Dealing with Veganism, Intolerant Peers, The Pain of being powerless.

SoulsBeforeGold

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Hi, I'm new to this forum so bare with me.
I'd just like some advice from other vegans on how to 'deal' with the world around us that is so dark and cruel to animals. I'm currently 22 and have been vegan for at least 4 years now and was vegetarian for about 5 years before that, I've always loved animals since I was a child, and the only reason I didn't go vegan sooner was because I had no idea how badly the food industry was mistreating and killing animals.. anyway, lately my depression has been worsening, I am surrounded by people telling me the cliché ''you can't force your opinions onto others, it's their choice to eat animals'' and ''there's no point going vegan, you can't change the world so just give up''.. I'm absolutely SICK of it, seeing adverts of people slowly cutting up animal corpses or animations of 'happy' cows for milk companies on t.v. just crushes my soul and it won't stop. The world is overflowing with blood and it never ends, being vegan is like being the only sane person in a huge building full of rapists and murderers and them telling you that you're the problem and you're in the wrong, majority wins.

If it wasn't for my unbreakable dedication to wanting to do everything I possibly can to save the innocent from mankind then I would've been dead a long time ago from all the heavy weight that comes with being vegan. I'm called a vegan extremist because I have no tolerance for people who justify eating animals even though eating dead murdered creatures should be illegal, I'm treated like dirt because I make people feel guilty by not eating animals and spreading the knowledge of what the industries are really doing behind closed doors.
I feel like I'm going mad, I don't know any vegans in person, the few I have met are too busy travelling the world, I'm at my end, please don't tell me that I'm over reacting because I've seen the horrors inside slaughter houses/fur farms and it makes you lose all faith in everything.

I need someone to tell me how to get through life being vegan in a non-vegan world, it's heartbreaking, crushing, and torturous.. but I always think, whatever sadness and pain I feel is incomparable to what the animals are going through in the food industry, so I never feel bad for myself. Everything builds up though, and I'm not sure what to do any more, I'm at a brick wall with a mob behind me and no where else to run.
Would it be easier to be completely emotionless? should I detach myself from everything? I care about animals too much to exist on this planet where killing them is the norm.. thanks to anyone in advance.
~Cent
 
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winter.frost

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Hello SoulsBeforeGold,

Firstly, it's wonderful that you are such a passionate and empathetic person. It's wonderful that you have a strong sense of injustice and a deep desire to do good.

But what is really tough for people like you, and I would count myself among them, is taking too much responsibility on and feeling a guilt that is - mostly - out of your control. When I was sixteen, for instance, I visited the Auschwitz camp - an experience that eventually led to my becoming vegan - and on my return the world seemed so hateful, indifferent, blind and continually prejudiced. I have no familial ties to Auschwitz but the shock of returning to a consumerist life, where my mother still made roast dinners from animal carcasses without a care for past horrors or continuing injustices, was an overwhelming feeling I could not control. It led to all kinds of anger and mental health issues. A little older, when I turned vegetarian and then vegan, I had learned better and was more adaptable.

The best advice I can give you is to seek constructive outlets for your anger. If you are hyper-aware of all the pain around you, it is admirable but also unhealthy and you do need to look out for yourself as well. This is not a selfish thing, and does not make you a failed human being or vegan. Simply find constructive means, such as an activist group? Also, since spending time with a cognitive behavioural therapist (I am talking about me here), you might consider 'worry time'...

In most Western cultures, we expend a good deal of effort trying to suppress anxiety since this is the socially acceptable thing to do. As a result of this very impulse, almost everyone experiences chronic low-level worry almost all of the time. 'Worry time' is the topsy-turvy approach of telling yourself 'OK, I'm not going to get anxious or angry right now - but I'll let it all out at XPM' and then assigning yourself a set time of day (or week, whatever you need) to really revel in your pain before returning to normality again. After a few weeks or turns of doing this, I realised that I was carrying so much extra emotion that simply wasn't necessary. I too have been very angry with the treatment of animals and - as you can see - I moderate an important vegan forum. I can tell you that getting emotionally upset a lot of the time would probably affect my ability to do this, and this is an important thing to do, let alone other areas of my life. Don't carry the weight of the world on your shoulders! Why not spend some time watch Eckhart Tolle videos on YouTube? His teachings might really help, there's also a video called 'the biggest missing piece Abraham Hicks' which might help you as it covers much of the topics you cover above (will post below).

The likelihood is, knowing human nature, not everyone will be able to overcome their own pain in order to obtain a balanced kind of happiness. The trick to this obstacle is injustice. We humans love to feel hard done by, about ourselves or anything else, and even though this is a pain and weight that we carry we don't like to let go of it. This cycle will always lead to new violence, so even us vegans must reconcile ourselves to the fact that human nature determines that the world will most likely never be a fully peaceful place. But there is good within it and we can contribute to it, nurture it, and find hope and life there. Extremism is dangerous in any variety because it is so unbalanced and you are not going to do a whole ton of good if you, yourself, the crusader you are trying to be, are in so much pain. Even Gary Yourofsky has taken a break because he was finding that the constant emotional exposure was affecting his ability to make a difference. It can also limit one's experience, and for as long as you feel just so extreme about worldly injustices you might be missing out on so many good and wholesome social or cultural experience which might not - indeed - involve vegans at all.

You need constructive pain, and constructive outlets. You are self-imploding with all the moral pressure you are placing yourself under and I really, really feel for you. Lots of people have been there. But I can tell by the way you have expressed yourself, your articulation, that there is so much to you as well. You can have both. I agree it would be wonderful if you knew more like-minded people (see here), but the very attitude that causes you to disregard so many people - largely - because they are not vegan is not too different a mindset from other superior justifications we human beings have created that led to other sufferings. Everyone is on a journey, and - simply - some people have not been raised in environments that would cause them to think critically, be inquisitive, and receptive to angry vegans saying 'but you don't need to cause so much suffering'. I can tell you that, over the years, I have probably helped tens and tens (if not hundreds) of people to veganism and my openness and frankness eventually led me to work on this site and in other places too.

If you would like to keep talking to me by PM feel free to send me a message. I really hope you will allow yourself to see beauty in the world as well, and just know that it's not an inauthentic experience to feel the way you do and appreciate that. You are a good person, so stay with us. Bear with your own species - just like you wouldn't yell at a misbehaving dog, imagine what veganism could really mean if we could better extend our love to our fellow man as well? :heart:

 
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SoulsBeforeGold

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Thank you so much for your reply! you have no idea how much I appreciate your time and kindness! yes I would be very grateful if I could PM you, I will leave you a message and hopefully with your advice I can turn my life around and change my view on the world, hopefully allowing me to help animals more.
And I've just watch the whole video and I have been able to take something from it, but a lot of it was a little confusing, it made some sense to me though so thank you for that.
 
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winter.frost

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I've just watch the whole video and I have been able to take something from it, but a lot of it was a little confusing, it made some sense to me though so thank you for that.

Yes there's a decent amount of Abraham/Esther Hicks' own terminology in there. The point of including it was the guest who spoke about all the suffering he was feeling and if you listen really carefully to Abraham/Esther's response she basically talks about what I have mentioned (though she takes twenty minutes!).
 
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SoulsBeforeGold

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Yeah I can't believe that one man took on the pain of 6 million jews! it sounds insane hearing it from someone else, but then I think.. I'm certain at least 99% of those jews ate animals.. so even in that situation the animals are still the victims, in every situation you think about regarding humans being victims.. well humans eat and kill animals so the animals will always be the more victimised than even humans in the harshest conditions (except if they're vegan.) It's all so hard to get my head around.. I've left you a PM to talk about this more if that's ok? :)
 
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winter.frost

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I'm certain at least 99% of those jews ate animals.. so even in that situation the animals are still the victims, in every situation you think about regarding humans being victims.. well humans eat and kill animals so the animals will always be the more victimised than even humans in the harshest conditions

This is extreme and dangerous thinking. Let me tell you something I learned about Birkenau. I learned that, as Auschwitz expanded, as the war went on, it became overcrowded. The solution the Nazi's came up with was to convert the Birkenau stables - each built to fit 40 horses. All they did was take out the horses, build a wooden level, leaving the straw, and the same buildings for 40 horses were then repurposed to fit more than 200 holocaust victims. So, to the Nazis, a horse was more than 5 times more valuable to them. If you do any amount of research there is no way we can say 'I'm sure it was awful, but they still ate animals' (my paraphrase). This is before the word 'vegan' was even coined, without any significant level of public awareness. It comes down to horrific cruelty and suffering and, like I said, being truly vegan is also about being compassionate for one's own species as with everything else - something vegans forget from time to time. Knowing what I do about the practises of Birkenau, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - to suggest that humans were not truly, hurrendously, tortured and exploited. For the time we are discussing, 1939-45, slaughter houses were not what they are today. Indeed many modern animal industry practices actually used the Auschwitz model. At the time the holocaust was occurring, animals - even in the slaughter houses - would have had a better quality of life and that is saying something very, very significant. I do not want to go into further details here on this site.

It is also worth knowing that Israel has the highest population percentage of vegans than any other country in the world - 11% is vegan, and that number is still growing. Preciously because survivors who were able to smell the ashes from the furnaces as they worked made the connection and spoke about it. Israel keeps making the connection.

http://www.jewishjournal.com/los_angeles/article/comparing_animal_rights_and_the_holocaust
http://www.jewishveg.com/more-reading-and-resources-jewish-veganism
http://www.vrg.org/blog/2015/05/28/...-warsaw-ghetto-to-the-animal-rights-movement/
 
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bellaunicorno

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This is extreme and dangerous thinking. Let me tell you something I learned about Birkenau. I learned that, as Auschwitz expanded, as the war went on, it became overcrowded. The solution the Nazi's came up with was to convert the Birkenau stables - each built to fit 40 horses. All they did was take out the horses, build a wooden level, leaving the straw, and the same buildings for 40 horses were then repurposed to fit more than 200 holocaust victims. So, to the Nazis, a horse was more than 5 times more valuable to them. If you do any amount of research there is no way we can say 'I'm sure it was awful, but they still ate animals' (my paraphrase). This is before the word 'vegan' was even coined, without any significant level of public awareness. It comes down to horrific cruelty and suffering and, like I said, being truly vegan is also about being compassionate for one's own species as with everything else - something vegans forget from time to time. Knowing what I do about the practises of Birkenau, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - to suggest that humans were not truly, hurrendously, tortured and exploited. For the time we are discussing, in the 1939-45, slaughter houses were not what they are today. Indeed many modern animal industry practices actually used the Auschwitz model. At the time the holocaust was occurring, animals - even in the slaughter houses - would have had a better quality of life and that is saying something very, very significant. I do not want to go into further details here on this site.

It is also worth knowing that Israel has the highest population percentage of vegans than any other country in the world - 11% is vegan, and that number is still growing. Preciously because survivors who were able to smell the ashes from the furnaces as they worked made the connection and spoke about it. Israel keeps making the connection.

http://www.jewishjournal.com/los_angeles/article/comparing_animal_rights_and_the_holocaust
http://www.jewishveg.com/more-reading-and-resources-jewish-veganism
http://www.vrg.org/blog/2015/05/28/...-warsaw-ghetto-to-the-animal-rights-movement/

I myself have seen the horrors of Auschwitz and recently watched a speech by Gary Yourofsky who compared what the animals are experiencing now as a holocaust and i agree! I think that being vegan has taught me to be more compassionate, not just to animals but also my fellow human! I honestly believe what you put out into the world matters, positive thoughts make a difference!
 
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