Dr. Will Tuttle, best-selling author of the World Peace Diet and featured specialist on well-known documentary Cowspiracy, will be speaking at Western to address veganism, effective activism and personal development.
The free event, Creating a New Culture of Peace, was organized by Western's department of philosophy, the Western Ontario Vegan Society and Animal Liberation Alliance London.
“Dr. Will Tuttle is really consistent with our philosophy in showing how different social justice issues intersect with animal liberation” says 27-year-old social justice and peace student Michael Kuijpers.
As co-founder of the Western Ontario Vegan Society, Kuijpers is excited about the event and its effect on Western students. “I hope that students learn how to connect the dots between different social justice issues,” he says. “I hope that they learn to make conscious choices of food."
Tuttle explains that the negative stigma around veganism comes from a lack of understanding for the plant-based lifestyle.
“It’s more of a deep sense of self-confidence and inner harmony," Tuttle says about the vegan lifestyle. He adds that while this may cause adversity among peers who don’t understand the lifestyle, in the end veganism is more rewarding because it means living according to your values.
Kuijpers has also had a positive experience with veganism. “I started eating a plant-based diet for health and, living with a disability, it gave me a lot more energy," he explains. "My overall quality of life was much better."
Cutting out meat to increase your health and protect our planet is still makes it a difficult change to make. Tuttle admits that the transition to veganism is one of the biggest challenges “pre-vegans” face. In fact, this is one of the reasons why Kuijpers was motivated to found Western’s vegan society.
“Most of our members are not vegan," Kuijpers admits. “They’re just interested in learning more about becoming vegan and they need that support… they don’t have that supportive network, because of the culture that we live in."
Thankfully, Tuttle has made it part of his initiative to educate others and show people how to find support. He loves speaking to college-aged youth because he says that this generation is more open-minded and environmentally concerned.
“The advice I would give is two things,” Tuttle says. “First, really make an effort to understand what’s happening to animals.” He explains that in doing so, you’ll feel more motivated to protect them from suffering and abuse.
Tuttle's second piece of advice is to relax about not getting enough calcium or protein. “You’ll get plenty… just eat a variety of plant-based foods."
Some of Tuttle’s favourite recipes are easy and delicious. For breakfast he recommends smoothies packed with fruits, nuts and greens; veggie and hummus stuffed tortillas make for a perfect lunch and with so many meat alternatives like tempeh, tofu and veggie burgers, dinner options are unlimited.
Tuttle’s speech on Creating a New Culture of Peace will be followed by a book signing and is taking place on Sept. 9 at Western's Social Science Centre in room 2050 at 7 p.m.