Exploring the Harmony Between Food and Compassion


Exploring the Harmony Between Food and Compassion

Exploring the Harmony Between Food and Compassion


We have a body that is a vehicle really. And when we get our consciousness aligned in harmony, then the physical body will be in harmony… So it’s really liberating, I found, to take a holistic perspective because it really allows us to be able to get to the root of things rather than always fooling around in the branches, which is where all the money is. – Dr. Will Tuttle

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Ella Magers:

It’s so great to see you again, Dr. Tuttlee. How are you?

Dr. Will Tuttle:

Thank you Ella. I’m doing fantastic. Great to see you also. Thanks.

Ella Magers:

Great to see you. Yeah. So forgive me for this little mini monologue here. As we start, I just want to mention that you are with me on the Vegan Life Coach podcast in October of 2021. So that was, I dunno, two and a half years ago or so. And we did dive into a lot of your story and the inspiration around the writing of the World Peace Diet. So I just want to take a moment at the beginning here to encourage our listeners to check out that show because I really want to use our time here not to repeat everything, but to dive deeper into a few of the points maybe we touched on lightly and to focus on some of your newer ventures. So the link for that will be in the show notes. And now to kick things off here, I’d actually love to start out because this show is really founded on the idea of holistic health, holistic wellness, holistic living. What is your take on, or what is your definition of holistic health and wellness?

Dr. Will Tuttle:

Yeah, that’s a great question. That’s something I’ve been exploring for 45 years at least. And to me it has to do with basically the opposite in many ways of what is the established medical pharmaceutical model in the United States and most of the western world. Fortunately, my father was going to be a doctor and when I was a little kid I said, how come you’re not a doctor? And he said, well, if I were you, I would stay away from doctors because he was a medic in World War ii and he spent a lot of time, he said, giving shots to these soldiers, these long lines and also treating the terrible wounds. And he said he didn’t think that a lot of what the medical establishment, some of it is good, but in general it’s very reductionistic. It kind of looks at the human being as a human thing, an object that was born and will die and has these various systems.

It’s sort of an engineering approach I guess in many ways. And it’s based on the germ theory, which is that we are always vulnerable to attack from all these microbes that are out to get us billions of them surrounding us at any time. So it’s a war model. It’s a model of war against a nature that’s against us, against microbes that are against us, all these invisible enemies that are everywhere and we need to have antibiotics and we need to have all kinds of pharmaceutical interventions. And so the holistic model is more based on the what’s called the terrain theory, which basically looks at our being as a being. We have a body that is a vehicle really, and it’s primarily spiritual or psychological conscious beings or mental primarily. And we’re here to be creative. And so the physical body is a vehicle. And when we get our consciousness aligned in harmony, then the physical body will be in harmony.

If our body is experiencing disharmony, usually it’s because it’s number one being poisoned and we’re surrounded by poisons. And that’s I think in many ways on purpose. But number two, we have a lot of stress or mental or emotional or spiritual conflict in on some level and that will manifest in the body as well, relationship problems and things like that, or purpose problems. So it’s really liberating, I found, to take a holistic perspective because it really allows us to be able to get to the root of things rather than always fooling around in the branches, which is where all the money is. I remember I interviewed Dr. TCO and Campbell who wrote the book Whole, he’s also a very well known nutritionist, and he said something that was so great. He said, the reason reductionism is so rampant and prevalent in science and in medicine is because it’s the most profitable way to run a business.

That’s where the money is. The money is in reductionism. Because if you can scare people into being afraid of germs or into thinking that their genetics have every, are going to determine whether they get sick or not, these are both things that people don’t have any control over. They don’t have any control over their genes or over germs. And so then you can move in, well, we’ve got the solution, we’ve got a procedure, we’ve got a radiation, we’ve got chemo, we’ve got some kind of a drug that will help you a, as this poor victim of these forces. And so it’s really based on this fear-based victim mental mentality. And I think it’s like over, I mean, we should be over that a long time ago. I mean, let’s grow up, let’s wake up, let’s start to understand what we are, that we’re not just these objects that will are born and will die.

So the whole thing, as I point out in my new book, I pointed out in the World Peace Diet too, but in the new book, I’m just finishing up now called Food for Freedom. It’s really understanding that animal agriculture, the routine violence towards animals, especially female animals, it’s really the core of our society. It creates within us this fear of nature and fear of animals and fear of microbes because we’re just killing them and sexually abusing them by the millions every single day. And we’re not only paying for it, we’re eating it. And so we’re eating this mentality of violence and oppression and exploitation of the sacred feminine dimension of life and of very foundation really of kindness and caring. It’s all being exploited and we’re part of that. We don’t, it’s not our choice. We’re just born into it. And so we’re wounded by that.

So we have to, I think really nowadays take a bigger view and a deeper view and see that our routine mistreatment of animals for food primarily, but for other products and certain things, all of that boomerangs back and we force them into disease and we force them into cancer and we force them into stress and misery and living in toxic poison environments. And we find the same thing happening to us. And of course in the background, there’s this tiny 1% of the super rich that gets wealthy on disease and war and environmental devastation. And it’s time for us, I think to really question all the official narratives in our society. And that’s the way to a holistic way of living because we are whole beings and we’re born into a society based on the opposite of that, on reductionism and looking at everything as separate and competitive. So it’s really about cooperation, kindness, caring, taking responsibility for our health and our relationships. And then we have freedom. Freedom comes from taking responsibility then we have and becoming more conscious. Then we have a foundation really for radiant health. That’s I think the main thing.

Ella Magers:

Wow, so much there. So to unpack, and I want to get to a little later, this idea of how we can embody ourselves and the whole being, embracing our being and working on ourselves, but also the doing of how we can now then create impact beyond that through our doing. And I want to get to that, but first, let’s take it back because this is, oh gosh, there’s just so much I want to talk about. But let’s take a, because we are living in these times where there’s so much, there seems to be just this growing separation between people with different beliefs and it almost feels like there’s this growing gap and the dualism is just so strong right now. Can you speak to that? It feels like part of the population is just elevating and growing in their consciousness. It’s expanding. And then the other kind of side, and I don’t want to say side, but it’s almost going in the opposite direction. What is going on from your perspective in that way? Because when we’re talking about coming together, that’s nothing more that I want than for us to come together, and yet it seems like we’re growing further and further apart,

Dr. Will Tuttle:

Right? Yeah, that’s very perceptive. I think you’re right. I think there is a divide and conquer kind of thing going on. And the underlying, I think, dynamic really has to do with the mainstream media narratives that have rolled out. And I think quite honestly, the last two or three years since January of 2020 has been a pretty much a what’s called a fifth generation warfare or a military strength disinformation campaign to really make a lot of people afraid of each other, afraid of germs, afraid of each other, never in the history of mankind really, or humankind have we had this kind of narrative where healthy people who are asymptomatic are suddenly seen as maybe being spreading disease that we can spread disease, we have to get vaccinated or wear masks or social distance, all these kinds of things. And so when you radiate, you just tidal waves of fear into a population, some of the people will, it won’t even touch like me mean to me.

I saw from the very beginning it was just a big siop, is it just, I wasn’t going to cooperate for a second with the whole thing, but other people who watch the meat, I haven’t watched the TV for 50 years, I’m unusual. I’m in a vegan for 40, what, three years and I haven’t watched tv. So I’m used to just going against the grain, going against the group, think not paying any attention to what the authorities say about anything. So I’m in a very unusual, I guess, but there’s not the only one. There’s a lot of people who have that kind of what I think is a sort of a healthy questioning attitude, questioning authorities and questioning the mainstream media. And it’s a vegan for all these years. I’ve gotten really good at that. And plus I was raised in the media. My father, instead of being a doctor, he owned a newspaper.

He bought a newspaper and he built up this big chain of newspaper. So I know in my bones don’t trust the media because I was in it, and I know it’s just run by the advertisers and then by other forces too. So the whole thing really, I guess, is to really understand that we are being attacked in the sense, I mean, we all know, I think if we are paying attention that these industries are unleashing huge amounts of poisons. The water is fluoridated. As new study just came out, it was suppressed for almost a year, a very high level of report showing that fluoride of the water, which is rampant in the United States and really in many other countries, it definitely decreases intelligence. I mean, this is beyond the shadow of a doubt. It decreases the intelligence of human beings starting it with children. So there’s a campaign to fluoridate the water, to reduce intelligence as there’s all these campaigns to introduce toxic chemicals into the food supply, into the air and so forth.

Because chronic disease is profitable, healthy people are not profitable. You’ve probably said it before, I haven’t been to a doctor since the early 1970s, so for 50 years I haven’t had health insurance or gone to a doctor. And here I am, I’m now in my 70th year. And I think that’s the worst nightmare of these people who are trying to control and dominate and exploit humanity. And the main way they can do it is through health, so-called health. I mean this sort of idea that your health depends on us and we want to keep you safe and secure, be very careful of that. When someone says they want to keep you safe and secure, that could very well be, I want to keep you enslaved and in servitude because when you make people dependent on a system, especially a high tech system that people don’t understand, and now we have, unfortunately we have, everyone has a cell phone, we have cell town, we have fifth 5G kind of rolling out in terms of EMF fields and track tracking capabilities.

I’ve been warning for 30 years I’ve been giving lectures saying that we have a boomerang effect. Whatever we do to animals, it’s going to happen to us. And so if we’re going to continue to insist on force medicating millions of animals every day, and on microchipping them and tracking them everywhere they go, what makes us think we’re not going to have the same thing happening to us eventually? And so I think what you’re saying is that some people are seeing this and are strengthening and getting more connected and understanding more clearly what’s really going on and finding more empowerment and more health and more freedom. And then other people unfortunately are, it’s hard to admit when we’ve made a mistake. And so they’re going down a pathway that is sort of the official narrative of fear and dependence on technocracy, which is leading really, I think it’s kind of leading the cows into a slaughter.

I mean, it’s leading into a situation with what they’re calling the great reset, which is really transhumanism. I mean, it’s an attack on humanity. I think really on the beautiful strength and joy and kindness and caring that we have as human beings, as eternal consciousness and having, trying to shrink that down into something that can be exploited the same way we do to cows and pigs and chickens, these magnificent animals who live for millions of years freely in nature, living and celebrating their lives and how we put them. We have them born into servitude so we can exploit them and eat them and use them and test them and use them for entertainment and these things, but we steal their purposes. And the problem is if we’re participating in that and if we’re cooperating with that, very often we’re giving away our intelligence, our capacity to see what we’re really doing in our health and so forth.

So I think it’s more important than ever that we look deeply and bring our lives into alignment with our values to live our values. If we value freedom and responsibility and caring and justice and equality, then we really have to live that in relationship not only to other human beings, but to animals, all beings, because all beings are capable of suffering. So we shouldn’t be unnecessarily inflicting suffering and misery on them. And that’s the great good news that we’re celebrating is that all of us have been given this wonderful gift of a physical body that does not require any animals to suffer, to get all the nutrients that we need to be healthy because any nutrient that’s in any meat or dairy or eggs originally came from plants. So we can eat the plants directly, we don’t have to eat the animal, and then we get all the toxicity and cause all the suffering, and then it creates this kind of situation that we’re seeing now.

So I think after 10,000 years, as I talk about in the World Peace Diet, this herding culture is matured to the point where our technology is so powerful that we can dominate nature and humanity and animals so much that that’s being taken over by a few people. And now the us, the people really have to get off that train of violence towards animals and create a new set of communities, really a type of community, a way of living based on justice and respect and kindness for each other and for animals and for ecosystems. And there’s nothing stopping us. We can do it. It’s just having the vision and not being afraid, I think is the main thing.

Ella Magers:

And I love how you always bring it back to the positive. You do such a good job because there’s so much to be upset about, mean there’s a lot of suffering in the world, and there’s a lot of all the things that you were just talking about, but you always bring it back to, hey, it’s actually kind of simple if you bring it.

Dr. Will Tuttle:


Ella Magers:

Talking about community and this sense of, okay, so we’re so divided, yet we want to be inclusive and spread the word and share. And yet a lot of times I’m just drawn to think about being in a space where everyone around me does understand and connect with the suffering of animals, for example, because that’s something that I think you went vegan actually 1980, right? Yes. My birth year. You went vegan in my birth year. I’ve been vegan now for 20, 28 years. Great. I’m getting there, but I’m actually really interested, could we take it back to you, to the farm? And I’m wondering if that, does that still exist?

Dr. Will Tuttle:

Oh yeah. Yeah. The farm is still going strong, but it doesn’t have quite the purity, but it’s still, I think a very good solid community basically that what happened, as you probably know when I was there in 1975 is when I was there, it was pretty new. It was pretty young. It was only a few years old and it was growing rapidly. It was up to 900 people. It got up to about, I think 13 or 1400 people at its peak. And it was really totally vegan and cooperative and very radical in that sense. And everything was done right there. B, home births and the school, all the kids, everything vegan. It was really wonderful. And you didn’t have to worry about the kids going to school and having some kid with bologna or whatever. It was all like that. But it came under attack by the government and by the medical.

And basically when you have 14 or 1500 people, if you have, they would not give the farm health insurance. And so what happened was you have one or two, three people that had serious medical problems. It cost a few hundred thousand dollars. It kind of wiped them out financially because they were sharing. So they had to change the basis from to a more, everybody has to pay for themselves and you have to pay a monthly thing. And so that kind of shifted everything. So instead of that many people, and now it’s been stabilized a long time ago, it stabilized it around 200 people. So it’s around 200 people and everybody has to make their own way. And so there’s all these little businesses and so forth there. They still are the home of the book publishing company, which is the largest vegan bookbook publishing company in the United States.

And they have other businesses there too. And they have the Eco Village. And we went, were there maybe seven or eight years ago, or maybe a little longer, maybe 10 years ago. And we put on a world peace eye facilitator training at the farm. So people came in and it was great. I was just like the old times. So it’s still going. And they actually are open to people if anybody wants to move their, they’re, they’re open, not strictly vegan, but it is. It’s vegetarian, vegan. They don’t have a police. They don’t come around and check the refrigerator or anything, but they do have rules, basically. No animals allowed to be kept for food. There’s no livestock allowed. And they have those kind of basic rules, but it’s very difficult. When we lived in an RV for 17 years, we were looking around all over North America for vegan communities are like, or some out there, we can just go.

And we went everywhere looking. And quite honestly, there are virtually none or for, I mean, there’s a few urban little, a household with a bunch of vegans living in it, that’s really count. But most of the vegan, I mean there’s gentle world in the big island in Hawaii, and there’s a few other raw vegan communities there. And there’s some raw GaN communities starting up right now. I know in Ecuador and in Costa Rica and some of these places where things are looser, where they legal and governmental things are looser. There aren’t a lot, all these obligations. So you can just kind of buy land and live together and that’s it. You don’t have to do anything more. But generally speaking, in this country, it’s been hard to set ’em up. And usually they don’t last that long. But there are vegan communities that are land-based, but they’re typically affiliated with a particular spiritual path.

They’re with a very Buddhist or sometimes some other thing. So you have to be in that group and then you can be in that community. So I personally myself found living in vegan communities to be totally fantastic and transformational. And that’s why I became originally a vegetarian was because of the farm. And then later when I was in South Korea, I was in a Zen Buddhist monastery that had been practicing veganism for 750 years. And that really deepened it for me a lot more. And I think for a lot of people, I mean that that’s a tradition in China and in Taiwan and Korea and Vietnam, the Buddhist monasteries are vegan. And so it really radiates from into those countries. I think it’s really good. And also we saw, we were at a Confucian community in China that was vegan also. And it was very, very inspiring.

I mean, they really do it, but it means being part of that particular tradition. So I do think we have some friends, we have several different groups of people who are trying to start, who are, I guess starting vegan communities. And this some friends we have in Florida that are starting one. They say, well, they’re open to people coming and joining. And we have some friends in California who are doing the same thing, a co-housing vegan community. So I think it’s just you got to kind of roll up your sleeves and say, okay, I’m going to try it. Or find out with a grapevine if there’s some around that that are open to having people join them and do it because I think it’s a great thing overall. Although I think also, I love Madeline and I have a little house and we have land and we have a garden and we have monthly potlucks for the people around us. And so we’re kind of bringing the vegan message into the community where we live here in northern California out in the country. So I think that’s good too. There’s different ways of doing it and having a little land and growing your own food nowadays I think is really a smart thing if you can do it. Yeah.

Ella Magers:

Yeah. I think you made a good point there too. It’s like that pull to be a part of a community, but also this desire to create impact and live by example among other people. Cause that’s how you can be a bigger influence if you’re around and bring other people in that maybe aren’t on that path yet. And I’m curious about your spiritual path. I know you spent 10 years very on that path, very dedicated as a Zen Zen Buddhist monk. Is that correct?

Dr. Will Tuttle:

Yeah. Yeah. I was a Zen Buddhist monk and before that I was just living in meditation centers and just meditating for eight hours a day or whatever. Yeah.

Ella Magers:

Well it seems to me, and I think it’s really exciting that the yoga community has gone so mainstream, just thinking of mindfulness and bringing to the masses. I mean, I go to a yoga studio where they have classes all day long and they are packed and the teachers are amazing and the whole class, you’re there. You can’t bring in your phones. You’re really learning to be mindful and meditate and using it as a movie meditation. And there’s just so much great opportunity to start expanding consciousness through that practice. And yet I know that the majority, at least in my experience of yoga instructors who preach and talk about a hemsa are not actually practicing it, are not vegan themselves, are still eating animals. What are your thoughts on that? Can you first of all talk about a hemsa in general and how that’s related? And just curious that because I’m so excited about the growth of the mindfulness movement and yet that connection doesn’t seem to be made a lot of

Dr. Will Tuttle:

Right. Yeah, that’s a good point. SSA is really one of the foundational teachings of yoga as any anybody who studies the yamas and the niyamas and everything, himsa is like number one thing. So that means non harmfulness don’t harm other beings. That’s sort of the foundation really, of the potential yoga sutra. And the whole idea of yoga is union. And so it’s a beautiful practice because it’s really has to do with a holistic approach like we were talking about earlier, of seeing the body as a vehicle for the consciousness or the eternal spirit and developing flexibility and strength and balance and awareness and bringing into daily life and so forth. And food, of course, is a big thing. And our treatment of other living beings has a lot to do with our food. So you would think that everybody would be practicing non harmfulness and being vegan would, that would be a automatic thing.

But as you say, it’s not that simple. I think mainly because India did have a practice of eating dairy products. And so that kind of complicated things. And it’s interesting because I’ve worked a lot with the Jane community, which is also really foundationally based on a himsa. And the Janes are considered themselves to be the oldest religion in the world going way they can track themselves way back even to prehistoric times. And it’s interesting that this old ancient religion in India has as its core [inaudible] nonviolence. And so a brief historical think to understand is that there were two main waves of invasion into India. One was by the Arians in north, the other was from the south from Africa, and the Egyptians, and both of them brought herding. There had never been herding of animals in India. So I think Janes, the Janes really came from before herding when people were just growing their own food in gardens and gathering.

But once the Ians brought in herding and the Egyptians, that idea of owning cows as property, it, they brought in this idea of the different gods that came in the sky, gods and so forth. And you can see the similar thing happening in the west also, but just focusing on India. So the offering of milk to the deity became this thing, and milk became seen as a soic food because it’s holy and it’s blessed and it’s from the cow, and the cow is sacred, and you don’t ever question that. It’s hard to question. And so this has this kind of holiness kind of coming down through the centuries. And of course then when yoga comes to the west, we are massive animal eaters, eating animal flesh and dairy products and eggs. And so a lot of the yoga teachers do make the step of going vegetarian.

I mean, not all of ’em, a lot of ’em still are eat fish or whatever, but they do make that step, which I think is good. It’s a step in the right direction. But really, I mean, dairy products are so filled with not only suffering, but toxicity probably in some ways much worse than any meat you could eat. I mean, dairy, dairy is really the epitome of the violation of the sacred feminine dimension in impregnating these poor animals on rape racks instilling their babies and killing their babies, instilling their milk and stealing their purposes and killing them very young for meat. And just the sheer violence that goes on for dairy, I think it’s sort of glossed over. We don’t like to think about, it doesn’t, not quite so obvious. If you have a piece of flesh, it’s pretty obvious. But if you have milk, you think, well, if I didn’t milk the cow, then the cow would be sore.

So it’s compassionate to milk the cow. Yeah, this kind of a thing. But there’s many levels where you cannot do dairy without killing. That’s the thing you have to kill because the cow’s going to give birth and she’s going to give birth to either a male or a female. And so the milk is for the baby, but then once the baby dries up and you’re taking the milk away from the baby basically, and then you need to impregnate her again or she’s not going to give me much milk. And so even in some of these communities where at the Ians where they had a hemsa milk that was they guaranteed as no suffering in this milk. And it started out the price of the milk was maybe five or four, whatever it was, $4 a gallon. As the years went by, they had to take care of more and more cows because they wouldn’t kill any of ’em.

So they wouldn’t kill. So there’d be all these old females, then there would be all these males, and they didn’t know what to do. They were going to castrate them and use them as oxen, but they didn’t really need ’em. Everybody had tractors. It was in West Virginia, so they had to buy more land. And so pretty soon they had maybe hundreds of cows, but only maybe 20% were actually giving milk they need to pay. So the price of milk went up to 10, 20, $30 a gallon. So it got to the point where it becomes obvious, you cannot do dairy without killing. You have to kill them or you can’t feed ’em all. I mean these an because you got to keep impregnating them. And so they started giving them away to the neighbors and if the neighbors would promise not to kill them, but of course the neighbors killed them because they wanted to eat them.

So it’s just based on a completely ipo, complete impossibility. You have to kill if you’re going to have dairy. And I think that basic thing eludes most people, they don’t realize that. But if you go to India like I have, and you see these poor cows, the females wandering the streets being starving and being attacked by dogs and it’s really terrible, and they send ’em off to market and they have the largest meat export because of the dairy industry in the world. And India has the highest diabetes rate in the world because of all the dairy. They have the highest violence against women of any country in the world. Also, I think it’s because of dairy. So it’s really a problem. And I think yoga would do well to just look themselves straight in the eye and say, we should really try to live consequent life if we’re going to be practicing this.

And if I think it’s happening, it is happening. It is changing. But there’s a resistance because dairy is addictive, dairy is physically addictive because cows naturally have morphine in the milk, so the calf will just go to sleep and not be a bother to the mother. So if we’re taking in these what are called casomorphin when we take in dairy products and it’s physically addictive, so it’s hard for people, especially to give up cheese because there’s so much casing in cheese, there’s a lot of that substance. So it’s a real addiction actually in many cases. That’s part of the problem too.

Ella Magers:

Oh, so fascinating and just complex. These issues are very complex, but you lay it out so clearly. And I was actually chatting with my dad, I think the last interview I told you that he’s a big fan of yours and he read the World Peace Diet and like, so I said, dad, is there anything you want me to ask Dr. Tle on this interview? And he said, well, and he said, there’s one thing to be vegan and he’s vegan, and it’s one thing to do your best every day to live in alignment with your values and to take into consideration the suffering of others. And he’s like, but what else can kind of a normal person who doesn’t have a platform, doesn’t have an Instagram account, isn’t a speaker, what else can somebody like him do to besides being it? So what about the doing part for the person listening who’s like, I want to make an impact and I don’t know how.

Dr. Will Tuttle:

That’s a really very profound question because I think the main thing is to just realize that we are part of a community. Wherever we’re living, we’re interacting with people and it’s hard to say who’s doing more and who’s doing less. And some people might say, well, you travel and you give thousands of lectures and write books and do all this, and I only talk to my friends. But in the bigger picture, I think we should let go of all of that. And just each one of us has a part to play, and we each have our unique gifts and talents and abilities and to just do the best we can to bring those into our life in the service of this effort that we have to raise awareness about the consequences of our actions. And so I think there’s lots of opportunities and to just maybe every day just kind of feel into what could I do that would maybe be in alignment with my values and in my abilities and where I am in my life?

And it doesn’t have to be a big thing. It could be just like you say, sharing with other people. There’s various ways. I mean, nowadays there’s a certain democratization of the media that’s happening with podcasts and videos and things. But also just being consequent in our daily life and talking to people I think is a huge thing. And if we can add any kind of creativity to it, if we have any kind of a talent in music or writing or art or video or cooking or speaking or networking or organizing or politicizing or just find, I think just to do an inventory of one’s own abilities and interests and see how, in what way could I perhaps contribute, maybe volunteer for a group or handout leaflets. I mean, there’s all kinds of different ways we can get involved. And I think it, it’s good to do something because the problem is when we become aware of the suffering of other living beings, if we don’t turn that awareness, that’s the pain of that really into action, that pain can ferment inside of us psychologically.

It can kind of turn sour and we can begin to get bitter. We can begin to get sort of misanthropic. I’ve seen that quite a bit. A lot of vegans who don’t do maybe don’t feel like they’re doing enough or whatever, they’ll start to hate other people. Oh, people don’t listen. I tell them. And they just don’t change. And they start sort of blaming other people for not changing, but all of us pretty much were at one point were eating animal foods. And so I think it doesn’t help to blame We, it’s much better to be understanding and to then use that frustration maybe that people aren’t changing to try to understand why really go deep into that and the individuals in our lives or people that we meet and realize that there’s a certain ripening that does have to happen and we can help that ripening, but we can’t force it.

And this idea of wanting to change other people, because that’s really what your father’s asking in a sense, I think is, well, how can I change other people and how can I make them be more like me? But we have to understand that’s the danger in that if someone came up to me and I could feel that they wanted to change me to be like them, the natural healthy response is, I’m going to fight you. I’m going to fight that. We all feel like, well, here I am. Don’t try to change me. So the best thing I think is to try to let go of that approach, which is pretty deeply rooted in our psyche because we live in a society based on domination. We tend to move in that direction. I’m going to change you to be better. And instead of that to just work on ourself, I think self-improvement, really living what veganism is in the minutia of our daily life, really to our partners and our friends and neighbors who treat them with the same kind of love and respect that we would like to have cows and pigs and chickens treated with, I mean, it’s easy to treat cows and pigs with respect because they don’t insult us or they, they’re just there.

But when people do things to tru really try, the more vitriol comes from them, the more love comes from me. Try to really live a life of love and kindness. And that’s a big work. I mean, to transform and understand and share that. I think our movement will be much more powerful as we work on transforming ourselves. And then from that foundation and that basis, then we can begin to do whatever sort of outer activism we feel called to do whatever the writing or talking or whatever it is. That’s really important. And that’s the kind of thing that in our society we shy away from for the most part. We tend to think we can just go out there and fix the world out there and don’t realize that in many ways, whatever world we’re confronting, it’s really a mirror of ourselves in many ways, sort of change the outer world.

We cha change ourselves and embody vegan living, and we’ll find that people will begin. It’ll be like, if that’s the real contagion, I think the only contagion really is mental contagion. When someone comes in with an anger, we kind of feel that anger. Someone comes in with joy and love and kindness. We feel that. And I think our movement, it’s really going to grow and it is growing as we do the inner work to embody veganism as kindness and love and joy and creativity and abundance and harmony with the essential nature of our connection with this beautiful earth and with each other and with the animals. When we live that and we have a body that’s strong and healthy, we have energy and we have vitality, and we have ideas, then we naturally, whatever we do, it’s going to be contributing. And I think that’s the main thing, is they really work on the quality of our consciousness as the foundation. And that’s a big job. And that from there will be doing the right thing, whatever it is.

Ella Magers:

Yeah, I think you nailed it on the head there with also just energy and vibrational, the energy that we’re putting out, that’s a huge contribution. And it’s tough for those of us that are very sensitive to the suffering of others. That’s tough work to create a high vibrational state in the midst of all that’s going on in the world. That’s tough work.

Dr. Will Tuttle:

It is, but it’s so important. And we tend to discount that and think it’s not doing anything, but it really is doing a lot. And we live in a society, in my new book, I talk about this, a lot of materialism and agriculture at its core is materialistic. We sell beings by the pound. You know, don’t get more materialistic, like grossly materialistic than selling beings by the pound. We do that millions of times a day. And so we tend to think that anything that has to do with consciousness and like you say, vibratory resonance and frequency, well that’s just woo woo or something that, no, that’s actually real. I mean, that actually connects on a level. And I think people have been so wounded that we put on so much armor. We don’t feel, we’re not aware really, of what’s actually happening around us on the fine physical levels.

But when we become more sensitive, I think meditation is great. We can quiet our mind enough, we can become more sensitive, and then we can realize that our thoughts and our feelings, our actions, and we can radiate into the world a sense of joy and freedom and love and kindness for others. And it does raise the vibration for everyone, and it’s a very important action, good work to do. And then from that, we can also smile. And from that we can also write letters and make videos and create whole classes and retreat centers and communities and everything. But it comes out of that foundation. I think that’s the key.

Ella Magers:

Let’s wrap this up just with, I know you had mentioned that you do two or hours of morning meditation. I’d love for you to just wrap it up with your holistic health habits that can inspire our listeners to get out there and be healthy. I know you did meditation, breath work, Tai chi morning, swim in the local lake, organic, vegan, whole Foods. You do a lot of things.

Dr. Will Tuttle:

That’s it. Yeah, that’s basically it. And I think it’s good to have a morning routine like that and get up early and really create a positive foundation for your life. And meditation is course important. And yeah, breathwork, Yama is important. And swimming in the local waters, it’s great. Tai Chi, yoga, exercise are all very important. And

Ella Magers:

Creativity, your music.

Dr. Will Tuttle:

And I play music and writing all these things and connecting with nature. Gardening. Well, Madeline’s a wonderful partner. We play, she plays the flute, I play the piano, we played together and she’s in the garden working, and she’s an artist always doing fiber arts and other kinds of arts. So I think the idea is to weave together a life because it’s temporary. We’re only here for a few short decades. It goes by very quickly and to create a foundation internally. And then from that, we can bring whatever gifts we have to bear into our relationships with other people. Yeah,

Ella Magers:

I think that’s the main message here. Look in, and then you have more to contribute, right?

Dr. Will Tuttle:


Ella Magers:

Oh, Dr. Ted, thank you so much for being here again. And I really just value your wisdom and I know our audience will too.

Dr. Will Tuttle:

Okay. Well, thank you so much for what you’re doing, Ella. I really appreciate it. It’s fantastic.

Ella Magers:



We have a body that is a vehicle really. And when we get our consciousness aligned in harmony, then the physical body will be in harmony… So it’s really liberating, I found, to take a holistic perspective because it really allows us to be able to get to the root of things rather than always fooling around in the branches, which is where all the money is. – Dr. Will Tuttle


Today’s guest, Dr. Will Tuttle,  is one of my favorite humans in the whole world not only because of his vast wisdom and lifetime filled with fascinating experiences, but also because of how bright his light shines, his generosity in sharing, his authenticity and his courageously open heart.

I highly recommend also listening to the first interview I did with Dr. Tuttle on our sister show, The Vegan Life Coach Podcast, where you’ll get more of his backstory, and the inspiration from his groundbreaking book, The World Peace Diet HERE


In this captivating episode Dr. Tuttle shares his profound insights on how our dietary choices impact not only our health but also the well-being of animals, the environment, and society as a whole. 

Understanding the Link between Food and Compassion:

Dr. Tuttle kicks off our discussion by emphasizing the profound interconnection between food and compassion. We discuss how the choices we make regarding what we eat can reflect our values, ethics, and the principles we hold dear. Dr. Tuttle emphasizes that by aligning our dietary choices with compassion and empathy, we can foster a more harmonious and compassionate world.

As our conversation deepens, Dr. Tuttle elucidates the hidden implications of animal agriculture on various aspects of our lives. He sheds light on the environmental devastation caused by factory farming, the immense suffering endured by animals in these systems, and the adverse health consequences associated with consuming animal products. Dr. Tuttle passionately articulates the urgent need for a paradigm shift towards plant-based eating, not only for our own well-being but also for the betterment of the planet and all its inhabitants.

Dr. Tuttle generously shares practical tips and insights for listeners interested in adopting a more compassionate lifestyle. We discuss the benefits of transitioning to a plant-based diet, providing guidance on how to make the shift gradual and sustainable. Dr. Tuttle emphasizes the importance of education, highlighting the abundance of resources available to support individuals on their journey towards conscious eating. Through his compassionate wisdom, Dr. Tuttle empowers listeners to embrace a lifestyle that aligns with their values and promotes the well-being of all sentient beings.

In the latter part of our conversation, Dr. Tuttle emphasizes the ripple effect that individual choices can have on creating a more compassionate society. He encourages listeners to recognize the power they hold to inspire change through their daily actions, including the choices they make at the grocery store, in their kitchens, and in their communities. Dr. Tuttle’s empowering words reminds us that every compassionate choice has the potential to create a positive impact far beyond ourselves.

I have no doubt this conversation with Dr. Will Tuttle on the profound connection between food and compassion will leave a lasting impression. By making conscious choices rooted in compassion, we can foster a world that is not only healthier and more sustainable but also more harmonious and empathetic towards all living creatures… Something I know Rise & Thrive listeners care about deeply.

Official Bio: 

Dr. Will Tuttle, visionary author of the acclaimed best-seller The World Peace Diet, published in 17 languages, is a recipient of the Courage of Conscience Award and the Empty Cages Prize. He’s also the author of Your Inner Islands, on developing intuition, as well as editor of two other books, Circles of Compassion, on the interconnection of social justice issues, and Buddhism and Veganism, on the connection between animal liberation and spiritual awakening.

Dr. Tuttle’s Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, focused on educating intuition and altruism in adults, and his doctoral dissertation was nominated for the Best Dissertation Award. He has taught college courses in philosophy, humanities, mythology, religion, and creativity. A former Zen Buddhist monk, Dr. Tuttle is a noted composer and pianist. He has created ten CD albums of uplifting original piano music as well as several spoken word meditation CDs.

A vegan since 1980, he is a frequent radio, television, and online presenter, and has created several wellness and advocacy training programs. Featured in Cowspiracy and other documentary films, he is the co-founder of the Worldwide Prayer Circle for Animals. Since 1985, Dr. Tuttle has delivered 4,000+ live audience presentations promoting compassion, intuition, and vegan living, in over 50 countries worldwide and in all 50 U.S. states.



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