Culture shock is a big issue for travellers in destinations abroad and also for when they return home (reverse culture shock-after taking in and accepting a new culture, finding it hard to re-immerse yourself in your own once you return).
As a new vegan I feel as if I am experiencing culture shock myself.
I have embarked on an exciting and important new adventure while the world around me remains the same.
People in my circle (even close friends) don’t (seem to) want to hear much about my new path or read my blog even though I’m so excited and I’ve lots to share with them about my new experiences! I want to tell them how easy it is to go vegan! I want to tell them about the new recipes I am finding and creating!! I want to tell them the bad stuff too – how animals suffer for us so much and on such a huge scale it’s almost unimaginable. I feel as if they should want to know just as a traveller feels his friends and family should want to hear about his adventures and even go there to experience it themselves.
But the truth is that they don’t.
It really hurts when this happens – it’s shocking to share such an enormous change in your life and feel that it’s not really being heard or appreciated.
I watched ‘The Ghosts in Our Machine” last week-end. I was talking to my sister the next day about it-and she said, “People don’t want to know.”
It appalls me this. It really shocks me on some level and on another level, I know it’s true and it even makes sense. People don’t want to know and even can’t handle that much information and in fairness I suppose everyone has their own lot to deal with. Why should everyone want to go to Africa just because I do?
Me – on the other hand, I want to know….about veganism and about animal rights. And I want to know the bad stuff too so that I can educate others and try to make changes.
Sitting around the lunch room last week at work watching everyone eat pizza while I ate my vegan lunch made me feel as if I really don’t belong anymore. Being vegan can be a lonely choice – not hard to be vegan in the sense of what I eat, but it’s hard watching everyone else blindly putting suffering into their mouths. They don’t know what I know, feel what I feel, value what I value and for that reason I feel a strong sense of culture shock at times.
Like moving to a new country by myself.