Hi there,

This is my first post here although I'm not new to this type of lifestyle.
I was a vegetarian for over 12 years and became vegan just over a year ago. I've experienced wonderful physical changes (more energy, little bit of weight loss, no more feelings of being bloated after a meal, etc...). And emotionally/spiritually I feel very good knowing that I am not personally contributing to animal suffering any longer.

The thing I find I'm struggling with is I still feel so much despair for the plight of animals and often times feel depressed knowing there are still billions of animals suffering each and every day. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say I have literally lost sleep and cried many tears just thinking about the unfathomable amount of suffering that is going on. Although my family and friends are accommodating when I visit, they still enjoy their pot roast, prime rib, etc... and although they don't say much, I'm pretty sure they think my 'diet' is 'extreme'.

I really don't want to become a preachy type person because that's never really been my style; I guess I prefer to lead by example and hope that people ask questions out of a genuine curiosity along the way. At the same time, I am completely bewildered and disheartened on a daily basis at just how hypocritical society is when it comes to animals ('why eat one and not the other?')... there are just so many daily reminders of this hypocrisy, from tv commercials to posts on social media sites declaring how bacon is the most awesome thing on earth, etc.... ahhhhh it just drives me bonkers....

So basically just looking for advice: how does everyone remain positive when you know the true horrors of the food industry (because you have chosen to get your head out of the sand and have forced yourself to seek the truth and actually look at the suffering for yourself...)

Thanks in advance :)

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I feel despair too but you have to find a way not to let it take over your life. Being Veg is the best thing you can do to reduce suffering. Wear your choice proudly and confidently and letting others see what true happiness is will be your best hope to encourage others to think about their choices.

Thank you for your quick response, that's great advice: "wear your choice proudly and confidently"... that I can do! :)

The way I feel and I mean no disrespect is that you should tune in your emotions enough to be aware of what impact you are making and to understand what is really important and to drive you to being veg... but if the pain is too great then tune it out while you follow your new lifestyle and only really really think about the suffering when you need a reminder of why you do it. If you don't think that is possible then try joining a charity or something that works to make good and hopefully this will help make you feel better.

Thanks Elizabeth,

Yes, I can tune it out sometimes; I guess some days are just harder than others (today being one of them obviously)... :)

Rachelle, thank you for sharing! I agree with all of the comments made thus far.  You are doing a big part by living a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle!

I wouldn't suggest blocking out your thoughts by any means, but definitely minimize the internal despair you're feeling by your outward manifestation of joy for the good thing you are doing. Lead by example for those around you even in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. At least that is what I have to tell myself weekly. Living in Wyoming I do not even know another vegetarian, but I still have confidence that I am making a dent out here, however small, I will keep at it. Maybe try to get involved with some animal rights charities around you as well, take advantage of your location. Lastly, use this place for some quick reading to boost your spirits, knowing that you are not alone, that's what I have to do everyday ha ha. Good luck and good spirits !

thank you very much Andrew, appreciate your advice. this place is definitely a huge help; lots of like-minded people who can totally relate to one another. i should check in more often! :)  have a great day!

Thanks so much, you are soooo right about the ego bit....  appreciate your reply, thanks again :)

oh my goodness no worries, i would never give up on this choice... this is me to the core and never looking going back! :) 

Welcome :)!! Congrats on going vegan, I've also just had my one year anniversary not long ago :)! You and I share a lot of struggles xo it's good to have you! How do I stay positive? It's hard sometimes, just as with you. There's a quote that goes, "If you're not mad, you're not paying attention." It's hard to focus on those feelings all the time, but as long as you let it inspire good and not just lead to a negative spiral, I think that energy and emotion can be put to extraordinary use xo

thanks Lauren, appreciate your encouraging words. and congrats to you too!!

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