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Nest
Feb 9th, 2006, 09:16 AM
My housemate & I are both having a bad time dealing with feeling guilty because it has taken us so long to make the transition from vegetarian to vegan. We have both been avoiding animal products for many years - but we continued to eat (free-range) eggs & dairy products until a couple of weeks ago. Hence the guilt!

It was visiting forums like this one that made me wake up to the fact that egg & dairy farming is just as cruel as any other farming practice. Something I read made me ... um ... lose my lunch ... and I turned vegan the following day.

Now, at least once a day my housemate & I end up crying and we are literally making ourselves sick with guilt - even though we can't change the mistakes of the past.

Have other people gone through this guilt stage? Any suggestions on how to deal with it?

Thanks.

Geoff
Feb 9th, 2006, 09:38 AM
Well, there's nothing we can do about the past so it's pointless feeling guilty about it. Why not feel happiness at realising the truth of animal suffering and deciding to no longer take part in it. There are a great many people who know all about the evils of factory farming but still eat its products and they are the ones who should feel guilty, not you and your housemate.
I feel bad about eating whale meat but I was a child and ate what I was given so there's really no point.
Anyway - who ever heard of a guilty leprechaun? :)

Mr Flibble
Feb 9th, 2006, 09:45 AM
The only thing i can suggest to help relieve guilt for something is to do something positive for each of the negetive things. Veganism itself is only really abstaining from being involved with animal suffering, how about getting involved with some more proactive work? If you feel responsible for prolonging suffering, then try and do something to help stop more - help man info stalls to help others make the change, attend protests etc.

Gorilla
Feb 9th, 2006, 11:25 AM
hi, well done on going vegan.

i myself took many years to finally make the change from veggie to vegan, and some people find it harder to make the transition than others. there's really no point in feeling guilty about it - i knew i should've done it earlier, but i made the decision and that's the most important thing.

as Mr Flibble says maybe it'd help to get more involved with animal rights in some way, if you're able to.

scruffyhead
Feb 9th, 2006, 12:37 PM
Going vegan is something you should be proud of, the past has gone and you should look ahead and think that you will never contribute to the suffering of animals again and feel happy about it. :) you cant change the past.

Seaside
Feb 10th, 2006, 03:23 AM
Going vegan is one of the best things you can do, and you have done it. Time will alleviate the guilt if nothing else does.


Veganism itself is only really abstaining from being involved with animal suffering,
Not from where I am standing. Veganism is behaving with compassion and respect for all life, not just refusing to contribute to suffering. If an animal lived a happy, full life and died in his sleep of old age I still wouldn't eat him or make anything out of his body parts.

herbwormwood
Feb 10th, 2006, 12:52 PM
My housemate & I are both having a bad time dealing with feeling guilty because it has taken us so long to make the transition from vegetarian to vegan. We have both been avoiding animal products for many years - but we continued to eat (free-range) eggs & dairy products until a couple of weeks ago. Hence the guilt!

It was visiting forums like this one that made me wake up to the fact that egg & dairy farming is just as cruel as any other farming practice. Something I read made me ... um ... lose my lunch ... and I turned vegan the following day.

Now, at least once a day my housemate & I end up crying and we are literally making ourselves sick with guilt - even though we can't change the mistakes of the past.

Have other people gone through this guilt stage? Any suggestions on how to deal with it?

Thanks.

Stop discussing it with each other. It is likely you are unintentionally making yourselves upset by discussing it with each other. Make a vow not to discuss how bad you feel about your non vegan past. After all, how many people know about the cruelty involved in egg and milk production? Not many, and some that do, continue to avoid becoming vegan. Congratulate yourselves on what a great thing you have done. But the past is gone and it is counterproductive to dwell on it.
In answe to your question, no, I did not feel guilty when I went from being vegetarian to vegan. I felt very positive. I do find it a little odd that you are feeling this way as a result of something so positive, which is why I suggest you make the subject of past eating habits off limits!

Nest
Feb 11th, 2006, 11:56 AM
Anyway - who ever heard of a guilty leprechaun? :)
You're so right Geoff - Leprechauns are usually such happy wee folk ...

Thanks everyone for your wise and compassionate advice! I see now that we need to shift focus and concentrate on the upside of this situation. I will show this to my housemate & from now on we will discuss only the positive aspects of our mutual decision. :D

ai4i
Feb 14th, 2006, 05:53 PM
Don't beat your selves up now, but to play the devil's advocate for just a moment, remember the feeling, think about it if non vegan food is offered to you, and definitely console and council each other if and when you ever backslide. Eating something you were not aware was produced with some animal product or byproduct is also nothing to be ashamed of.

DancingWillow
Feb 14th, 2006, 06:21 PM
I see now that we need to shift focus and concentrate on the upside of this situation. I will show this to my housemate & from now on we will discuss only the positive aspects of our mutual decision. :D

Way to go!!! That's the spirit:D And you can make a pact that if one of you starts to feel guilty or starts focusing on negative aspects about the past, the other will point it out and reframe it in a positive way!

I also felt guilty about not having become a vegan earlier, but I thought about it and realized that I was not a vegan sooner because I was not aware of the cruelties in the eggs and dairy industry. I have found it very helpful to be involved in spreading vegan awareness, so that others can find out the truth and hopefully make the choice to be vegans. The fact that you feel such overwhelming guilt only shows how compassionate you are and how big your heart is:) Now turn that compassion outwards and spread it to others!

Nest
Feb 15th, 2006, 03:35 AM
Many thanks everyone for your help & support. This thread just proves that vegans are not only smarter than average but kinder too! ;)

peaches22
Feb 15th, 2006, 03:40 AM
I've felt that guilt quite a lot. It's natural, but you can't change the past, so just move on and be the best vegan you can be. :) I know that sounds totally corny, but seriously, if you ignore glycerides and possibly bone-char sugar now, you'll just feel guilty about that later. So, forget your past mistakes and try not to make them again. Good luck, Leprechaun (as though you need it :).)

Pilaf
Feb 15th, 2006, 07:52 AM
I used to be a butcher. I probably deserve to be skinned a thousand times in purgatory. I would appreciate the irony.

gaia
Feb 15th, 2006, 02:46 PM
I feel REALLY bad some times because I had been vegetarian and then started eating meat again - it grosses me out now that I could have done that - but I try not to beat myself up and just move on from here.

puffin
Feb 15th, 2006, 02:47 PM
I dont feel guilty. I think if you have made the right choice now you should be proud of yourself. There is no point looking back and regretting things that can not be changed ;)

Pilaf
Feb 15th, 2006, 04:10 PM
I dont feel guilty. I think if you have made the right choice now you should be proud of yourself. There is no point looking back and regretting things that can not be changed ;)

Exactly...it's just like a Sunday drive. Ignore the annoying wanker riding on your tailgate..keep your eye on the road ahead. He's not even back there.

Nest
Feb 16th, 2006, 08:16 AM
I used to be a butcher. I probably deserve to be skinned a thousand times in purgatory. I would appreciate the irony.
Nobody deserves that. :eek:

tipsy
Feb 16th, 2006, 08:57 AM
Exactly...it's just like a Sunday drive. Ignore the annoying wanker riding on your tailgate..keep your eye on the road ahead. He's not even back there.

lol, right, pilaf :rolleyes:

the past is the past.
i think there are only a few of us on this entire board that have been vegan since birth.
and like pilaf said, keep your eyes on the road ahead...:D

coney
Mar 15th, 2006, 07:27 PM
Stop discussing it with each other. It is likely you are unintentionally making yourselves upset by discussing it with each other.


Agreed, it seems you're just digging up bad feelings. Make a conscious choice to move forward with your life and say positive things, like "I feel so much better being off dairy", things like that. Give yourselves a big "Cheers!" when you sit down to dinner, be proud that it's vegan and you've taken a big positive step--one that you've been wanting to take.

You've learned from your past, now take that knowledge into your future and be positive about your life.

Oh, and congratulations!

Nest
Mar 21st, 2006, 01:01 PM
Thanks Coney! :)

I'm very happy to say that my housemate & I are both feeling much better physically and emotionally now. We took everyone's advice on board and we have stopped beating ourselves up over things we can't change.

Thanks everyone for the support & wise advice. :D