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Embracing Yourself the Way You Are Vs. Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

Updated on May 7, 2010

I had a dilemma on Tuesday, aka voting day. Ohioans For Humane Farms is trying to get a measure on November's ballot that would eliminate some of the worst animal cruelties in the animal agribusiness industry. In order to get this measure on the ballot, we must get 403,000 valid signatures by the end of June from Ohio's registered voters.

At the campaign kickoff in my city last March, I volunteered to be in the 1000 club. Everyone in the 1000 club is supposed to get 1000 signatures. I volunteered because this issue is very close to my heart. Animals suffer horrendously on today's factory farms. However, since the signature collecting began, I have only collected about twenty signatures.

Voting day was a great opportunity for collecting signatures, as everyone at the polling location would be registered to vote, and all the voters would live in the same county, making it easier (you have to have a different petition for each county). I wanted to go, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I'm a very shy person, and this is outside my comfort zone. I cringe at the thought of leafletting, approaching people for signatures, etc. And then I feel guilty about not doing more.

However, I do help the animals in my own way. I am a vegan, which means I avoid all animal products, including meat, dairy, and eggs. This means that animals don't have to suffer to provide my food. I eat only plant based foods. I talk to the people I know about why I am a vegan. I share links and post on Facebook. Several people have told me that the information I post on Facebook has helped them. And I firmly believe in the ripple effect. If I help a few of my friends to give up animal products, they in turn will influence other people to do the same.

So, I help animals by living out my morals within my own life, but I usually don't step outside my comfort zone to do this. I feel bad about the opportunities that I miss. But, everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, right? Should I really feel so pressed to step outside my comfort zone? Or should I embrace my own strengths and uniqueness, accept myself as I am, and celebrate what I do do?

What do you think? What makes life more meaningful for you? Feel free to comment.


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    • HeatherVegRD profile image

      HeatherVegRD 7 years ago

      Hi PWalker281! Thanks for commenting. Your 1st paragraph makes a lot of sense to me. I always felt bad about the things I couldn't do, and wanted to improve myself. But now I'm starting to realize that I just need to accept myself the way I am and realize that I am fulfilling a need in the universe by just being myself. Trying to do something that I am not comfortable with will only frustrate me and make me less effective at what I can do!!

      I appreciate your suggestion in your 2nd paragraph, but I don't think that is the answer. When animals are used for profit, there is always the potential for them to suffer. Even with cage free hens or grass fed beef, or organic dairy, there is still suffering. And many times labelling is used to the company's advantage to appear more humane, when it really isn't. If you're interested, you can read more at and I am planning to write a hub about this issue as well.

      I don't agree that pushing against factory farms makes them stronger. More and more people are choosing plant based diets, and the veg selections in stores is increasing. Legislation is getting passed to eliminate some animal cruelties (prop 2 in California last year, and hopefully something similar in Ohio this year). As with any social change movement, it takes time.

      Thank you for the suggestion though. I look forward to reading more of your hubs, and hope you will continue reading mine! Have a great day! :-)

    • profile image

      PWalker281 7 years ago

      Who says you have to do something you're not comfortable doing? Sounds to me like you're doing a lot, and if what you're doing brings you joy, then go with what feels good. You raise your vibration as a result and your actions become more effective because people feel your passion.

      Now you may not agree with this since you don't eat animals at all, but why not consider focusing on those agricultural businesses that treat animals with respect and don't cause suffering in the production of food. In this way, you're not pushing against those agribusinesses you speak of (pushing against makes them a stronger presence in your life instead of getting rid of them) and your focused attention on what's working makes that grow stronger instead.