This is slowly becoming a tradition on my blog. Every year I look back and share with you the lessons I learnt living this animal-friendly lifestyle.
5 years is a pretty nice number, isn’t it? I think that most people who quit living this compassionate lifestyle did it after 5 years and it is interesting to see that I feel like I just changed my life yesterday.
The amount of emotions I felt towards other species of animals in this period of time is impossible to put in words. I feel like I became a better person just by opening my eyes and acknowledging the truth, not even counting actually doing things that are ethical.
The biggest change that happened was definitely losing faith in God. I talked about my pre-atheist life in this post here, but I don’t think I would be the person I am today – a science-loving gal – if I didn’t go vegan.
When I opened my eyes to the truth, I opened my eyes to the whole truth.
Here are 5 other lessons I’ve learnt when I went vegan:
- It is absolutely useless to fight with people about animal rights and veganism. If someone thinks you’re stupid and unhealthy because you don’t eat steak, you can’t do much to change their mind. It’s the same with other activists who will try to put you down for doing things differently. Instead of spending my time arguing over things that I cannot change, aka their false opinions about who I am, I use my attention on creating content that brings value to those who do like me.
- People will judge you anyway so might as well do your thing and be yourself. At the beginning of my journey as an activist, I tried to be like everyone else. I wanted to be liked and seen as one of them (whoever them was). But sooner or later I saw people talk to me badly no matter how lovely I wanted to be towards them, so I ditched the mask and did things my way. If you don’t like my posts on abortion or capitalism, then you can find someone else to learn from, but I won’t change myself for anyone anymore.
- Finding joy in life is what keeps me sane. I am not a happy person and I rarely seriously laugh at something but when I do it, it is because I am enjoying it. I used to feel guilty for having hobbies and interests that were not related to animal rights, but as I evolved and gotten older, I realized that I want to find a little spark of joy in life. Yes, suffering exists but I already suffer because of my own problems, might as well find something that will keep me sane when I choose to help someone else.
- I have to separate the art from the artist. There are people who consciously choose to do evil things and there are people who commit evil acts because they don’t know better, and if I only want to support art from vegans, I will probably have to denounce art completely. Yes, I read books by people who are well-known hunters and you know what? I like their books even if I think they are shitty people. Even Ted Bundy had some gems of inspiration we could learn from, but that doesn’t mean we forget about what he did and who he was.
- I separate the internet from real life. Listen, Twitter has made me want to hang myself so many times until I went out in the world and realized that I have yet to meet someone that was as crazy as that man-hating white-genocide-supporting feminist that has a million followers. There are many crazy people that we should avoid but it’s very unlikely we will meet them outside of the internet bubble.
It’s fascinating to look back and see the progress I’ve made.
There is so much I want to share with you next, especially now that I sat down and wrote down everything I’ve learnt. Ideas are everywhere and sometimes we have to look back to see how we can better move forward.
Unlike ex-vegans I don’t feel like quitting after my 5-year mark. It is definitely because it’s not a hobby for me but a philosophy by which I live. When a problem arises, I don’t think of blaming my plant-based diet for it, but I look around and see where I failed.
There is so much beauty in being kind to other animals that I don’t see any reason why I would want to go back to exploiting them. It feels good in my heart and that’s all that matters.
I will talk to you soon and until then you can find me on Instagram,