Will Tuttle: I Am the Vegan Activist

Guest Author Dr. Will Tuttle, Ph.D.

This month we are honored to feature Dr. Will Tuttle as our Guest Author! Dr. Tuttle is an award-winning speaker, educator, author, and musician. His music, writings, and presentations focus on creativity, intuition, and compassion.

Dr. Tuttle is the author of The World Peace Diet, a book that has been called one of the most important books of the 21st century. Dr. Tuttle is a leader in the animal compassion and vegan community and is considered a mentor to many. Please visit WorldPeaceMastery.com if you are interested in knowing how you may work more closely with Dr. Tuttle.

He is a recipient of the Courage of Conscience Award, and is the co-founder of Circle of Compassion ministry. A former Zen monk with a Ph.D. in education from U.C., Berkeley, he has worked extensively in intuition development, spiritual healing, meditation, music, creativity, vegan living, and cultural evolution.

Please welcome him and experience another side to his writing with this lovely poetry offering!
I am the vegan activist,
My heart filled with the wish to relieve the horrible suffering
Mysteriously inflicted on animals seen as food.
Rising early, sitting in silence every day, listening within, opening… dilating….
I am the day-old calf at the organic dairy,
Pulled from my mother by strong hard hands, while she moans and bellows.
Alone in a tight crate, I shiver, hungry, nursing on the iron bars.
I am the little child, being spoon-fed my first solid food.
I keep spitting it out, but it keeps coming back, relentlessly.
“Eat this,” mommy says, “it’s mashed potato and calves’ liver—it’s good for you.”
I am the little girl, on the day it sinks in—
“Hot dogs,” “hamburgers,” “bacon,” “eggs,” “veal,” “chicken,” “liver,” “fish sticks”—
You mean, it’s animals I’ve been eating?  A darkness enters my chest.
I am the young child, being taught how to fish.
“Don’t worry, fish can’t feel any pain,” I’m told.
“And even if they could, God gave ‘em to us to eat.”
“Oh.  O.K.”
I am in the dentist’s chair,
Immobilized, while he pulls, pries, drills: oh, it hurts!
Deep down, I know he’s doing it for my own good…
I am the calf at branding time, castrating time,
The pig at ear-notching, tail-docking time,
The chicken at beak-cutting time,
Immobilized, while he cuts me, burns my flesh—oh, it hurts!
Rough hands that hurt me, the horror of strong inescapable hurting hands!
I am the minister at the church barbecue,
Laughing, happy, my flock spread around me,
Chewing on the ribs of lambs, why, we’ve raised five hundred dollars here today!
I am the cowboy at the rodeo.
“Shock him good, I want him runnin’!”
A quick chase and lasso throw, jerk the rope, he’s flat and down;
I drink the cheers.
I am the young cow—another rodeo.
The ropes and blows and cages, suddenly a searing pain, like a knife,
A door flies open, I run to escape. Sudden slamming twisting agony;
Cheers and laughter.
I am the former vegetarian, I’ve been there.
I’m not rigid and judgmental, and anyway:
A person’s body is not defiled by what goes in the mouth, but by what comes out.
I am the slaughterhouse worker,
Prodding and poking cows along with my knife and electro-shocker,
Like I was prodded and kicked when I was a kid.
I am the slaughterhouse foreman,
Enslaved by demands for profit and production
“Speed up the line!” we’re lagging—big trucks keep comin’, full of chickens.
I am the feedlot operator, fattening cattle.
Belly hanging, back sore, joints aching, I sit down to a comforting steak.
“Anyway, it’s not what goes into a man’s mouth…”
I am the terrified dairy cow,
Still young, just five years old, facing the slaughterhouse chute,
The pain of the prod, the fear so thick I can smell it, the hard hands. . . .
I am the young fattened turkey,
Grabbed by one leg and hung upside down,
Ligaments torn, I hang in the moving line with the others:
Helpless pain and terror.
I am the self-shining Light of Infinite Love,
I welcome every turkey, pig, cow, duck, chicken, lobster, fish—
Not as animals, but as what they truly are—Myself.
The nightmare ordeal over, their pain-wracked bodies forever left,
I embrace them as the essence of what they are—
The Joy that springs at the heart of the Universe,
The only Life that is.
And I embrace my other beloved children, when it is their time:
The hardened slaughterhouse workers, the diseased housewives, the managers,
The scholars and ministers, the vegetarians and non-vegetarians,
The gorillas, the wolves, the pet cats and the hunted deer,
I open and embrace every being with eternal utter love,
And hold them forever as rays sent forth,
And embrace them when they return, as the heart of their own heart,
And they are judged only by themselves,
And are punished only by their own actions in the endless rounds of being,
Of learning and growing, of eventually understanding,
Of celebrating Me, the utter joy and perfection of Being,
The freedom shining in the heart of every being.
I am the vegan activist,
My heart filled with knowing the perfection of being,
And working hard to help relieve the horrible suffering
Mysteriously inflicted on animals seen as food.

By Will Tuttle


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5 Responses to Will Tuttle: I Am the Vegan Activist

  • Jele says:

    Dear Will! In case You do not know till now about the new german book “Manifest des veganen Humanismus” of the german Philosopher Prof. Taureck I wanna tell You that You can read an Interview with him abot it on the german website “vegan.eu”.

  • jele Votava says:

    Everything has its own time where it is to be done best. Thus I have read only yesterday this deeply touching verses, Dear Mr. Tuttle!
    I knew from the first moment on when I got presented some book-texts from Yours by Stefan that this whole book contets exactely the mind work as a publication for which I had waited for so long! I begun myself in the beginning of 2000 with writing every day about this main world problem and all the violence it causes. And therefor I had come to the same result that this prevers nutrition with the cruel treating of animals in the whole world is the key to all evil in her! I had sent some textes about this idea to German SPIEGEL and two Berlin stage magazines in 2007 or so. I got some nice and polite responses but still no one was really interested in the strange thoughts of an unknown woman!:-) But only few years after that the German Vegan Explosion took place and was the biggest Joy for me and my companion since we had stopped with meat food in the 1970th and became activists against animals vivisectioning and have read the deeply disturbing books of Hans Rüsch about it.
    Now the first “VEGANmagazin” has appeared for April/Mai for the whole of Germany and comes regularly everey second month now. We like it very much . The editor is Christian Vagedes who has also founded the “Vegane Gesellschaft Deutschland e.V.” I would like very much to point out Christian Vagedes to this article here from You, Dear Mr. Tuttle and would be really glad if it appeared all over Germany in this VEGANmagazin! What do You think about this?

  • Will Tuttle says:

    Thanks Marlene – You’re right that I am deeply gratified that Donald Watson was reading the WPD on his “transition bed” and remarking that yes, this is what he was trying to say to the world with his veganism…

  • Marlene says:

    Your lovely poem reminds me of this quote by Donald Watson (who, in 1944, coined the word, vegan) – “We can see quite plainly that our present civilisation is built on the exploitation of animals, just as past civilisations were built on the exploitation of slaves, and we believe the spiritual destiny of man is such that in time he will view with abhorrence the idea that men once fed on the products of animals’ bodies”.

    Dr. Tuttle, I think it’s significant that your revolutionary book was released in the summer of 2005, and that Watson had the opportunity to have The World Peace Diet – Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony read aloud to him before he peacefully passed away on November 16, 2005, at the age of 95. Donald Watson must have had, upon hearing your words, a realistic hope for abolition, and the same feeling of contentment that Nelson Mandela must have felt at his peaceful death, at the age of 95, on December 5, 2013.

    Thank you, Will, for all that you so generously share, for all that you do, and all that you have taught me.

  • Veronique says:

    Beautiful Will 🙂

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