I've been struggling lately. It's nothing unique and I know I'm not alone in feeling this way. Fighting for animals in a world that is both saturated with their suffering and ignores it isn't easy. We all know this going in. We join thinking we just need to focus all our efforts on the issue and we can change it. We do investigations, we run campaigns, we get out to every demonstration we can, we pluck up our courage and talk to the media, we let personal relationships slide because we have to keep our eye on the prize. And we feel guilty even recognizing those things as sacrifices when compared to the sheer torture animals must endure each day. We join organizations, struggle in them and realize not all animal rights activists are easy to work with, then realize that we ourselves probably aren't so easy to work with either. We see a 'success' - a campaign we've dedicated hours of work and energy to pays off. We celebrate, but it feels wrong to celebrate when there's still so much suffering. We get back to work and realize our win wasn't as big as we thought it was. We feel defeated, but there's another campaign that needs our attention so we pour our heart and soul into it. We try to be positive - lord knows no one wants to continually hear negative stories or scroll through their social networking pages and only see misery and horror, but it's a sham. We talk to others and realize everyone feels this way. We don't feel quite so alone. We don't really take time off but we take a mental break. We knit. We paint happy pictures. We watch cute animal videos (ones we've already pre-approved by ensuring no animals were harmed in their making and not just via an American Humane rubber stamp either). We make a trip to a farm sanctuary and feel pure bliss just seeing the animals alive and happy. We eat vegan chocolate cake. We commiserate with fellow activists. We pull one another through. We realize that this is how it's going to be and we learn to be okay with that. We persevere because we know that we can't have it any other way. We have a responsibility now because we know. The animals are relying on us. We might not always be able to give them 110% but we'll give them as much as we possibly can, because we no longer have a choice and it's the only option available.