Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How to not be a discouraged vegan

As I've mentioned before (and as you  may know) being vegan can be lonely business. You may be lucky and find a partner to share it with (like my VOMD) but even if you do,  sometimes it can be discouraging to see so little change happening in the world around you.

When you are feeling particularly crappy  about the state of the world, there are a few things that you can do to pick yourself back up again and stop being so damn depressing. Having gone through my fair share of discouragement and depression, I can say that these things sort of work (I say sort of, because its not  magic. If you're not committed to feeling better, then chances are your're not going to feel better).

  1. Join a supportive online community. You might have to shop around for one that works for you and  try to avoid the ones that have an obvious amount of infighting and negativity between group members. I belonged for a while to a Vegans of the World group on Facebook, but it just started to bum  me out. Now I am part of a Hamilton Community Vegans group and even though I don't know the people in person, being connected to them online makes me feel encouraged on days when I don't  really feel like leaving the house. 
  2. Join a cause! There are so may important issues that you can get involved with either online or in person. You can volunteer some f your times to social media campaigns for groups like Sea Shepherd or Fur Bearer Defenders - or any other group that gives a crap about animals. Or you can try to find a local group to volunteer with - maybe a group dedicated to greening your community. In North Bay  there was a group called Greening Nipissing that hosted film screenings and other types events related to the environment. Here is Hamilton there is a community garden project called Hamilton Victory Gardens that is dedicated to food security - they build gardens in empty city lots!  You can also check out  your local low kill shelter or a farm sanctuary near by to connect with like-minded  people.
  3. Read some books. There are lots of books about people changing the world  for animals. Whether you're looking for a brain exercising intellectual  read or a light-hearted inspirational story, check out Amazon or your local book store for one of these: Farm Santuary by Gene Bauer; Ecofeminism: Feminist Intersections with Other Animals and the Earth by Carol Adams  and Lori Gruen; Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer; The Lucky Ones, by Jenny Brown; My gentle barn, by Ellie Laks; Zoopolis: A political Theory of Animal Rights, by Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka. These are just some of my favourites, but there are plenty more to choose from. 
  4. Cook something delicious. Maybe this is just me, but cooking food always makes me feel better, especially when I am following a recipe from a vegan cook book, or converting an old well-loved recipe to a vegan one. Having a collection of vegan cook books to choose from on your shelf can also make it feel more normal and exciting to be vegan, rather than frustrating and lonesome. You can look through those cookbooks and be reminded that enough people bought these books  to make them profitable and worth publishing! How cool is it that veganism is becoming so mainstream?! Sure, it might be a fad, but so were skinny  jeans, and now literally everyone has at least a few pairs! If you're not a skilled chef,  try out a simple vegan cookbook without tons of exotic ingredients. Isa Chandra Moskowitz  has lots of amazing cookbooks  that are great for beginners. My favourite is Veganomicon, by Isa and Terry Hope  Romero . It is absolutely chock full of amazing recipes. You can also check out Cookin' Crunk by Bianca Phillips and  Thug Kitchen. If you don't want to buy a book, then just check out a vegan food blog like Oh She Glows or It Doesn' Taste Like Chicken.
  5. Adopt an animal. Honestly,you should have done this already, but if you haven't, dedicating your life to another creature's well-being is a sure-fire way to feel amazing about life. Without my animal  companions, I would be a far less happy person.  Yes, caring for animals includes a fair amount of heart ache - I lost three of my companions in the last year - but the time you spend caring for them, and giving them the best life possible will be among the best things you ever do in your life. 

What are some of the  things you do to feel less discouraged on your vegan  journey?

Happy Tuesday!


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