Originally Posted by Aussyj
Struggling with beliefs is not an easy thing  I have survived the tough times, however - but Veganism continues to wage a war inside my head. 
I am Vegan because my boycott of meat - no matter how small - helps better a process that I view wrong  I am Vegan because it is what I feel right doing.
 I may not parade around yelling to everyone that I see that I am Vegan, but it is nice to be able to use one word to describe so much. The bottom line is that I may have my doubts, but I know where I draw my lines. Unless I could physically go out and kill an animal myself for food, I will not eat it, and as it stands today I am unable to harm Chickens, Cows, Pigs, and any other animal that you can think up.
Whenever I become confused, I shall now simply ask myself: Can you go out and kill that chicken? Until the day comes when yes is the answer, I will remain Vegan.
Great post. This and Seusomons response also made me think of this article I found some time ago on how to hang in there for the long haul by Don Irish.
Its meant as advice for young people involved in peace/social activism in general, not veg*nism in particular. The author makes some very interesting points though that can easily be applied to veg*nism/AR (which also can be seen as one form of peace activism, I think).
1.\tRecognize that those who plant trees may not live to enjoy the fruit. Others have preceded us; we can likewise serve those yet to come. Always take the long look, not expecting quick results.
2.\tEverybody/everything is connected to everybody/everything. A holistic approach to life is more effective, comprehensible, and satisfying.
3.\tYou can't do everything - but you always can do something. To focus on effectiveness may often result in ineffectiveness. Do what you can, where you are, with what energies and talents you have, given other significant obligations.
4.\tRemember that the world does not depend upon you alone for needed changes. That's a burden lifted from your shoulders! Avoid burn-out: find respites from continual, unceasing pressures. Life is to be lived!
Originally Posted by Aussyj
Struggling with beliefs is not an easy thing.  I have survived the tough times, however - but Veganism continues to wage a war inside my head.
Struggling with ones beliefs is legitimate and necessary. Im aware that some people esp. deeply religious people will not agree, so this of course is just my personal view:
First of all, as you described so well, of course it already took a struggle to get where you stand, and to (re-)confirm that stance. But it might never really stop, and Im not so sure if it would be that good to ever reach a point of no more struggling [e. g., with your beliefs, decisions] at all.
As long as youre feeling, experiencing, learning, etc., it is very likely that new and other obstacles and doubts will occur, with regard to your ethical beliefs and beyond, which will lead to reasoning, pain, etc. Which in a way is very good though, since this interaction keeps you fighting, and alive!
Whereas if you actually reached a point at which you would be too satisfied, for example with how everything turned out, or how you had succeeded (in doing something or living your beliefs), what else could come after / grow from that? Nothing much, I would expect.
Im not saying that you should no longer strive to stand firmly by your beliefs in the first place. Or that you should not be happy with where you stand or what you are doing.
Just suggesting to recognize a crisis when it occurs, not to push it away as something that must not have occured. Do not let it pull you down or totally change your mind on a subject or situation though if you can. Instead, try to view it as an opportunity, in spite of, or maybe even because of, the sometimes not so easy struggle it involves.
Hope this is not too contradictory. Guess I sound like some self-help paperback (maybe this debate really is crossing the boundaries of my foreign language skills
I do not completely agree with Dianas statement that once You no longer believe that the world belongs to you... but that you belong to the world (which in itself I would sign) veganism becomes more than easy, or that animal rights activism being a political struggle makes the vegan way of life easy to follow.
I dont think life in general can be expected to be easy, and I no longer think it would be too great if it actually were "more than easy".
I see it as an ongoing challenge, and one that is definitely worth fighting for.