Vegan Foods for Life

How to cope with anxiety over animal cruelty

Hi there,

I'm not long into a new vegan lifestyle, got everything covered with no problem ( food, clothing, cosmetics, charities, organizations etc. etc.) My only struggle is coping with the constant knowledge that at every second of every day there are animals suffering/dying at the hands of human beings.

I do all I can to help....signing petitions, starting social media groups to raise awareness, donating to as many charities that I can...etc. Nothing ever seems enough and although I drive myself mad constantly watching the disturbing images/stories and appeals that come's like I'm addicted..I can't not look and react as I feel that if I did, I would be turning my back on the suffering animals.

Also, since gaining all the knowledge on every aspect of animal welfare/farming/entertainment/testing etc. all the day to day things I used to take for granted are now highlighted. For instance, hearing someone in a supermarket trying to decide between skimmed or semi skimmed milk , people heading for McDonalds or KFC, trying on leather shoes, sampling make up,wearing Ugg Boots, walking past a butchers or fishmongers, drinking Coca Cola!!!!'s all louder...all magnified...I have to brace myself before venturing out as I know the world around me is going to make me feel heartbroken,uncomfortable or angry at any given time!!

I know it's probably because it's all new to me and it's like I've been blind for many years and now I can technicolor!!

I'm just finding I can't seem to enjoy the things I used to do....even a walk in the forest is painful as I see a deer or a hare and instantly see the horrific images of the same species that I may have seen. I am constantly crying...sometimes in between dealing with clients at work, I nip to the look to let it out then have to put on the brave, smiling face's exhausting!

I'm noticing I'm getting less tolerant with people, even loved ones....I'm snappy and grumpy all the time and hardly sleep!

Boy what a mess why?

Sorry to rant, just wish I was better at coping and therefore more useful to the cause! Right now my world has been turned upside-down and I'm all over the place!

Has anyone gone through this? And has anyone come through it and found away of coping?

All comments and advice gratefully welcomed!!!

12 Replies

By the way "look" was supposed to say "loo"

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I think you make a good point. There are people out there who don't care one way or the other about using animals for everything from A to Z, but you can't let it bother you personally or you won't be able to do anything else. Keep up the hard work with the signing of the petitions and other forms to help animals be able not to be used for anything. I know you can do it. If you ever want to talk, I'm always around to listen.


Thankyou so much, your advice is appreciated, I know I shouldn't let it bother me personally....this is what I'm struggling with and working on. Just need to find a way of not letting it get to me so much....I'll get there!! In the meantime thanks again for your kind words....I'll be sure to let you know if I need to talk.



You'e very welcomed! Enjoy your day/evening!:-)


Oh my goodness! I feel exactly the same, was just talking to my boyfriend about it actually!

I'm always seeing horrible videos about animal cruelty in the farming industry, it's truly disgusting. I get so angry then that anger turns into complete pain because I feel so helpless!

I used to share loads of vegan and anti-cruelty post on my Facebook page but people would always lash out at me with pathetic excuses. So awful.

It's really difficult but we have to keep fighting for what's right.

Best wishes. X


I'm with you sister xx thankyou for sharing - good to know I'm not the only one...and yes you're right let's just keep on fighting !!!! xxx


Hi Sim999

I've been vegan 7 months so I've not been a vegan for that long. I feel as though I freeze up because when I see that person picking up a packet of cheese in sainbury's, my first thought is shame; that was me not too long ago. I generally give people the benefit of the doubt and assume they just don't realise whats the real cost of what they are consuming.

It is scary though, seeing it all around you, its especially bad in city centres with all the shops and signs.

I agree with you that feeling more calm will probably help us spread the message because those who oppose veganism would like for others to consider us as overly sensitive.

I personally think you need a break from the disturbing videos and images right now. I understand the feeling that you need to bear witness but at a certain point you have to realise you're torturing yourself and it is affecting your life and ability to spread the message.

I don't really want to go into much detail but through my life and previous career I've seen and experienced a lot of violence and was able to handle it well but the feeling of being powerless to stop what you see in those videos is brutal and I had to stop looking at it. I've been able to convince my parents to cut meat, dairy and eggs recently and I know that wouldn't have even been possible had I kept watching those videos and not been able to contain my feelings on their previous excuses.


I totally empathize with you! I have been a vegetarian and now vegan for almost 30 years. I have been to farm sanctuaries and witnessed farm factory horrors, plus I live in the nation's dairy state! It doesn't get easier, but knowing the reality of how things are and that change can take place (however, never quick enough) sustains me. I protest at pharmaceutical companies, university labs, circuses, etc, and write endless letters to politicians, corporate businesses, the DNR and the like to advocate for animal welfare. I also cry a lot. It seems like an futile attempt at times, but then there are those times when I know my attempt at trying to make this earth a compassionate one for all has made a difference. The biggest change I have seen over the years is that school children, elementary through college, are becoming more aware of the violence and suffering attached to eating animals and they are choosing a vegan lifestyle early on, YAY! Whenever I too get weary, I congregate with like minded people or go to YouTube and watch The Farm Sanctuary's live webcams and videos of the remarkable animals there and their stories; restores my faith in humanity. Please remember that it is your compassion, education and awareness that plants seeds and makes change happen! Thank you for all you do for the animals!


I struggle with this too. I have good days and bad days but have learnt to live with it now. I do as much as I can. Good luck

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I struggle with this too sometimes! I've been vegan since March and now that I've seen 'the light', I find it hard to think about all the animals still suffering! We can only do so much personally, though - keep signing petitions, talking to people about veganism, etc. because the meat and animal by-product industries aren't going to disappear overnight (unfortunately!), but by educating others about veganism and about how animals are killed and exploited for non-vegan's food, we can slowly change that!

One person can only do so much. I've come to realise that. We want to take the world on our shoulders, but the world is very heavy! Like, I want to single-handedly eradicate plastic from our oceans and environment, but I literally don't have the expertise, manpower or money to do that by myself - so I need others to shoulder the burden too, and if everyone in the world realises what human activity is doing to the oceans and pulls together to stop it, then that's better than stressing out and making myself mentally ill over something that I can't personally achieve on my own! And I think it parallels very well to what we experience as vegans - we have to realise that the world won't change overnight, but if we all pull together and try to change hearts and minds, then we might get somewhere, and being optimistic is always good! :)


The awakening is awful. I used to drink dairy milk & eat cheese and thought it was humane. Now I consider it the worst of the worst. I had so many misconceptions and cannot understand how I could have been so blind.

How do I bring my family an friends on this journey is a huge challenge for me. I try to concentrate on the health & similar positive aspects. But f&f are generally comfortable in their blindness and also generally want to stay there.

And blindness is the only word for it.


The reason I became vegan was because of the movies I've seen and article's I've read. It's terrible what animal's go through! There's no doubt about that. I wouldn't keep watching video's and stuff, cause that'll only make you feel worse. Keep in mind that you are helping and so are many other people are helping because of becoming vegan :) It's a start to hopefully ending animal suffering. Maybe in the future thing's will be different? I sure hope so! The only way I cope is knowing that there are good people out there trying to help and save animal's :)