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New vegan anxieties.

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JessBrazil JessBrazil VIC Posts: 97
1 29 Aug 2012
I know that the cruelty in factory farming upsets us all greatly, but I'm wondering if it causes anxiety in anyone else.
After I first watched Earthlings (which cemented my decision to become vegan) I have had reoccurring nightmares. I've watched more docos and footage and read as much as I can in efforts to educate myself on these horrors so that I have better knowledge of the extent of what is happening so that I can defend and explain my beliefs better to others. If I start petitioning and campaigning for animals, I want to be able to answer most questions presented to me. But I am finding myself having panic attacks after watching and even reading about these things.
I've only been vegan and aware of these matters for 3 months or so now, so I'm also wondering if this is perhaps just fresh and something everyone experienced?
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SaRa_aRaS SaRa_aRaS QLD Posts: 54
2 29 Aug 2012
Yes, learning about all this has actually put a great deal of stress onto me and I react to things way more emotionally now. I constantly get images in my head of things I seen and I also find it really difficult to be happy when the world is such a horrible place. Mostly, I try and remind myself that I am doing everything I can to help the animals (vegan, raising awareness etc) so it's best not to worry myself so much but it's so hard sad
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Anthony Anthony WA Posts: 216
3 29 Aug 2012
I hope it's nothing long-term or too serious!

I don't know what other people think, but IMO you'll get to a point where you won't need to watch the upsetting footage. I was like that for a long time - I'd seen what I needed to see, I knew what was happening. If something came on the news, or was on the internet - it wouldn't do me any good to watch it, it would just make me sick/sad.

Maybe wind it back a notch - don't force yourself to watch cruel footage. You've seen it before. Focus on knowing the facts and the arguments to go with the rage and passion that the footage gave you in the first place.

What do other people think though? Should we force ourselves to watch this stuff if we already know about it?
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hakunamatata hakunamatata NSW Posts: 27
4 29 Aug 2012
I've been vegan for years now but when i first transitioned i was in the same mind frame as you and tried to be as informed and aware as i possibly could be and to this day the images and video footage i have seen still haunt me.. As a result i find that i am now more sensitive to graphic content these days so when there are new issues on animal cruelty i try to read up on it as opposed to viewing images/watching footage. I get especially haunted by video footage/images when i am about to eat or when cooking which puts me off my appetite.
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JessBrazil JessBrazil VIC Posts: 97
5 29 Aug 2012
Anthony said:
I hope it's nothing long-term or too serious!

I don't know what other people think, but IMO you'll get to a point where you won't need to watch the upsetting footage. I was like that for a long time - I'd seen what I needed to see, I knew what was happening. If something came on the news, or was on the internet - it wouldn't do me any good to watch it, it would just make me sick/sad.

Maybe wind it back a notch - don't force yourself to watch cruel footage. You've seen it before. Focus on knowing the facts and the arguments to go with the rage and passion that the footage gave you in the first place.
I think you're right. I know the horrors that are going on, I probably shouldn't watch anymore. I think I've partly been feeling like I have to watch these thing. Sort of as a punishment for my previous crimes. I feel like I don't have the right to not know.
Does that make sense?

I've just ordered a few books online (The China Study being one of them) in hopes to educate myself more on some of the matters that less violence orientated, like nutrition and health.
I think I've spent enough time for now researching statistics on factory farming, the fur trade etc. For now I think I'll just try to stay up to date on current matters, petitioning and letter writing in that regard until my anxiety settles down a tad.
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JessBrazil JessBrazil VIC Posts: 97
6 29 Aug 2012
SaRa_aRaS said:
Yes, learning about all this has actually put a great deal of stress onto me and I react to things way more emotionally now. I constantly get images in my head of things I seen and I also find it really difficult to be happy when the world is such a horrible place. Mostly, I try and remind myself that I am doing everything I can to help the animals (vegan, raising awareness etc) so it's best not to worry myself so much but it's so hard sad
I'm sorry to hear you go through such emotional stress over what you know, but at the same time it is nice to know that others are going/have been through the same thing.
I've been finding myself having flashes or horrible images too. Generally at night time. I have insomnia as it is, so this defiantly hasn't been fun for sleep matters.

As you said, we're doing our best, and I suppose we have to give ourselves some credit for that.
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JessBrazil JessBrazil VIC Posts: 97
7 29 Aug 2012
hakunamatata said:
I've been vegan for years now but when i first transitioned i was in the same mind frame as you and tried to be as informed and aware as i possibly could be and to this day the images and video footage i have seen still haunt me..
The images really do still with you, don't they.
I've also found even reading facts, issues can trigger images now. Do you have this too?
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Ronnie Ronnie QLD Posts: 205
8 29 Aug 2012
I felt that way when I went vegan on 1 Jan this year.  I can't watch horrid footage anymore.  I even feel nauseated when I read horrid footage.  I cry (bawl) about the how badly we treat animals.   I can't sleep at night, thinking about how badly humans treat animals.  I am not a very emotional person towards human-kind; I'm definitely emotional towards animals and even if I haven't read/watched something to do with animal cruelty I still think of the horrors we inflict upon these beautiful creatures and I become exceptionally emotional.

I look and act "together", but when it comes to animals in pain or sufferring I'm a mess.  I think I know how you feel as I believe I've felt that way too; and I still do.  You may never stop feeling that way, but you also don't need to torture yourself with the awful images/words - you know what happens.  We just need to remember that we're doing something positive to help the animals of this world.
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glitter drone glitter drone VIC Posts: 36
10 29 Aug 2012
I get really anxious just remembering the free DVDs I got sent to me 10 years ago. The one that really stuck was Meet your Meat. I think any person who see video footage of things like that would be upset. I know my mum was upset when she watched screaming at me to turn it off.
My grandma has her own opinions as to what watching the footage did to me. She believes that I became more acutely mentally unwell around that time. Sometimes gets me thinking, but sometimes I think she is just all for 'eating a bit of everything'.
I hope your anxieties become more manageable.
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