20 May, 2008

Commitment and Me, or How Important is it to stay focused?

Hey All,
P_M back after what feels like a long struggle with commitment, namely my commitment to Animal Rights, and in part to my status as a proud, and joyful vegan. ( the vegan part never faltered, the "proud and joyful" part got side tracked).

At the tail end of this struggle, I'm still trying to figure out the logistics of how to focus on activism and veganism and not block out other interests, or to let my other interests stop me from being the best activist I can be, but here's what i've learned so far.

There has to be a balance.

veganism encompasses so many parts of who I want to be, that I sometimes obsess over it and while making Animal Rights the center of my world felt good for a bit, it also made me resent the podcasts and chat rooms i'd loved before. After a while, it was like that fifth container of Toffuti soy ice cream, too much of a great thing.
Likewise, not having enough animal rights in my life made me feel like I was losing a part myself.

I dont know what balance will mean for you but figure it out and keep it in mind. It'll keep you from burning out and ward off friends who try to say that you're a fanatic or a zealot.

Its important to stay focused, but if you drive yourself to distraction trying to be all vegan or activist and dont leave room for every other part of who you are, you wont be focused you'll be insane.

yours as long wanted and allowed,


  1. This is such a good point. It is easy for veganism to "take over" your whole life and personality. Thanks for reminding us to maintain perspective.

  2. Oh! I am so with you! Thank you so much for stating the obvious. I sit here slumped and barely awake, middle of the night and I know I will be paying for it tomorrow with the lack of sleep. Sometimes it takes me a few days to recover from a late night of writing and then I miss it so much and have lots of catching up to do. And then other areas of my life can miss out. Why? Because I've been writing on the Earthlings forum. It's my favourite waste of time! I procrastinate there. I love being there. Before my very eyes, I see new people go vegan and make magical self transformations about their attitudes towards animals. I talk to these people about being vegan and animal slavery and there's no where else I want to be. Then sometimes -it just flat out exhausts me. And guess what? It makes me soooo happy! Then again, I like your description of eating too many tubs of ice-cream, it doesn't feel good any more does it?

    You couldn't have picked a better word to counter this over-indulgence -balance! I think the key is to budget the AR time like a financial budget and be strict about it. I'll have to do that now because as of today, I am a fitness student! Study study! Put Earthlings away!

    Oh yeah. Tonight I did the most wonderful act for animal rights that gave me a real buzz. I attended a seminar on anti-doping in sport so that I could meet my super-star of inspiration -Olympic gold medalist sprinter Cathy Freeman. It was so wonderful to meet her. Then I gave her a gift -The Food Revolution by John Robbins and the dvd Earthlings!!!! Oh I hope she reads it! Oh I hope she watches it!

    Have a wonderful day!

    Desert Girl

  3. Thanks P_M, this is a good point, but...
    I've been struggling with the feeling of being powerless and not doing enough as a responsible vegan and a starting-out animal activist. I watched "The Witness" lately and it just created such a void. I would have gone vegan (this seems the first and foremost and the most obvious thing to do to make a difference), but I already was...
    It's true that I love what I do besides reading and writing and talking about veganism and animal rights. I'm an art student and I feel happy to have the opportunity to have found what I love doing and actually be doing it. BUT. I still haven't found a way to relate those two things - a way to talk about the animal rights issues through my creation...
    And that makes me feel useless and a bit schizophrenic. That I'm not doing enough, that I'm not doing any good. That maybe I chose the wrong "career option", maybe I should leave it all and go volunteer with the Sea Shepherds or something...
    I don't know...