VZ 117: Making a Difference with Vegetarianism


In this episode of the Vegetarian Zen podcast we discuss a topic that was suggested by a listener. She wondered if some people who became vegetarian or vegan for reasons pertaining to animal welfare suffer from depression because they feel that they are not making a difference with vegetarianism. We address some reasons for these feelings as well as suggest some ways to overcome them.


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While wandering a deserted beach at dawn, stagnant in my work, I saw a man in the distance bending and throwing as he walked the endless stretch toward me. As he came near, I could see that he was throwing starfish, abandoned on the sand by the tide, back into the sea. When he was close enough I asked him why he was working so hard at this strange task. He said that the sun would dry the starfish and they would die. I said to him that I thought he was foolish. There were thousands of starfish on miles and miles of beach. One man alone could never make a difference. He smiled as he picked up the next starfish. Hurling it far into the sea he said, “It makes a difference for this one.” I abandoned my writing and spent the morning throwing starfish.

— Loren Eiseley, 20th Century American anthropologist

Question: Do you ever feel like being a vegetarian or vegan is pointless? If so, how have you worked through those feelings? You can leave a comment by clicking here.


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Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa


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2 thoughts on “VZ 117: Making a Difference with Vegetarianism

  1. Thank you for this episode. I have struggled with this topic a bit. I too do not watch any cruelty whatsoever (animal nor human), but like to be aware without the visuals. I am a vegetarian and I give money to charities that help people and hopefully that helps even just one being. Sometimes I still have friends make comments like, “You’re vegetarian? How sad.” I usually just say, “It’s what is right for me.” My father is of Mexican American decent and that was the toughest part was moving away from the foods I knew. However, I have found lots of replacements for my tacos, enchiladas, tostadas, etc.
    I’m also happy you both are so relaxed about vegetarian/vegan/reducitarianism as sometimes I am down on myself that I’m not vegan.
    I hope one day I get to meet you both, you are good people. Have a fabulous day.

    • Hi Jen!

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this episode. We really want people to understand that any and every action, no matter how large or how small, does make a difference. Just like with eating…you don’t have to eat a strict vegan diet 100 percent of the time to be making positive changes for your health, for animals, and for the environment. Vickie and I really hope that we are helping to spread that message. It always makes us feel so wonderful to hear that people are listening and can appreciate and relate to what we are saying.

      We’d love to start being able to do some regional meet-ups at some point, so maybe we will get to meet! Thanks again for your long-time support. It really does mean the world to us.

      Peace & Veggies,

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