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Vystopia is a term coined in 2017 by Australian organizational psychologist Clare Mann to describe depression-like psychological symptoms experienced by some individuals who choose veganism for ethical reasons.
Mann describes vystopia as "existential angst" caused by awareness of the high number of animals who are regularly killed or exploited for human use, coupled with the fact that the vast majority of humans collude with this practice by their use of animal products. Wide-scale public resistance to attempts to point out this collusion, or to critique it, and the vegan's perception that the public is largely in denial about the animal industry, combine to create various symptoms. Among these, Mann argues, are feelings of anger, grief, or despair at being unable to convince non-vegans to re-evaluate or change their lifestyles; feelings of alienation and isolation from non-vegans and non-vegan communities; and a sense of despair fostered by feelings of powerlessness and the belief that things will never change.
While the term vystopia is not in widescale use, some research does suggest a correlation between vegetarianism and veganism on the one hand and increased incidence of depression and anxiety on the other. Anecdotal evidence further suggests this correlation.
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- Amazon.com Author page for Clare Mann, who has authored at least five books
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