Tired of trying - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-25-2006, 08:45 PM
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I've been a vegetarian for over a year now. "No dead animal products," I told myself, and I mostly succeeded.



But I feel so tired of trying. I'm frustrated with myself for not doing enough to help animals. I feel guilty for wanting to adopt a cat. I feel guilty for allowing others (like my husband) to make their own choices about eating animals. I wish I was more involved with politics. I want to cry when I think about all the aborted babies, and my support of a society that makes abortion necessary. I feel like a horrible person, basically. And everyone who doesn't worry about these things seems so happy.



Worse, the more changes I make, the more everyone seems to judge me. I gave up meat and thought it would make me feel better. Instead I get flak from omnis for being 'weird' (though my husband, friends and family are wonderfully supportive) and flak from stricter veg*ns for not doing enough. I know that I'll be judged no matter what I do, that I can't give in because it won't make things easier -- I'll just invite a different kind of judgement. But I'm tired.



I know doing a little bit is better than doing nothing at all. What do you do when you realize you can't change the world, and you just want to give up?
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#2 Old 01-25-2006, 09:04 PM
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One thing that would make a big difference is not bearing responsibility for the actions of other people. Every person is their own moral agent, and it is neither your right nor your obligation to "allow" someone to make their own personal choices.



I say this in this most constructive way possible -- it would definitely take away a big burden. Good luck. And remember... every little bit DOES help!
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#3 Old 01-26-2006, 07:46 AM
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The biggest influence you can make on the world is living in a way that represents and honors your beliefs. That's not easy and most people don't even THINK about how they are living. The fact that you put so much thought into your life and it's consequences IS a contribution. I'm sure that the people who know you have thought about some of their actions because they see the way you live. They might not say that outloud, but I'm sure it's true. It takes some people a very long time to change their thinking and actions.



And from reading your post, it seems to me that you are ready to channel some of that energy into something more. Maybe start by making a donation to an animal shelter. Money is good, but I know they also can use things like old towels and volunteers to help care for the animals. I think you're ready for making a step into something more active.



But remember we can't change the whole world. Do what you can and live honestly, and realize that alone is the most powerful thing you can do.
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#4 Old 01-26-2006, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Medesha View Post


...I know doing a little bit is better than doing nothing at all. What do you do when you realize you can't change the world, and you just want to give up?



You said it, "I know doing a little bit is better than doing nothing at all"

As someone famous once said, "If your not looking for an answer you're part of the problem."

Just by being here sounds like ya lookin to me.

Every little helps, just one fish...
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#5 Old 01-26-2006, 08:17 AM
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I have felt this way on occasion, but am now trying to do something about it. Yes, it's terribly frustrating that others "get" to live their lives showing great irresponsibility to animals, the environment and other people, seemingly without consequence, but you should focus on yourself and the good you're doing, and can do additionally.



Find somewhere to volunteer, a place that will nourish your soul and help you to feel like you're making a difference. Consider it a journey, where you're always looking for more things you can do to make the world a better place. Just living by example will ensure that others around you at least have a prick at their consciousness and may make them think about their actions more than if they did not know you.



Also, why does it make you feel guilty that you want to adopt a cat? I take great joy in adopting cats and giving them a good home.
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#6 Old 01-26-2006, 08:23 AM
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As others have been saying, any change in the right direction is helpful, for the animals and for your own health. This is so important to remember. There's only so much we can do as individuals and it is not helpful to anyone to hurt yourself, through guilt, if you can't become some paragon of perfect behavior.
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#7 Old 01-26-2006, 01:03 PM
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Meatless: I feel guilty for wanting to own a cat because it perpetrates the mindset that it's o.k. to use animals for our own pleasure, even if we treat them nicely. I haven't reconciled my feelings on that subject yet...



Thanks for all the support, everyone. I am feeling a little better. Maybe I am ready for the next step; I'm thinking of cutting out whole eggs, milk and cheese from my diet (except possibly at restaurants and my mom's house). Baby steps and all that. Volunteering is another good idea. I recently moved and had to leave my old volunteer position behind; maybe I miss that more than I realized.
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#8 Old 01-26-2006, 01:14 PM
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I love having my cats around, sure, but that's not why I adopted them.



What drives me is that I am offering them a chance at a good life that otherwise it's unlikely they will have. I feel guilty that I can't adopt MORE cats, and I feel sick thinking of all the ones I can't help.
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#9 Old 01-26-2006, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by meatless View Post

I love having my cats around, sure, but that's not why I adopted them.



What drives me is that I am offering them a chance at a good life that otherwise it's unlikely they will have. I feel guilty that I can't adopt MORE cats, and I feel sick thinking of all the ones I can't help.



Same here.

*this space not for sale*
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#10 Old 01-26-2006, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Medesha View Post

What do you do when you realize you can't change the world, and you just want to give up?



You are changing the world just by being willing to stand up for what you believe in.



Regarding cats, the life of a typical house cat with a loving, competent owner (OK, I know, cats aren't owned...) is pretty cushy. Anyone care to house me, feed me, give me unlimited love and affection, and let me do pretty much whatever I want whenever I want? Didn't think so...cats have it good
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#11 Old 01-26-2006, 07:07 PM
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How long have you felt this way? When I first read your post, I thought "is this person depressed, perhaps" ? Not clinically, but perhaps the weather is getting you down? Or maybe it is seasonal or temporary and you can shake it off by getting more sunlight? Or exercise? You say you have just moved; are you having a hard time adjusting ?

If you feel really down for more than a couple of weeks straight, you might want to consider talking it over with a health practitioner whom you trust. Depression has a way of sneaking up on you, and before you know it, you forget what it felt like to feel good, and crappy becomes the "new normal". The solution for mild depression doesn't have to be drastic: it may be as simple as more exercise, stress reduction techniques, a slight change in diet to include certain minerals.. Or it could be a thyroid or other medical problem, or a vitamin deficiency, with depression as a symptom.

Better to get it checked out, and nip it in the bud to avoid more serious problems. In the meantime, try to relax and don't be so hard on yourself! Your vegetarianism probably has a much more positive impact on those around you than you realize!



And pets are a great way to reduce stress! Think of it as an exchange of services: you provide love, room and board, sanitation and security services, and your cat puts holes in your mosquito screening, wakes you up in the morning for his/her breakfast, and sheds copiously! And I never met a cat who did not do exactly what he/she wanted, given the freedom to do so. So if they rub up against you, expecting to be petted, trust me, that's exactly what they want you to do! In their minds, we exist for their entertainment, not the other way around!

Take care
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#12 Old 01-27-2006, 11:11 AM
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Medesha, it IS frustrating when you don't seem to be making any progress getting people to come around to a different way of thinking. I sometimes worry about how I come across to people because I want to reflect positively on any cause I want to support.



But several people here have already pointed out that you're really not accountable for what anyone else does. Please know that your choices do make a difference- even if it may not appear that way to you.



About other people going along with destructive lifestyle practices and appearing not to have any regrets about it... someone on another website has this signature: "Every snowflake in an avalanche says, 'Not Guilty'. " Whether or not you're 100% vegan, or even 100% vegetarian, you're definitely not a part of that avalanche anymore.



When I find myself being too self-critical, I remind myself that if I care about animals and humans (both born and unborn), I should maybe cut myself some slack too.

Peasant (1963-1972) and Fluffy (1970s?-1982- I think of you as 'Ambrose' now)- Your spirits outshone some humans I have known. Be happy forever.
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#13 Old 01-27-2006, 11:25 AM
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Sometimes we inspire people by not what we say but how we live OUR lives.
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