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Thread: being vegan leading to life/career changes

  1. #1

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    Default being vegan leading to life/career changes

    Bit of background first...Been vegan for 6 years now and was vegetarian for 8 years before that. I work in the medical research field looking into the differences between cancer and normal cells. A long time ago, I used to test on animals. Once I saw what was going on, I quit. Now, I still work in research lab and although I don't test on animals some of the materials I used are derived from animals. I rationalize this being ok because I am researching a cure for cancer (though the likelyhood of that is minimal).

    So here comes the questions. Recently something has happened to make me question all this. And now my "extreme" lifestyle of being vegan and the work I do is not compatible. I see myself as a hypocrite. How can I judge people that eat meat when I test on them? I am thinking about a career change, but am scared and unsure as to where to go next. I already tend to be pretty forward about my views, in that I dislike even being around meat and although I try not to be too rude, I do let people know how I feel. I can't help it; it's something I feel strongly about.

    But has anyone else gone through something similar? Where because of an event, you ended up questioning your whole being and making monumental changes in your life?

    Thanks for any info.

  2. #2
    fiver's Avatar
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    Default Re: being vegan leading to life/career changes.

    I'd be hard pressed to claim 'purity' in all aspects of my life. There have been discussions on this forum about the use of medications containing animal-derived ingredients, such as gelatin - for which there are no alternatives. Also, people who are employed in shops and restaurants which sell animal products among other things.

    I think, do as much as you can practically do in this animal-exploiting world and don't sweat on details. Nothing is gained by being miserable, homeless or dead (LOL, that sounds a bit morbid) due to circumstances beyond our control. A more constructive thing to do is advocate change.
    Last edited by fiver; Dec 12th, 2013 at 03:34 PM.

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    Default Re: being vegan leading to life/career changes.

    I understand that there is no way to go 100% animal-free, but where do we draw the line? Is it personal based? How do we know that enough is enough? And how do you cope with everyone around you exploiting animals? It is frustrating me to no end lately. And the comments people make sometimes are so inconsidersate. They make me question myself and the choices I am making as being not enough. But, really, will it ever be enough? But like you said Fiver, it does get to sound a bit morbid when you go to the extremes.

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    fiver's Avatar
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    Default Re: being vegan leading to life/career changes.

    Quote dela
    I understand that there is no way to go 100% animal-free, but where do we draw the line? Is it personal based? How do we know that enough is enough?
    I think the fact that you see yourself as a hypocrite says enough. Your own conscience senses a conflict between your values and actions. Would it help if I said you are or aren't doing enough? I might have different values than you. Isn't your decision somewhat personal?

    Quote dela
    And how do you cope with everyone around you exploiting animals? It is frustrating me to no end lately. And the comments people make sometimes are so inconsiderate.
    I'm not the person to ask about coping. Today, I had to endure some co-workers talking about their preferred cooking of steak... 'still mooing' was the consensus.

    Quote dela
    They make me question myself and the choices I am making as being not enough.
    People who don't care at all are known for trying to catch out those who do. Their intent is not to make the world a better place by promoting higher standards, but to justify their having lower standards.
    Last edited by fiver; Dec 14th, 2013 at 01:48 PM.

  5. #5
    Pea-utiful... Peabrain's Avatar
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    Default Re: being vegan leading to life/career changes.

    Here in the UK, we have Cancer Research UK who do test on animals, and Marie Curie Cancer Care who don't test on animals; perhaps you may find a similar organisation to the one you're currently working in, that tests in ways that are compatible with your ideals? The BUAV here would know which charities are animal friendly, so there may be a similar organisation where you are? Just a thought...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote fiver View Post
    People who don't care at all are known for trying to catch out those who do. Their intent is not to make the world a better place by promoting higher standards, but to justify their having lower standards.
    A good point by fiver, although I do understand your feelings dela.

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    Default Re: being vegan leading to life/career changes.

    Thanks for all the info guys. I am looking into different alternatives now. Going to visit jungle friends primate sanctuary in fl usa this week. Totally excited and looking forward to that.

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    Default Re: being vegan leading to life/career changes.

    Hi Dela, I hope you had a wonderful time at the sanctuary! I just wanted to say I can totally relate to your frustrations. I used to work for a Cancer Charity years ago and I showed investors and volunteers around the cancer research hospital where all those poor animals were tested on. I was vegan at the time as well, but always felt awful doing that. I go through periods where I just can't stand being around people who are just mindless of the suffering that they help to keep in this world and other times I manage to numb myself more. I have no solutions for you, but I do hope you can find some peace in what you're doing, whatever that is. Like what has been said before, it's almost impossible to be 100% cruelty free these days. I've been vegan now for almost 20 years and I'm still learning. Your heart is in the right place and that's what really matters.

  8. #8

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    Default Re: being vegan leading to life/career changes.

    I wonder how the sanctuary went - maybe you are still there?
    I have a similar dilemma - I am the main breadwinner in our family and so can't discard my job lightly. I am a doctor (psychiatrist specialising in dementia care) and prescribe drugs that I know to have been tested on animals. I can see the distress of my patients, and I do want to relieve it.
    I rationalise it various ways or sometimes mentally put my fingers in my ears and say lalala.
    - If I didn't do it, they'd find some one else (as the Nazi said to the vicar)
    - By being openly vegan in a position of power (I'm a consultant), I'm a role model
    - I am motivated to make sure that people with all dietary needs are properly catered for in my hospital (haven't succeeded yet but I'm trying)
    - I take medication, so I might as well prescribe it

    I would really love to do something that matches my values but I don't have the confidence or imagination to change.

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