I read what Dr. Joyce has written and I understand exactly how she feels.
I often try to "fit in" with co-workers and friends who constantly talk about the wings or burgers they had for dinner last night, who has the best meat loaf recipee, or showing off their newest pair of leather shoes. The smile stays on my face but on the inside a curtain comes down.
Inside, I am always hurting.
If I say anything about animal suffering, eyes roll, or they give each other the "look." I often feel like the outcast. My co-workers are offended by my presense in the kitchen area. They sometimes stop speaking when I walk in.
Many of them go to church and consider themselves good Christians. They talk about God and faith and sometimes the men talk about hunting. My brother-in-law wears a shirt on Thanksgiving that says "Animals have a place on God's earth - right beside the mashed potatoes and gravy." Sometimes I have very unkind feelings for him and rarely say a word to him. He is a hunter
I realized long ago that it does little good to torment myself hoping these people will change. I feel that it is better to say nothing and instead concentrate on educating others by leafletting. There are people out there who will change if I can educate them.
However, that does not change the fact that I am lonely, that I often feel like the outsider, that I have only two people to talk to about my pain, both online, not in person. It is a lonely and hurtful life much of the time. I am constantly surrounded by images of dancing pigs and laughing cows and happy chickens in every restaurant/grocery advertisement for meat.
I silently question the morality and kindness and faith of friends who I have known for years. There is this little wedge between us since I have gone veg seveb years ago. I have lost some respect for them. I feel alone.
I am divorced and 59 years old. At my age I wonder if I can hope to meet a man my age who would be willing to give up meat. It seems pointless to me to date because I feel I will eventually lose respect for a man who is so callous and causes so much suffering. At the same time, I would very much like to have a loving relationship. A person gives up a lot if they love animals. It can be a painful way to live - being Aware, being Awake and choosing not to ignore the suffering.
As you can see, I have no real answers. Once you Know about the suffering you will never again Not Know. Not only are you lonely for other compassionate people, you are a heartbroken witness for the animals, and even the church ministers, perhaps especially the ministers, have hearts of stone. It is a feeling of being ostracized for feeling compassion and love for creation.
There is a wonderful blog http://sufferingeyesblogspot.ca for people whose hearts are broken by the madness of humans. When you read it, you will know you are not alone in your suffering.