Everyone on earth could be fed easily because we currently grow more
than enough grain to feed ten billion people; our current practice of
feeding this grain to untold billions of animals and eating them forces
over a billion of us to endure chronic malnutrition and starvation
while another billion suffer from the obesity, diabetes, heart disease,
and cancer linked with eating diets high in animal foods.
The transnational corporations profit from animal food consumption, as
do the big banks, which have made the loans that have built the whole
complex and demand a healthy return on their investments. The system
spreads relentlessly and globally, and while corporate and bank returns
may be healthy, people, animals, and ecosystems throughout the world
fall ill and are exploited and destroyed.
The metaphor of eating is central to spiritual communion with the
divine presence. It is universally recognized that eating food is both
a literally and symbolically sacred action: it is directly partaking of
the infinite order that transcends our finite lives.
Jesus‚Äô exhortation that we love one another and not do to others what
we wouldn‚Äôt want done to us is the essence of the vegan ethic, which is
a boundless compassion that includes all who can suffer by our actions.
Rising above anger and despair while still keeping our hearts open to
the ocean of cruelty, indifference, and suffering on this earth is not
easy. It requires cultivating wisdom and compassion‚Äîboth the inner
silent receptivity that links us to the eternal truth of our being and
the outer actions of serving and helping others that give meaning to
Glimpsing this essential nature that we share with all beings not only
deepens our yearning to relieve their suffering but also strengthens
our ability to work effectively to do so. Seeing victims and
perpetrators not merely in these roles but in their spiritual
perfection and completeness is profoundly healing. We see that there
are no enemies‚Äîno essentially evil people or completely hopeless or
destructive situations. There are, rather, opportunities to grow,
learn, serve, and work together to raise consciousness and bring
compassion and understanding to the painful and unjust situations we
may see unfolding around us..
As we bless others, we are blessed, and seeing beings rather than things, our own being is liberated and enriched.
Because the quality of our food is directly connected to our mental and
physiological health and to our quality of life, diminishing the
quality of our food can make us sicker, weaker, and more distracted,
violent, stressed, drugged, confused, and disempowered. This is perhaps
the real agenda behind the vicious efforts to weaken the standards for
organic foods and to introduce highly toxic foods through irradiation,
genetic engineering, addition of artificial dyes, noxious
flavor-enhancers like MSG, chemical preservatives, known carcinogens
like NutraSweet, and dangerous genetically engineered hormones like
rBGH and carcinogenic growth hormones. This is in addition to promoting
animal-based meals, which concentrate the largest variety and intensity
of toxins and are inherently confusing and disempowering.
Special Feature Crossposted on The Macrobiotic Guide Online
"From one grain, ten thousand."
This ancient understanding of the universal principle of generosity
and abundance is at the heart of macrobiotics, veganism, ahimsa,
and the spiritual teachings of the world's religions. It points
to the truth that we live in an essentially benevolent and cooperative
universe, and that life is a miraculously creative exuberance flowering
all about us, and with which we are invited to participate by giving
From one grain spring hundreds, thousands, and millions of grains,
each of which has the same potential. How do we respond to this
existential exuberance of life bursting with more life? Our response
depends on our food! From the early days, there have been two types
of agriculture: plant and animal.
Plant agriculture is essentially more feminine work, cooperating
with the cycles of nature, nurturing the spontaneous growth of herb-,
fruit-, nut-, and seed-bearing plants, and saving the precious seeds
so they could be planted again the following season.
For thousands of years, sacred rituals celebrated the miraculous
abundance of the Earth, the powers of rain, sun, and green growth,
the fecundity of Nature's ever-giving and replenishing womb, and
the joy of receiving a bounty of fragrant, delicious, and life-giving
vegetables, fruits, and grains.
From the beginning, roughly eight to ten thousand years ago, animal
agriculture was essentially men's work and it required violence
and the cruel domination of animals who always resisted as best
they could the mutilations, thefts, confinements, and killings that
were forced on them for their flesh, fur, and secretions. It began
with wild sheep and goats and spread to cows, pigs, chickens, and
other animals, and it always brought out the worst in the people
who practiced it.
Universally, we feel a sense of wonder and joy upon entering a lovingly
tended organic garden. It exudes beauty, magic, delight, and blessedness,
and we instinctively feel grateful, humble (from humus, earth),
and blessed in the presence of the gifts we receive so freely from
forces that accomplish what we can never do: bring forth new life
from seeds, roots, and stems. And universally, we are repulsed by
the violence and sheer horror and ugliness that are always required
to kill animals for food, and at a deep cultural level, we feel
ashamed of our relentless violence against animals for our meals.
We cannot create life, but we can most certainly cause death, and
we do so on a massive scale. It spreads to our plant agriculture.
Though we could humbly cooperate with life by creating widespread
networks of small-scale organic gardens, we tend instead to dominate
nature violently, the way we dominate animals for food, and create
the kind of pesticide-ridden, mono-cropped industrialized agriculture
that is actually a manifestation of the same mentality required
by thousands of years of animal agriculture.
As children, we are all taught to disconnect from our natural sense
of compassion and mercy, and to participate in eating foods of blood
and terror soon after we lose our mother's breast. We are injected
with all the stories that rationalize our violence, the no-soul,
protein, taste-good, and superior-species stories that armor our
As we get older, we are forced to participate in preparing the foods,
cutting flesh from bone, hooking unsuspecting fish, stabbing "meat"
and hardening our hearts to the cries of terrified calves and starving
children, whose grain we feed instead to livestock.
We are cast out of the garden into the rat race of competition and
consumerism, ashamed of ourselves. It is this low self-esteem that
drives the profits of corporations enriching themselves on our insatiable
craving for gadgets, drugs, and entertainment to help us forget
what we know in our hearts, and to cover over the moans of the animals
entombed in our flesh.
The choice is set before us at every meal between the garden of
life or the altar of death and as we choose life and eat grains
and vegetables rather than flesh, milk, and eggs, we find our joy
rising, our health increasing, our spirit deepening, our mind quickening,
our feelings softening, and our creativity flourishing.
We are all connected. At the core of virtually all spiritual teachings
are two interdependent directives: to love God (i.e., to connect
authentically with the transpersonal dimension) and to love our
neighbor (i.e., to treat other expressions of life with kindness
and respect). In the Buddhist tradition, as but one example, these
are considered to be mutually supporting, so the more authentic
our meditation experience, the more we become spontaneously compassionate,
and the more we practice compassion, the deeper our meditation practice
will be able to bring us.
At the core of the Buddhist teaching of ethical living is the Five
Precepts, which are simply the five universal taboos that virtually
every culture on this planet has honored and required of its members:
1.) not killing;
2.) not stealing;
3.) not committing sexual violence or misconduct;
4.) not deceiving;
5.) not forcing alcohol or drugs on others.
When we act in these ways, we not only harm others,
we harm ourselves. As Mary Baker Eddy wrote, "The wrong done
another reacts most heavily against one's self." In animal
agriculture, we routinely break all five of these precepts against
animals used for food. They are:
1) mutilated and killed by the billions
2) have their babies stolen from them, as well as their
milk, their eggs, and their freedom;
3) are sexually abused and raped by the billions every
year (euphemized as insemination);
4) are deceived by barbed hooks and dark tunnels ending
with electroshocks, stun guns and stabbing blades;
5) are forced to take antibiotics, drugs, hormones, and
psychotropic pharmaceuticals against their will.
This violence lurks in all the animal-derived foods
we eat, perhaps most ironically in the "humanely-produced"
meat, dairy, and eggs that are growing in popularity. Cold, premeditated
killing is an ultimate betrayal of trust and it is the fate of these
animals, and it is an ultimate conscience-destroyer as well for
the perpetrators who directly and indirectly cause the killing.
We are here to bless the world. We are each one grain who can bless
ten thousand, and that is not just our potential but our joy. As
we find our song and give it voice and wings, we contribute to the
healing of our world and join with others in the celebration of
love and beauty on this Earth.
The inner teaching is generosity, humility, and gratitude: that
as we give and nurture, we receive and are blessed. Mindfulness
of our food choices is the key to creating not just the outer gardens
of beauty, sustainability, and nourishment, but to nurturing the
inner garden of our hearts. Choosing plant-based meals is the foundation
of spiritual awakening, authentic generosity, humility, and ensuring
the future of life on Earth-the ten thousands depending on us today.
We are ALL connected.
The world is like a grain of wheat.
When a person sowed it,
He believed in it;
When it grew, he loved it
For he looked forward
To thousands of grains in the place of one;
When he worked it,
He was saved,
Because he prepared it for food.
And again he kept back some grains to sow.
So it is possible
For you to receive the kingdom of heaven;
Unless you receive it through direct knowledge
You will never be able to discover it.
From The Apocryphon of James (brother of Jesus):
Will Tuttle, composer, pianist, and Zen priest, is author of
The World Peace Diet and is co-founder of Karuna Music & Art
and the Prayer Circle for Animals.
Find out more about Dr. Will Tuttle at www.willtuttle.com
Flickr Photo: Mike Brown
As we research, discuss, and deepen our understanding of the mind-body
connection, of the human-animal connection, and of our connection with
all the larger wholes in which we are embedded, our spiritual purpose
will become manifest.
We exhibit not only hubris but remarkable obtuseness in caging,
torturing, and infecting animals in the name of improving our health.
We can see the outcome of our actions already, as new diseases continue
to arise and old ones spread, often becoming impervious to our
increasingly devastating drugs.
friend in Chicago that she quite often sees Barack Obama in the morning
when she is doing her work-outs, and so I sent her a copy of The World
Peace Diet, autographed specifically to him.
from her this morning (Dec. 20) that she received the book and brought
it to the gym, and that she was able to present it personally to him!
She told me that today was his last day at the gym, because tomorrow he
leaves Chicago and begins the process of moving to Washington DC. to
become the next president of the U.S.
to you all for your prayers and hard work! I would like to encourage
anyone who feels so inclined to write to Barack Obama and encourage him
to read the book that he now has in his possession.
little bunnies, about 6 days old, were attacked by a dog and orphaned.
Two out of the litter of five did not survive, and these three were
not doing very well.
Noah is a non-releasable,
one-legged homing pigeon that we have here in rehab. Noah kept going
over to the bunny cage and looking in…even sleeping in front of the
door to the cage.
Then, 2 days ago, I only counted
2 bunnies in the cage, so I hurriedly picked Noah up from the front of
the cage so I could look inside. And to my surprise…there was the
tiny bunny…under Noah's wing…sound asleep! The bunny had crawled
through the cage….preferring a featherbed, no doubt.
they are all together, and the bunnies are doing GREAT. When the
bunnies scoot underneath Noah's feathers, he extends his wings out to
surround them..and they snuggle. When one of them moves and they start
sticking out here and there, he gently pushes them back under him with
his beak!!!!! This is amazing!!!