A ruined career. A near suicide. And a cure for despair in the most unlikely of places: a blood-stained slaughterhouse.
Finding your purpose, finding community and working to make the world a better place - wish we could bottle this formula for the whole world! Brilliant essay Wayne. Thank you for bravely sharing such personal details. By changing the trajectory of your life, that little lamb changed the course of history. Every individual makes an impact on the world, even a tiny lamb.
Thanks for sharing such a gut-wrenchingly honest account of what led you to these insights - and for working to make this more of an interactive community. I’ve been having some trouble lately with how easily ego and narcissism and insecurity can seemingly rise to the surface and divide people into conflict and alienation, within larger virtual and geographic vegan/animal rights communities in which people would seem to be able to feel and share certain core values and experiences so deeply in common with each other. In a world in which most seem callous or in defensive denial, or just distracted, why do these stupid feuds and cliques and ideological conflicts or contests over attention and clout seem to break out so easily among the relative few who at least ostensibly know and care and are motivated to focus on what’s really important? Is it garden variety splintering and factionalism that’s long been seen as a special talent of the left? Is it the narcissism of small differences? Do vegan/AR communities or some parts of them combine with social media insanity to create fishbowl environments which encourage jealously and gossip and attempts to undermine people working for the same goals? Maybe at some point I’ll use an unpleasant and disappointing experiences I’ve had over the last year to help illustrate this dynamic. But I’m curious if others have seen or experienced this, too?
But I don’t want to focus on a sometimes demoralizing side to what we have in common. Sanctuaries are truly magical, peaceful, healing places. And I’ve found some of the most sincere, committed, motivated, and kind people at the one I’m fortunate to live just close enough to be able to volunteer at semi-regularly. The humble, dirty work of cleaning out coops and barns and scrubbing water bowls for and sometimes while being harassed by the residents is oddly satisfying. Pitching in to try and fix something new to me feels like a chance to learn with no negative judgment looming. But some of us still struggle to truly engage deeply with other humans, to trust other humans, including other vegans, other activists and volunteers, as much as we’d like to. I’m in that boat and fear I’ve become more isolated and less hopeful since I became vegan six years ago. There are other more salient reasons of course why this may have happened. But the second-hand pain of being aware of so much suffering and not being able to stop it or forget it or turn it off is something I’m sure many of us have struggled with. It makes love and trust and fellowship with other humans, and true common cause - maybe not on every last issue, but on this one - even more important.
Wish I could join the virtual meeting this evening - another time. But I wanted to say thanks and share some thoughts that may or may not resonate with others.
Great essay/article. Keep it up. Thanks!
Thank you soooo much for sharing this.
This kills me to read that such a beautiful soul thought he had nothing to offer the world, but look at you now Wayne. I am glad you chose your current path. I love reading all your stuff. It is raw and you state everything even the truly hard stuff. You know how I said that I am not religious and for the most part I despise it, BUT, one thing biblebangers do have is faith and hope and I think that is what keeps them going that sense of purpose and I wish I had that and believed it. I have never really felt loneliness. I can say I am pretty much a true loner, but my best friend is my sibling so I may have never felt lonely because I always had them, but growing up I did not care to fit in. I did what I wanted and believed in and never succumbed to the peer pressures of society. I think not giving a fuck what others think is very freeing. I didn't care about dating minus my strict ass mom. I was considered the "hot" girl, but inside I was just me a silly goofy person who always thought about the future and what I wanted to accomplish. At 37 now though, I feel very lost. I am like this corporate 9-5 bullshit is not making a difference. This is NOT what I am meant to be doing. I feel trapped and theres no peace inside me. I wanna be like you. A hero. But how do I survive while being a fulltime activist. You have to be willing to risk it all. How do I get started? Keep up the great work. I loveee reading all your posts ❤️
Powerful and really resonated with me. You are truly brave. So much in common. I am going to be brave also. Thank you.
Finding one's purpose is a gift from above.
You really are so brave!
Thank you for this and your courage! I was so moved by your piece.
Thank you for a truthful account of your journey. It’s always best when you read something profound.
Externalization of introspective thought can be very helpful to those ill-equipped to identify, assess, and/or vocalize their own internal narrative and contemplation. I feel it would be safe to say your latest blog post single-handedly peeled off a layer of isolation and loneliness for some of your readers, so on behalf of the entire world I thank you. As a person who has been steeped in trauma and abuse I am comfortable admitting that I personally benefit and appreciate such expression even though I do engage in deep personal introspection and outward expression on a regular basis thanks to art. If I could offer a bit of advice to human beings it would be to NOT let art fall by the wayside, especially if you have kids. It doesn't matter at all if the resulting work is "good" or not, it is the act itself that is the point. You don't have to share it with anybody if you don't want to and I feel that even doing (art) work in private can help in the relation and communication with others even on a mundane day-to-day basis. Next time the feeling of absolute rage or complete despair smacks you in the face, grab a scrap piece of paper and a pen and just let your hand have at it leaving it free of all control and intention. You may very well find a certain sense of relief, calming, and perhaps a new-found way to privately (or publicly) puke out poison. When finished, walk away and come back to it (hours, weeks, or months-there is no set time, just go with the flow), for the resulting work may provide additional insight even if within an abstract cluster of scribbles. I am not a psychotherapist and I am not sure if or how what I wrote above fits into the world of 'art therapy' or its many approaches, I am just a guy who had to endure some of the worst things humans do to each other (& animals in some cases) throughout my entire life and continues to exist in a world teeming with ugliness, indifference, and evil.
Thanks for reading this far. Attached to this comment is a link to a preview to a dissertation by Bonnie Bright called 'Culture collapse disorder: Ecopsychopathy, exile, and the end of home'. I came across it a few years back and found it to be very interesting and intriguing and some of you might find it to be the same. I feel it greatly relates to this latest blog post. Wayne, perhaps Bonnie Bright might make for an interesting guest in you podcast? I am having trouble finding a link to the full text of the paper (I may just look into purchasing it from ProQuest when I get a few extra dollars) but, there is plenty to ingest within the preview provided by the aforementioned ProQuest site. Thanks everybody and be well! https://www.proquest.com/openview/98fe23fbf48c34ad50d349ce0d003f82/1?cbl=18750&loginDisplay=true&pq-origsite=gscholar
Thank you so much for sharing such an intimate part of of your incredible story in such an inspiring way!!❤️ Everyone needs to read this. You are such a pioneering force of positivity in this disconnected world, both for the helpless animals and human beings. You are definitely my favorite writer.🙏💕
Wayne , thank you for sharing 💔😔. You are truly amazing , and inspiration to animal lovers. Thank you for all you do we know it’s from your heart. 😔🐾🏽. Followed you for a long time 🙌🏾
I'm sorry the special little lamb didn't make it out of the slaughterhouse alive.
I have a bunch of rescue cats.
Thank you for sharing your story. You have inspired me so much to be a vegan voice for the animals. I have learned to be bold because of you. I have been bullied by family members and that’s ok because I am following my heart, knowing that I have found one of my many purposes in life. This particular one is making some noise so that the animals can be set free. Even if it means going against the grain. Thank you so much🙌 Much respect to you. Gloria
your vulnerability in this article is SO beautiful. thanks for sharing 🖤