Thanksgiving greetings! Madeleine and I are heading into Texas as we continue our "Planting Peace" tour - now drawing to the end of our 13th year full-time on the road in our solar-powered RV.
I'd to share just a few thoughts and resources. One is that now that the election is over, I think it's important to remember that every day is an election; every day we vote with our dollars and dictate to the vast economic complex what we want to be produced, and what activities we want to support. Each and every one of us is making an impact with our lives, and as we become more sensitive to the repercussions of our actions and votes, we can transform our lives and contribute to the transformation and healing of our world.
We also elect what to speak, think about, and focus our attention on.
There is nothing more empowering than bringing our daily lives into congruence with our deeply-held values, and I am grateful for the powerful positive steps being taken in our country and in our world to live with greater awareness of the interconnectedness of all life, and with greater compassion for all living beings and for future generations. It is difficult to overstate the immensity of the challenges we face; as Obama recently said, "Our planet is in peril." We are each called to question the underlying assumptions of our reductionistic and obsolete cultural mentality and, as Gandhi said so well, be the change we'd like to see in the world.
Along these lines, I'd like to share a video that we made recently in Cincinnati called "A Case For The World Peace Diet." It has been airing on Supreme Master TV, an international TV channel that broadcasts 24/7 and presents only constructive and positive news and programs. Here's the link:http://www.worldpeacediet.org/videos.htm
Increasingly, people are making the connections between veganism and environmental sustainability, and I recently published an article in the British journal Resurgence Magazine entitled "What Then Should We Eat?." Please click here to access the article:http://www.worldpeacediet.org/articles.htm
Also, there has been an unprecedented amount of discussion about the plight of animals, especially turkeys, over the last few weeks, from the infamous Sarah Palin turkey-pardoning debacle in Alaska to Time and Newsweek articles on veganism, vegetarianism, and the tensions that often erupt or simmer between families that are divided on the subject of eating animals. It's so healthy to see our culture begin to have this long-overdue public discussion!
A recent undercover investigation shows what turkeys endure in our factory farm system:http://www.circleofcompassion.org/video.html
And if you know people eating "organic" or "free-range" turkeys, this shows the turkey hatcheries where they come from:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGJryC4XIdo
Finally, here are some fun, cruelty-free turkey dishes:http://tinyurl.com/6dvtft
We have also found out recently that agave nectar may have a dark side - that it may not be much different than high-fructose corn syrup. Click here to find out more:http://www.naturalnews.com/024892.html
For a smile, here's an article on "Giant Rats as Mankind's New Best Friend:"http://tinyurl.com/68p7a3
We have many events in Texas coming up over the next two weeks, primarily in the areas of Dallas, Austin, and Houston. Please see our tour schedule,www.willtuttle.com/schedule.htm for details, particularly if you know folks (or live) near those areas. We'll be in Florida for the winter, presenting in many areas; the schedule is still evolving there. Please think ahead to early March for the Holistic Holiday At Sea, our first-ever Caribbean cruise leaving from Fort Lauderdale for 8 days featuring, besides Madeleine and me, T.
Colin Campbell, Neal Barnard, Christina Pirello, Amrit Desai, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Christine Horner, Dirk Benedict, Sherry Rogers, and many more.
Please join us atwww.worldpeacediet.net, and feel free to sign up for our free daily "Veg Inspiration For The Day" at www.worldpeacediet.org.
A big thank-you to all of you who are working diligently to raise consciousness on this Earth, and spreading the light of peace and love through the interconnected webs of relations here. Bless you all!
That's it for now.
Love and peace,
Will & Madeleine
Dr. Will Tuttle
1083 Vine St., Healdsburg, CA 95448
Visithttp://worldpeacediet.org to find out more about The World Peace Diet and sign up for Veg Inspiration For The Day.
Visithttp://willtuttle.com for our original music and art.
Visitwww.circleofcompassion.org to participate in The Prayer Circle for Animals.
Dawnwatch: Thanksgiving turkey horror video in NY Times, plus Palin video and Newsweek article 11/19-11/22/08
With Thanksgiving coming up on Thursday, it's no surprise that turkeys are have been in the news over the last week. The most widely circulated story is probably the one in which Sarah Palin, after pardoning a turkey, conducted a fun chatty interview as the other birds were being slaughtered behind her. Of greater import is the New York Times report on shocking undercover video taken recently at a commercial turkey farm. That is covered below.
Those who haven't seen the Palin video can watch it here:
Just over a minute into the video, the man who has been working behind Palin lowers a live turkey into the slaughter cone. We see the animal's legs kicking pitifully and we watch the man grab them tight to keep them still as the turkey bleeds out.
It was interesting to watch the presentation of the story in the mainstream media. One anchor, whose station blurred out the kicking legs, suggested the video was so gruesome that parents should have children leave the room. Yet, as one would expect, Palin did her official pardoning not at a typical industrial plant but at a small farm where the birds are being carefully slaughtered one by one. While what viewers see may be enough to jolt many sensitive folks out of their complacency regarding the headless carcass on their table, it is a far cry from the typical treatment of turkeys who end up as Thanksgiving main courses.
The Wednesday, November 19 New York Times article presents a more gruesome and more typical picture. The piece, by Donald G. McNeil Jr. is headed, "Group Documents Cruelty to Turkeys." (Dining Section, p D5)
"In what is becoming an annual Thanksgiving rite, an animal rights group on Tuesday released undercover videotapes taken at the nation's premier poultry-breeding operation, showing turkeys being stomped to death and punched by workers."
We read that after seeing the video, company representatives at Aviagen said they ''condemn the abuse of any of the animals in our care and will take swift action to address these issues.'' Yet one of the many shocking segments of the video has a supervisor acknowledging that he knows some of his men enjoy beating up and killing the turkeys. He says that every now and then everybody gets agitated and has to kill a bird, and that is okay "as long as they don't do it a lot."
We read in the New York Times piece:
"The Aviagen video can be seen at www.peta.org. The scenes show stomach-turning brutality. Workers are seen smashing birds into loading cages like basketballs, stomping heads and breaking necks, apparently for fun, even pretending to rape one.
"On the tape, one worker describes losing his temper at a tom who pecked him, marking its head with a pen so he could find it again, fetching a broomstick, ramming it down the bird's gullet and holding it up in the air while shouting 'Let this be a lesson to y'all' at the rest of the flock."
You'll find the full New York Times piece on line at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/dining/19peta.html
and the video on line at http://getactive.peta.org/campaign/turkey_investigation
I do hope anybody considering eating turkey for Thanksgiving will watch it. My neighbor, heading towards vegetarianism but not sure what to do about Thanksgiving turkey, actually screamed out loud as he watched a worker's boot come down on a turkey's skull. But as Gretchen Wyler used to say, "We must not refuse to see with our eyes, what they must endure with their bodies."
We have a moral obligation to make the effort to make informed choices.
Of special interest in the New York Times is the opening line. Indeed, the release of these undercover videos has become an annual Thanksgiving rite; this operation is no aberration. PETA does not have the resources to put loads of undercover workers on various turkey farms or in turkey slaughterhouses trying to find "a bad one." Yet every year an undercover investigator goes into one of the major producers and comes out with video like this. In "Thanking the Monkey" I discuss some of the videos, including one that shows a worker doing his boxing punching bag practice on the live turkeys moving past him, who are helplessly hung up by their legs headed for slaughter.
You can respond to the New York Times article with a letter to the editor sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
But far better, this week, why not send a letter to the editor at your local paper, thereby letting people in your town know about the video that the New York Times covered last week? You can guide them to check it out. And if you are preparing a veggie feast you can write merrily about that as well.
Newsweek has covered the Thanksgiving turkey issue in its November 19 edition (Society section), looking not at the cruelty aspects but at table dynamics when vegetarians join turkey eaters. The article, by Sarah Kliff, is headed, "A Recipe For a Family Fight:
At Thanksgiving, vegetarians and vegans object to the menu (and the heckling), while other relatives feel family traditions are being scorned."
You'll find it on line at
It presents a great opportunity for letters to the editor giving some of the background, the reasons one might refuse to eat turkey (for example the recent New York Times coverage of the PETA undercover video) which are not discussed in the article. Or you might just write a letter appreciative of Newsweek's coverage of the issue. It is great to see vegetarianism get so much mainstream coverage, and positive feedback encourages more of it.
Newsweek takes letters at email@example.com
If you have any trouble finding the email address for a letter to your local editor, feel free to ask me for help.
Always include your full name, address, and daytime phone number when sending a letter to the editor. Remember that shorter letters are more likely to be published.
Yours and the animals',
(DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets. You can learn more about it, and sign up for alerts at http://www.DawnWatch.com. You may forward or reprint DawnWatch alerts if you do so unedited -- leave DawnWatch in the title and include this parenthesized tag line. If somebody forwards DawnWatch alerts to you, which you enjoy, please help the list grow by signing up. It is free.)
Please go to www.ThankingtheMonkey.com to read reviews of Karen Dawn's new book, "Thanking the Monkey: Rethinking the Way we Treat Animals” and watch the fun celebrity studded promo video.
DawnWatch alerts go to http://www.DawnWatch.com
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