Animal cruelty, climate change, monoculture...the list goes on.
I know exactly how you feel with the state of the world. Animal Cruelty keeps me up at night knowing that there are evil people out there harming the harmless. Climate change is real (I'm a huge fan of Elon Musk, Go Tesla!) And now this flat-earther bull crap is doing my head in. I love Animals and Space Woooo Nasa! please forgive me though as I'm not a Vegan. I have 2 cats that are my whole world and can't bear to think of them being hurt or in pain. I live for them so they can live comfortable with me and to give them the best environment possible. I'm 38, no partner and no children but I do feel uneasy about bringing someone into such a hateful world.
But there is good. There's more of it than we know it's just that good news doesn't sell as well as bad news. Live your life, be excellent to each other. Become the example to people despite feeling so helpless. I feel it too, believe me but being as good as I can be feels like it can be enough but I keep pushing forward. Let's just hope it spreads.
Hi BeyondBen (and a wave to Chrissystar),
Sorry, I know you weren’t talking to me but I hope it’s okay if I say hello and extend a warm welcome to you here 🙂
I really enjoyed reading your post and found some of it resonated with me. I could rant about climate change but I usually save that more for my offline world. Lol. Specifically, it’s climate change and what constitutes likely sustainable versus unsustainable world population growth that I spend a lot of time thinking about...but I won’t get into details here as i don’t want to start a debate. Too controversial...
Anyway, as I said, I just wanted to say hi. I really hope you feel welcome here.
Talking to people on this thread makes me feel a little less alone in my thoughts...I feel like I’m talking to people who “get it” here.
Thank you so much. You made my day, BeyondBen 🙂
Hi All 😊
I have read this thread but have bitten my tongue and not posted because it is related to things I feel very strongly about, and I don't want to start debate!
I can relate to most of what everybody here has commented about. Ben, animal cruelty keeps me up at night too. In fact it triggered a depressive episode for me, when I learned the truth about animal agriculture. My partner and I have become vegan after educating ourselves about this.
We have decided not to bring a child into the world because of everything on this thread.
It's nice to know others feel so strongly about such things.
Hi Birdy (and Chrissystar and all),
Ah, our sensitive and tactful friend. I feel for your plight. I really do.
Full disclosure: I’m not vegan but I really respect those of you who are so driven and passionate about protecting animals in all spheres of your life. I know you don’t do it for my respect but I’m expressing it anyway...
Speaking as a non-vegan, I imagine it must be hard for you...I often feel vegans spend a lot of time having to half “apologise” for their ethics (even though you really don’t) and if you talk about your beliefs, you have to do it with 2000% tact around some people because otherwise you risk (some) people jumping down your throat or emotionally shutting down and not listening. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong...or if you don’t wish to comment on it, no pressure 🙂
I feel when you’re on the minority side of any issue (veganism, etc), I often feel it’s such a fine line between defending your beliefs/trying to convey your views and putting yourself in direct “firing line” so to speak. It’s tough is what I’m saying...
I think when one’s views align with the majority, i feel it often makes life easier because your views are validated at every turn in a million little ways everyday. If your views/decisions align with the “norm”, you don’t have to typically defend or explain them. E.g. people typically don’t ask a person why s/he wants to have children but it’s often a different story if you say you don’t want to have your own children (I’m saying this from personal experience).
It’s tough is what I’m saying...I hear you, my friend, or as much as a non-vegan can with my limited understanding...either way, this little space here is reassuring.
We aren’t alone in this 😉 You’re always welcome to talk to me btw. My views are pretty liberal/centre left. I don’t want to debate but I’m happy to discuss 🙂
Lovely Pepper 😊,
You're so right, being in a crowded room (or forum thread!) can be like trying to step over laser beams, do the limbo under triggers, and avoiding other explosive devices so as not to set anything off.
When our views align with the majority, as you say, we're validated at every turn, in fact, you don't question it because it is normal and not something to "think"about. But like you also very astutely said, if you think differently, e.g. not wanting to have children ... you are seen as selfish or something else and it could NOT be further from the truth.
As we have touched on in another thread, things that aren't right are so often the norm until ... they're not. Like, a century ago women couldn't vote, that was seen as normal and ok and good. Black Americans were slaves and treated as property, thus was acceptable and seen as normal. The list goes on. The idiots in power who say climate change? What climate change? Let's just make lots of money for shareholders please, screw the planet. The people voicing out about these things are seen as radicals until ... the majority say oh yeah actually , this isn't right.
Please feel free to talk about your feelings about nit having children and anything else ...
Thanks for chatting Pepper ❤
Hi Birdy, Chrissystar and all,
Lovely to talk to you. Sorry it has taken me a few days to reply...
There’s a saying that goes something like “I won’t stay silent so you can stay comfortable.” I feel maybe I’m misquoting it, and I can’t remember who said it, but that’s the general sentiment.
I suppose it is often what it boils down to or that’s how I feel anyway as I can only speak for myself...I’m speaking in very general terms and not about any particular issue. I find some (not all) people sometimes secretly prefer to stay in their own comfortable bubbles especially if their views and decisions tend to align with socially and/or culturally acceptable ones because being challenged isn’t exactly fun...
I feel a person gets to have the privilege to stay “comfortable” (so to speak) and choose to ignore issues (if they wish) because your views are validated again and again and again everyday. So, as you said, you probably don’t have to think too deeply about what you stand for in this instance for that reason. This is of course unless you also happen to be highly socially aware, a critical thinker or very observant and sensitive then you might think a little (or a lot) deeper...
But if you happen to be someone whose views and decisions don’t align with the majority/“norms” then you almost have no option but to get used to being “uncomfortable.” I feel it’s “uncomfortable” because your views and beliefs are often invalidated and undermined (not always explicitly or with bad intentions either) very regularly and frequently.
I feel that can hurt and drain a person over time, and if we want to relate it back to mental health, I think it can have negative consequences and sometimes contribute to mental health problems (as I feel this thread seems to demonstrate or at least in my opinion anyway).
Maybe you, Chrissystar and others want to share your struggles and insight as I’ve had plenty of “air time” now on this thread. Lol.
Thanks Birdy 🙂
Hi Pepper and Chrissy and all 😊,
(This is not a very good post, but anyway .... )
You're spot on Pepper, I think to a certain extent you need to stick your head in the sand if you want to remain comfortable in this world. Once you become aware of an issue, you can't unknow it, so being in a state of discomfort about the state of the world and humanity becomes the new normal for some of us.
And it does become draining, and saps your emotional reserves. And when you speak up about an issue, even coming from a loving place of compassion, people get defensive and therefore attack you and it's exhausting.
I keep writing paragraphs and deleting them. This is my fourth attempt coming in here to reply to you Pepper 🤐 hard work 😓. I want to say lots of things ...
I guess for me, all these problems feel overwhelming and hopeless, especially because a lot of people don't care about these issues, so they are perpetuated. Which can really have an effect on our mental health. The only thing I can do is my own bit, as others here have said. I can align my own actions with my values and ethics and that's something. Be the change you wish to see in the world, and all that.
So I'm not really sure what else to say at the moment .... but I did really want to reply to you ... I might come back later.
What an amazing thread. How I love deep and meaningful conversations. You'd be surprised about the lack of these I had had during the past 8 years of my working life. Anyway, you all are so thoughtful and caring. I'm really pleased.
I have so many friends who have chosen not to have children. I don't have children, it was eventually by choice, but not an easy one for us. Though I do get why people do not want children and now, at 64, I'm pleased I didn't - for many reasons.
When I looked at environmental issues 30 or more years ago, I felt like many - depressed, angry, wanted to save the world. So I did a lot of reading about global issues and found, if I looked at it globally, yep, I'd feel dreadful, be depressed all the time. It was suggested by some very astute environmentalists to step back a little. To think of it more locally, and gave suggestions about how you could help. So I:
joined the local Community Conservation Group, did my recycling (before having it picked up) - making trips to various locations to drop off - cardboard/newspaper, metals, plastics, oils, batteries etc.
became a wildlife carer.
became a vegan. Could not sustain this due to iron deficiencies.
I like to think I rock the boat and I do at times. However, I also know, I am complicit with what goes on around me. Why, because of my state of mental health. It does me no good to think negatively about things. I grew up in that household and can't do it now. While I love the notion of being a radical, I just can't do that. However, I don't confirm to some of the norms out there. My neighbour's kids ask me why I have my hair so short - am I female. LOL.
Anyway, I needed to read this thread and the lovely posts in here. You're marvellous! You sound like me 30 years ago!!
Hi Chrissystar and all,
Chrissystar: I don’t know if you’re still reading but, especially as you’re the wonderful thread creator, please feel free to chime in any time 🙂
Birdy: Sigh, I hear you. Yes, as I said, I feel whatever a person’s life cause happens to be (conservation or otherwise), you need to be willing to be “uncomfortable” especially if you know that you will face a lot of opposition, resistance or apathy. I suppose change was never meant to be comfortable...
I think sometimes the hardest part might be not losing faith in whatever it is a person believes in. I personally feel it can be challenging to not become disillusioned..
But as you said, we can all keep doing our part for whatever we stand for. Sometimes setting an example quietly and gently can help plant idea seeds in people’s heads. Other times, a more outspoken approach is helpful. Circumstantial, I suppose...
I hope you return to this thread at some point to express whatever it was that you had in mind. There’s no pressure but there is clearly a lot on your mind, and I for one, would be interested to hear what you have to say.
Pammy: How lovely to see you here 🙂 It’s interesting to see another side to people on these forums. I feel, as the focus is (understandably) on mental health, it can be easy sometimes to forget that each of us have our own passions and beliefs as well.
You sound like you were (are) quite the force to be reckoned with. Someone with conviction and passion 🙂
Yes, I agree with you that it’s sometimes hard to draw the line between acting and becoming complicit in any sort of societal or environmental issue. I feel that’s a struggle for many of us, including me, at times. It’s such an individual thing too so I feel there’s no right or wrong but it’s definitely something worth thinking about.
I get what you’re saying about how taking a local approach can often be. more m feasible. I think it’s a real credit to you that you joined you local conservation group, became a wildlife carer and tried becoming vegan. Action speaks volumes so well done for acting 🙂
As I mentioned earlier, I feel sometimes the hardest part is not to become disillusioned. Also sometimes even my own beliefs can conflict with one another so that’s another struggle of mine.
Anyway, it’s good to talk to all of you. Thanks for giving me an outlet. It helps to feel a little less alone 🙂
Hi Chrissystar and all,
There was something that I wanted to express. I feel it’s related to your point about the state of the world...in a some way. Maybe... I’m not sure where I’m going with this.
I logged out then suddenly had an urge to say something and specifically on this thread too...trying to gather my thoughts...
My extended family, for the most part (not all though), are somewhat conservative in their views. Ironically enough, a lot of them settled in areas in Australia that typically held (holds) more liberal views. Funny that...it wasn’t deliberate but that’s just what happened.
So, growing up, I was exposed to both more conservative and more liberal views (both ends of the spectrum). I even went to a religious school at one point.
Long story short, at some point, I decided to make up my own mind about what I believed in...much to my extended family’s displeasure and disapproval because in my culture(s), it’s considered “disrespectful” and “rude” to disagree with the “elders.”
So, as you can imagine, I was and am “guilty” of that charge. How dare I, someone younger and female (I come from traditionally patriarchal cultures) dare to express opposition?
The point that I’m trying to make is...what is my point again? My point is it’s hard to go against the norm or to find your voice when there is a lot of opposition or apathy but, as hard as it is, I also personally believe it’s worth it.
The world can seem very bleak and unfair at times (I struggle with this too) but, as others have touched on, we can all do our part. What “our part” means will vary between individuals but the point that I’m trying to express is we aren’t completely powerless.
I realise it’s easier in theory than in practice but put your hand on your heart, find whatever conviction(s) speak the most to you, and try your best to walk the walk. Maybe you will feel disillusioned and frustrated (or outright angry) at times (I do) but I also feel there is nothing more empowering than to live a life of conviction.
Thanks for listening. Talk later.