Vegan Depression. - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-29-2010, 10:33 AM
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This might be just me. I actually sort of hope it is. But how does one overcome the sorrow and depression that comes from seeing the way so many people treat animals?



Everywhere I look I see people just not caring what creatures get hurt or die as a result of their actions. Then my whole life they've tried to make me feel like I'm wrong for not wanting to hurt animals. Even my family mocked and berated me when I was a kid for not wanting to eat me.



It's the horrible indifference that bothers me so much. I feel like I'm living in a world of monsters who just want to kill and torture every other species just because they can. And it makes me so sad all the time.





Maybe this isn't the right place to pose this question. If it's not I'm sorry, but I haven't yet found the right place. Maybe I am the only one who feels this way. That's fine. I was just wondering if there's really anything to be done or if I am in fact doomed to hate the world forever.
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#2 Old 04-29-2010, 10:38 AM
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This might be just me. I actually sort of hope it is. But how does one overcome the sorrow and depression that comes from seeing the way so many people treat animals?



I wish I could offer you advice, but since I suffer from bi-polar depression at times pretty much everything seems horrible.



But what I can offer is this - just take comfort in the fact that you are not contributing, and that there are others who aren't as well.
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#3 Old 04-29-2010, 11:13 AM
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You're not the only one I promise. Some days I can't even be around my family or friends when they are eating meat. I hate the fact that I feel so angry at these people, whom I am supposed to care about, but I can't help it. The best thing I can do is to remind myself that they were raised thinking what they are doing is right. That helps a little, but then I always remember that I was raised that way too. I don't think it's this hard for everyone, but I know it is for me. So, I try not to think about it too much, but that's hard too.

Sorry, I can't give much advice on getting rid of the depression, as I have this problem too. I'm just trying to take it all one day at time. I think the longer I've been a vegan the easier it does get though. Some days are harder than others, but I try to focus more on the positives than the negatives, like when a family member says they eat less meat when I'm around. Every little bit helps after all. I just have to hope that one day they'll realize that what they are doing is wrong.
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#4 Old 04-29-2010, 11:29 AM
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Sometimes a depressed person will fixate on a situation largely outside his or her control, and it can feel like that is the thing that is making the person depressed. But it isn't. Depression comes from inside, and if it weren't animal cruelty on the mind, it might be the war in Darfur, or the dead zones in the Chesapeake Bay, or the poverty rate in Appalachia. Anything but self and work and family, anything but the ways in which depression messes with us. That's kind of the difference between depression and sorrow. Depression is there no matter what is going on, whereas sorrow is being sorry about something specific and lifts when enough healing time has gone by, or when the person can establish some perspective to diminish the influence of the stressor in their own lives. If you haven't given antidepressants a try, and/or therapy with somebody you can really open up to, it can make a huge, positive difference. You shouldn't have to feel bad, no matter what other people eat or how they treat the animals in their lives. We can't control the actions of others, but we can be a more positive influence on others once we're feeling better ourselves.
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#5 Old 04-29-2010, 11:36 AM
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Then I'm sorrowful instead of depressed.
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#6 Old 04-29-2010, 11:37 AM
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You're not alone. I think we all have had these feelings. The thing that would send me into pits of depression was reading too much about the sad reality of the situation. It can seem like no one else knows or cares what is going on. That's not the truth though. You've found a whole community who cares and understands right here. Try to focus on the good you are doing. Know that even though someone might not say outwardly that they agree w/ what you are doing, they are noticing and your influence could enlighten so many others. I've seen this with my family. There have been so many news stories lately about healthy vegan diets and the horrible reality of factory farming. These stories are opening eyes. Things are changing for the better. Think about the number of animals that are being spared because you aren't supporting that industry, it IS all supply and demand and you didn't demand any. That is something to be very proud of!! As with any subject, there is the bright side and the other. You can choose to see the good that's being done. There is more work to do, we all know that. But, each of us touch so many others and can make a difference.



((hugs))
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#7 Old 04-29-2010, 12:00 PM
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After I become a mother my sorrow shifted towards all those atrocities against children. When I was younger (vegetarian ) I was extremely sensitive to any form of animal cruelty (I am still are of course!), was like I didn't have any defense against it (someone told me that people that are extremely sensitive, lack endorphines? ), anyway I would get so agitated and physically ill.

I needed to shield myself then and I have to shield myself now.

I agree you need to focus on what good u are doing, and it is OK to have knowledge but if too much is overwhelming, then just limit the amount of stuff you read on the subject, I don't watch news very often, I always end up feeling depress and powerless, just keep going knowing you are walking the talk.

Good luck to you, and I think this is a good place to vent.
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#8 Old 04-29-2010, 12:26 PM
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I guess that's what I have to do. That's pretty much what I do now. I order a lot of my food from places like vegan essentials so I don't have to go to the grocery store. But I do still have to go out sometimes and that's when it gets really bad.



I wish there were a better way. I wish people weren't so selfish and terrible all the time. But I guess for now all I can do is stay away.



And I really think I'm going to have to just cut off all contact with my family. They still try to make me feel bad for not eating meat. They still eat it right in front of me and make fun of me and worse for being vegan. And they still hunt. I don't know how I could have come from such cruel people. But I really think if I'm ever going to even come close to being happy I just can't have any of them in my life anymore.
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#9 Old 04-29-2010, 01:00 PM
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It helps to socialise with other people of similar convictions, so you've come to the right place here. Welcome to VB! Maybe if you're very lucky, there will even be other VBers in your area that you can meet up with. (Check out the Local Forums.)

I no longer post here after VB was sold in 2012. (See my profile page for details.)
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#10 Old 04-29-2010, 01:02 PM
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And all any doctors do is tell me to take antidepressants which, even if the pills themselves are vegan, which I doubt; are still manufactured by companies that test on animals all the time.



And even if I did take them all they'll make me do is not give a **** any more and then I'd be just like all the people who are making me feel bad. And I really don't want that.

You don't know how an antidepressant will affect you until you commit to taking it. What you described is definitely not everyone's experience. It can make the difference between having control of your emotions, and being carried away by them every time a strong feeling flares up. And if one doesn't relieve your symptoms, or has undue side effects, your MD can work with you to adjust the dosage or the type of antidepressant.



And all prescription drugs are tested on animals. It's a legal requirement to prove they are safe. You can avoid them all unless you're ever sick or injured, but at some point most people find they need to re-think that. Antidepressants sometimes make the difference between living and dying, like antibiotics and insulin.
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#11 Old 04-29-2010, 01:28 PM
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Please don't bring up antidepressants any more. I've removed that part from my original post. I just really don't want to get into that debate. Let's just leave it out from now on.
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#12 Old 04-29-2010, 01:30 PM
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You aren't alone, I have days where I find it overwhelming. Unfortunately you can only change yourself and not other people. Feel good about the changes you have made in your life and all the animals you've saved from a life of torture.



Remember our society is brainwashed into believing what is normal so although it certainly seems like people don't care, the majority of people are blind to the truth. Its not an excuse and no reason for eating meat but its also not as black and white as all that. I think if most people were forced to see the reality they would choose to no longer participate.
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#13 Old 04-29-2010, 02:35 PM
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Thank you, Phi. That actually does make me feel better. The idea that we are but limited forces acting as best we can gives me some peace.



My contempt and disdain for humanity is something I know I need to work on. It's just so hard sometimes to keep such feelings at bay.



I don't expect this world to change on my account. I just wish I had the option of leaving it for a different one.
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#14 Old 04-29-2010, 08:28 PM
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I guess that's what I have to do. That's pretty much what I do now. I order a lot of my food from places like vegan essentials so I don't have to go to the grocery store. But I do still have to go out sometimes and that's when it gets really bad.



I wish there were a better way. I wish people weren't so selfish and terrible all the time. But I guess for now all I can do is stay away.



And I really think I'm going to have to just cut off all contact with my family. They still try to make me feel bad for not eating meat. They still eat it right in front of me and make fun of me and worse for being vegan. And they still hunt. I don't know how I could have come from such cruel people. But I really think if I'm ever going to even come close to being happy I just can't have any of them in my life anymore.



Is your family actually being horrible to you about being a vegan or are they playfully giving you a hard time. There's a big difference. Lots of people joke w/ me about not eating meat if I got mad at all of them I would be very isolated and for what? I can't expect everyone to change their ways because I did. It was MY choice to change. By keeping the lines of communication open and being a great example of how happy and healthy I am, I will make the most impact on people, not by shutting them out and showing them that this is a sad and lonely way to live. Just something to think about.
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#15 Old 04-30-2010, 08:19 AM
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Is your family actually being horrible to you about being a vegan or are they playfully giving you a hard time. There's a big difference.



Now, since I'm out of the house and don't see them that much they aren't as bad. Now they just still bring meat into my house when they visit and they still try to talk to me about their damn hunting and bull riding no matter how many times I tell them I don't want to hear it.



But, when I was a kid and I didn't want to eat meat they practically forced it down my throat. And when I was a teenager they would yell at me and sometimes worse when I wouldn't eat the meat they made.



I really wish they were just brainwashed. I know some of them are. But I also know some of them just genuinely don't care about any living creature but themselves. And that just makes me ashamed to come from them.
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#16 Old 04-30-2010, 09:36 AM
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Now, since I'm out of the house and don't see them that much they aren't as bad. Now they just still bring meat into my house when they visit and they still try to talk to me about their damn hunting and bull riding no matter how many times I tell them I don't want to hear it.



But, when I was a kid and I didn't want to eat meat they practically forced it down my throat. And when I was a teenager they would yell at me and sometimes worse when I wouldn't eat the meat they made.



I really wish they were just brainwashed. I know some of them are. But I also know some of them just genuinely don't care about any living creature but themselves. And that just makes me ashamed to come from them.



aww, I'm sorry Vegamy, that stinks. I wasn't a veggie when I was a kid living home, so the food fights didn't come up. I didn't know any better. I do come from a family of hunters and we sling jabs back n forth, but it's all in fun. We know we are on opposite sides, but still love each other.



I guess the only thing you could do is not engage or walk away if they bring up subjects just to upset you. Many times here, this is just what they talk about because they have hunting in common with each other. I don't expect them to walk on eggshells around me, I'm a big girl. But, they certainly know, they'll be hearing my side if I'm actually in the conversation. I also talk to them on their own level. Obviously, they care nothing for the actual animals, but many of them do care about their health because they're older. That's where I get 'em. There are a million +1 reasons to not eat meat and I look for opportunities to present every last one of them in a nice way. I never get mad or fight about it, just tell them that I care about them and want them to be healthy and I do. I hope things work out so that you don't have to be alienated from your family, that would be sad. ((hugs))
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#17 Old 04-30-2010, 09:48 AM
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Life is suffering, just accept that...

For a forum full of hippies, this place sure does repress my freedom of speech.
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#18 Old 04-30-2010, 11:16 AM
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I just wanted to say that we can't choose the family we come from, but we can choose our "life family" friends, circle of people we hang with, blood links don't always work. You can find the comfort and warmth of a "family" in different places an or people, like here :-). Make sure you surround yourself with positive, energetic and supportive people, life is too short to waste it around negative folks, they will suck the life right out of you.

Hang in there kido xxxooo



Just my opinion as well.
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#19 Old 04-30-2010, 06:39 PM
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I feel like this too at times. I feel overwhelmed by what I see around me. I think about animal suffering, I'm upset by trash I see alongside the road. I'm sick of the people I have to interact with at work. I get tired of seeing meat in people's carts in the grocery store, seeing TV adds, radio adds.



If you are a compassionate person you are going to be more affected by the ills of the world. It's something you may have to learn to deal with. I try not to dwell on it but it comes up daily for me usually. I don't know any other vegans and I'm also older and don't possess that 'look' even if I am rather cool inside



Life isn't always about the great stuff. One still has to go out and live. I try to deal with what I see and not dwell on it too much. I try to ignore what I can. Remember you have no control over what another person does. Live you life as best you can. Make you own difference.
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#20 Old 05-01-2010, 06:23 PM
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Hey everyone, just a little update. I've been feeling a lot better the last few days. Thanks everyone for your support. It's always great to know others are out there for commiseration. And, admittedly, I've been drowning my sorrows in some So Delicious Minis.



Anyway, I've got this quote that I like to keep in mind that I thought I'd share with all of you. It always helps me, even if it is a little arrogant. But, really, what are we if we don't have our moral superiority.



"Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know." -- Ernest Hemingway
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#21 Old 05-02-2010, 12:01 AM
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I get the big D as well sometimes. Sadly, I think the easiest way of dealing with it is to emotionally detach yourself from the atrocious things people do with such callous disregard for others. I often find myself trying to separate or ignore the fact that others are meat eaters from who they are as individuals. I end up feeling terrible when I'm forced to confront the fact that they aren't veg*n, though. As a result I feel in myself a growing need to be around other vegetarians or vegans in real life.
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#22 Old 05-02-2010, 05:29 PM
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I think if most people were forced to see the reality they would choose to no longer participate.



That's just not true. Show 10 people Meet Your Meat or Earthlings or graphic descriptions of what happens to animals in agriculture, and it's very, very likely that not a single one of them will go vegan. That's just a fact, and you can confirm it for yourself if you doubt it. Information is important and we have to share it, but breaking through human greed and self-centeredness takes a lot more than information. I think people tell themselves that, "If others only knew, they would change" in order to feel better about humanity. It didn't work in Nazi Germany, and it didn't work for slavery - average person in Nazi Germany knew what was going on, average person in the slaveholding south was not an abolitionist and the cruelties of slavery were not hidden; and most went along with the status quo.

"If you want to know where you would have stood on slavery before the civil war, don't look at where you stand on slavery today, look at where you stand on animal rights." - Paul Watson.

 

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#23 Old 05-02-2010, 05:46 PM
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That's just not true. Show 10 people Meet Your Meat or Earthlings or graphic descriptions of what happens to animals in agriculture, and it's very, very likely that not a single one of them will go vegan.



Quite right! I bet if you read the china study to 10 people who were in danger of dying from heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc... it's very, very likely that not a single one of them will go vegan. For the "average person", they can't think of even a single day without meat or dairy. What's worse is that they don't care where it comes from.

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#24 Old 05-03-2010, 10:32 AM
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All that just makes me want to get away from humanity even more.
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#25 Old 05-03-2010, 02:54 PM
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No no, try to enjoy the beauty and also know that there are good very good people out there that risk their lives everyday to save others(humans or animals). Let's not focus on all what's bad, it might be hard but you need to focus on where u want to go and the things you like and believe not the other way around. Negative thinking is negative no matter what direction goes, we need be aware of our thoughts and contribuite with the positive ones. Just my opinion, and trust me I had my fair share of depression due to this world. Cheer up vegan is positive energy, or that is how I percieve it. <3
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#26 Old 05-03-2010, 03:46 PM
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Maybe I'm naive, but I sense a growing trend toward veganism. I can't help but be hopeful! There's so much good information out there, so many more vegan options in restaurants and grocery stores, and in great new cookbooks. It's a word that nearly everyone has finally heard, and people are becoming more and more aware of the cruelties of factory farming. Yes, I know they're often looking for "free-range" and "humanely raised" crapola, but those efforts may eventually lead a lot more people to a vegan way of thinking. I don't think we'll ever get to a vegan world, but I do think it's a much more accepted notion than it used to be.

It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities. ~A. Dumbledore
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#27 Old 05-09-2010, 11:02 AM
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That's just not true. Show 10 people Meet Your Meat or Earthlings or graphic descriptions of what happens to animals in agriculture, and it's very, very likely that not a single one of them will go vegan. That's just a fact, and you can confirm it for yourself if you doubt it. Information is important and we have to share it, but breaking through human greed and self-centeredness takes a lot more than information. I think people tell themselves that, "If others only knew, they would change" in order to feel better about humanity. It didn't work in Nazi Germany, and it didn't work for slavery - average person in Nazi Germany knew what was going on, average person in the slaveholding south was not an abolitionist and the cruelties of slavery were not hidden; and most went along with the status quo.



I think you're right unfortunately, I guess because my mindset has changed so much from when I was omni I have difficulty understanding how everyone in the same situation wouldn't do the same thing as me and go through the same changes mentally if you see what I mean? I guess it was such a profound moment for me when I realised but you're right not everyone would change or even care. I think because my husband is omni I always had this thought that if he watched earthlings he would instantly become veg*n but truthfully I don't think he would, maybe thats why I've never really pushed him to watch it
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#28 Old 05-09-2010, 11:24 AM
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I think you're right unfortunately, I guess because my mindset has changed so much from when I was omni I have difficulty understanding how everyone in the same situation wouldn't do the same thing as me and go through the same changes mentally if you see what I mean? I guess it was such a profound moment for me when I realised but you're right not everyone would change or even care. I think because my husband is omni I always had this thought that if he watched earthlings he would instantly become veg*n but truthfully I don't think he would, maybe thats why I've never really pushed him to watch it

I think a lot depends on the person's state of mind and timing. If I'm busy with my life trying to achieve a certain goal, or angry over something, generally stressed, or absolutely convinced that the most important and pressing problem in the world is stopping the government from stealing all my hard-earned money with new and creative taxes, then I'm less likely to be receptive to very radical and potentially life-altering ideas such as a new lifestyle to reduce the evils involved in producing the food on my plate. And it seems to me that most adults are in this category of non-receptive people for most of their lives. Only at certain rare times (mid-life crisis etc.) are they in a state of mind where they are willing to question ideas that they hold as fundamental truths.

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#29 Old 05-09-2010, 09:45 PM
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Vegamy, you're not alone. I've had these sorts of feelings since becoming vegan. They seem to get "worse" (i'd rather call them, "more intense") as the days go by. Some days I can stay in a positive mood and hope that my choices help save animal lives. Hoping that my choices, and when I have the guts to speak out to strangers/family/friends about veganism, will get them to make the switch the veganism (or at least try it), and save animal lives.



Sometimes though, I just look at everyone and frown. For example, today on the subway, I was on my way home from work and these three girls my age were wearing leather cowboy boots and leather jackets. They were all laughing and having a jovial time, but do they know the Indian cows that were used to make their garments and boots endured a gruesome death march and endless abuse on their way to being slaughtered to be made into said garments? Maybe they do, maybe they don't. If they did it's obvious they didn't care.



I try not to judge people but now that I know the truth (and taken the red pill- matrix reference ftw) there's no turning back. I can NEVER eat meat again. I know some vegans crumble under stress and other pressures, but it's impossible to go back after all that I've learned. It pains me to no end to see my fellow human beings, my species, be so ignorant and blind and show no compassion whatsoever to those other earthlings who share the planet with us.



I'm sorry for going off on a tangent vegamy, but I just have to say I feel the same way as you. I've even had some women interested in dating me and possibly engaging in intercourse. I only mention this because I show them zero interest and honestly don't even want to have intercourse with them, if you can even believe that. I'm not sure if that's a bad thing, to see my sexual libido drop since becoming vegan. I find nothing sexy about people who don't have compassion for animals. Yes, I did ask these women who are interested in me about their thoughts on veganism, none were positive.
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#30 Old 05-09-2010, 09:58 PM
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Quite right! I bet if you read the china study to 10 people who were in danger of dying from heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc... it's very, very likely that not a single one of them will go vegan. For the "average person", they can't think of even a single day without meat or dairy. What's worse is that they don't care where it comes from.



Draconian, The China Study. It blew my mind! Everyone should read it! But of course, nobody will Damn humanity! Ignorance is bliss, right?
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