Compassion Fatigue and Mental Health

So, this blog is a departure from my usual product reviews and activism. As I sit here in Starbucks enjoying a green tea, I feel compelled to speak on a very personal, yet common topic: Compassion fatigue and depression.

With all of today’s technology, virtually anyone, anywhere can be a vegan activist. You can be a keyboard warrior for animals on social media, you can produce hard-hitting documentaries exposing animal cruelty, you can write petitions and blog posts, you can march on the streets, or simply share posts! ANYONE can be an activist, meaning EVERYONE can make a difference.

To do these things mentioned above, the main ingredient needed is compassion! Compassion for the cows who suffer on meat and dairy farms, for the chickens who have the beaks sawed off and are crammed into filthy overcrowded facilities, for the piglets who die on the floor of CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) or have their heads bashed on the concrete because they don’t meet the criteria of a profitable pig.      

After being made of aware of the abject cruelty and violence committed against animals, the realization that all of these horrors are committed or supported by humans can be difficult to swallow. It can also be difficult to acknowledge that until you went vegan yourself, you were also part of the problem.      

Your grandparents eat meat and dairy, so does your significant other, your best friend, your neighbor, so what now?!      

The most important thing you can do is present veganism in a positive light! After all, it is a movement based on respect and compassion for all life… what’s not positive about that? What you DO NOT want to do is shame others for not being on the same level you are. You need to meet people where they are. Most likely, they grew up seeing endless advertisements for meat and dairy and fully believe that animal products are necessary to be strong and healthy (the meat and dairy industry spends billions to convince us – it is not our fault!). It is natural to get defensive when everything you’ve been told your entire life by family, friends, and the media is challenged, and ultimately, false.

So, how do you share veganism in a positive way? Lead by example! Cook and share some delicious vegan food! Watch documentaries together, have productive conversations, show them how easy and fulfilling veganism can be!      

When communicating with people who are not able to accept the truth behind the foods they consume, you can be bombarded with negativity. It is not a personal attack (or shouldn’t be), it is merely people protecting what they have been brainwashed to believe and most likely, they are trying to rectify in their minds the cruelty they have been supporting their entire lives. This is actually a good thing and a step in the right direction! Keep engaging them and show them that veganism is easy, accessible, and delicious! You will be surprised what a bite of a delicious vegan burger or cheese can do!      

Back to the original point of this post – Whether you’re an activist or you work FT for an animal protection organization like I do, constantly hearing about, watching, and witnessing atrocious crimes against animals can take its toll on your morale and spirit. It can also be overwhelming when people cannot see the cruelty of their ways or they flat out refuse to change. Over time, the feeling of defeat and disappointment can become something called “compassion fatigue.”

I am not a mental health professional, but I do suffer from depression and have since a young age – long before I became vegan or an activist. I will always be vegan and I will always fight for animal rights in some capacity! So… I have come up with a few ways to deal with mental health issues to continue my important work! *Please seek professional help if necessary!

It is important to practice self-care and to join or build a community with similar interests. If you need a break from activism, take one! Animals needs us, and we can only do our best work if we take care of ourselves! Spend a day, a week, a month, a year to refocus and recharge! Spend time in nature, try a new hair color, go exploring, volunteer, have fun! Remember to give yourself credit for all of the work you have done. It is not easy! To find like-minded people, try Meetup.com to start or join vegan groups in your area, or find groups on Facebook. There are tons!      

Like I said, I’ve dealt with life-long depression. Compassion fatigue made it even worse. In the same vein as self-care, it is so important to surround yourself with supportive people – including your living environment – who have your best interest and well-being at heart. People who will check in on you, make sure you’re alright, and offer words of encouragement and support because they truly care. People who can recognize when you’re feeling low and will make an effort to make you feel valued and included. If you do not live in that kind of environment (I didn’t), please do whatever you can to change it. Even if it seems impossible.

If you know someone dealing with depression, the best thing you can do is to let them know you care. They are most likely feeling isolated, misunderstood, and lonely. Send a text, give them a call, a hug, invite them out… they may not respond, but your words and efforts can mean the world to someone who is suffering. Just a few seconds of thoughtfulness can be the difference between life and death.

When I was finally able to leave (a few seconds of bravery can radically change your life), I started practicing self-care and allowing people to see the real me. You can too. YOU are worth it – to the animals, the world, and to me! You deserve a beautiful life. We ALL do! If that’s not the very essence of veganism, I don’t know what it is!

OK! I want to throw an offer out there to all of my vegan warriors! If you are experiencing compassion fatigue or depression for any reason (even if you’re not vegan), you can reach out to me at vegantreasurehunter@gmail.com or on IG @VeganTreasureHunter!

If you are feeling overwhelmed or feel like you want to hurt yourself, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/ to chat with someone!

You are important. You are not alone. You are loved.

Happy Mother’s Day to All!

This Mother’s Day, I ask you to not only think about your own mom, but to think of all the mom’s on this planet that love their children. Whether you’re taking your mom out to brunch, you haven’t seen your mom in awhile, or even if they are no longer living, there is most certainly and undeniably a natural bond between mothers and their babies.

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This Mother’s Day, consider the grieving diary cow that had her calf stolen from her only moments after given birth. Think of the mother goat that was slaughtered for meat and didn’t get to see her babies grow up. Think of the mother sheep that witnesses her children’s wool being ripped from their skin… the mother pig that watches her piglets waste away in filthy cages or get smashed against concrete for being “too small.” Think of the baby chickens that will miss out on a life with their mom and are ground up alive only seconds after being born.

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All Mother’s love their children. All beings want and deserve to be loved. A cow, a pig, a chicken, a deer… they are no different than us.

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This Mother’s Day, please open your heart and mind and consider going vegan. Feel free to check out my Instagram @VeganTreasureHunter or send me an email at Vegantreasurehunter@gmail.com if you’d like some help! You can also check out my Resources page to learn more!

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Vegan Police Shop – Adorable Totes, Lunch Bags, and Buttons!

Company: Vegan Police Shop

Products:

No Animals Harmed Recycled Cotton Lunch Bag

Vegan Tote Bag

Vegan Buttons

Reviews

Vegan Police Shop creates adorable clothing and accessories that proudly spread the vegan message!

Their “Ferocious Vegan” T-shirt was the first vegan shirt I ever bought and I still love it to this day! It comes in Men’s and Women’s sizes and it is the perfect gift for any vegan on your shopping list!

The Vegan Tote bag is large multipurpose accessory for vegans on the go! It is great as a gym bag, school bag, beach bag… or just anywhere you want to promote veganism and your love of animals! It’s made of a soft cotton material and you can choose the color of ink that you want! *The style pictured above is not currently in their shop, but the “I Don’t Eat Pals” design is!

The No Animals Harmed Recycled Cotton Lunch Bag is AWESOME! It says “No Animals Were Harmed In The Making Of This Lunch.” You’re vegan and doing great things for the animals and the planet… You should give yourself a little pat on the back every now and then! This drawstring lunch bag is the perfect way to do that! This bag is soft and has more than enough room to bring some veggies and an entire container of hummus for lunch, along with other stereotypical vegan lunch items! It has a drawstring and velcro at the top to make sure all of your snacks stay secure. I love this bag so much!

And… Who doesn’t like buttons? Stick these on you backpacks, scarves, shirts… you name it! So cute!

The Bottom Line

I highly recommend these items from Vegan Police Shop! They’re high quality, freakin’ adorable and make the perfect gifts for the holiday! Head on over to their shop to see all of the fun designs that they have for sale!

Happy Holidays!

Georgia Charms Cosmetics Product Reviews 

Company: Georgia Charms Handmade Cosmetics  

“Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, Bath Bombs, Bubble Bars and More”

“I believe in the therapy of natural cosmetics. Sometimes all you need to turn your day into a happy one is a hot bath, a beautiful bath bomb, and a good book. I love providing people with things that they will enjoy and brighten their day. Enjoy the little things in life!”

Products:

Mother of Unicorns 40 oz. XXXL Bath Bomb – $15.00 USD

Rose Glow Pearl Priming and Setting Mist (2.7 oz. – $12.00 USD)

Cool As A Cucumber Facial Toner (2.7 oz – $7.95 USD)

Reviews:

Let’s just jump right in and talk about the GIANT BATH BOMB in the room! The Mother of Unicorns 40 oz. XXXL Bath Bomb is everything you could ever want in a bath bomb… just a lot more of it! Everything from the sweet strawberry fragrance, the bright pink, yellow, and blue colors to the biodegradable glitter is absolutely fantastic! Not gonna lie, I had a hard time waiting to take pictures of this. I just wanted to throw it in the tub to watch what happens! To put the size of this Mother of Unicorns Bath Bomb into perspective, a Lush bath bomb is 6.3 ounces. This bad boy is over 6 times as big! Now that is a big mother (of Unicorns)!

Once I dropped this gigantic bath bomb into the tub, it fizzed and danced around for over 2 minutes! It swirled the beautiful pink, yellow, and blue colors to create the bathtub masterpiece you see above! See the “V” for vegan?! Once the bubbles disappeared you’re left with gorgeous amethyst colored water that I just didn’t want to put down the drain! I do have to note that my bathtub was stained a bright magenta color which required me to scrub it with bleach. It’s a good idea to clean your tub after each use, so it wasn’t too big of a deal. Totally worth it!


The Rose Glow Pearl Priming and Setting Mist is another super unique product from Georgia Charms. It’s a primer and setting spray made with homemade rose water and aloe vera juice to hydrate and nourish the skin, witch hazel to purify, and natural mica to give ya some shimmer! It has a light, natural, powdery rose fragrance and the shimmer is a golden tone that makes tanned summer skin and pretty much all skin tones look GORGEOUS!
This spray is not shy with the shimmer, so 1-2 sprays is all you need. Unless of course, you want to look like a Golden Globe Award, which is cool, too. I did have a few instances where the pump got stuck, and when I tried again, I got a ton of product on me. So, I suggest giving it a practice pump, then spraying it onto your face. This product really does give your skin a nice and summery glow while giving it a kiss of hydration. I sprayed it on my collar bones and arms to look like the mermaid I was born to be, because why the heck not?


The Cool as A Cucumber Soothing Facial Toner is a nice and refreshing treat for ya skin! Aloe vera and witch hazel hydrate your pretty little face while cucumber extract cools and calms. This is perfect for hot summer days and nights when you don’t want to use a heavy moisturizer but still want a little something on your skin. The fine mist smells of fresh cucumbers and quickly absorbs into the skin, making it the perfect for using under your makeup or moisturizer.

The Bottom Line

The Mother of Unicorns XXXL Bath Bomb is probably the most fun I’ve ever had taking a bath! I highly recommend trying this, or any of the other XXXL bath bombs out. The Rose Glow Setting Mist is a great product, just be careful with the pump! The Cool as a Cucumber Soothing Facial Toner is nice and refreshing, and I would recommend it to anyone that likes the smell of cucumber! Georgia Charms makes unique, high-quality products that are fun to use and great for your skin. Head on over to their site to check out all that they have to offer!

Thank you, Georgia Charms Cosmetics, for sending me these products to review!