WPD1I recall a study done some decades ago at a prison. Half the inmates were put on a strictly vegetarian diet and the other half of the prison population retained their usual meat-based dietary fare. After a few months the behaviour differences in the two study populations were obvious. Violence amongst the vegetarian prisoners just about vanished, yet it remained at its usual level with the meat-fed control group.

Tolstoy wrote back in the 1800s that as long as we have slaughterhouses, we will have battles. Strong statement, don’t you think? And yet, the battles continue and violence, even in our homes, is not unusual.

Jesus was an Essene. The Essenes did not believe in the sacrifice of animals, a common practice of their day. They demanded complete cleanliness of the body and dressed always in white. Since they did not believe in harming any of God’s creatures, they were strict vegetarians. When Jesus spoke of meat, he was referring to food of a vegetarian nature. The Greek words we loosely translate as ‘meat’ merely mean food or nourishment. Thus, when Jesus is quoted as asking, “Have you any meat?” he was really asking, “Have you anything to eat?” There is no documented evidence that he ate anything other than live, vegetarian food, even when visiting the homes of the rich, where he was often a guest.

Perhaps we need to listen to courageous speakers and writers such as Will Tuttle, Ph. D. I have in my hands a copy of Dr Tuttle’s book titled World Peace Diet and subtitled Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony.

Will Tuttle

Will Tuttle

The plant-based lifestyle and diet advocated by Will Tuttle is nothing new. What is perhaps new is the comprehensive and compassionate manner in which Will Tuttle links our feelings, our psyche and our individual and collective behaviour to the way in which we treat animals. He is a compelling voice for the many sentient creatures we share this beautiful planet with. He is urging humankind to move from human to kind.

It so happened that Will Tuttle spoke in Kaitaia at the Te Ahu Centre on Sunday, February 23rd. Dr Tuttle is the co-founder, with Judy Carman, of the Circle of Compassion and the Worldwide Prayer Circle For Animals. A classical musician and former Zen monk who studied in Korea, Will Tuttle spoke about the connection between what we put on our plates and the current state of affairs in our lives and in the world.

On Sunday 23 February at Te Ahu vegan refreshments were served at 1pm, Will Tuttle’s presentation began at 1.30pm and was followed by a vegan meal at 3pm. Sponsored by Gentle World, the talk and meal were free.

The turnout for the event in our little town was excellent. And not only were the words of Dr Tuttle inspiring, so was his musicianship on the piano. He played one well known classical composition and one piece of his own making.

For a comprehensive post on Will Tuttle’s February visit to Kaitaia please visit: http://gentleworld.org/an-afternoon-with-will-tuttle-2/

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.wordpress.com