2015 Essays

The Vegan Vision

Will Tuttle : November 13, 2015

By Will Tuttle, Ph.D.

 

“I don’t think that animals were meant to be eaten and worn.” – John Lennon

 

There is a basic understanding that is hidden from us in our culture, and it is vital that we make an effort to recognize it and its consequences. This basic understanding is that we are all born into a culture that is essentially organized around herding animals for food and that this defining practice and the mentality it requires of us is devastating to the health, happiness, and welfare of our children, ourselves, and all life on Earth. Through our daily meals, we have all been ritually injected with a cultural herding program to buy and eat the flesh and secretions of certain animals. It’s been passed through the generations as a seemingly benign inheritance, but it destroys not just our rainforests, oceans, aquifers, ecosystems, and cultural and physical health, but also harms the inner landscape of our awareness.
The great irony is that it’s taboo to discuss or even be aware of this herding foundation because it is ritually foisted on all of us by every institution in our culture, and because of the remorse and dissonance we naturally feel in contemplating it. This core practice of enslaving and eating animals is instilled in all of us through what are any culture’s most intimate, powerful, and relentless social bonding experiences: daily meals.

6a00d83451ccd169e201543553c8b3970c-320wiIn essence, the primary mentality of our culture is an attitude of reductionism. Daily, we practice and eat the mentality of reducing beings to things. Through our meals we are indoctrinated into the pervasive practice of commodifying living beings. We are forcibly taught to see and treat certain beings as mere objects that are routinely bought, sold, confined, mutilated, stabbed, and eaten. It’s a mentality of exclusion as well. We practice excluding certain beings from the sphere of our compassion with every meal. It’s also a mentality of hierarchical privilege, and of elitism, because the subtext pervading our meals is that certain beings have no purpose other than to be dominated and used by inherently superior beings. And it’s a mentality of disconnectedness because we are taught relentlessly to disconnect the reality that is on our plates from the reality required to get it onto our plates. This disconnectedness represses our individual and collective intelligence and compassion because intelligence is the ability to make connections cognitively, and compassion is the ability to connect empathically.

From this, we can begin to understand that the living essence of our culture is a mentality of domination, exploitation, predation, and oppression that we’re all forced to participate in and ritually instigate through the meals mandated by all our culture’s institutions: the family, education, religion, medicine, science, government, and the media. The hidden, driving fury behind our inability to fulfill our potential for wisdom, peace, freedom, equality, and sustainability is right under our noses daily at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The remorse we feel for being forced from infancy by our culture to be agents of death and abuse at every meal leads to denial and disconnectedness, and this makes it easier for us to be controlled by a wealthy elite, while crushing our inherent awareness and spiritual sensitivity. A natural result is that we become numb and fixate on competing and consuming. Our innate wisdom and compassion have been hijacked by our culture’s mealtime rituals that promote violence through consuming it.

Cross-culturally we see that most cultures have had religious and mythic traditions that encourage respect for what we can refer to as the sacred feminine dimension of human consciousness. This natural wisdom is the foundation of caring parental love, and of healthy families and communities, but it is severely repressed by forcing children to participate in mealtime rituals of eating violence and the accompanying disconnectedness and exclusivism. As the sacred feminine is repressed in all of us from infancy, we create cultural institutions that perpetuate this. Additionally, animal agriculture is not just humans dominating and exploiting animals. It is more accurately the practice of male humans dominating and exploiting female animals, and specifically the reproductive organs and cycles of these mothers, impregnating them against their will and stealing their offspring, and causing incalculable misery to these mothers and their babies, and laying waste the hearts of human oppressors who become hardened, tough, and desensitized to the beauty, innocence, and splendor of creation. Lost, we wander in worlds of anguish, fear, anxiety, disease, and conflict, because these are what we inflict on the billions of animals at our mercy, and to whom we show no mercy.

Compassionate Harvest by visionary artist Madeleine TuttleContained within this understanding is the enormous and benevolent social revolution that we all know our culture longs for—the evolution into being individually and culturally worthy of peace, justice, freedom, and abundance. Encompassed in this understanding is the realization that we are essentially benevolent, creative, and wise. However, we have been forced by our culture from infancy to participate in meal rituals that reduce our intelligence as they reduce animals, the Earth, and ourselves to mere commodities in an contrived system of violence. When we realize that we’ve all been given the gift of bodies that require no animals to suffer to be healthfully nourished, and act on this realization, we become, ourselves, the change we want to see in the world. This is the heart and soul of the vegan vision of caring, joy, and peace that is beckoning and to which we are all called to contribute.

There is no greater act of kindness and liberation than to question the core of violence and disconnectedness churning unrecognized in the belly of our culture, and to switch to plant-based ways of living because of respect for the countless animals, humans, and future generations to whom we are inextricably related. All life is interconnected, and as we bless others, we are blessed. As we allow others to be free and healthy, we become free and healthy. Each and every one of us makes our world. Questioning everything this culture says, we can throw off the chains of abusing fish, birds, and other mammals, discover our purpose on this Earth, and join the celebration here instead of attacking and destroying it.

We will learn to love this world and all living beings authentically enough that our culture will be transformed. Imagining a vegan world is imagining a completely different world, and it beckons as our only viable future.

 

Burning Dinner: Reflections on the Valley Fire

Will Tuttle : October 13, 2015

 

Dr. Will Tuttle

On a recent Saturday afternoon here in Hidden Valley Lake in northern California’s Lake county, Madeleine and I both noticed the telltale smell of smoke. It was an unusually windy day, and from our ridge-top home, about an hour north of both Napa and Santa Rosa, we could suddenly see smoke in the forested hills to the southwest, coming from the direction of nearby Middletown. We had just returned the day before from a month-long stay in Europe, and I was about to head up to Clearlake, about fifteen minutes north, to get our car battery tested. We’d had two major wild land fires in our region earlier in the summer, but unlike those, this one seemed to be moving in our direction.

As I drove north along Highway 29, a two-lane road in this hilly and rural area, enormous thick clouds of smoke rolled ominously to my left above the forest, all the way to Clearlake. After cutting short the battery test as high winds swirled and massive clouds of smoke loomed above Clearlake, I was driving back home to Hidden Valley Lake when a speeding police car passed me. A few minutes later, approaching the turnoff to Hidden Valley, the traffic was stopped by this same car, which was turned sideways blocking the road, and though I didn’t realize it, Highway 29, the only traffic artery in southern Lake county, would remain closed for the next seven days as the fire raged and jumped the road in multiple places. I was able to get home and witness the panicked traffic jam as the mandatory evacuation orders of Hidden Valley’s six thousand people propelled everyone to head north up to Clearlake.

When I got back, Madeleine and I took some time to overview the situation below and around us, and could see the fires and smoke approaching from both the south and the west. As dusk gave way to night, we could see flames spreading along both near and distant hills. From our vantage point above the lake and most of the community, we could see the flames approaching a section of houses on the other side of the lake, and over the next few hours we witnessed from afar about eight homes engulfed and destroyed by flames. We also saw the flames coming ever closer on the other side of Highway 29, which runs in the valley below our house.

Eight days later, when the evacuation orders were lifted, and all the residents were allowed to repopulate our community, there were many powerful emotions, as some people had lost virtually everything. About seventy of the 2,400 homes in Hidden Valley Lake were destroyed by the Valley Fire. Other nearby communities were much more seriously devastated. Five people were killed in the fire, and about 1,500 homes were destroyed, including most of Anderson Springs, Harbin Hot Springs, Cobb, andIMG_0867 Loch Lomond. The Valley Fire also burned over 70,000 acres of forest and chaparral, killing and displacing
countless animals.

The questions that arise for everyone revolve around the future: what will come next? Environmental researchers have recently confirmed that in over five hundred years, California has never been as dry as it is now. The forests cannot withstand the intense heat and prolonged drought that we’ve been experiencing lately.

There’s a lot of discussion about being more “fire-wise:” keeping dry brush, grass, and limbs cleared and adopting more reliable evacuation procedures. Getting to the root of the problem, though, we find that it’s our consumption of meat and dairy that is driving global warming more than anything else we’re doing, and creating the underlying conditions that are making these destructive fires inevitable.

It’s ironic that for virtually all of the residents returning to their homes after eight days with no electricity, the biggest problem was their refrigerators and freezers, now filled with utterly disgusting and dangerously toxic rotting flesh and dairy products. Some insurance companies even advised that people just tape them shut and throw them away as toxic waste, and buy new ones, and we did see a number of houses with taped refrigerators out in front for collection. The devastating lengths to which our throw-away society can go still surprise me.

carbon-footprint-foodThe real problem is that the cows, pigs, chickens, and other animals whose flesh and secretions we eat require feed and forage, which require irrigation, transport, fertilizer, pesticides, and enormous quantities of land, water, and petroleum to produce—roughly fifteen to thirty times more than if we ate grains and vegetables directly. This leads to deforestation, water depletion and pollution, soil erosion, ocean overfishing and dead zones, and so much methane, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide production that the WorldWatch Institute study estimates that over half of all human caused climate change is due to animal agriculture.

If we as a species continue to terrorize, forcibly impregnate, and stab billions of animals for food, we will find our climate and our Earth becoming increasingly damaged and uninhabitable. By showing kindness to animals and ecosystems, and shifting to far less resource intensive plant-based ways of eating, we can take the most meaningful and effective steps possible to ensure a world for future generations. A vegan way of living is no longer just an option; it is an absolute requirement if we are to be responsible citizens and stewards of our world. The new documentary film Cowspiracy, now on Netflix, explains these connections in luminous detail.

We are delighted to see the vegan movement growing as increasing numbers of us question the devastating culturally mandated practice of eating animal foods. This year, we will be having our second annual vegan Thanksgiving dinner at the Community Center in Hidden Valley Lake, and it seems especially significant given the ferocity of the Valley Fire and its dire consequences for our local communities. It is our deep yearning that every Thanksgiving and all meals everywhere will become celebrations of kindness and respect for life, rather than fuel for the flames of death, fear, and ignorant destruction.

If we can live a happy and healthy life without harming others, why wouldn’t we? Our future is on our plates.

 

Cowspiracy Now on Netflix: Satyagraha Lives

Will Tuttle : September 25, 2015

Dr. Will Tuttle

            The controversial film documentary Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret has just launched stage two in its remarkable journey to present a taboo message to the highly resistant mind, heart, and belly of our omnivorous culture. After a year of spreading rapidly through the U.S. and international vegan networks, and even penetrating some bastions of environmentalism and social justice, Cowspiracy is now available on Netflix, a beckoning doorway to the hitherto oblivious masses, thanks in part to the assistance of Leonardo DiCaprio. This is causing an increasing amount of squirming and hand wringing from the industries involved, and especially from certain environmentalists and progressives.

Cowspiracy deftly pulls back the curtain of cultural denial, and exposes not just the utterly devastating consequences of animal agriculture to every aspect of our Earth’s ecosystems. It also shows how both governmental and media forces hide these truths from us, and beyond this, how even trusted environmental organizations such as Greenpeace, 350.org, Sierra Club, Rainforest Action Network, and others are also willfully ignoring and covering up the massive destruction caused by meat, dairy, and egg production. Cowspiracy exposes the fear at the heart of our culture: the lurking fear we all have that our culturally-mandated meals are actually demonic rituals that torture billions of animals to death, lay waste our abundant Earth, ravage our relationships and society, reduce our inherent intelligence, empathy, and self-esteem, and corrupt our values and the inner landscape of both our bodies and our minds.

Kip Andersen tells his story of awakening out of the cultural trance of official narratives propagated by the media, and he also shows that it isn’t just factory farming (which provides us with 95-99% of the meat, dairy, and eggs in our stores) that is the hidden culprit. Cowspiracy dares to expose the latest fad foods: the “free-range,” “grass-fed,” and “organic” animal foods that are similarly—and in some ways more—devastating to our Earth and animals.

We are seeing the response to Cowspiracy gradually changing. First there was mainly silence and hoping that the message would pass quietly into oblivion after it saturated the vegan choir. Now we see more people self-righteously condemning the film for being inaccurate. Some, like beef farmer Garth Brown have tried to attack the film on the grounds that the facts and figures are incorrect. This is doomed to failure and only exposes their lack of familiarity with the extensive body of recognized and respected research that clearly documents the devastation to water, soil, forests, oceans, habitat, and climate caused by animal agriculture. Of course, industries habitually pay scientists to create studies that support their interests, and we saw Big Tobacco stonewalling for decades this way. Big Food is no different, but Cowspiracy’s statistics are well documented and are on the conservative side, if anything. Most people are understandably shocked to learn of the huge ecofootprint of meat and dairy, including free-range operations. This is because it is a lot easier to see the water poured into swimming pools than to see the vastly larger amounts of water poured into irrigation systems to grow grain to feed livestock. It’s much easier to see the gas we pour into our cars than the much larger amounts of petroleum and natural gas poured into fertilizer and pesticides, and into running the enormous machinery of irrigation, transport, slaughter, and refrigeration for our hot dogs, fish sticks, and cheeseburgers.

There are some other critics who dismiss Cowspiracy as being mere “vegan propaganda.” This is more insidious. The film tells the true story of Kip Andersen’s awakening to the devastating consequences of our cultural food habits. Far from being propaganda, Cowspiracy is a sobering and empowering appeal that provides a healing glimpse into the realities underlying our food system, and of the powerful organizational forces working to keep everything hidden.

This resistance to the message of Cowspiracy is immense, both from the petroleum, chemical, agricultural, pharmaceutical, medical, pesticide, fast food, grocery, and fishing industries, as well as from the financial, media, government, and environmental advocacy forces lurking in the background. At a more personal level, there are the millions of us who nourish and propel all these destructive industries and institutions by regularly voting for meat and dairy products as consumers. We also tend to resist the message because it causes uncomfortable cognitive and affective dissonance and would make us question our self-image and habits in a way that most of us are loathe to do.

Just as it seemed easy to dismiss Uncle Tom’s Cabin as “abolitionist propaganda” in the slave-owning South 175 years ago, it seems easy to dismiss Cowspiracy in our animal-enslaving culture of today. But truth and justice beckon, and they don’t go away. Some of us are ripe enough to hear the call and for those of us who are ready, Cowspiracy offers a crucial insight into how we can all, right now, most effectively contribute to the healing of our world.

Cowspiracy is clearly an advocacy film, created to raise awareness about the consequences of our daily actions. While some might argue that the film would be stronger if it included more articulate and respected voices in favor of animal agriculture (though I can’t think of any that actually exist, other than Michael Pollan who is featured in the film), I feel the film’s strength comes from its honesty. Mahatma Gandhi rightly emphasized that the foundation of positive change is satyagraha, or “truth force” and this is the strength of Cowspiracy: it reveals the hidden truth at the core of our society. It forthrightly portrays not just Kip’s adventure of discovery, but shows us the actual nature of our meals, exposes our abuse of animals and of our limited resources, and provides an accurate picture so we can understand our situation in a way that the mendacious mass media and corporate-controlled institutions in our society would never normally allow.

Please be sure to view Cowspiracy on Netflix and rate and review it so that more people will have the opportunity to view it. We owe Kip and Keegan a heart-felt thank-you for courageously creating this film, and gratitude also to the thousands more who are helping to build this into a critical grassroots movement of positive personal and cultural transformation.

 

 

A Golden Key to Effective Animal Advocacy

Will Tuttle : August 3, 2015

By Dr. Will Tuttle

“I and mine do not convince by arguments… We convince by our presence.”

Walt Whitman, Song of the Open Road

 

We’ve all been there. As vegans, we endure the excruciating despair of realizing the immense violence our society routinely inflicts on animals and ecosystems. This is coupled with the painful disappointment that our friends, family, colleagues, and the general public display enormous resistance when we share with them all the reasons they should go vegan. As vegans, able for some reason to awaken from the cultural nightmare of killing and eating animals, it seems like a no-brainer to us. What are we to do?

Once we make the connections, and understand that terribly abused animals, devastated ecosystems, starving people, and clogged arteries are direct results of what’s on our plates, and grasp the implications of all this, we are sure that others will, like us, be delighted to make the same connections we’ve made, and thank us profusely for helping to show them the way to a better life for themselves, and for all of us. And yet we run relentlessly into stonewalls of obtuse denial, excuses, distractedness, and perhaps even mockery.

Bitterness can set in. As can disillusion, frustration, anger, and if we’re not careful, a cynical sense of superiority and disdain for what we see as pathetic corpse-munchers. Their eyes are willfully glued shut, and they’ve got their fingers stuck in their ears to shut out the cries of animals and anything but the familiar and comforting food and entitlement stories that bathe our collective consciousness, flowing continually from every corporate-funded media orifice.

The more we try to get them to wake up and see the truth, the more strongly they pretend to sleep and remain unreachable by our efforts. Where, we wonder, is the magic button we can push that turns on the light of realization in that meat- and dairy-induced dimness?

Fortunately, with time, we can begin to understand the depth of the cultural conditioning we’ve all endured, and develop a sense of compassion for all of us and for the situation into which we’re born. We’ve all been wounded by the cultural program of being forced from infancy to participate in the meals that ritually reduce beings to mere objects for gustatory pleasure. And as we realize the power of our culture’s violent food rituals to shut down our inherent intelligence and compassion, we can begin healing by going vegan, making the connections, and refusing to participate in mealtime rituals of abuse, and we can further that healing by cultivating our ability to embody the essence of vegan living, which is ahimsa: non-violence in all our relations with others, including the humans who surround us.

Through this process, we can begin to uncover a golden key of effective vegan advocacy: that our whole movement is about liberation, and the deepest yearning of both animals and of us humans is to be able to live our lives with the freedom to express our true nature. We begin to see that only unfree people would ever enslave animals. Our imprisonment and routine abuse of animals is a symptom and manifestation of the imprisonment and abuse our culture inflicts on us from infancy, and with this understanding it becomes clear that for us as vegans to be criticizing, shaming, or blaming non-vegans—or even to be trying to change them—are all expressions of a violent mindset, and are manifestations of our woundedness.

Nobody wants to be changed at the hands of, or by the will of, another. For all of us, authentic positive change that takes deep root—so that we own the change and it becomes part of us—requires that we feel that we arrived at it freely. If we feel pressured or coerced, even unconsciously, we will find ways to rebel. Because our deep yearning as humans is to be free and to live our lives meaningfully, this is the proper foundation of our vegan approach to advocacy. How does it look in actual practice?

Like this: When we speak, we use “I” statements. I speak to others of what I have come to realize, and how happy I am because of this, and how I appreciate those who have been examples, or have helped me make the connections.

The basic message I share is something like this: “I am grateful that I’ve been able to realize that the only reason I was eating animal foods was because of the communities and institutions I was raised in. I realize now that I was forced from infancy to eat meat and dairy products, and that doing this was absolutely not in my best interest, in any way, and on any level. As I did more investigation, I learned that I, and any of us, can thrive without causing misery and death to animals, and that moving to a plant-based way of eating and living is not only healthier for me, but also for animals, wildlife, ecosystems, climate stability, hungry people, slaughterhouse workers, and future generations.”

I make an effort to speak of my experience in the first person, and to do it with love and kindness for whomever I’m addressing so that the communication is, as much as possible, an embodiment of the love, respect, and radical inclusiveness that veganism is. And then I do my best to completely let go. I have no intention to manipulate or to change or to win an argument or to prove my point. As a vegan, I am an expression of love in this world, as best I can be. I am not here to force or manipulate others to change. But I am here to plant seeds. And by far the most successful, joy-producing, and fulfilling way to plant the seeds of kindness, mercy, and freedom that are the core of veganism, is to live and embody these qualities authentically in my relationships and interactions with others. We communicate with our presence and gestures far more than with concepts and theories. Perhaps it can come through our writing as well.

The key point to emphasize is that no one wants to be unfree, or to be reduced to being a mere conditioned entity, robotically repeating programmed patterns. When we, as vegans, express our truth—that we have realized that we were eating meat and dairy only because we were obediently following orders that had been injected into us from infancy by our families and every institution in our culture, and that these orders are misguided and detrimental on every level and that we have freed ourselves from following these misguided orders, and are joyfully thriving and contributing to a better world because of it—when we express this lovingly to others, we plant a seed in them that will resonate deeply in their consciousness.

We can smile and be grateful, knowing that our love and our ability to speak our truth has just planted a seed of awakening in a brother or sister, and that the truth-seed we have planted with love will definitely bear fruit, when the time is appropriate. We have done our job, and we can let go and be at peace. We were born into the vast industrialized animal-abuse culture that was already established here on this Earth, and we are liberating ourselves from its inner and outer attitudes and actions, and we are doing the best we can, in our short span of years on this Earth, to create an alternative that is based on justice, protection, and freedom.

Veganism is non-violence and respect for others, and so it requires a deep psychological transformation that goes far beyond just giving up meat, dairy, eggs, wool, silk, leather, down, rodeos, circuses, zoos, races, and products tested on or abusive to animals. It requires us to learn to listen deeply and respectfully to others, to speak our truth without guile, and to refrain from arguing. As soon as we’re arguing, we’ve already lost.

For example, when someone says something with which we disagree, such as, “eating meat is fine because plants feel pain too,” we can respond graciously by, again, using “I” statements that simply tell the truth of our own experience, and doing it with a smile, knowing that no one can argue with our experience and we’re not trying to win an argument or change anyone, but to be the space of truth and love, which is what veganism and ahimsa are. So we can say that, “Yes, that is something I also have thought about and can see the truth in, and in my research and contemplation I’ve discovered that eating animal-sourced foods requires cutting down forests and killing trees and plants on a much more massive scale than if I just eat fruits and other plants directly. I’ve also realized that most of the plant-based foods require no damage to the plants: fruits, berries, and vegetable-fruits like tomatoes and squashes are freely given, for example, and we benefit the plants by distributing their seeds.” And then I can tell again how I realized that eating animal foods is something I was forced into against my will since infancy, and that along with the behavior I was also injected with the usual rationalizations, such as the protein story and the human superiority story to justify my actions.

It’s helpful to remember that this is the key point, the golden key to effective vegan advocacy: that no one eats animal foods of their own free choice. The only reason any of us does so is because we’ve been forced to from infancy, and we’re semi-consciously following orders that have been injected into us against our will.

As advocates, it’s enormously helpful for us to contemplate the power of this communication, and make an effort to understand and practice it. As we repeat this idea, using positive and loving I statements—that we are grateful that we’ve realized that we were just following misguided orders, and now that we’re making choices consciously for ourselves, how delicious, healthy, and freeing it is—we plant seeds that are like depth charges with enormous power to help others awaken to the situation they’re in. After we’ve left, as the import of these ideas sinks in, people tend to naturally and authentically begin to question within themselves the official stories, and the numbing indoctrination of eating animal foods.

Understanding this golden key to effective advocacy for peace, justice, and sustainability, we can make an effort to live it, to share it as widely as we can with everyone we meet, and through all our communications, to plant seeds of positive change that will be effective and bless us all.

One of the advantages of sharing this idea I’ve discovered over the years is that when properly presented, it does not invite argument. I’ve been speaking for several decades publicly, and even in lectures to farmers in Iowa, for example, I’ve found that when people hear this message—that we all eat animals foods simply because we’re following orders—they typically listen quietly and resonate and seldom argue. This is a truth we all know in our bones. And when we share this idea and plant this seed, people see that in fact they’ve been misguided and pressured, and our words will, as Walt Whitman wrote, “itch in their ears.” We’ve planted the seed, and it will grow.

Our time on this beautiful and endangered planet is short. It’s essential that we find our voice and our unique way to share this message and plant seeds of freedom and awakening by living the vegan message of compassion for all. All of us can thrive as vegans and be effective advocates. If you’d like to dive more into these ideas, let us know. We offer a self-paced 8-module online training that goes into all this in more depth, and leads to certification as a World Peace Diet Facilitator.

Our grassroots vegan revolution is an evolution of love for all beings, and as each of us lives this as best we can, and as we remind each other that we’ve been lied to, and that the truth is within our sensitive and wise hearts, we contribute to the healing of our world. What better way to spend the brief time we have on this precious blue and green planet spinning in the vastness and mystery of space? May we continue to question the official stories, spread the message of the golden key, and fulfill our destiny of contributing to the positive transformation that our future is calling forth from us every day.

 

 

World Peace Diet Next Decade Campaign

Will Tuttle : June 29, 2015

Dr. Will Tuttle

We are all aware that we are living in critical times, and many of us have received the calling to contribute to the evolutionary awakening of humanity as best we can. For this reason, I wrote The World Peace Diet ten years ago, imagining that there might be people open to making the connections between our culture’s routine abuse of animals for food and other products, and the intractable problems of environmental devastation, world hunger, war, oppression, disease, and social injustice. To my ongoing gratitude, the vegan call issued by The World Peace Diet has been heard and amplified through countless generous efforts, and the book is now a bestseller published in at least fifteen languages worldwide, and the book’s momentum continues to grow.

In the midst of this, from nearly the beginning, and through it all, Culinary Olympic award-winning Chef Mark Stroud and nationally known yogini, and founder of World Peace Yoga, Anna Ferguson in Cincinnati have responded with a rDSC02357 2are enthusiasm that doesn’t fade, but continues to grow stronger and brighter, always finding new and creative ways to share the World Peace Diet message of compassion: through instituting the first World Peace Diet study groups that have been meeting bi-weekly for eight years now, through creating the World Peace Yoga studio based on the World Peace Diet teachings of ahimsa, and teaching and certifying yoga practitioners, through originating the Jubilee Peace Fest, an annual festival of spiritual vegan living, and through numerous other ways, they are furthering the World Peace Diet message and working diligently and joyfully to build a robust vegan community in Cincinnati and beyond.

In addition to all this, I’m delighted that Mark has found time to create the World Peace Diet Cookbook, and Anna to write the World Peace Yoga book, and that they are creating a World Peace Diet Cuisine vegan food line. I’m pleased that my spouse, Madeleine, and I have been able to contribute in some degree to these efforts; Madeleine is providing the introduction to the Mark’s cookbook, including nine of her original recipes, and I’m offering a prologue and epilogue to it, plus a foreword to Anna’s World Peace Yoga book.

Mark and Anna, in honor of the 10th Anniversary of The World Peace Diet, have launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to generate funding for these three projects, which are all designed to bring the vegan message of health, freedom, peace, and delicious food to our world in new and exciting ways, building on the spiritually- and culturally-oriented message of The World Peace Diet, and assisting it to reach more people via more mediums. I believe that these three projects—the World Peace Diet Cookbook, the World Peace Yoga book, the World Peace Diet Cuisine line of healthy vegan food productsare remarkably inspiring, and deserving of broad support. I’m grateful to Anna, Mark, and the whole Cincinnati vegan community for nearly ten years of unflagging devotion to the cause of bringing more loving-kindness to our world, and their ongoing deWorld Peace Diet Browniedication to building a movement that is actually transforming our society in positive ways at every level. I encourage all of us, whatever our backgrounds, to unite behind this campaign that Anna and Mark have created, and to back it enthusiastically.

Please visit the campaign page today to support this effort. You can view the perks, give whatever feels appropriate, and encourage others to get involved. And, to stay updated to The World Peace Diet Next Decade campaign, please RSVP and invite your friends to the virtual Facebook event. You may also find “Celebrate The World Peace Diet’s Next Decade”-aligned accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Together, we can continue to positively transform our world. Our lives, and the lives of those we love, depend on this.

 Dr. Will Tuttle

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