What’s the point? That is a question that often pops into my head regarding Vegan activism.
People just aren’t listening. My hopes that we may emerge from this pandemic to a better, more compassionate world are fading fast when I am already seeing queues at the local KFC drive through, road traffic almost back to pre-pandemic levels, people swarming over beaches and beauty spots leaving their rubbish behind and, politicians promising financial assistance for livestock farmers!
Last year, my cousin’s 9 year old daughter was shocked at the condition of some ex battery hens I had brought home and, when I told her I wished I could rescue them all she said, very wisely that ‘you can only do what you can do.’ She even wrote it down on a piece of card for me to keep in my wallet and read whenever I felt despair.
The trouble is, even when we do what we can, it often feels that we are achieving nothing and our efforts are in vain.
I asked my neighbour, who has started farming sheep and had lambs this year, if I could please buy a couple from him. His reply?
‘No because they are too valuable’. I just wanted to save who I could from the slaughterhouse and I can’t even do that!
I have to admit, sometimes I need to take ‘timeout’. Timeout from the heartbreaking images we share on social media of animals suffering; timeout from reading articles documenting the cruelty and exploitation around the world; timeout from wracking my brain trying to come up with new activism ideas that people won’t be able to ignore and timeout from the world in general.
I don’t know how the guys that go undercover to document animals’ suffering manage it but they are heroes in my eyes.
For me, just knowing about it sometimes becomes too much. I am often overwhelmed by humans’ ability to inflict suffering without batting an eyelid.
Many vegans are content with just being vegan, safe in the knowledge that they are saving lives just by avoiding all animal products and I envy them that peace. I wish I could be content with not contributing to any animal’s suffering and be at peace with the world but that’s just not possible.
I can not un-know what I know nor un-see the images I have seen.
When it all becomes too much, I have to disengage from the world and retreat into my own bubble for as long as it takes to heal my heart and quiet my mind. I avoid social media, I don’t look at emails and I avoid human company.
When I am ready, I take out my little card and read the words written there ‘you can only do what you can do’ and I am ready to do what I can do. To continue speaking up for the millions of voiceless souls that are suffering so much at the hands of humans.
So, if I disappear from the radar, you know where I am and I will see you on the other side….