Will Tuttle, Ph.D., has spent four decades spreading the message of peace to the world through his written work, music, art, film appearances and public speeches all over the world. Tuttle and his wife, Madeleine, have used these mediums to spread their ethos of a vegan lifestyle as a step toward world peace.
He and Madeleine will be making a stop at the Third Street Center in Carbondale on Nov. 8, from 6:30 to 8:30pm, as part of their “Food for Freedom” tour. Tuttle will discuss his upcoming book by the same name (release date not yet announced) and present a lecture followed by a Q&A session. Madeleine artwork will also be available. And, there’s a chance attendees will hear some of his music.
“The idea is to spread the word about the many benefits of liberating animals and ourselves from eating them. I’ve been doing that for almost 44 years, and it’s been great. I would say it’s the smartest thing I ever did, besides marrying my wonderful wife.” Tuttle told The Sopris Sun. “I’m happy to talk to people and share our experience with them.”
Born and raised in Concord, Massachusetts, Tuttle grew up eating the Standard American Diet (SAD), consisting of meat, dairy and other animal (bi)products. At seven-years-old, he asked his mother if this eating standard was the same for everyone. She explained to him that some people are vegetarians.
“[I asked her] ‘Well, what do they eat?’ and she said, ‘Don’t worry about it, you’re never going to meet one.’ She was right. I never met one, and we left it at that.” Tuttle recalled.
He elaborated on his journey to veganism, saying he began questioning many things when he graduated from Colby College in Maine in the early ‘70s.
“I was questioning the Vietnam War and other things, and I started reading into the Concord Transcendentalists, where I discovered Emerson and Thoreau,” Tuttle said. “They were interesting, and that led me to read the bible and other religious texts. Eventually, my younger brother, Ed, and I left home and went on a pilgrimage.”
Traveling on foot through the Appalachian Mountains, they eventually came upon a vegetarian community in Alabama, where they stayed for a few months. In 1980, Tuttle became a monk in Korea where he fully adopted the vegan lifestyle.
In 2005, he authored “The World Peace Diet,” a 350-page book outlining the state of the world and how one’s outlook and diet can impact the world around them. The book was inspired by his own journey of becoming a vegan, and included his research into animal agriculture.
“The attitudes required of us to eat meat, dairy products and eggs are not good. They are attitudes of disconnectedness. The attitude of domination over the weak by the strong. The domination of the sacred feminine dimension of life is prevalent in animal agriculture.” Tuttle stated. “These attitudes are forced on us by our parents, and it was forced on them by their parents … and so on. It goes back thousands of years.”
This will be the couple’s first time visiting Carbondale, and Tuttle said he is excited to speak with the community and engage in conversations led with understanding. He explained that during any appearance he does not blame anyone for following the SAD.
“We speak everywhere: churches, conservative areas, farming communities. I haven’t had a lot of pushback. I’m not trying to change anybody. I’m telling folks what I’ve discovered,” Tuttle concluded. “The underlying idea is that when we focus on something positive and try to be loving, kind and let others be healthy and free … it will work out better for us.”
For more information on the release of “Food For Freedom” or to keep up with Tuttle and his teachings, visit www.willtuttle.com For more regarding the Nov. 8 event organized by The Center For Human Flourishing, visit www.bit.ly/TCFHFWillTuttle