Articles Reflecting a Vegan Lifestyle From

Respect For All Life

From Will Tuttle, Vegans Make A Difference
May 2022

The vegan message is the message of the interconnectedness of all life, and the message that love is the ultimate power, that life is a blessing, and that our greatest joy comes from authentically contributing to the welfare of others.

Will Tuttle
Will and friends...

If you could sum my message up in a simple phrase, it would be: Respect for all life.

Living in our solar-powered “rolling home,” my spouse Madeleine and I traveled full-time for 18 years sharing the vegan message, and now for the past 5 years, we are traveling internationally to bring this message to the world. We have presented thousands of lecture, workshop, and concert events, primarily through college and university groups, progressive churches, conferences, and for yoga, meditation, vegetarian, environmental, peace, and social justice communities. In addition, we offer online training in the main ideas in my book, The World Peace Diet, for people interested in more fully understanding and sharing the vegan message of health, sustainable living, and kindness. My presentations are intended to bring inspiration, healing, and awakening, and often include evocative paintings by Madeleine, a visionary artist and musician from Switzerland.

As part of my mission to understand our culture more deeply, I studied and received an M.A. degree in Humanities at San Francisco State University, and then went on to the University of California, Berkeley, for my Ph.D. My doctoral dissertation at Berkeley focused on educating intuition and altruism in adults, and I subsequently taught a wide variety of college courses in philosophy, religion, mythology, humanities, music, literature, history, writing, and creativity. After this, I began traveling as a lecturer and concert pianist, and have now created eight CD albums of original piano music.

A healthy, enthusiastic, and profoundly happy vegan since 1980, and Dharma Master in the Zen Buddhist tradition, I see my mission as one of bringing the message of radical inclusion to our wounded and fragmented culture. For this reason, I lecture, teach, and perform so much throughout North America and worldwide. Because of this, I’m a recipient of The Peace Abbey’s Courage of Conscience Award, as well as the Empty Cages Prize. Many people know me from my #1 Amazon best-selling book, The World Peace Diet, now translated and published in 16 languages, as well as Circles of Compassion, on the intersection of social justice issues.

Born in Emerson Hospital in 1953 in Concord, Massachusetts, I learned to swim in Walden Pond, attended Thoreau School, Alcott School, and was from an early age immersed in the spiritual aura of the Concord Transcendentalists.

I was the oldest child in our family. My father was a writer, newspaper publisher, pianist, and outdoor adventurer; my mother was an artist and writer. I grew up with a love of nature, animals, sports, books, and music and was a church organist in high school. Attending Colby College in Maine in the early 1970s, I discovered the power of musical harmony, composition, and improvisation, as well as the poetry of Walt Whitman and the spiritual teachings of Zen, Vedanta, Taoism, and mystical Christianity.

Inspired to go on a spiritual pilgrimage following graduation from Colby, I left home in 1975, with my brother Ed, heading west toward California, in a dedicated quest for higher consciousness. Our months of walking brought us eventually to Tennessee, practicing meditation and non-attachment as we went. We arrived at The Farm, a well-known commune with about 900 people, and it was there that I became a vegetarian. We continued on, walking to Huntsville, where we took up residence in a Korean Zen Center, devoting 8-10 hours daily to meditation.

Eventually I moved to northern California, where I lived in and practiced at Buddhist meditation centers, becoming a vegan in 1980. In 1984, I completed my M.A. degree in Humanities at San Francisco State University, focusing on Zen arts, and received the Graduate Student Distinguished Achievement Award.

Shortly after this, I shaved my head and headed to Korea to live as a Zen monk in Songgwang Sa Zen temple where I undertook a traditional 90-day silent intensive meditation retreat. Upon returning to the States, I began teaching college courses in philosophy, humanities, and religion, and enrolled at U.C., Berkeley, where I studied in the Graduate School of Education and received a Ph.D. in 1988, focusing on educating intuition. I had a 4.0+ GPA at Berkeley, and my dissertation was nominated for the Best Dissertation Award.

After several years of full-time college teaching, I decided to focus on music composition and performance and began creating albums of original uplifting piano music, and performing and lecturing extensively throughout North America and Europe. I spent the next fifteen years creating albums of original uplifting piano music and performing extensively throughout North America and Europe. I met my spouse, Madeleine, in Switzerland in 1990, and we have been traveling full-time since 1995, presenting lectures, concerts, and workshops.

In late 2005, after working on the writing of it for five years, I published The World Peace Diet, the first book to present a comprehensive picture of the consequences of eating animal-sourced foods. I now focus much of my time on spreading the vegan message through lectures and through training people to be World Peace Diet Facilitators, so they can more effectively and confidently spread the message of compassion for all life in communities throughout the world.

As a 38-year vegan, I am delighted to be sharing life with my wife, Madeleine, carrying out our mission to help veganize North America and the world. We don’t go to doctors or carry medical insurance, and haven’t taken a pill or had a TV in over 40 years.

Besides giving piano concerts throughout North America, I present seminars on developing spiritual intuition and on the importance of transitioning to a vegan diet. Madeleine is a gifted artist, and our concerts, lectures and seminars include her evocative paintings of animals. In addition, she plays the silver flute and accompanies my piano music, and is a talented chef, craftsperson, and Waldorf school educator. We also uniquely create individualized music and art portraits of individuals and couples.

One of my efforts is to help bring the spiritual dimension into veganism through The World Peace Diet, as well as through essays, lectures, and media presentations, and my new book, Your Inner Islands.

My perception of veganism is as a modern expression of “ahimsa,” the ancient core of all spiritual teachings, which is non-violence. Whatever we sow, we will inevitably reap, and the key to happiness lies in blessing others and being loving and kind to all beings. Violence in word, thought, and deed harms oneself more than it does others.

I believe that we are all born into a culture that forces us to participate in rituals of violence (meals) from infancy. We are injected with a mentality of reductionism, exclusion, privilege, and might-makes-right: seeing others as mere instruments to be used for one’s own pleasure and gain. I teach that veganism is coming home into one’s true heart, and seeing beings as beings, and respecting them as equally sacred manifestations of divine life.

My message is that veganism is a philosophy and practice of radical inclusion, and that going vegan is the most positive, uplifting, and transformative action any human being can make in our culture today. I see it as a profound and effective questioning of the core violence of our culture. I believe that veganism is a loving response that makes us part of the solution to the crises that beset us, rather than being part of the problem.

For me, questioning our culture’s food choices and switching to a plant-based diet for ethical reasons is the first step in a spiritual adventure that blesses the world. Choosing a vegan path can lead us to ever-higher states of spiritual awareness, leading to liberation and the fulfillment of our purpose on this Earth.

I feel that the greatest gift we can give others is the gift of sharing the vegan message, and living it as deeply as we can. It is the message of the interconnectedness of all life, and the message that love is the ultimate power, that life is a blessing, and that our greatest joy comes from authentically contributing to the welfare of others.

May you who read these lines be happy, free, and at peace!

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