2 0 1 7
If I were to sum up 2017 in one word it would be ‘opinions’ and I definitely gained a lot of these, strongly. This year for me, was one of several revelations, the biggest was learning my heartfelt and true opinion on eating meat, dairy and eggs. I’m not going to go into the details of such opinions or how I discovered them, rather I’m going to reflect on how they affected my 2017.
Once I had realised what I had been contributing to, for the entirety of my life, all I wanted to do was show others what was going on and to help them make the connection too. The first thing I thought to do was to utilise my personal social media platforms, and I constantly shared graphic videos (none of which I could watch myself) that unveiled the horrors of the industries. My intention was to raise awareness and in my naive mind, I thought that my family and friends would totally get it and want to drop meat, too—WRONG. So so wrong, and it didn’t take long for me to learn that I had totally approached the issue in the wrong way and to be honest, it feels like the damage is irrevocable and that is something I am still trying to deal with.
People who I thought were my friends were un-friending me, challenging me and some were being quite bitchy about/towards me. I was open to being challenged, it meant that people were interested in wtf I was going on about and I must say that there were a few people who were genuinely interested in what I had to say. Other people, however, were not so direct. Rather, they would indirect tweet about people who don’t eat meat and it would not take Sherlock to work out that it was me they were talking about.
At the time, I convinced myself that it didn’t bother me and I was fine with it, but it definitely had a bigger impact on me that I thought it would. What hurts the most was the fact that this tweet was being liked by so many of the people I thought were ‘friends’. I felt totally embarrassed, like I had done something so horrible and awful that they had to support this tweet. It honestly made me feel like an absolute demon and I know it was just a tweet and i shouldn’t overthink it, but that’s just what I do! I was called a ‘d*ck’ by someone I hadn’t spoken to in years, I was sent pictures of meat (because that’s funny apparently!!!) and some things that were said about me I could never and would never want to repeat on here. Basically, I thought that by sharing these videos I could help people and thus help animals, but instead that didn’t happen and I think I not only lost a few ‘friends,’ but I also lost a bit of my confidence.
Most people who know me probably think that I am strong with my opinions. In fact, even my teacher before I left school (when I was not even vegetarian) said that the thing that stood out to her the most (in a positive way, lol, this was meant as a compliment), was that I have such staunch opinions and once they are formed, they cannot be shaken (and i thought that was true until the whole meat thing, but in all other aspects of life—this is the case). I am confident in my opinions and I like to talk about them, as I think everyone should- what’s the point in having them otherwise? However, this year, I found myself wanting to conceal my opinions rather than talk about them, to avoid argument/losing friends and this is just so unlike me.
I stopped sharing negative things on social media and I now only share positive stories to do with the industries—for example, before I would have shared a video of a calf crying out as they were taken away from their mother people could have her milk, now, I share videos of calves being reunited with their mothers at sanctuaries and because this is much less frequent, I am thus sharing less videos.
Despite this, I still think I am being subconsciously labelled as the ‘preachy’ ‘forceful’ vegan and it actually kills me to think that this is how people view me And when people think/ refer to me now, my defining characteristic has become ‘the vegan’. I’m not saying, though, that people are out of order for thinking/doing this, they are just blissfully ignorant and I can understand why I come across that way. I would have probably thought it about someone else, before I really learnt about veganism let’s be honest, and it’s my fault for approaching it in the wrong way. When I shared those videos-it came across as an attack and who would respond well to that?
Now I am quiet on my personal social media about veganism, which honestly is tough for me, but I know that it is for the best. I use my Compassion is the Fashion accounts to address my thoughts, all of which are received by a much more welcoming group of people and this has to be the best thing that has come out of 2017, for me. Honestly, I do not know what I would have done this year without the cruelty free community. It’s so refreshing to be part of a community of like-minded and supportive people who don’t make me feel like I am annoying for sharing my views.
I always knew that youtube was something I wanted to do and one year on since I started it and I could not be happier that I uploaded that initial (crappy) video. I absolutely LOVE lovelove to make videos and I love it all the more because I have a deep passion for the underlying cruelty free message found in all my videos. I’m learning to utilise my platforms in the most efficient way possible to help animals (my goal) and although I wish I had learnt to do this sooner, a part of me probably needed to experience the bad things that came with this year. I am stronger because of it and I am ready to take this strength with me into 2018 (cringey i know lol soz not soz).
This year was a bit of a rollercoaster for me, now I come to think of it. My opinions have changed in such a way, that my life will never be the same. Although I might’ve fitted better into the crowd before, it’s just not what’s meant to/could ever be, now that my perspective has changed…I wouldn’t want to fit into a crowd that is so different to me, anyway. This year is going to be all about learning to deal with not fitting in entirely, but being happy regardless. Thank you all for coming along with me, and here is to 2018!!
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. – Dr. Seuss