A Comprehensive Conversation About What We Eat with Will Tuttle, Ph.D.

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Gandhi once said, “The most violent weapon on Earth is the table fork.” Dr. Will Tuttle asks us to consider one of the primary driving forces behind a whole network of problems we face as human beings is the mentality of violence, exploitation, exclusion, and privilege that is required for us to eat animal foods. He contends that our disconnectedness from the suffering of animals is at the very core of the loss of intelligence, freedom, and true happiness saying, “We have to understand that [we are] born into a society that’s organized, at its living core, around animal agriculture and is organized around seeing beings as objects to be used. Cows and chickens are seen as objects that you buy and sell by the pound. So, when we do that for ten thousand years as we’ve been doing, we create an entire society that’s probably the most materialistic ever in the history of the world where we even see ourselves as just matter: my body is all I am and when I die that’s the end . . . the mind gets colonized. Our basic natural wisdom, awareness, compassion, and empathy get repressed by being raised in a society that’s killing literally billions of animals every day for food.” There are many arguments for eating a plant-based diet such as climate, soil, and health. However, Tuttle adds another view for favoring a vegan diet. He proposes that the violence in which we’re participating, in itself, is something much larger than anything else. He says, “We don’t want to look into the suffering of the animals. Dairy products and eggs I’ve discovered have enormous amounts of suffering. It’s not just the flesh of animals but also there’s a lot of slavery and sexual abuse of animals that goes on that we would rather not think about.”(hosted by Justine Willis Toms) 


Will Tuttle, Ph.D., is a professional pianist, composer, and teacher who holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. For more than two decades he has presented at progressive churches, vegetarian and human potential conferences, and intentional communities throughout the United States. He trained in Korea as a Zen Buddhist Monk and has worked extensively in Tai Chi, Yoga, and meditation. He also works with his artist wife Madeleine Tuttle who contributes to his presentations, books, and albums. 

Will Tuttle is the author of many books including: 

  • Your Inner Islands: The Keys to Intuitive Living (Will Tuttle - revised 2017)
  • The World Peace Diet: Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony (Lantern Books 2005)
  • He also has many original piano albums including: Ascension: A Journey Beyond and Islands of Light

To learn more about the work of Will Tuttle go to www.willtuttle.com.

Topics explored in this dialogue include:

  • What were Tuttle’s early experiences that led him to eat a vegan diet
  • Who was Big John and how did he deliver a message to Tuttle that led him to his teacher and to end up in Korea studying with him on his spiritual path
  • How does the Golden Rule apply as a universal spiritual wisdom teaching to not harm others or do to them what we wouldn’t want to have done to ourselves
  • Why doesn’t the mainstream media cover the harm that fast food companies, big pharma, and factory farms are causing
  • Is eating grass-fed meats and free-range poultry a better choice
  • How animals are impregnated against their will and calves are taken from their mothers so their milk goes to market rather than their calves
  • How animals in their natural habitat form communities and affection
  • How does developing our intuition help create world peace
  • Why is nondualistic knowing helping humans to understand their interconnectedness
  • What are the Buddhist four immeasurables: love, compassion, joy, and peace
  • What is the deeper purpose to the practice of meditation
  • How our food connects us with the Sacred Feminine of Mother Earth and nature
  • What are the consequences of animal agriculture

Host: Justine Willis Toms   Interview Date: 1/12/2020   Program Number: 3697

Music Playlist

From Album: Islands of Light
Artist: Will Tuttle

Opening Essay: Track 01 Song of Understanding
Music Break 1: Track 02 Dance of Light
Music Break 2: Track 03 Song of B Flat
Music Break 3: Track 04 Song of Inner Spaces