Charlotte Darnell

Community Liaison @ CEA
288 karmaJoined


Charlotte Darnell


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.

Thanks for taking the time to write this and be vulnerable despite your concerns (and the RSI!). 

I definitely resonate with some of what you’ve written, and share some of your frustrations. I might expand my thoughts here or via DM in future if you'd be interested, but in the meantime, I just wanted to say that I’m really sorry it’s been a tough time.

I am glad to hear that you’ve had some good experiences along with the difficult ones (though this mixture of appreciation for and frustration with the EA community can be quite the emotional rollercoaster). I’m also glad you’re doing what feels right for you.

Thank you for all the work and effort you’ve put in. I (and I know others too) have really enjoyed learning about your projects and I’m excited to see what you work on going forward, even if it's from a bit more of a distance.  It’s been lovely getting to know you a little and my metaphorical door is open if you’d like to chat sometime in future. 

[If there are concerns you’d like to talk to the Community Health Team about, you can contact us here.] 

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:

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! 

Thank you for the thoughts. My team was pretty uncertain about whether to post this, and I could have done some things better. It seems helpful to clarify some of my intentions behind the original post: 

  • Various people had mentioned that they were concerned about this in casual conversation. It felt useful to link to a specific reference point for the already- existing discussion rather than have rumours escalate or warp. 
  • Given Peter Singer is someone with a significant influence in EA, and with the context of recent events in our community, I expected many people in EA would want to be aware if concerns had been raised about him, provided they were appropriately hedged. 
  • Given those conversations and considerations happening in private, making it public was the action that felt the most integrity-driven to me at the time.
  • I could have done better at framing the post. I do think it can be valuable from a community health perspective to link post to things of interest before we have all the facts in, but there’s a balance to get right here.
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