A the farmer recently was on his way to the slaughterhouse, when he changed direction and instead drove the trailer with 200-lane lambs. Siwalingham Wasantakumar, 60, from Devon, now plans to produce vegetables.
Wasantakumar is not the only farmer who performs this kind of turnaround. In 2017, Jay Wilde, from the Bradley Gok Farm in Derbyshire, took his livestock to a sanctuary and decided to become a vegan farmer (the film telling this story, 73 cows, is nominated for Baffa). In the United States, Illinois-based Free From Harm charity gathered stories for many farmers who had epiphanies and switched to veganism.
Farmers know the job when they start – so what leads to such a big turn? "What you see is the basic cognitive dissonance," says Fiona Buckland, a life-coach. This happens when "the way you live your life is no longer fully in line with the way you feel," and personal values slip out of compliance with personal performance.
Cognitive dissonance is built while the individual can no longer maintain the resulting discomfort and induces changes. "That's why somebody is sitting on the desk and thinks:" I can not do this anymore, "or it comes out of marriage," says Buckland. "Cognitive dissonance is too great. They need to be aligned."
Even obviously early decisions – the change of the destination in the middle of the journey, as did the Vasancata, – "live in our unconscious" for weeks, months or years. "Maybe she took too many times to herself in the slaughterhouse," Buchlen added. She describes the diversion of Vasantakumar as a "moment of creative problem solving": there are some sheep that I would like to keep them, here is a sanctuary that will take them.
Stephen Palmer, a member of the British Psychological Society, points out that the year is still quite new, and such decisions may be the result of some actions in January. The heart, he says, is a classic time when people "are looking for a new purpose and meaning." But often these thoughts do not come when people sit and think, but cut them as they fill the washing machine or wait in the supermarket.
"Your life perspective can bring a sudden jump," explains psychologist Mike Hughesman. A man who was implanted at what he did suddenly realizes that he does not want to do it anymore. (Hughesman himself temporarily switched to vegetarianism when he could not face the fact that he ate something sensitive).
"People should think more and not be overcrowded in routines. If something does not feel good, think about it," he says. "Sometimes you have to ask those key questions."