Have you ever been told that you are a bad vegan for wanting to minimize your pain? That you are not a real vegan because you take pills every day?
Well, I have and today I want to talk about why this is a huge problem in our community.
When I was 6 years old I had my first epileptic seizure. I remember everything about it – I was sitting at a table in pre-school (in Slovenian it is literally called the little school), the sun was shining on our heads as the teacher was telling us how babies are born.
The second she pointed to her uterus and started talking about how babies come through the vagina, I stopped registering information, started losing my consciousness and fell down.
When I woke up, my teacher was crying and I was immediately taken to the hospital. From that day on, after being diagnosed with Epilepsy, I spent the next 10 years in different hospitals, retreats for sick children and I was taking two pills twice a day.
I don’t remember the exact number of times I had an epileptic seizure but seeing blood and magic tricks triggered them a few times (I still can’t watch any magic tricks and nurses have to lay me down when I give blood).
I also had one while swimming at a pool where I found myself suddenly drowning, when I hung out with a friend and she ran away when it happened so I woke up next to a chicken coop alone and confused, a bunch of times during the class, hearing my baby sister cry while having her blood taken, watching a magic show on the TV and seeing a magician cut the woman in half, during family lunch etc.
Basically, there were things that triggered them but usually, I had no idea when to expect them.
For 10 years I was taking four pills every day and still, I never knew if I was safe. Who knew what could trigger them and what could make me lose consciousness.
And when seizures stopped and I was able to stop taking pills, I would still pass out a few times at the store (which is just so embarrassing). I developed this fear of reaching for pizza in a freezer because the two times it happened I was taking the pizza out of the freezer! So fucking weird, man.
I still pass out sometimes due to something going wrong in my brain but thankfully I am now a pro at taking care of myself if I am in public and the last time I passed out was in 2017.
When I imagine having epilepsy as a vegan and having to take four pills every single day to at least minimize the number of seizures I would experience, I cannot comprehend how someone could point a finger at me and call me a bad person. Can one really be that heartless?
Yet there are many vegans that will not count people who take medicine as vegan, simply because drugs are tested on our fellow animals and that is, by definition, not vegan-friendly.
Of course, we know what happens in laboratories and that it is absolutely cruel and evil what people do to these beautiful individuals but there exists a difference between buying a non-vegan shampoo and taking a pill that helps you survive. I just wish someone saw it.
At 18 I was seriously considering suicide. Heck, a year ago I was seriously considering suicide, and that’s when I went to my psychiatrist who gave me anti-depressives. When these turned against me she gave me mood-stabilizers.
Now, if you read this post you will see that I am not on any pills at the moment due to my body being sensitive and experiencing very unfortunate side effects, but I didn’t think twice when I was taking them.
I have been in pain for decades and there are no words invented to describe the suffering that occurs in my body and mind regularly. Unless you experienced clinical depression, suicidal tendencies and/or have symptoms of a borderline personality disorder as I do, then you cannot know what I am talking about.
Being able to take a pill and wake up in the morning without wanting to stab myself is something worth celebrating. But these mornings are sometimes only made possible by taking that pill before I go to bed.
The thought of vegan police calling my work as a vegan activist pointless because I sabotage all of it when I swallow that life-saving pill, makes me very upset. Actually, it makes me sad.
It makes me sad because not everyone is as strong as I am. There are people who fall victim to these bullies and do not call themselves vegan because their lives depend on drugs. There are actual human angels who are helping the innocent but because their work is only possible with the help of pills – since you know they might die if they don’t take them – a minority of selfish vegans denounces their work and bullies them.
And what about taking pills when cramps get too painful? Is that something I should handle for a few hours because cramps will go away eventually?
Well, no. Taking any pill that minimizes the suffering one would experience otherwise is not something a bad vegan would do. It is an act of a human who wants to survive and avoid the pain that would keep them away from being able to do things they do after they take the pill.
I pity vegans who think they are better than others because they don’t take medicine. I mean, they are usually the ones who smoke marijuana every day and believe vaccines kill, anyway – and I try to stay away from these anti-science supporters as much as I can.
I wish the vegan police could experience an epileptic seizure, I wish they could be in my head when I self-harmed and I wish they could experience such painful cramps that they pass out two times in a row. Because that’s what taking pills protected me from and they continue to do that today.
I am not a bad vegan because I take medicine but you are a bad person for telling someone they should suffer because other animals suffer, too.