This post was inspired by one of our readers that emailed us and said this:
“It is difficult to make peace with the great violence in the world once I realised what goes into our food system, and the rampant apathy that allows it to continue. Despite eating much healthier, this troubling thought is hard to reconcile with, and sometimes makes it difficult to have a positive outlook.”
It really struck a chord with me, and I wanted to write about it. Does anybody else feel this way?
I can understand when someone is frustrated with the state of the world. Feeling like they are entirely powerless to change the masses and the reality of it all when you step out of your own little vegan bubble.
It can be difficult when you know the truth to live blindfolded like the majority and not get affected by it.
I know if I were thinking about the state of the world and what we are doing to it as well as the animals and us, I would probably be a very sad human being. The food system is messed up, no doubt about it, but stressing about it will only cause you harm.
If you’re not careful, you also end up hating on others because you see them as selfish or egotistical.
Your relationship with humans can change and the fact that no one seems to care (in your mind), can really make it difficult to have a positive outlook and see everyone around you in the same way as you did before changing to the vegan lifestyle.
Rather than focusing on changing others, lead by example. The only way that we can make a change is by planting small seeds and changing the demand for ethical products. Supporting businesses that are doing the right thing and helping them succeed.
Focus on the change
One thing that has stuck with me when I used to get down about things is to focus on the change that is happening and how I’m contributing.
As one person I have a voice, and I can use that voice to make a positive change.
Over a lifetime by just being vegan you have already contributed more to fighting global warming and saving animals than all the people you know that aren’t vegan combined! Balance the negative with the positive. This is key.
Our food system
Our food system still has a long way to go yes, but with the change in demand for certain products and not for others, brands are slowly shifting their range.
Think about the increase in organic foods in supermarkets. As little as five years ago, I couldn’t get organic tofu, but now every supermarket has it. In fact, most supermarkets have a decent section of vegan products and things like kombucha! Who would have thought 😉
The system is changing.
Whether it’s changing fast enough, that’s another question, but progress in the right direction is better than going backwards. This again is that aspect of looking at the positives rather than the negatives.
In the end, we can only do what we can do, and that is a lot. If you want to make a bigger change, join local councils, groups and committees to make changes in the legislation for animal welfare and the food system.
Also looking at organisations like PETA and getting involved in their campaigns. Or practice approachable activism in your own way.
How do you stay positive when you know the truth about the food system? What tips would you give to others? Please share with us in the comments below.
I really appreciate these words of wisdom. I get so frustrated and so sad when I see the vegan posts showing all the horrible reasons to #ditchdairy. I feel helpless oftentimes as the factory farms seem to flourish and laws passed protecting their barbaric practices.
I take solace in the idea that my individual veganism is somehow making a difference.
Thank you for this post. This is something I struggle with. Being a new vegan in the last 6 months or so, I honestly don’t know any other vegans so there’s a sense of feeling disconnected at times. But looking at the positive effects of what I can control helps. I’m also going to seek out others in my community via meetup.com and the Anonymous for the Voiceless mentioned above. One thing that helps me is writing. On my Instagram, I try to include a post with my photography that helps to open others eyes.
Congrats on starting your vegan journey! Sounds like you have equipped yourself with the right tools to meet like minded people and spread the word about veganism. Bets of luck.
For me it is very helpful and important to support, visit and physically show up in those places that have this positive spirit and are based on joy, life and love instead of destruction, exploitation and efficiency. Being in such places, or reading about them, watching documentaries etc and seeing people working with food and animals with so move love and joy, brings a lot of hope. Energy flows where attention goes they say, so let’s focus our attention on those places, people and initiatives we love to see growing and flourish:) and fuel yourself with positive energy to keep up the good work along the way!
Well said Siri! Thanks for sharing 🙂
I’ve shared this with so many friends. It’s so ‘spot on’ .. it can you get down and I’m glad you wrote this. Thank you.
You’re so welcome! Thanks Carla, glad to hear you resonate with it.
One of the biggest things that has helped me be more positive is by joining Anonymous for the Voiceless street activism. If you haven’t heard of it, groups of people all over the world join together to make a “Cube of Truth” showing people on the streets footage of what really happens behind their food choices. It’s great to get involved with other like minded vegans, but it’s also amazing to watch and talk to people about veganism and help to educate and inform them about the meat, dairy and egg industries. I would recommend every vegan join their local group, as you can choose how much you want to be involved. It can be as easy as standing behind a screen or sign wearing a mask not having to talk at all, or as challenging as talking to people and answering their questions/arguments. I try not to watch too much cruelty footage myself now though as I find it gets me down, and now that I know I will never go back, I feel like I don’t need to!
Thanks for sharing that Lucy! Definitely sounds like a great way to support the community and also help others see behind closed doors.