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World Peace Diet: Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony Paperback – September 1, 2004
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Not a diet book in the usual sense of the term, this is "an exploration in to the profound cultural and spiritual ramifications of our food choices." Tuttle, who trained with a Zen Buddhist monk and speaks widely on spiritual healing, posits that our ancient herding cultures and the resultant inclusion of animals and animal products into our modern diets have desensitized 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 traditions and philosophers' arguments. He is less persuasive when he descends into horrific sensationalism-less talk of the rape of cows via artificial insemination and more illustrations of how soy products can be substituted into our daily menus would have made this a better book. While not always levelheaded, this book is certainly thought-provoking. Given the increasing popularity of vegetarianism and veganism, this is recommended for most collections. --Susan B. Hagloch
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? --Charles Patterson
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. --Eve Spencer
About the Author
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. A professional pianist and teacher, he has for the last thirteen years toured progressive churches, vegetarian and macrobiotic conferences, and intentional communities throughout the country. He trained in Korea as a Zen Buddhist monk and has worked extensively in Tai Chi, yoga, massage, and dance and movement. He lives in Healdsburg, California.
Top customer reviews
This is not just another animal rights book telling people to quit eating and wearing animals. It goes to the heart of humanity’s destructive and elitist relationship with the rest of the world and guides people to recognize our real relationship of interconnectedness and to live from that realization. Dr. Tuttle respects the difficulty that people will have with going against their acculturation by becoming vegan, and directs vegans to lovingly support them as they transition rather than to aggressively attack them for not being vegan. Throughout the book he paints a vision of a joyful and harmonious vegan world based on love and connection rather than exploitation and disconnection. People are asked to give up using animals, but by doing so, they will help co-create a more harmonious and joyful world for themselves and other creatures.
If you read this book and do not follow a vegan or at least a vegetarian diet afterwards, I do not see how you could live with yourself.
This book definitely makes the case for the vegan diet.
I have been a vegetarian for many years and after reading this book and watching Forks over Knives I have given up the dairy.
Thank you for this book Will Tuttle.
Most recent customer reviews
1. You care about all living creatures.