Veganism & Mental Health
So recently in the press there has been discussion of mental health issues being more prevelant amongst those who are vegan compared with those who aren’t. I wanted to explore this a little and see why this may or may not be.
First of all… Do I believe this statement to be true? Yes. Do I believe it’s due to a dietary deficiency in something? No.
T-Shirt from the amazing vegan activist that is James Aspey
I can tell you why I believe vegans are more likely to have mental health issues such as anxiety or depression…
Veganism is the only “good deed” that is not universally celebrated. In fact it is more often than not an act of kindness that is ridiculed. A lifestyle choice that avoids the killing of any living being is a good deed. There are no two ways about it. Whether you ‘believe’ in it or not, you cannot deny it. It is simply somebody saying I don’t believe anyone should have to die or suffer for me. For food, for clothing, for anything! Vegans are often seen as self righteous but they are the complete opposite. They are selfless. They believe their life isn’t of more importance than anyone else’s. So to constantly have people look at you like you’re some sort of alien can be quite upsetting and emotionally challenging to say the least.
Raise money to save dogs in China from the dog meat trade = HERO. Raise money to save pigs from becoming pork = WEIRDO. Can you see how irrational this is? Everybody claims to be against animal cruelty, until you bring up the ones they’re eating!
Humans are social creatures. A fundamental human need is to relate to others. Veganism can make you feel isolated. Constantly having to explain your choices to others only to have them look at you blankly or even with disgust can be deeply upsetting. You may start distancing yourself from non-vegan friends/partners/family members, as you find yourself not being able to relate to them on a basic level anymore.
Vegans constantly expose themselves to horrific footage of the devastating suffering animals experience at the hands of us humans. These images do not just simply disappear from our memories. They are always there. But we do this so we can spread the truth to eventually end this suffering. By ignoring it, it will simply not just “go away”. Vegan activists (the MVPs of vegans) Often don’t just watch this footage. They witness it. Live. They risk arrest and violent resistance to enter these Hell holes where innocent animals are contained to save as many as they can and get footage to show others the truth. What they witness is haunting but they still have to go about their everyday lives.
Vegans often have feelings of helplessness. We know the truth but we cannot single handedly end this animal holocaust. Having the majority of people not only not agreeing with you but actually resisting what you are telling them only adds to this feeling.
Some people may assume that statistics showing vegans are more likely to suffer from mental illness is due to some sort of nutritional deficiency. However vegans are proven to live longer, have better cardiovascular health, are far less likely to contract diseases and cancers and are breaking records in all kinds of sports. So isn’t it far more likely that we suffer because we are deeply saddened by what we know. We suffer because we are at the constant receiving end of nasty jibes and narrow-minded opinions when we are simply trying to do good. Good for the animals. Good for our health and good for our planet?
T-Shirt from http://www.jamesaspey.com.au
Fellow vegans, keep the faith! I love you. You are amazing. Non-vegans reading this I hope it gives you a little more insight into our daily struggles. I love you too.
I will soon be doing a post on how to reduce stress that may arise from being vegan. So keep your eyes peeled ☺️
Peace & love
“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.” Albert Einstein – genius & vegetarian.