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Jan 17, 2022
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Chandler AZ
  1. Vegan
Hi all! I am hoping to connect here and find some people going through similar experiences/feelings. Maybe looking for some sort of consolation or just a (virtual) shoulder to cry on. I have been vegan about 1.5 years, and vegetarian for 7 years before that. I feel like I have been on this vegan journey in so many more ways than just a diet/lifestyle choice and more of a deep spirituality/belief. And after a year+ it has yet to get easy. I don't mean giving up the food, I was lucky enough that that part was a breeze for me. I gave up cheese in a day when I FINALLY learned the horrors of the dairy industry. Then I was filled with anger and guilt that it took me so long to know. Guilt for not doing it sooner, for the baby cows I effected while still eating dairy products. I am filled with sadness for humanity and the loss of respect for other beings/life, and a deep sorrow for the poor innocents souls taken by the millions each day at the hands of humans. Terrified/alone/treated like actual trash.... I cant even fathom it. I often try to think about each and every individual, I know it is impossible and I am not sure why, maybe to honor them, a memorial. Maybe wishing I could tell them they were loved, they mattered and there were some of us who truly cared. I just feel like every single day my heart breaks, shatters. Maybe I cry too much. I question if I am weak a lot of days. How can others go on without a thought on this, and I am unable to let it go, tears streaming down my face at least once a day. I am so very proud to be vegan, and I will never go back. But I have to say it has been an extremely isolating experience filled with so much sadness and depression at the reality of the world, at others unwillingness to accept/admit it, even those closest to me. I feel like some of my closest relationships have taken a hit as I chose veganism. To me, it is an ideology that seems sooooo simple and so right and so morally correct and yet it feels like nearly everyone has an issue with it. I try to hold to my vegan pages with like-minded people but it's very hard to tunnel vision out all the bad sometimes. It has been mind blowing to me, and I think beyond anything the reality of it all is still what gets to me most, and it is utterly heartbreaking. Will I ever be able to handle the feelings better? I feel it deep in my heart every single day. It feels so unfair and helpless. And yet every time I think or speak of my heartbreak, I remind myself that it is not even close to what so many innocents animals face every second. I know it is a dream to think the world will ever be a vegan one with kindness to all, from ALL, but how are we supposed to cope and be happy and thrive as a vegan in a non-vegan, very violent and cruel world. I can't help but feel overwhelmed by all the bad, all the truly evil. I feel so lost sometimes, while at the same time feeling as if I have found my purpose; a way of life I am proud to live. I guess I am looking for advice or shared experiences on how to cope with all the sadness, helplessness, cruelty, loneliness, etc... the deeper thoughts on a spiritual level. What truly matters during our short, short lives. I wish I could save them all, and I always feel like I am not doing enough :-(
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Actually I never did go thru any of that but...
I was very lucky. when I first became vegan, podcasts were first getting popular and I was driving in my car a lot.

I lucked out and discovered Colleen's Patrick Goudreau's podcast, Food For Thought, right away. I would listen to one of her podcasts each week. A lot of her episodes are just tips and tricks of navigating being vegan but she also get into the philosophy and psychology, too. I started at the beginning and worked my way towards the present. I think that might be the best way.

then that led me to her book, The Joyful Vegan. You NEED to read The Joyful Vegan.

The stuff I learned from her saved me from going thru the stuff you are going thru.

You probably should also put Dr Melanie Joy on your reading list too. she is great about giving us ways on how to deal with life and friends.
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:welcome: I have no advice but I agree with the others. You will find a lot of helpful advice here on the forum!
welcome to the forum

I am not qualified to give you advice, I will give you my opinion.

The angst that you are choosing to experience can just as easily be felt for all the humans on this earth that are suffering and also for mother earth herself. You can choose angst or you can choose joy, I choose joy and try to be a light as I think it is possible that we chose our paths and it is what we make of them that matters. You are doing a wonderful thing by being vegan and being a shining light in that regard, hopefully you will also be able to choose to be joyful and that will attract others to you and your lifestyle. You are only responsible for your behaviour and attitudes and you can lead by example or you can hide away and cry.... I do sympathize and am very empathetic too and so have to make sure that I choose joy - I remember a holiday in Cuba years ago where I finally had to not leave the resort as the sadness and hopelessness that I felt was overwhelming and I had gone prepared with gifts....

something I learned from many gurus over the years - picture a space around yourself (about 5 feet out either side, front and back)(aka merkaba) and fill that space with love and joy and kindness and then where ever you go you will pass on that love and joy to others that pass within the sphere - when I am driving I look at other drivers and send them peace and joy and when I see animals I do the same - if I see an accident at the side of the road I send those people peace and the ability to deal with it and am thankful for my safe arrival - gratitude!! that is so much better than sorrow, be grateful for your vegan choices and grateful for the opportunity to save even one animal's life at a time...

You have been given great suggestions from @Lou and @silva and hope you are able to work your way through this with joy.

Emma JC
Find your vegan soulmate or just a friend.
welcome to the forum
I remember a holiday in Cuba years ago where I finally had to not leave the resort as the sadness and hopelessness that I felt was overwhelming and I had gone prepared with gifts....
Canadians can vacation in Cuba?