I'm having a hard time emotionally and need advice. - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-27-2014, 08:02 AM
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Unhappy I'm having a hard time emotionally and need advice.

Hi everyone,

I've been vegetarian for about 6 months now and everything is fine, no problems whatsoever.

However, recently I've learned more about factory farming and saw the Glass Walls video by Paul McCartney. Since then I can't get the images and screams out of my head.. I cry all the time.. I feel so powerless and sad and alone.. I'm thinking of becoming vegan but even then I just feel like it won't make a difference, no one seems to care..

I don't know how to get over it. It's starting to really affect my emotional health, I can't be thinking about screaming pigs all day I need to be able to lead a normal and healthy life. How do you do it? How do I stop being so sensitive? I can't take all this crying.. I can't be this sensitive.. I'm just so discouraged and upset with the world we live in.

I'm thinking of going to therapy because it's starting to negatively impact my life but I want to try to overcome this on my own first.

Please, if you've been through this, share with me some of your advice because I'm losing it over here..

Thank you
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#2 Old 08-27-2014, 08:34 AM
 
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Take a deep breath. I'm extremely sensitive as well. Initially when I first saw videos like that I didn't cry, but I was extremely sick to my stomach. But now that has changed, anytime I see any video like that I either can't watch it or I have to look away from the screen because I know I will start crying. When it comes to animals I'm extremely emotional and some people may think it's ridiculous how emotional I get about animals (my father for example may think I'm ridiculous). I can't help it. I'm a really emotional and sensitive person, and when there is something that I am extremely caring and passionate about, I'm probably 5x worse emotionally. For example, when I see something (whether it be an article, a news article, or just a discussion) about animal abuse, I cry to the point where I don't have any tears left. One time I saw something about an animal that was abused and I couldn't stop thinking about it for months and every time I thought about it I'd cry until I couldn't cry anymore. It wasn't helping that I was constantly thinking about it, but the emotions that I felt were inevitable and I had to cry. I eventually stopped thinking about it, but I'm sure if I see anything to that degree again I will lose all composure.

I know this may not be to the same extent and the same overall, but I'm just trying to say that it's okay and unfortunately it's just harder for some people to stop thinking about things. Vague, but think about the things that you are doing now. Think about the things you can do to help those animals (or in this case, pigs). It is okay, and it will be okay. It's hard for me to forget things, and that's another reason why I have only watched one of those videos because I will not be able to stop thinking about it. I'm sorry if I didn't give you a lot of advice, but I hope I gave you some relief.
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#3 Old 08-27-2014, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Kassandra Reinhardt View Post
Hi everyone,

I've been vegetarian for about 6 months now and everything is fine, no problems whatsoever.

However, recently I've learned more about factory farming and saw the Glass Walls video by Paul McCartney. Since then I can't get the images and screams out of my head.. I cry all the time.. I feel so powerless and sad and alone.. I'm thinking of becoming vegan but even then I just feel like it won't make a difference, no one seems to care..

I don't know how to get over it. It's starting to really affect my emotional health, I can't be thinking about screaming pigs all day I need to be able to lead a normal and healthy life. How do you do it? How do I stop being so sensitive? I can't take all this crying.. I can't be this sensitive.. I'm just so discouraged and upset with the world we live in.

I'm thinking of going to therapy because it's starting to negatively impact my life but I want to try to overcome this on my own first.

Please, if you've been through this, share with me some of your advice because I'm losing it over here..

Thank you
I've been vegetarian for, I don't know, 18 years of my life and vegan for um almost two years and I didn't even get into it for animal rights at first BUT every once in a while I'll see a movie, book or site that shows animals stuck in the food industry and it's EXTREMELY upsetting. It can be very hard to get certain images out of your head, but I think this is normal, especially if you're a caring person.

I do think that it helps to focus on the positive. Though you're feeling discouraged you ARE making an impact for many animals. It's tough to know that other people don't care and will eat animals, but other people aren't your job. You control you and your own decisions, and right now you're making choices that are supportive of your choices. You should feel good about that. Lots of people see those videos and just continue to eat meat.

Can you tell me some positive aspects of you going vegetarian?
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#4 Old 08-27-2014, 11:25 AM
 
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Yeah you gotta try and think of the positives. Unfortunately all the negative things have been happening for a while and will continue for who knows how long. But at the end of the day your choices are adding to end those things that are haunting you.

Every year you don't consume animal products your sparing hundreds of animals. Your polluting less. And your health is improving.

Exercise is my favorite way of dealing with stress.

What are you grateful for?
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#5 Old 08-27-2014, 11:59 AM
 
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I watched a Earthlings today and I totally feel your pain. I've been considering going vegan for a few weeks now and that video has made me seriously consider altering my lifestyle more. I suggest you don't watch it, being in your state of mind at the moment .

And I agree- pigs were the main concern of mine before I even became veggie. They are beautiful, extremely intelligent, clean animals who are treated probably worse than most other animal reared for meat. I used to by "spoiltpig" branded bacon, and felt less guilty doing so, however I still couldn't justify it and actually cut out pork before I became veggie.

I know you feel helpless because just because a select few people out of a huge population are not adding to the suffering of the animals, it is still going on every day, and it makes me sick to think of it too. But you have to just think about the good that you yourself are doing. Think of how many kilos of meat a year you would be eating if you weren't vegetarian, and think about how that reduction may mean that one pig a year or one cow or 10 chickens a year hasn't been in demand by the meat industry BECAUSE OF YOU.

You can't change the world- there are people, animals, ecosystems suffering all the time and nothing you can do will eliminate it. But you can think about how much suffering YOU are putting into the world. And you can feel good knowing that you are doing what you can to prevent it.

Chin up, you are making a difference, however tiny that difference is, you can sleep well at night knowing you are putting good and love into a world that has so much pain. And think about all the good that everyone here collectively is putting in. I'm assuming there are a lot of people on this site- think what impact that has on the meat industry.


Jen x
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#6 Old 08-27-2014, 12:16 PM
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To begin with, stop watching any of those videos and avoid reading about the atrocities being committed against animals. You have already done the most positive thing a single person can do. You may never get those pictures out of your head but for god's sake don't add any more to your brain.
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#7 Old 08-27-2014, 12:26 PM
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When I first got into this lifestyle, I was online doing research about it. I became obsessed with digging deeper and deeper into the factory farm cruelty. Then I made a pinterest board for animal liberation, and was constantly pinning things about animal rights and the such... I was basically making myself sick. I would cry and my stomach would be turning, but I kept going..because it was something new to me and I WANTED to know the ugly truth.

Well, I work in a deli, so the next day I could hardly handle it. Working with the bloody roast beef: all I saw was the cows hung up.. packaging up the ribs: all I saw was the pigs spinning on that contraption that takes off their hair.

Since thinking of all the cruelty I saw was beginning to get in the way of my every day life, I then knew to take a break from it. And I did. For about two weeks. Then I started to feel better.. You have to keep in mind what and how much you can handle. I was immersing myself in all the cruelty, and it was too much negative for me to handle.. now when I poke around on pintrest or youtube, I do just a little at a time.
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#8 Old 08-27-2014, 01:45 PM
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To begin with, stop watching any of those videos and avoid reading about the atrocities being committed against animals. You have already done the most positive thing a single person can do. You may never get those pictures out of your head but for god's sake don't add any more to your brain.
I agree. I've even taken to unfollowing some of my activist friends on FB when I just feel as though I can't look at another heartbreaking image.

So give yourself a rest from animal videos for a while. Watch a comedy, listen to music, get immersed in a good book. Take a break.

At some point you might choose to watch animal videos again, but if you don't - it's ok. But accept that your life has been changed. You cannot continue to eat, wear, use things you used to now that you've seen what those products really cost. So try to have some fun with this new, cruelty free lifestyle. And maybe down the road, you'll join a protest or forward a video suggestion that changes someone else's life too and that will be great!

It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities. ~A. Dumbledore
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#9 Old 08-27-2014, 05:52 PM
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Thanks everyone, this has really helped. I think I need to limit my exposure to cruelty and not look at those pictures or videos anymore. I've also contacted a fantastic no kill rescue farm for volunteering opportunities. They house over 250 animals rescued from abuse. I think if I can be a little more involved in animal rights I will feel better. Thank you all so much for your support! I'm glad to know I'm not alone in feeling this way. It just seems that I'm the only one in my circle of friends who feels this strongly.

Thanks again!
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#10 Old 08-27-2014, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Kassandra Reinhardt View Post
Thanks everyone, this has really helped. I think I need to limit my exposure to cruelty and not look at those pictures or videos anymore. I've also contacted a fantastic no kill rescue farm for volunteering opportunities. They house over 250 animals rescued from abuse. I think if I can be a little more involved in animal rights I will feel better. Thank you all so much for your support! I'm glad to know I'm not alone in feeling this way. It just seems that I'm the only one in my circle of friends who feels this strongly.

Thanks again!
First, great that you're going to do some volunteering!

Second, don't rule out the possibility of talking to a professional if you really feel the need to. The feeling of horror can pass for a lot of us, but if it's sticking with you, there's no shame in talking to someone about that.

Third, I'm so glad you're not looking at the animal cruelty stuff anymore. It's hard to look away once you start, but it's really for the best. I only look at something if I really, really feel it's necessary. Most of the time the written description is enough.

Fourth, I'm the only person I know (other than my partner) who's a vegetarian. No one else in our family or friends gets it. But it gets easier and JUST by being a vegan/vegetarian you're showing your friends and family it can be done. Take it slow when discussing things (But You Kill Ants is a great book to answer questions that will be thrown at you :P). And even if no one ever changes around you, that's not your problem. That's their decision. I find making one or two REALLY yummy foods to bring to events usually makes everyone a little more open to it though

Good luck and good on you for making the difference!
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#11 Old 09-01-2014, 08:51 PM
 
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To add to what others have said, sometimes by setting a quiet example, you can be impacting others even though you don't even know it.

Last summer, before I became vegetarian (though I had already sharply reduced animal products for health reasons after reading ETL and the China Study), I had an opportunity to hang out with/ go out to eat with 2 vegetarian (and one pescitarian) girls for a weekend for a pre-wedding party. That was the first time I had ever met or socialized with "real" vegetarians. There was another girl there too, at a different table who was a from-birth vegan. Over the last year and especially the last couple months, I have thought about them lots of times, and how they were kind and normal and healthy looking, and how they didn't make me feel bad for being a "partial vegetarian", but thought it was cool that I was cutting back and how they wanted to look at my cookbooks and talk about recipes and cooking. I have thought, they would be proud if they could know how I have finally become vegetarian and that they played a part by just setting that example.

So, it may help you to remember that people are always watching and even if it doesn't seem like it, you could be helping others cut back or quit just by being around and being you, in addition to all the good you're doing personally
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#12 Old 09-01-2014, 09:15 PM
 
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I must admit, what you've written and some of the responses are sort of triggers for me, so I barely even skimmed everything before writing this--my apologies if what I'm about to say is redundant.

I have your exact problem, and have had it off and on for many years. At one point, I was worried I could allow myself to slip into a clinical depression if I didn't actively do something to lift myself up. The only thing that works for me is to just FORCE myself not to think too deeply about these issues when I feel myself being overtaken by them. It feels both selfish and incredibly important at the same time. Selfish because if I can't bear to THINK about it, what does that mean for the animals, and for the cause? Incredibly important because I know I will be rendered incapable of actually helping the cause if I get depressed. It's a terrible situation to be in, but it's important to protect oneself in order to be fit to support and further our mission.

I'm sorry if this is very unhelpful. It's all I know to do to help myself when I feel myself getting overwhelmed and horribly upset. By the way, NEVER try to suppress your sensitivity. It's extremely valuable, and you just need to channel it to be productive.
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#13 Old 11-03-2014, 07:27 PM
 
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Wow, I do admire your passion and sincerity. It can be very tough when you are so passionate. Have you tried reading the 7 Habits of Successful People by William Covey. Can be life changing. I have a read it a few times. There is a module in the book explains your circle of influence and events that you cannot control. Think it can be helpful in your case. There are ways to make a difference, but it does take time. For now just relax, put together a plan of how you can help the situation, and follow it. The action you take should help lower the anxiety and nervousness. Hope this helps.
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#14 Old 11-06-2014, 09:33 AM
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Just want to say I empathise. If I hear or watch anything about an animal being abused I can't get it out of my head. There have been news stories from years ago that I still think about now. I've taken to avoiding everything I can for my own emotional health. I do think it's important to take steps to protect yourself. It's a tough world for those of us who are really sensitive and avoiding images and videos of abuse isn't denial, it's a way to safeguard ourselves until we feel strong enough to cope with them. It sounds like you need to feel you're doing something to help, so volunteering is a wonderful idea.
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