Yesterday I was reading comments under an Instagram photo where people complained that an activist was posting too many graphic videos, stories and photos.
Most people were defending her but there were some that said it’s hard for them to watch graphic videos of other animals dying because they are already struggling with stressful things in their own lives.
I don’t want to focus on those who are not yet vegan and refuse to watch videos that could make them one. Today I want to look at those of us who are already vegan but aren’t sure how often we should watch graphic footage – if at all.
For me personally, I don’t actively search for videos where my fellow animals are suffering, I also don’t like rescue videos because they remind me of everyone who wasn’t saved. But I don’t avoid these videos and I do see bloody photos very, very often.
At this point in my vegan journey, and life in general, I know enough to not need a reminder of why veganism matters every day. I have seen enough footage to last me for a lifetime which doesn’t mean I don’t watch it if there, but that I know how much these things upset me and how helpless I feel when watching them.
Perhaps it’s different for you. Maybe you are working with groups that are showing footage to strangers on the street or you are rescuing the innocent from slaughterhouses , in which case I bow to you because it would kill me to do that, but some of us need to stay away from these things sometimes.
I know of many depressed vegans whose mental health gets only worse when seeing a cow getting her throat slashed. It’s pretty normal as most of us do have emotions and empathy, but if we want to continue being a warrior for animal rights, we need to prioritize ourselves.
The thing, or better said a person, that made me want to actively become a more joyful vegan was an activist that looked half dead in every video she posted. She created so many educational videos about veganism and animal rights, but she was always crying and had dark circles under her eyes, not to mention that she was very clearly suffering from depression.
I completely understand that; how could one not be depressed knowing that there is a Holocaust happening – and by definition the use of the word Holocaust is correct so stop being offended by my usage of it – and very few people are doing something to stop it?
Yet no matter how much I understand why depression can occur or get worse for vegans I am aware that some activists believe that if they suffer they are somehow paying back to pigs and cows and fish that are killed. That they deserve to be depressed and feel angry and sad all the time.
I don’t think their thinking is correct and I don’t want to prioritize pigs over me, and with that, I simply mean that I refuse to feel suicidal due to the state our world is in, in order to feel like I am doing something. I won’t suffer for pigs, I will HELP them.
That’s why I don’t want to make vegans feel bad for avoiding graphic footage of their fellow animals being slaughtered, abused and tortured. We know what’s happening; we are vegan for a reason. I have faith that if we ever feel we are forgetting that reason we will remind ourselves of it.
So, should you watch graphic videos if you are already vegan?
If it doesn’t cause you immense suffering and if you are mentally strong enough to handle it, sure, watch it every day if you wish. But if you are already struggling with surviving and are suffering from any mental illnesses or disorders, then please be mindful of what you choose to consume.
As I said, I personally don’t search for them and don’t watch videos if PETA posts it on Instagram, but I do see photos and I read a lot. So there is a type of graphic information that I am more comfortable consuming and that comes in the form of photos and words.
I am so very passionate about helping you live a beautiful vegan lifestyle and I hope I can bring value to you. If you have any ideas on how I can be better at it, please leave a comment below.