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I'm So Vegan It Hurts
I'm becoming increasingly militant in my vegetarian activism, and it's
causing me to isolate and be depressed.
By Cary Tennis
I've been a vegetarian for 14 years (half my life) and a vegan for the
last five years. The issue is not one of nuance or complexity, but is
rather immediately wrong to me in the way that slavery is wrong, rape
is wrong, and the death penalty is wrong. That is why reading this
essay by someone I respect gave me pause.
My problem is that I am finding it harder and harder to function in
this world where animals are slaughtered and consumed. I go to grocery
stores as little as possible, considering I have often simply cried
when I am forced to walk down the aisles containing the flesh of once
living creatures. I only date other vegetarians or vegans and have
mostly surrounded myself with friends who are vegetarian or vegan.
I was not formerly this way. I first became a vegetarian for
environmental reasons, not at all voicing a concern for animals. I
think I understood that eating meat was wrong, but could not admit my
guilt for such crimes, so I came up with other reasons to stop
supporting murder. Such feelings are years behind me, and now I am
having trouble not being angry at those around me that eat animals.
I've become shrill and pedantic, but I don't know how else to be.
I suggest you do this not only to be more effective in your work, but
also to better play the other roles in your life. After all, you are
not just a militant vegan; you also have family, friends, intellectual
and artistic interests, a spiritual side, an emotional life. It may be
that you are simply out of balance, that you have ignored many of your
other legitimate needs in pursuit of this singular objective. If you
can find out what else you need to be happy, perhaps after a while
things will just straighten out for you and make more sense.
It may appear that I have steered clear of the topic of animal rights.
What I respond to is your inner turmoil, your emotional suffering,
which would be important to me no matter what the substance of your
beliefs or the nature of your conflicts with others. I support your
struggle to improve the world by advocating greater compassion and
awareness of other living things. And I think the way to wage that
struggle is to gain greater awareness of the forces in your own life
that drive you to do it.
full story: http://www.salon.com/mwt/col/tenn/2006/03/08/animal_activist/