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Veganism can dramatically alter ones life forever often producing deep emotional changes Although choosing veganism is a source of great joy it can also create friction among family and friends Cultural pressures the demand for conformity and the personal desire for acceptance can challenge a vegans confidence and self-esteem Because vegans so acutely see and feel the suffering of the world and are at odds with many widely accepted social customs some will invariably experience occasional bouts of the blues Vegans who experience anger pain or frustration for extended amounts of time may become depressed and exhausted from maintain such strong emotions Feelings of loneliness isolation or rejection can compound matters leading to despondency in an otherwise emotionally healthy person Holidays and celebrations such as birthdays weddings anniversaries and reunions are opportunities to reconnect with family and friend and feel like a part of the broader culture However most gatherings center around customs and practices that are very upsetting to vegans Meat is typically the center of the holiday table and the focal point of picnics and barbecues Although most happy occasions are intended to convey a spirit of fellowship and conviviality they can be extremely uncomfortable and unpleasant experiences for vegans Consequently it is not surprising that many vegans feel torn over their allegiances and may distance themselves from family and community celebrations They may opt instead to participate in alternative festivities or start their own traditions with others who share their perspectives and ideals The most difficult challenge for me in being a vegan is the separation and distance I often feel far from others who are not vegan It is no longer comfortable for me to sit down at a table where animal products are being served I feel that I know too much and it is so painful to be aware of the profound suffering and misery that is represented on the table This is especially true at celebrations
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