This is an odd title for Blue Planet Green Living. We don’t generally say flat out that our readers should buy a product, though we often make recommendations. We’re making an exception for The World Peace Diet: Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony, by Will Tuttle, Ph.D., however.
Why? Two reasons, really.
Pass (by) the Meat, Please
The first, and most important reason to buy The World Peace Diet on March 12 (or any time) is that it will very likely reshape your thinking about the foods you choose to consume. Unless you’re already bypassing meat and dairy products, your diet isn’t as healthy as it should be.
I know, those of us in the US are drilled from a young age to believe we have to eat according to the USDA guidelines (remember the Food Pyramid and its many later permutations?). But those guidelines don’t take into account what’s happened to the foods we eat: The highly processed nature of the grains in packaged foods. The subtherapeutic levels of antibiotics administered to livestock. The filthy conditions in meat-packing plants, where E. coli and other bacteria and viruses contaminate the meat as it goes through processing.
The inhumane treatment of livestock and laying hens is another whole can of worms: The crowded, unhealthy conditions animals are raised in (think battery cages for hens and chickens, narrow farrowing crates for mother pigs, restrictive veal crates for baby calves, and the list goes on…). The brutal way chickens’ have their necks cut while hanging upside down from their legs on a fast-moving conveyor. The skinning alive of steers when the stun gun and the knife haven’t yet killed them. Chickens dropped alive into boiling water to loosen their feathers. And more, and more, and more.
If you’re reading this far, you probably already care about the animals whose lives are sacrificed for your diet. Perhaps you even have a few meatless days each week. If this is true for you, reading The World Peace Diet will no doubt push you farther along toward being a vegetarian — and perhaps even a vegan. Are you brave enough to consider such a radical change? It’s not easy to make the switch, until you learn how much difference it can make to your psyche and your health.
Improve Your Health
Consider these quotes from Chapter 5 of The World Peace Diet, “The Intelligence of Human Physiology”:
Besides clogging our body’s veins and arteries and contributing to heart disease and strokes, [the cholesterol and saturated fat in our blood] may block the capillaries that carry blood to individual cells, resulting in cells that are weak, lacking oxygen and nutrients, and unable to completely cleanse the toxins and carbon dioxide that are by-products of their aerobic processes. Swimming in this unhealthy environment, they may begin, over time, to degenerate and die off.
One example of this is the increasingly common occurrence of macular degeneration, which causes severe vision impairment and blindness, mostly in older people….
This clogging of brain capillaries by animal fat and cholesterol may also contribute to the diminished level of actual intelligence in cultures that eat diets high in animal foods. Clogged brain capillaries may reduce the brains’s efficiency and hinder its ability to make connections effectively….
Clogged pathways may also directly or indirectly cause low energy, chronic fatigue and a host of other ailments. In adult males, for example, the arteries in the vascular tissue of the genitals can become clogged by the saturated fat and cholesterol of an animal-based diet, diminishing the natural ability of many men to have an erection….
Kidney disease, kidney stones, and gallstones are another direct result of eating animal foods, since the kidneys have the difficult task of purifying our fatty, acidic blood….
The skin, the largest organ of elimination, is also severely burdened by the toxins in animal foods, and many of the skin maladies and allergic reactions we experience may be attributable to the body’s attempt to cleanse itself by passing toxins out through the skin. Our skin may be adversely affected by the excess fat and cholesterol in dairy products, which can clog the pores and may contribute to acne, allergic reactions, and excess body odor….
The cholesterol and large concentrations of saturated fat in animal foods increase our risk for obesity and the whole panorama of health problems to which being overweight contributes, such as diabetes and cancer….
When we get our protein from animal sources, we bring into our bodies much higher levels of toxic contaminants than we do by eating plant foods directly, because livestock feed grains are heavily sprayed with pesticides and these poisons tend to concentrate in animal flesh, milk, and eggs….
It is also well known that animal foods are heavily contaminated with viruses and bacteria such as salmonella, listeria, E. coli, campylobacter, and streptococcus, which can be harmful if not fatal to people, especially given our already overworked immune systems.
If this isn’t enough to make you rethink meat, there’s plenty more in this book that will. But Tuttle isn’t trying to scare the reader with unsupported statements designed to manipulate the truth to his point of view. He provides fact after fact to support his claims, to the tune of 56 references just in the 28 pages of Chapter 5. (Most other chapters have fewer citations, but they’re all well documented.)
But the book isn’t just about the perils to your health of an omnivorous diet.
As Tuttle says, The World Peace Diet “helps you understand the power of food, and the cultural mentality reinforced by our practice of food, for many levels of healing — physical, psychological, cultural, ecological, and spiritual.”
Why March 12?
I said there were two reasons to buy Tuttle’s book on March 12. The second reason is that for purchases made on March 12 only, many sponsors have donated excellent bonus gifts and prizes to anyone who buys The World Peace Diet.
These include downloadable audiobooks, recipes, music, e-books, discount coupons and the chance to enter drawings for some terrific prizes (like a weekend getaway!). There are over 50 gifts and prizes in all, and anyone who buys the book on March 12 (only) is eligible to receive them.
Here’s the link to this special campaign: http://worldpeacediet.org/promo.htm. You don’t have to purchase it through this link to qualify, but be sure to go read the information so that you know how to enter the drawing for prizes.
Again, from Dr. Will Tuttle: “You can help strengthen the forces of health, truth, transparency, sustainability, and peace by buying a copy of The World Peace Diet today (for yourself or to give to a library or friend). This will spread the message of compassion for all life. It’s a great way to help animals, the Earth, hungry people, and all of us — and to spread the message we believe in.”
When Joe and I heard Will Tuttle speak in Iowa City in late 2008, we were incredibly moved. The truth is, we both have struggled with our eating choices since that evening. I’m now eating a vegetarian diet, and many days — though not all — I eat a vegan diet. Joe is a bit more flexitarian in his eating preferences, generally conforming to relatives’ meal choices when we visit (I bring my own food or eat just the vegetables, fruits, and nuts), though his preference is to be vegetarian. He, too, aspires to be vegan.
We don’t claim to be perfect, and we’re no one’s role models. But we are on our personal journey toward a better, healthier lifestyle and a healthier, more humane diet.
I can’t say I’ve always been happy that I attended Tuttle’s lecture. “A mind once stretched never goes back,” a wise teacher once told me. And my mind has truly been stretched. I can’t go back to eating unconsciously, without considering the suffering of the life forms that I am devouring.
As I asked earlier, “Are you brave enough to consider such a radical change?” You don’t have to promise anything. Just read the book, and make up your own mind. Then let us know what you decide.
The Fine Print
Blue Planet Green Living does not receive any kickback or percentage of your purchase through Dr. Tuttle’s link. We are, however, Amazon affiliates, so any purchases made through Amazon ads on our website do contribute a small percentage to the operating budget of Blue Planet Green Living. (Oh, and we purchased our own copy of the book in 2008.)
Blue Planet Green Living (Home Page)
Last week, I attended a brief lecture at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival in Iowa City. As I listened, I felt both delighted at the opportunity to learn from a noted writer and slightly guilty about not being at my Blue Planet Green Living (BPGL) desk. Then Hugh G. Ferrer, Associate Director of the University of Iowa International Writing Program, connected his talk to me in a way I hadn’t considered.
Ferrer said that each of us possesses our own “bibliography.” By this, I understood him to mean something less concrete than a physical list of all the books we’ve read. I pictured a mental catalog that includes all the ideas we’ve absorbed, whether accepted or rejected; all the people that lived within the worlds we inhabited for a time; the experts who’ve shared their theories and experiences; and all the facts we’ve collected through our reading. His words called to mind the list of books our writers have reviewed on BPGL, including Jordan Jones‘ “Environmental Canon.” Our Blue Planet Green Living (BPGL) bibliography isn’t a very long list so far, yet I have not managed to read them all. My bibliography is, like everyone’s, a work in progress.
But why should reading books be so important? Why not simply get our information from sound bytes on the news, short articles on the internet, or any number of other choices — including BPGL’s book reviews?
“The way you see the world,” Ferrer said, “is informed by the fact that you’re a reader…. Literate people see the world in a different way than illiterate people do.”
What I realized is that reading allows us to immerse ourselves in the ideas the writers are doing their best to explain to us. It allows the writers’ thinking to unfold, so that our own ideas can be tested, and sometimes altered, by the thoughts of others. Sure, we can learn from authors in a lecture. We can pick up the high points in a book review. But we cannot fully experience the work unless we read it. And when we do experience a book that touches us, it changes us.
Ferrer went on to say, “Focus on your WOW moments, the parts of books — the moments in books — where you were really wowed.” Although his talk was on an entirely different topic than environmentalism, these words of his struck a chord with me. I realized that my own “WOW moments” in the environmental books I’ve read are the ones that have changed me the most.
For example, Joe and I have both been incredibly moved by The World Peace Diet: Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony by Will Tuttle, Ph.D. The book is filled with WOW moments for us, leading us to the conclusion that eating animal products is not necessary for our health and may, in fact, be detrimental to it. We also learned from Tuttle’s writing about the absolute cruelty inflicted on the animals we slaughter for food; the offspring whose mothers’ milk is denied them; the chickens, ducks, cattle, and pigs who are squeezed into horrific conditions in CAFOs; and so much more. And so, we’ve changed our eating habits, becoming largely vegans. We’re not totally successful, but we’re making great progress, and it’s due almost entirely to this one book in our shared bibliography.
There are other books that have influenced my thinking, of course. And, one day, I hope to make a physical list of my personal bibliography, to explore how my reading has shaped my thoughts. But I have only begun to learn of the books that can teach me about this environmental crusade I’m on. So, I’m asking you, What are the important books in your own bibliography? Which books should we read (and review) here on BPGL? What are some of the “WOW moments” that have profoundly affected your view of the world and our place within it?
I look forward to hearing from you.
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