Friday, October 23, 2015

Connecting with tough vegan truths

The truth isn't always pretty or easy.
Going vegan is an easier journey once you know the impact of NOT going vegan, right? Not necessarily. Knowing the truth about this crazy world we live in isn't exactly comforting. In fact, truth can be very painful for vegans to deal with. Especially when we encounter people who prefer remaining sheltered from it.

Plus, it's hard to see those videos. Damn hard. Still, view them we do because the alternative is worse. I feel like most vegans crave knowledge, even painful knowledge. Because if we didn't, well, we probably wouldn't have chosen to walk this path, would we? I feel pretty safe in saying that most vegans believe that knowledge is a vital ingredient in inspiring positive change.

There's a burden in connecting with tough vegan truths, though, isn't there? Maybe there's even a couple burdens. First of all, it's nearly impossible for a compassionate person to know the truth without acting on it. So, we're not really allowed to be complacent. We know that the bliss of ignorance does not extend to those impacted by us NOT acting on what we know. We HAVE to act, Because knowing and not acting would make us feel like horrible people, wouldn't it?

Knowing the truth is heart-wrenching and soul shaking. It can disrupt and even erase everything we though we knew about life. It can be very daunting knowing the extent of damage our personal choices can have on us all. It might seem like our actions are futile at this point. It can be depressing, to say the very least.

There's also what I call the throat stuffing allegations. If you're vegan, I assume you know what I mean. If you don't, how many times in a week are you accused of stuffing your beliefs down someone's throat? Exactly. Now do you feel me? Connecting with tough vegan truths means you are compelled, out of sheer compassion to share them with others. And a good percentage of the time, those others will misunderstand your intent by believing you expect them to become instant vegans and hate them when they don't comply.

Now, you likely don't mean to engage in throat shoving. You may just feel you're sharing important information. Unfortunately, others don't see it that way. That's likely because there is a certain societal stigma involved with being vegan. There is a stereotype you have to work around every time you share something.

Because even when the truth you're sharing has nothing to do with being vegan at all, people put up their automatic vegan road block. Because you're that “annoying vegan who is always telling them what to do.”

Except that you're not telling them what to do. You're just telling them the facts so that they can make a more informed decision of their own free will. Because if there is one thing vegans believe in, it's freedom and free will, whether that be the freedom of humans or of other animals.

Connecting with tough vegan truths is hard, whether you're vegan or not. It can be damn near impossible giving up those centuries old traditions and habits that got us into this mess. Coming to the realization that this whole veganism movement is not a conspiracy theory and it just might be the only way to heal our dying planet, save our natural resources, restore nature's balance and more isn't easy to swallow.

Maybe that's why it feels to some people that we're pushing our beliefs down their throats.

Yes, connecting with the truth can be a burden. It's not for everyone. Some folks feel that since life is short, they prefer the bliss of ignorance to facing the evidence. And like it or not, sometimes those people are those we love most. It's hard to connect with the fact that our loved ones don't agree with our way of life, no matter which “side” of the “argument” we are on. Yes, it's hard for them too.

So when you start connecting with the truth, don't expect everyone to listen. Some people would rather not. Some people will think you're an opinionated ass, no matter how sincere your intentions are. That's just the human in them. And sometimes you will act like an ass because you will take offense. That's just the human in you.

But whatever you do, don't stop seeking the truth. Because the truth will benefit us all if we're strong enough to carry the burdens and act on what we know. Because in the end, the biggest truth is that we are all connected. Everything we do impacts everyone else on the planet. But hey, you're vegan. You know that already.

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