Going Vegan Saved Animals Lives & Mine
This may be my most vulnerable and personal post yet. This is my personal experience, please read without judgment. I believe this message and stigma should be broken and I hope this post will help defeat it.
Here I am, raw and honest.
What you may not know is I fight for my life. Before I went vegan, I was severely depressed. I had attempted suicide on multiple occasions, refused to eat, and performed other self-destructive acts. All due to being depressed. There seemed to be so much bad in the world, which broke my heart. As David Jones said, “It is both a blessing and a curse to feel everything so deeply”. It is so very true. It is so painful, yet it gives you this unique ability to express a different view that others may not realize or experience. This should always be shared. Their pain is my pain. Vegans gave me hope. That the world could be better. It gave me a reason to be strong and healthy. To go from being severely depressed, hopeless, and unhappy; to proving a vegan lifestyle could be healthy and can make the world a little bit of a better place. I did not have much, if any support, with this lifestyle change at first. This change felt so right for me, which is more important than anyone else’s comfort with my decision. It literally saved my life. I thought I didn’t have a choice to change and I wanted to escape. I did have a choice though, and that’s when I knew I WANTED to keep living. Vegans can receive a lot of hate from others; maybe because our choices are so different. But to be constantly reminded of suffering animals on billboards, in slaughterhouses/transport trucks, through word of mouth, experience, etc. can be very difficult as well.
It was most difficult for my friends and family to understand, but listening and learning made it easier eventually for some of them. Hopefully, in time it will be easier for more to accept this lifestyle. This change felt so right for me, which is more important than anyone else’s comfort with my decision. It literally saved my life. I thought I didn’t have a choice to change and I wanted to escape. I did have a choice though, and that’s when I knew I wanted to keep living. Vegans can receive a lot of hate from others; maybe because our choices are so different. But to be constantly reminded of suffering animals on billboards, in slaughterhouses/transport trucks, through word of mouth, experience, etc. can be very difficult as well.
Some days are easier than others, but some days it becomes too much. Yet I want to keep living; for the animals. I can’t leave them behind. They are there for me in my times of need. When I am alone, they comfort me. They know we are all sentient beings who need love. I need them, but they also need me. I became stronger for them. I became fully vegan and doing animal rights activism. But when will it end? I can see the light, but will we make it? I know we can make it, we already are making it. But, what about those who did not make it… Where was the love, the care, and the protection when they needed it. Where is the justice for them? I guess there are lives lost in all right movements, and that is a truth that is very hard to accept.
The empathy gene.
Oxytocin is required in physiological and pathological processes such as the regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (in response to stress), pregnancy, luteal function, maternal behavior, cell proliferation, modulation of emotional relationships and sexual behavior, antinociception*, and neuropsychiatric disorders [2–6]. rs53576 is the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) that has been associated with socially related personality traits and behaviors . The OXTR gene uses a silent G to A change. Studies have demonstrated that those who have the G allele experience an increase in empathy, and a decrease in feeling lonely, and use additional sensitive parenting methods .
* Medical Definition of antinociception: the action or process of blocking the detection of a painful or injurious stimulus by sensory neurons .
Additionally, an increased/decreased cognitive empathy has been identified in those with psychiatric conditions: autism, schizophrenia, anorexia nervosa, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder . These differences do not necessarily mean everyone who possesses’ them has a psychiatric disorder. However, it is currently unclear to what degree; differences in cognitive empathy are a genetic risk or vulnerability factor for developing a psychiatric condition . Recognizing that there could be a genetic component of our emotional alertness can be captivating. It really gives me more respect for this ability to make such choices out of one’s pure nature.
I am proud to be in a happier place. I am forever thankful for finding veganism. I couldn’t live any other way.
- Li, Jingguang et al. “Association of Oxytocin Receptor Gene (OXTR) rs53576 Polymorphism with Sociality: A Meta-Analysis.” Ed. Harriet de Wit. PLoS ONE 10.6 (2015): e0131820. PMC. Web. 18 Aug. 2017.
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- https://www.snpedia.com/index.php/Rs53576 using referenced article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20724662?dopt=Abstract