The truth hurts and very occasionally I think it might be easier to just plug back into The Matrix. In the mortal words of Cypher in the seminal movie, “I don’t want to remember nothin’ … NUTHIN”. It speaks to today’s question: “Why are vegans so unhappy?”. Well, once the vegan genie is out of the bottle, you cannot unsee the truth …
Why Are Vegans So Unhappy?Vegans are so unhappy sometimes because we feel utterly helpless as the human race violently slaughters 220 million animals every single day. As we subject dairy cows and calves to untold misery. Occasionally vegans get just a teensy bit unhappy about all the suffering.
Watch: Dr Ash, The Vegan Neuropsychologist on why vegans can be unhappy …
( Why hasn’t Dr Ash got more subscribers? She is lo-fi and brilliant! )
Remember, All I’m Offering Is The Truth
Ok, enough with The Matrix references now! It’s one of my favourite movies 🙂
In fact, the parallels between veganism and The Matrix are quite strong. When I look back at my pre-vegan days, it was a bit like the veil was still well and truly covering my eyes.
Yes, I was vegetarian for 20 years before going vegan but was still quite ignorant of the barbaric realities behind the slaughterhouse walls. As for dairy production, I was completely oblivious.
Also, when you’re veggie, you already think you’re doing your bit to avoid animal cruelty. Yes, I was aware of veganism but simply didn’t put two and two together.
I never joined the dots between the dairy and the meat industries.
I thought vegans were a bit extreme … a bunch of crazed animal rights activists.
But I was, of course, completely wrong. Now I know the truth, I’ve realised what’s extreme is slaughtering 80 billion sentient land animals every year.
What’s extreme is shooting male calves in the head at a day old because they’re of no use to the dairy industry.
The obscene truth behind animal agriculture is enough to make anyone with a functioning compassion organ feel just a little bit sad!
Food Animals’ Desperately Unhappy Existence
If your eyes have been opened and you’ve spent any time on vegan Twitter (other social networks are available), you’ll likely have seen some footage of our modern agricultural systems.
Sometimes I have trouble even looking at my Twitter feed because I follow some people who post quite a lot of ‘sensitive content’ … as it is called.
Just yesterday a video popped up into my consciousness showing a brief couple of minutes of the gas chamber where half a dozen or so pigs met their end.
These poor unwilling creatures are forced into a tiny, low-lit steel enclosure. You can hear the blood-curdling screams of the ones that went before them.
You catch a glimpse of the abject terror in their eyes moments before they are lowered into the CO2 gas. They writhe around in agony as the asphyxiation takes hold.
Then a minute or so later … they’re motionless.
It’s a difficult watch and even more difficult to know this happens every minute of every day.
365 days a year … year after year after barbaric year.
A percentage of these animals regain consciousness as they are ‘processed’ at the other end of the gas chamber. Some of them see and feel the knife as it goes in.
No wonder many slaughterhouse workers suffer from PTSD.
… and no wonder vegans feel so unhappy sometimes.
Ignorance Really Is Bliss
To be ignorant of what goes on in the agricultural industries these days is probably quite good for your mental health.
Because when you know what really happens to these billions of poor souls it’s easy to become overwhelmed with anger, grief and sadness.
My initial reaction to the truth behind the dairy industry was one of shock. This quickly turned to anger and I knew immediately that I had to go vegan. Which I did … overnight.
Then I spent a few weeks immersing myself in researching the barbaric practices which are commonplace on dairy farms. This led me to further content around animal slaughter and just the way animals are treated generally.
I saw some really disturbing things which I think will stay with me forever.
I simply couldn’t understand how humans could be so cruel to other sentient beings. It was utterly beyond me and about a month after going vegan I felt pretty depressed about it all.
Yes, this lefty, woke snowflake was a very unhappy vegan.
It Can Feel Like An Uphill Struggle
Now, our vegan movement is growing quickly everyday but when you learn that, at best, 3-4% of the global population is vegan, it feels like we have a very long way to go.
We are merely at the foothills of a very large mountain, looking up at the snowy peaks shrouded in white clouds. There’s some vertical rock faces we’re going to need to climb.
The sheer scale of what we are trying to accomplish can be wholly overwhelming for some and this can lead to feelings of helplessness.
We are all susceptible to these feelings which, in turn, can and do lead to depression and profound unhappiness.
It’s because we have empathy and compassion. We can imagine what it must be like for the animals in their hellish existence and even though we’ve made the right choice to go vegan, it still feels like it’s not enough.
This is why some vegans are so sanctimonious and why you will struggle to ever make a vegan shut up about the horrendous place we humans have ended up in.
We Cannot Divert From Our Course
Maybe one day we will all live in a world where animals are shown the respect they deserve. I mean, most of us like to think of ourselves as ‘animal lovers’.
Your pet dog is no different to one of those pigs in the gas chamber, in as much as they both have a desire to live. They are both of similar intelligence. They both experience their own emotions … to deny this is to lie to yourself.
Yet we continue to slaughter more than 200 million land animals every single day of the year.
An animal harvest, if you will.
This figure doesn’t even include the fish … which is in the trillions, annually.
The numbers are truly shocking and almost impossible to visualise. This is why vegans do what we do. We can’t just accept this as normal and the resistance to change frustrates us.
So I hope this goes some way as to explaining why vegans are so unhappy sometimes!
We’re not always unhappy though 🙂 Writing this blog often makes me happy as it feels like I’m doing something to facilitate the evolution of veganism. In the future it won’t be called veganism, it’ll just be called normal.
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Thanks for reading!
2 thoughts on “Why Are Vegans So Unhappy?”
Thank you for expressing everything I feel day in day out and it’s reassuring knowing I’m not alone with these feelings of despair and feelings of horror to walk amongst people that simple don’t care or are ignorant of the horror, cruelty and suffering inflicted on innocent animals every day. I feel depressed because it’s a weight I’ve Carried since 12 years old and it’s been made worse since going vegan 18years ago, I’ve learnt how to manage it but it’s never going to go away, the images of abuse stay with you for life and you question what kind of planet you live on…
Hi Alison and thank you so much for taking the time to leave me your thoughts. It means a lot to me.
You are certainly not alone with your desperately sad feelings. There’s millions of vegans who feel exactly the same as you. There’s support if you need it too. My email box is always open to fellow vegans and you’ll also find me on Twitter if you ever need to reach out. I may not be able to respond immediately but I always respond.
I’m glad you’ve learned to manage the depression. Veganism can definitely lead you to some dark places. I’ve had my moments. But I always say to myself … “It’s 100 times worse for the animals” and I have the privilege to be able and the means to speak up. To get my message across using this blog. The comments I receive have proven this to me.
In fact I find writing is a really good way to work through those feelings. I can direct the anger into something constructive. It really works.
Anyway, you’re not alone Alison and you’re definitely doing the right thing. You are doing the best you can to make a difference for the animals. Thank you x