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Coping as a Vegan Empath or Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)


Though certainly not every vegan identifies as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), the overlap between the two is significant. HSP is a personality trait first coined by psychologist Dr. Elaine Aron in the early 1990’s, which she describes as “not a new discovery,” but a concept that has long been misunderstood. (The term “empath” has come to be used fairly interchangeably with HSP, and some people prefer one term over the other.) 


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The Vegans’ Trauma

*This post is by contributor Shiri Raz, PhD 

Sarah is a 35-year-old successful career woman, married and mother of two. She is known among her colleagues and friends for her positive attitude towards the world, and the natural tendency to make lemonade from every lemon life throws at her. Although Sarah never thought she could ever feel this way, for the last two years she is in constant pain - sometimes bearable, sometimes agonizing - at every moment, everywhere she goes.


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Raising Vegan Children

*This post is by contributor Heidi Leabman, LSCW-R, SE

I am a psychotherapist, an ethical vegan for over 20 years, and a mom of a 13 year old girl.  I have often reflected on how to raise my daughter vegan with compassion for animals while not imposing my beliefs or chosen lifestyle on her.  I have also reflected on the struggles vegan children face in a non-vegan world.  I have worked with vegan and non vegan parents of vegan children in my practice.


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A Recipe for Change

*This post is by Contributor Liz Hirky, PhD

A Recipe for Change

Veganism is about non-exploitation.  An important part of veganism is about food -- something we have to negotiate with every day – and is the focus of this week’s blog.  Of course, the process of change, however, can be applied to veganism and non-exploitation more generally.


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Saving the Planet One Meal at a Time

This post is by contributor Christine Jackson, LICSW*

A troubling trend has emerged in recent discussions I’ve read and heard about climate change. The words that concern me are not coming from climate change deniers, but from people who, like me, are deeply worried about the far-reaching and tragic effects of the build-up of global carbon emissions and other environmental problems. What I’m hearing is this: that only governments and major corporations can have a big enough impact to help our suffering planet, and that addressing individuals’ behaviors isn’t worth pursuing. What rubbish!


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How Being an Angry Vegan Can Harm Animals

This post is by Contributor Rima Danielle Jomaa, MFT*
Being a vegan for close to a decade has been a wild ride. In 2010, vegan was a dirty word that people wanted to distance themselves from, the options to dine out were limited, and feeling included in any type of group outing where food was involved felt like an overwhelming and difficult task.


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Mixed relationships – vegan and non-vegan – can it work?

This post is by contributor Shiri Raz, PhD Candidate.*

Dan and Jessica were the loving and supportive couple everyone wanted to be like. They met in high school, got married and had two beautiful daughters. Dan admired Jessica and Jessica had always told her friends that Dan was the perfect husband. Nothing seemed to separate them or interfere with their harmony. But one day everything changed.


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Looking Behind the Curtain*

This is a post from contributor Christine Jackson, LICSW.

Many psychotherapists believe that people with anxiety and depression benefit from exposing and experiencing their repressed feelings, those bound up with long-buried hurts and disappointments. It takes courage and determination to examine old wounds and to feel the feelings they stir up. People take all kinds of steps to avoid facing uncomfortable feelings.  


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BBQ Season: How Do Vegans Get Grilled?


This post is by contributor Sherry Zitter, MSW, LICSW*

It’s Barbecue season! Besides the major holidays, this is possibly the toughest time for vegan clients and therapists alike.

Why would this be? Don’t vegans eat with meat-eaters all year long? Yes, but certain times of year focus even more on the animals to be eaten and often expect vegans to join in on this commentary or be considered “spoilers.” The summer barbecue culture often leaves vegans feeling isolated, depressed and bit…grilled.