Scientists uncover evidence supporting man’s need to change his diet for mental health, longevity and emotional stability. An expert in the field, Dr. Will Tuttle, published a book entitled, The World Peace Diet, as an outstanding resource for educating man about the reasons we must return to a vegan lifestyle. After becoming familiar with his theories, I spoke with Dr. Tuttle and he was kind enough to take time to answer the following questions.
Welcome, Dr. Tuttle. Thank you for discussing the information available in your book, The World Peace Diet. Your narrative CD version awakens man to the necessity and logic of making wise food-intake decisions.
Question 1: You provide a full description of Plato’s theories regarding the benefits of people adopting an animal free diet. Why did some of Plato’s knowledge regarding science remain public while his information about adopting a vegan lifestyle vanished from available books?
Actually, in The World Peace Diet, I discuss several ancient Greek & Roman philosophers who all advocated a vegan diet and lifestyle – Pythagoras, Plato, Plotinus, and Plutarch. Pythagoras is considered the father of vegetarianism and vegan living in our Western world, and until the mid 1800s vegetarians were referred to as Pythagoreans. Pythagoras emphasized the spiritual, social, and health benefits of a plant-based diet, and warned people that if they killed animals for food, they would also kill each other in wars. These important ideas are more vital now than ever, and form the foundation of The World Peace Diet. Plato (like his teacher Socrates) was in many ways a Pythagorean and taught that herding livestock led to conflicts over land and to warfare. Plotinus was a neo-Platonist and strong advocate of compassion to animals, as was Plutarch, a Roman historian.
Their ideas have been covered over simply because they make people in our culture uncomfortable with what is their most basic behavior: eating food. This is unfortunate, of course, because if these teachings were heeded by us today, we would be able to reduce the many diseases caused by eating animal foods, as well as the environmental devastation that is unavoidable in growing vast amounts of grain and legumes and feeding them to animals who are hyperconfined, mutilated, and killed at the rate of 75 million per day in the U.S. alone. People are starving and malnourished, and it’s completely unnecessary, and all this slaughter is similarly unnecessary, and the war and inequity that flows from it as well.
Question 2: In The World Peace Diet, you posit a hidden and powerful core mentality in our culture – what is that?
All of us are born into a culture that injects into us from infancy a program that forces us to look with eyes that see certain beings as things – as commodities that exist merely to be killed and eaten. This mentality of reducing beings to things—commoditization of life—is devastating to our inherent intelligence, sensitivity, and compassion. It leads to a mentality of exclusion, elitism, might-makes-right, privilege, and disconnectedness. It is this mentality that is injected into us through our three daily meals, where we are all forced to participate in rituals in which sentient beings are reduced to mere flesh and secretions. We are forced to eat them, thus internalizing this mentality that is totally contrary to our well-being and the well-being of the Earth and of other animals. By far the most intelligent, creative, caring, and aware action that any human being in our culture can engage in is to extricate themselves from this toxic and destructive program, and switch to a plant-based way of eating and living, out of compassion to the whole web of life in which we are all embedded. This is the foundation of joy, peace, abundance, wisdom, health, and happiness for all.
Question 3: According to your studies, people initially consumed fruit, nuts and leaves. What prompted humans to deviate from his healthful diet?
No one knows the answer to this question. We don’t even know what happened in history, much less in pre-history! What happened on 9//11? Who killed JFK? What happened just a few days or years ago? We don’t know! What we have are “official stories” that are created for our consumption in order to keep everyone enslaved to a system of domination and ignorance, where we are willing to work in jobs that rob us of our precious time and resources, and imprison us in the ignorance of separateness, willing to fight wars and eat animals and destroy the Earth without comprehending our true purpose on this Earth.
Today, we can see that we are designed for plant-based foods, and whatever reasons people have had in the past for eating animal foods (which I discuss at length in The World Peace Diet), we can easily see that it is terrible for our physical, psychological, cultural, ecological, and spiritual health. Any one of us can prove this in our own lives as well!
So rather than look too much to the past, I think it’s a great idea to be pulled by the future. Let’s envision an abundant, peaceful, creative, and joyful future, and base our behavior on reaching that, rather than trying to figure out how we should be driven by a past that we will never completely know or understand (at least until we go vegan and awaken our latent wisdom)!
Question 4: Your information regarding how humans transitioned from being peaceful gatherers and gardeners to being much more aggressive figures who dominated and owned living creatures as property provides a clear image of how our diet and its required mentality impacts our emotional stability. In what ways would humankind improve if we resisted eating animal products?
By ceasing to eat animal foods, we begin the process of extricating ourselves out of the pervasive program of violence and reductionism that ensnares our culture in ignorance and war. The mentality required to reduced beings to mere objects of property is the essence of the problem, and by rejecting that, we open the door of the prison that we are in. Anyone of us can do this at any time! Going vegan is actually just the first step out of the prison. We are called by our inherent wisdom to shed all the layers of violence, fear, and delusion that cover the light of pure consciousness that we truly are. Going vegan is the first essential step, and it means adopting an attitude of radical inclusion whereby we cultivate respect and kindness for all beings, both human and animal. This is the essence of the inner work that is the foundation of transforming our lives and our world. As I say in The World Peace Diet, we cannot build a tower of love with bricks of cruelty. As we eat and act and relate with kindness and love, we build a body, emotions, and life of harmony and freedom.
Question 5: The quote by Benjamin Franklin captured the experiences of many vegans with regard to attending social gatherings with the commitment to avoid consuming animal foods. Do vegans benefit spiritually by standing firm on their beliefs even when it causes strife within their communities?
It is quite humorous to say that vegans are causing strife within their communities by not going along with the meals and attitudes of exclusion, oppression, and mindless violence that are required by animal foods. As vegans, we are bystanders to the horrific violence perpetrated by people who take out their wallets and pay for animal-sourced foods. We are witnessing and questioning the unnecessary cruelty toward animals, and any “strife” we cause is the precious energy of liberation that will help both the perpetrators and the animals become free from this devastating situation. If we are doing our jobs well, we are causing significant cognitive dissonance by providing examples of people who are not afraid to be kind and to lovingly speak the truth about the interconnectedness of all life. Through this we can transform our world!
Question 6: The observation that consuming dead animals kills the person who swallowed the flesh provides a vegan solution to most medical ailments. In what ways would world economy benefit from the decrease in physical disease and deterioration?
If people stopped eating animal foods, our economy would be enormously blessed. The way it’s set up now, there is a small, wealthy elite that is enriching itself at the expense of people, animals, and the Earth. All are abused and becoming more diseased. Switching to a plant-based diet is an action of liberation. We stand up, open our hearts, and proclaim to the world that we love and that we are willing to act on that love. Our physical and psychological health immediately improve, as does our spiritual health. We begin to create healthier communities wherever we are, and we significantly reduce our ecological footprint on the Earth. We begin to create new economies based on spiritual growth and caring, rather than being slaves to a system of oppression and death. As vegan living continues to grow and percolate through our culture, we will see enormous healing energies released that will counteract the insane inequities that are perpetrated by the transnational financial and corporate powers. It all begins on our plates, and extends outward from there.
Question 7: When I see people eating animal foods and hear them saying they don’t care about cows, chickens, fish, pigs, and other animals, or about starving people, I get very angry with them. What can I do about this?
We have to remember that anger, whether it’s expressed or repressed, tends to be toxic not only to ourselves but to others and to our relationships. Anger causes acidification and contraction, physiologically, and can lead to a variety of physical and psychological complications. It is exclusionary, (though not as exclusionary as indifference) and veganism is the path of expansion and inclusion.
For me, a wonderful way to understand and deal with the anger that tends to arise in these types of situations is to contemplate and remember the Taosit teaching of Chuang-tzu, who offered a metaphorical teaching about a boat. If you’re laying down in a boat on a lake, quietly resting, and suddenly another boat just whams into you without any warning, you’d probably get immediately irritated and angry and leap up, ready to yell at the thoughtless pilot of this other boat. Yet, if upon doing so, you suddenly see that the other boat is actually empty, and it just drifted into your boat, propelled by the winds of karma, you immediately see how foolish it is to be angry in this situation, and all anger dissipates. You even burst out laughing.
This is the same with us. The people we get angry with are empty boats. There is a karmic wind propelling them, and their words and actions, and it is essentially the programming of our culture. Why yell at or be angry with someone who is propelled by the cultural program? Is it wise to yell at and be angry with a program? With the wind? They are asleep – sleep walking and sleep talking. In many ways, it’s pretend sleep walking and sleep talking. We get frustrated and angry because they are causing harm to others and we want them to wake up. Our task is to discover what works best to do this.
Creating communities that encourage awakening is an important part of this – the essential ingredient in cultural and personal transformation is relationship and communication and interaction with others. Building vegan community, both where we are and in cyberspace, is essential to the awakening of our world. Everything we do to channel our energy of caring from anger to constructive community building is a healing gift that blesses us and everyone in our world.
We deeply appreciate your time and energy with sharing your message. You offer solutions to man’s fight against diseases and discontentment. You have an amazing insight and the great gift of teaching.
All of Dr. Tuttle’s books and CDs are available at www.willtuttle.com and is on the best seller’s list for www.amazon.com. Dr. Tuttle requests we all spread the word and help mankind live in peace.