Envision a world where you feel stunned and asphyxiated with all that is wrong with this world. Everything you believed to be the facts, are fabrications. All lies.
As a consequence, the world becomes a dark place. A place where gluttony, dominance, and ego corrupt everything.
Doesn’t sound great, does it?
On the flip side, visualize a world where people regardless of their differences, the planet and animals live in harmony and concordance together?
To aid us improve our comprehension of the gap between darkness and light, Clare Mann, author, psychologist and animal activist, has created a new term termed Vystopia. I had the occasion to read the book “Vystopia: The anguish of being vegan in a non-vegan world”.
Before I started reading the book, I tried to research a little about Clare’s background on the Internet ahead of plunging into what Vystopia is all about. I must admit that after my research and after reading the book I habitually throw the term Vystopia around in private conversations with like-minded folks, to see how certain circumstances make us feel like as we are living in a Vystopian ecosphere.
Enjoy what I found out, and if you have some questions or suggestions, please leave them in the comment box at the end of this post.
Who is behind the origination of Vystopia
Clare Mann is a psychologist with almost thirty years of seniority in the fields of counseling and organizational psychology. She never shy’s back from discussions with substance no matter if the interlocutor is a vegan or a non-vegan patient. Clare always pushes the boundaries to find out why people do what they do and always tries to show them the consequences of their actions.
As an organizational psychologist she always tried behind closed doors to focus on ethical leadership to create a positive culture in small but also in the corporate business environment. Due to her experience she intensely trained an existential psychotherapist for over four years aside her daily workload.
These days she only works part-time as a psychologist with almost only vegans as patients. As a result of her voicing out about the suffering of vegans in their daily life as well as pointing out animal right issues that are increasingly being trampled on as the world is developing backwards, despite the increasing community of compassionate Earthlings to whom veganism is a matter of the heart.
Clare pr’d sixteen-month long leadership as well as communication programs and ran workshops for years to help vegans with all her experience and get those messages that are close to her heart out to the public. To do this even more efficiently and cost-effective, and to reach out to an even broader audience she now decided to put all her wide-ranging knowledge into an online course for vegans, being aware that she doesn’t have any more time to waste and she wants to shift her entire focus to help the movement.
How and when did the vegan journey begun
Claire’s transition journey started almost forty years ago when in ’79 she read a book called “Is That It” authored by Bob Geldof who thematized his work in a slaughterhouse in Ireland. At that time, she decided to give up meat on the spot.
Twenty years later when she understood that she had a sensitivity and developed an intolerance to dairy products, she gave-up those dairy products right away with the only one regret that she wished to have access to a community of other like-minded people to exchange information and ask questions about where dairy comes from.
Now for almost a decade Claire went fully on a plant-based diet and joined the vegan community for the good of all Earthlings.
What was the trigger for it a decade ago
At the time Clair and her husband Brendan were living a minimalist lifestyle totally off the grid on the South Island in New Zealand. They built a house with solar power and hydroelectricity connected to the internet via satellite in order to conduct business online.
One night they heard a howling that shook them to the bone. Some folks would close their ears, but just like other compassionate vegans around here they decided to investigate what happened and they found out that it was a pig dog hunting. While digging deeper they found dogs, hurt by boars, thrown in cages outdoor at minus seven degrees and they made video footage that they made available to authorities. They took the dogs away but shortly after their owner agreed to get rid of the enclosures the poor dogs were given back to the owner.
As they explored further they learned about the hunting culture in these rural areas, which they were not aware of when they moved to the South Island. But having to observe this species-ism and defiance first hand so near to their home-based, they couldn’t no longer stand to live there anymore, and they made the only obvious choice left to them which was to move back to Down Under.
Claire’s husband doubted that this would just happen in New Zealand and they started looking deeper into what was going on in Australia. Quickly they came across grievances occurring in the intensive factory farming of pigs, which was devastating to Claire who thought that after twenty years as a psychologist, working in homicide as well as in war-torn areas in the Middle East, nothing could hurt her much anymore after what she saw.
But what they had to witness in factory farming this knocked the barrel out of the ground and the couple decided on the spot to go vegan for the rest of their lives including their two dogs at the time.
What is Vystopia?
Vystopia is an expression that Claire shaped for a couple of motives. To corroborate the agony that ethical vegans’ sense when they lift the mask on the truth, firstly about the structured cruelty towards animals, which is concealed from public view of course. But then as vegans start to communicate with folks, this daze-like complicity is what Claire is calling a Vystopian world.
Vystopia resonates like utopia or dystopia, and that’s where she got the stimulus for her concept.
Utopia, of course, is a place of happiness, liberty, sympathy and empathy. A stunning model place of the world we’d like to live in.
Dystopia is darkness, gluttony, rivalry, exploitation and tyranny. Authors such as Aldous Huxley and other existential writers pen about this or as David Icke calls it, ‘The Totalitarian Tiptoe’ and when folks get there, they don’t understand that they’re there.
With all the cruelty going on, in a dystopiam world towards all Earthlings, on a huge systematically industrialized level of brutality, the anguish vegans feel while someone starts its journey is overwhelming and when they get hit by the intolerance from people in the trance-like complicity state it can be devastating to new vegans.
Because most people aren’t aware and wouldn’t believe living in a dystopian reality. Once the curtain is lifted on the abuse perpetuated on one hundred fifty billion-plus animals each and every year, folks usually try to suppress the reality because they can’t handle the truth.
But as vegans continuously scratch the surface, people start to realize that they weren’t told the truth and that’s when they look deeper into topics like education, environment, economics and broader medicine.
But when the individual refuses to dialog, snubs the facts or even scorns it all, that’s when vegan’s anguish surges. Or people themselves would be in so much agony that they couldn’t stand for their little world to be dazed by the truth, so they lose all hope. As they believe that their small actions couldn’t change a thing.
This vision of Vystopia ends in a dreadful estrangement, distress, isolation and anxiety that can even result in depression because when people are in the darkness of being part of the collusion by their non-action, and yet they know they have been deceived.
But the ethical vegan can’t get away with it, because they know, and this awareness oblige them to play their active part of the solution to reduce cruelty towards the voiceless, against all resistance as if they were part of the problem by telling people what’s going on around them.
What transformation should come from Vystopia?
Claire is confident in the fact that giving people a label at hand is a very powerful step, because it validates what vegans experience. Giving them a feel like – this is in one word exactly what it is like. Having a term that brings it to the point, by streamlining rather multifaceted and intricate layers of ruse, subterfusion, darkness and a trance-like matrix. Because sometimes vegans think they are going to talk to folks who took the red pill, but in fact they took a bottle of blue ones.
On the other side Claire recognized a move in medical practice as physicians send her people with eating disorders, self-adjustment disorder and even self-harming disorders because of graphic video material they are viewing. Often patients are hesitant to open-up how they are vegan and how all this cruelty affects them, but when they learn that Claire is vegan too patients are more confident to talk and when Claire reassures them that they don’t have a disorder but it is totally normal that they don’t want to eat meat when they have been to the slaughterhouse and witness the cruelty going on there.
Regrettably the word isn’t getting out quickly enough to the medical profession that the symptoms of veganism aren’t alike pathological disorders as in fact it is a perfectly normal reaction of any compassionate human being to be disgusted after seeing video footage around the animal cruelty going on in slaughterhouses. Instead practitioners often aim that vegans are battering and self-harming themselves by watching such video footage.
In other terms, practitioners say that patients have a problem when in fact they are unsuspectingly conspiring with the Vystopia.
A result of Vystopia should be to empower vegans and to help them mature a level of dialectic mastery so they can communicate efficiently to get individuals out of the trance, in order to ultimately refashion a better compassionate world for all Earthlings.
What impact does Vystopia has on vegans?
One chapter of Claire’s book treats about the symptoms of Vystopia on an emotional, psychological, physical as well as social level. The symptoms that vegans suffer from will be construe by physicians that their patients suffer from depression, anxiety, panic attacks, grief, suicidal and the hating of the human race.
Often vegans can’t believe that their human family are a part of this unbelievable cruelty and this anguish works at many diverse levels. There are even times where Claire feels depressed, anxious and has panic attacks all because of the lunacy of our species-ism.
Those are the symptoms that most vegans experience particularly, when they work to uncover the malfeasance’s going on in slaughterhouses, puppy farms and livestock transportation what happens to the dear sentient animals, or even for the typical ethical vegan who walks past a restaurant and the smell of pan-fried steak gets into his nasal cavity can’t move on without being taken back in their head to the cruel pictures witnessed in a slaughterhouse and video footage of tortured cattle.
Minimalism meets Vystopia
Most of us are taught that frugality brings you peace in this world, but nothing is further from the truth. The constant demand to make profit in our capitalistic system brings people to keep consuming because of this motive, while at the same time it is very hard to live a minimalist lifestyle these days. Try to get a computer screen repaired, you can’t, or you must pay even more for it to get it fixed as it would be to buy a new screen. As you see there is a continual divide between the consequences of our actions.
Therefore, I agree with Claire that we are born into socio-economic slavery system. I read somewhere that if every human being on the planet would consume as much as the average US citizen, four earths would be needed to sustain them not to speak of the enormous increase in suffering on Earthlings that would give rise to. This would be totally unsustainable!
Claire believes that living a minimalist lifestyle totally off the grid taught her an essential lesson in life, as she became aware of the environment that she depended on the natural resources of the land to power her home with hydroelectricity. For most of us turning on the light doesn’t make us think about the consequences. But, suddenly she recognized that she wasn’t separate from the environment, just simply we are the environment.
Simplicity suggests us a valuable method to be coupled to the significance of our activities.
Claire wrote the book for vegans but also for non-vegans to plant a seed of consciousness in their heads to bring them to wake-up from trance and ask themselves the right questions like “Maybe I have been conned? Or I wonder why I was influenced that way? How can I discover the truth by digging deeper into this?” If the books cause people to reflect on all this topic I am certain they will become more compassionate towards all sentient beings and we will have a chance to make this planet a better place for all Earthlings.
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What do you guys think on the subject, did you read the book and what comes to mind when you hear the term Vystopia