasingly obvious, however, that the choices we make about our food are leading to environmental degradation, enormous human health problems, and unimaginable cruelty toward our fellow creatures.I've spent the last 30 years exploring the fascinating connections and cause-effect relationships between our individual and cultural practice of using animals for food and the stress and difficulties we create for each other and ourselves. I've discovered that the violence we instigate for our plates boomerangs in remarkable ways.Incorporating systems theory, teachings from mythology and religions, and the human sciences, The World Peace Diet presents the outlines of a more empowering understanding of our world, based on a comprehension of the far-reaching cultural and spiritual implications of our food choices and the worldview those choices reflect and mandate. The author offers a set of universal principles for all people of conscience, from any religious tradition, that they can follow to reconnect with what we are eating, what was required to get it on our plate, and what happens after it leaves our plates.The song of the new mythos that yearns to be born through us requires our spirits to be loving and alive enough to hear and recognize the pain we are causing through our obsolete food orientation. We are called to allow our innate mercy and kindness to shine forth and to confront the indoctrinated assumptions that promote cruelty."Will Tuttle brings a priceless perspective--not only to the planetary crisis confronting us all, but also to powerful ways we each can affect it. This book is radiant with his learning and his compassion."--Joanna Macy, author, Coming Back to Life-- (12/12/2005) The World Peace Diet: Eating For Spiritual Health And Social Harmony is a profound call for veganism in today's modern world. Author Will Tuttle, who has received a Ph.D. in the philosophy of education from the University of California, Berkeley, examines the deleterious medical, hormonal, environmental, and societal effects of consuming meat or other animal products such as milk or eggs. Forcefully recommending a change toward the higher consciousness and compassion for animals and humans alike that is veganism, The World Peace Diet is passionate in its denouncement of myths perpetuated by the meat, milk and egg industry and its endorsement of the health and spiritual benefits that encompass making a change toward a cruelty-free diet.-- (02/13/2006) Reviewed by Joseph Connelly, March/ April 2006 [excerpted] Tuttle's scholarship calls for a new revolution to counter what he sees as our culture's last true upheaval, the commodification of animals, which "completely redefined human relations with animals, nature, the divine, and each other." Tuttle doesn't hold back: To meditate for world peace, to pray for a better world, and to work for social justice and environmental protection while continuing to purchase the flesh, milk, and eggs of horribly abused animals exposes a disconnect that is so fundamental that it renders our efforts absurd, hypocritical, and doomed to a certain failure.Tuttle lifts the discussion of veganism to a higher level. He argues cogently for a spiritual component, one where the consequence of using and consuming animals, so ubiquitous in human society, affects us not only in ways that can be measured physically, but physically aas well. He convincingly shows how science and patriarchical religions, so often at odds in Western Society, are both cut from the same cloth--one that reinforces the domination of women, animals and nature in order to further the interests of the ruling elite. Yet for all of the complexities of how we ended up where we are, Tuttle's remedy of spiritual veganism is offered as the cure for what ails us.When we cultivate ... the consequences of our food choices and conscientiously adopt a plant-based way of eating, refusing to participate in the domination of animals and the dulling of the awareness this requires, we make a profound statement... We become a force of sensitivity, healing, and compassion. We become a revolution of one. The revolution starts now.-- (03/24/2006) Reviewed by Eve Spencer Apart from the author's master's degree in humanities and PhD in the philosophy of education, he is also a professional pianist who trained in Korea as a Zen Buddhist monk, worked in tai chi, yoga, meditation, intuition development and spiritual healing, and lives a vegan lifestyle. The World Peace Diet is not a diet in the sense of a fad diet to lose weight, but the author illustrates clearly how the social, psychological and spiritual consequences of our meals "ripple through all aspects of our lives." The book is systematically developed to reveal the connection between what we daily put on our plates, and peace in the world and in our lives. Some of the chapters covered include the power of food, the herding culture, the nature of intelligence, domination of the feminine, the metaphysics of food, science and religion, profiting from destruction, the journey of transformation, and in the final chapter--living the revolution--is "the last days of eating animal." Many people we talk with about food insist that we all make individual choices about the foods we eat, resisting being told that we are indoctrinated. But as Tuttle points out, we never chose an omnivorous diet; we were fed this way by our herding culture. We were told by our parents, doctors, church leaders, teachers, as well as by government, advertising and the media, the meat, dairy and egg businesses, and big pharma, as well as most nutritionists, that nonhuman animals are there for us to eat and make us strong. Those forces continue to manipulate consumers who still believe they are making free choices, while the terror and suffering of other animals remain hidden from view. If we could only look with enlightened eyes at the meat on our plates, and see beyond the appearance, we would surely shrink, horrified. Are we not aware of the interdependence of consciousness, energy and matter? Pythagoras taught, many years ago, that eating animal foods has negative effects on our consciousness. The toxins such as trans fats, pathogens, pesticides, and drug and hormone residues that are present in animal foods, besides injuring the animals, also injure our bodies, and can also disturb us emotionally. When humans eat the flesh of beings who have endured fear, terror and agony, their sufferings are literally ingested into our bodies. How then can we live with inner peace? As the author points out, calves, steers, lambs, chickens and even dairy cows, who would easily live 20 to 30 years in the wild, are all pushed to grow abnormally quickly, then slaughtered as infants and children. Similarly in the various wars around the globe, children suffer and die the most. The eggs, bacon and cheese that we eat are living vibratory embodiments of cruelty, violence, enslavement, terror and despair--the tormented consciousness of the animals. Dr Tuttle reminds us that we talk about stopping the cycle of violence; children who are violated and abused will often, when they become adults, tend to perpetuate the cycle of violence through the generations. We can see this; yet fail to see the deeper dynamic. We will always be violent towards each other as long as we are violent towards other animals--how can it be otherwise? The World Peace Diet portrays how a vegan life offers compassion for all beings, including for ourselves and for the planet. The author reveals how such a revolution of heart, mind and body can enable us to transform our world to one of peace, harmony, loving kindness, respect and reverence for the interconnectedness and sacredness of all life. For anyone wanting to grow spiritually, who wants to wake up and live a compassionate life, and contribute to world peace, this book will help. How rare to come across a book that clearly depicts the problems arising from a meat-based diet entirely cut off from the spiritual aspects of our lives. I cannot do justice to this wonderful book--you have to read every page for yourself, and I thoroughly recommend that you do.-- (05/02/2006) Reviewed by Susan B. Hagloch Not a diet book in the usual sense of the term, this is "an exploration intothe profound cultural and spiritual ramifications of our food choices."Tuttle, who trained with a Zen Buddhist monk and speaks widely on spiritualhealing, posits that our ancient herding cultures and the resultantinclusion of animals and animal products into our modern diets havedesensitized us to the suffering of our fellow creatures; this, in turn, allows us to accept violence against other humans. At his most logical, Tuttle backs up his claims with examples of mainstream spiritual traditionsand philosophers' arguments. He is less persuasive when he descends intohorrific sensationalism-less talk of the rape of cows via artificialinsemination and more illustrations of how soy products can be substitutedinto our daily menus would have made this a better book. While not alwayslevelheaded, this book is certainly thought-provoking. Given the increasingpopularity of vegetarianism and veganism, this is recommended for mostcollections.-- (05/02/2006) Reviewed by Charles Patterson The World Peace Diet is a unique contribution to understanding the direct relationship between the food we eat and the vast range of the world's problems--hunger, poverty, disease, war, terrorism, genocide, environmental degradation, and, of course, the exploitation and slaughter of billions of defenseless animals, which all too many people do not consider a problem at all. To explain how the ugly reality of the abuse and killing of animals became the centerpiece of our so-called civilization, Dr. Will Tuttle examines the emergence of our herding culture that began roughly 10,000 years ago in the Near East with the enslavement (euphemistically called "domestication") of sheep and goats, and later cattle, camels, horses, and other animals for food, clothing, transport and labor. This herding culture introduced a higher level of domination and coercion into human history and eventually led to oppressive hierarchical societies and large-scale warfare never seen before. The enslavement of animals and the intensive animal agriculture that resulted from it injected large doses of ruthlessness, detachment, and socially accepted cruelty into the fabric of our civilization. It also produced assorted ideologies of human supremacy and speciesist attitudes that today define our relationship to animals. Tuttle examines in detail the horrors of modern industrialized animal agriculture--factory farms, slaughterhouses, hunting and herding sea life, the devastating effects on human health and the environment, and the corporate meat-medical complex behind it all. In a chapter called "The Domination of the Feminine" he describes the "dairy nightmare" and the "four pathways to hell" for calves born to dairy cows. He also writes about the egg industry as another manifestation of our patriarchal herding culture's domination of the feminine. Failure to see, confront, and take responsibility for the vast hidden suffering that our food choices require shrivels us up as human beings emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually and keeps our society in a perpetual state of denial and hypocrisy. Keeping ourselves oblivious to what we're doing when we purchase, prepare, and consume meat, eggs, and dairy products truncates our capacity to think, feel, and care for others. According to Tuttle, the desensitizing of millions of children and adults to the daily torture of animals plants in them the seeds of violence, poverty, war, genocide, and despair. The cycles of violence that have terrorized and continue to terrorize people are rooted in our meals. Eating animals forces us to act like predators, and we then proceed to see and define ourselves as such. The cruelty we are forced to participate in as children turns us into lifetime perpetrators of cruelty. How can we be peaceful and compassionate people while eating the flesh of abused animals? Growing up, none of us freely chose to eat animals. Our family and culture imposed it on us. Well-meaning parents, grandparents, and others force us to eat the flesh and secretions of animals long before we have any choice in the matter. By the time we find out that the meat on our plate is the flesh of a murdered animal, it all seems natural and normal. By then our daily meals are already rituals of denial and repressed guilt that dull our innate compassion and our propensity for justice. The conspiracy of silence about the truth of our meals is so pervasive that there is a strong societal taboo against knowing where our food comes from. Exploiting and killing animals is such an accepted part of our way of life that it is unmentionable in public and is virtually ignored in discussions and debates about social problems and public policy. It never seems to occur to those our society considers its leaders that the best way to curb violence is to get people to stop eating violence. Late in the book the author tells the story of his own journey to veganism. While living in Concord, Massachusetts, for the first 22 years of his life, Tuttle, like most Americans, ate large quantities of animal flesh, eggs, and dairy products. However, during that time he also encountered seeds of inspiration that sprouted later: the literary revolution of the 1840s and '50s, based in Concord, that sprang from the lives and writings of American transcendentalists like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Louisa May Alcott. Tuttle points out that they were the first major American thinkers to question the meaning of food and establish a philosophical foundation for a more compassionate attitude toward animals. Thoreau thought the destiny of the human race should be "to leave off eating animals as surely as the savage tribes have left off eating each other," and Louisa May Alcott wrote, "Vegetable diet and sweet repose. Animal food and nightmare... Without flesh diet there could be no blood-shedding war." Tuttle's commitment and dedication to his vegan, nonviolent worldview suffuses every page of this profoundly insightful and important book. The World Peace Diet is sure to be a catalyst and powerful tool in the evolution of human consciousness, from our present herder mindset--based on might-makes-right and the exploitation of others--to a more humane attitude toward the earth and all its inhabitants.-- (05/02/2006)