“Nothing tastes as good as vegan feels.”


Recently, Dr.Will Tuttle gave a lecture at the IMI Kolkata which was organized by - Millennium Mams' and Satvik Vegan Society. Dr. Will Tuttle, visionary author, educator, and inspirational speaker, has presented widely throughout North America, Europe, and the Pacific. Author of the acclaimed Amazon #1 best-seller The World Peace Diet, which has been published in over 15 languages, he is a recipient of the Courage of Conscience Award as well as the Empty Cages Award. We spoke with Philip Nicozisis on the sidelines of the event. Philip is public speaker on veganism and a credentialed Hippocrates Health Educator, as well as a World Peace Diet Facilitator.  He is an experienced businessman, real estate investor, PADI Divemaster, published songwriter and musician, political activist, and physical culturist who changed his health and his heart with a switch to a plant-based diet.

What inspired or motivated you to become vegan and when?

As I like to say, “Nothing tastes as good as vegan feels.”  I live in West Palm Beach in South Florida, USA. Nine miles from my home is a beautiful place set on 50 acres. It is a nonprofit in operation for over 60 years, called Hippocrates Health Institute. 400,000 people have gone through their three-week program over the decades to help themselves heal, and they often reverse and resolve catastrophic and chronic diseases. The core of the program is raw living vegan food based on sprouts, nuts, seeds, legumes, and all of the savory food that is available in plant-based cuisine. 

About eight years ago something compelled me to enter the three-week program at Hippocrates. At age 42, my doctor was warning me about my blood work, which was less than satisfactory. I came out of the program three weeks later a vegan, feeling great while my blood work had dramatically improved. I had a clear advantage to stay on the vegan path, given that the Institute is very close by. So then about 4 years ago, I entered their nine week health educator program which convenes three times a year. For years now I have been teaching two classes which are now part of the health educator curriculum. To say it’s a passion project of mine is an understatement!

During the past decade the number of people going vegan has risen dramatically. What’s driving the trend?

In short I think we have to say the biggest driver is awareness. People are questioning the stories they’ve been told about the benefits of animal foods and they are simultaneously discovering plant-based cuisine. It’s never been easier to turn vegan because of all the amazingly tasty choices that are on the market now. In addition, vegan restaurants are popping up everywhere all over the world.

Could you enlighten our readers about your presentations- “The Ethics of Eating,” and “The Case for Vegan?

Both of those presentations are my signature lectures. Besides presenting these lectures at the Hippocrates Health Institute, I have a regular speaking schedule in the United States. For the next year I’ll be traveling the world spreading the vegan message! My lectures are PowerPoint driven with video, graphics, humor, and some hard hitting stuff. However, I never show pictures of animal cruelty or anything having to do with the slaughterhouse.  I’m always changing the presentations and updating them with new information. In the Case For Vegan, I contrast the hazards of the animal based diet with the benefits and joy of the plant-based diet. In the Ethics of Eating, I make the case that throughout the human experience, whatever we’ve done to the animals, we end up doing to each other. The consequences of our food choices have profound effects, and there’s no way it can be a personal choice when there are other victims involved. I’m not just talking about the food animals. I’m talking about other human beings who we could feed with the grain that the animals use, future generations who will be stuck with fishless oceans, and the poor factory workers who stab animals for a living.  I’m a World Peace Diet facilitator which is based on the book, the World Peace Diet, by Dr. Will Tuttle, so the information in that book plus my facilitator training, has been very helpful in formulating some of the key points that I talk about. 

Vegetarianism comes up quite a lot in relation to spirituality. What are your thoughts?

I’ve come to understand my vegan lifestyle as a liberation. Part of that liberation is a spiritual ascension, and believe me, I’m no sage. Yet how can we say we are spiritually enlightened or religious when we dine on so-called food that required violence, despair and misery? So then without a doubt I think people who have an animal-based diet will hit a spiritual ceiling, and like the laws of mathematics, one can never go beyond that self-imposed ceiling. Further to the point, how can we say we are compassionate and caring people, or even advocating for so-called women’s issues, when the dairy industry is nothing less than sexual violence against females?

How do you use your music as a tool for vegan activism?

Music for me has always been a creative outlet. Before I became vegan eight years ago, I was playing in a working band and I developed arthritic conditions in my foot from jumping around a lot on stage. I’m not in the band anymore, but if I was, I think I’d have more energy and have a clearer mind. Lately I’ve been writing jingles for universal records and writing power pop songs which are now on Spotify under “Phil Nico Solo Project.”  My whole body of work is there as well as iTunes. I’m very happy with the studio that I’ve built at my home in West Palm Beach.

Why that tody’s generation and younger vegans is are embracing activism that goes beyond sharing recipes for dairy-free cupcakes?

For many people, veganism is a social justice issue. Today’s young people are standing on the shoulders of giants because I believe our society has come a long way as far as what recent generations have accomplished. But sentiment beings, namely the food animals, who have no voice and who do not want to be in the situation that they’re in, and who would do anything to get out of being imprisoned, I think are worth standing up for. Many people who also agree are getting involved. Decent people are awakening and understand that it’s not a personal choice when there are victims involved. Veganism is not some kind of badge of honor, or something to be proud of, it’s just a path to being a truer version of yourself, and then right thought and right action can flow from there. 

There are a lot of rumors out there that vegans often do not get enough nutrients or protein. Your opinion?

These notions are in the book of myths. First of all meat has very few nutrients and no phytonutrients. Meat has essentially five things: cholesterol, saturated fat, protein,   viruses, animal hormones, and endotoxins.  All of these are not in our best interest, and that’s putting it mildly.

Conversely, the 20,000 known phytochemicals in the plant world, many of which are well known to halt, reverse, and resolve chronic and catastrophic diseases, are the intended source of a human being’s nutrition. We should simply cut out the middleman and get our nutrition from the same place that the animals do: the plants. Any suggestion otherwise is just phony soy baloney !


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