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Charlotte Darnell

Community Liaison @ CEA
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Charlotte Darnell

https://www.centreforeffectivealtruism.org/community-health/team

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15

I’m not super familiar with your work but I can imagine this is a great resource for lots of people, and I recognise that therapy or similar support can be really hard to access. I think it's was worth noting though, that I’ve really valued having my main therapy and some of my support be outside of EA.

I think this actually allows me to look more honestly at my feelings and feel more psychological safety when exploring them. I do think the shared context of EA can be really helpful (I do seek support from EA friends about things) - but just wanted to note that there are pros and cons, particularly if you’re aiming to work on “deeper seated issues” which is quite a vulnerable spot to be in.

For those considering this, it might be worth taking a minute to check in with yourself about if you’d benefit more from the shared context this provides, or you’d benefit more from being able to talk about your hard stuff with people who you’re much, much less likely to cross paths with professionally.

You've probably already considered this, but there are lots of vegan UK facebook groups who I think would be interested in this, with some quite active members who might be interested in volunteering. Is there a plan for sharing in those sort of places? I'd be happy to post in some but also don't know if you've got a more specific comms plan, or reasons you might not want that.

This was great to hear about, thanks for writing it! The 'likelihood to recommend' scores are exciting, congratulations :))

Thanks for writing this Alix. Something I hadn't been tracking much before this post was how events like EAGs and retreats might be especially tiring if you're doing lots of 1:1s in a different language. I remember being surprised by just how tired I got spending all day in a different language when I worked in France, and can't imagine how much that's multiplied when discussing complicated EA topics and ideas.

Ah I really like the idea of adding languages to swapcard profiles - I'll share this with the events team!

I enjoyed reading this and think past me would have found this quite helpful to read before attending a conference for the first time, so thank you!

Thank you so much for reaching out for support and advice on this. It sounds like such an emotionally hard situation, and I really hope things feel better soon for you.

If you’re currently feeling suicidal or feeling very down, I’d encourage contacting a suicide hotline and consider talking to a therapist if that’s an option available to you. Here’s an international list of helplines: https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/

It’s worth bearing in mind that the EA approach is about doing the most good you can with the resources you’ve got. As much as it sucks, you can’t do things with resources you don’t have. Freedom to choose what you eat is a resource that people have or don’t have, in much the same way as they may have/not have money or time.

 Additionally, while EAs often encourage having high altruistic standards, there are limits to this; it definitely shouldn’t mean taking your own life. As much as it sucks, sometimes the state of the world is that the reasonable or rational choice in a given situation means consuming animal products or things tested on animals - for example, vegans work very hard to avoid the consumption of animal products, but sometimes have to take medicine that isn’t vegan, and the vegan society endorses that:  

“The definition of veganism recognises that it is not always possible or practicable to avoid animal use in a non-vegan world. Sometimes, you may have no alternative to medication manufactured using animal products. Even if other medications are available, they may be less effective, have more side effects or be unsuitable for your healthcare needs. While it can be upsetting to compromise our vegan beliefs, we encourage vegans to look after their health and that of others, enabling them to be effective advocates for veganism.”

I can’t even begin to imagine how frustrated and upset you may be feeling. It sounds like such a difficult situation. I really do agree with the other commenters, though, about how much impact you might be able to have later on, once you have a bit more freedom. 

I’m not sure if this is helpful as an example - there may be many contextual things that feel too different, but just in case it’s helpful: I wasn't allowed to be vegan or vegetarian growing up but became vegan at university and have been mostly following a vegan diet since. I’ve convinced a lot of my friends to try vegan food and several of them have massively reduced their meat consumption as a result. Many others eat vegan when I’m around, even if they don’t normally. I’m not sure, but this may even be a thing you can do subtly now  - if it sounds possible in your context, you could try sometimes offering to cook something for your family or friends that happens to be vegan (eg. lentil dhal) and not emphasising the fact that it’s vegan. 

As other commentators have said, there are so many potential ways you might be able to help animals in future, especially with a STEM background, and I feel excited about a world where there are people so passionate about animals fighting for animal welfare. The best advice I can give based on my own experience is to focus on things you can control, and think about the future - figure out what you might want to work on, and figure out where you might want to try and build knowledge or skills to work on improving animal welfare once you can. 


 

So excited about these, and glad to see them shared. Thanks for all of your hard work Mila + team! 

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