137 Burnout, Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma in Vegan Activism – with Steven Dawson, LCSW

This week we’re talking to Steven Dawson, LCSW, about burnout, compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma within vegan activism and veganism in general. We managed to touch on additional related topics, including how to deal with the guilt of feeling like you’re not doing enough and how to build a better vegan movement through trauma-informed community building.  

In This Episode

Y’all. Y’all y’all y’all. We are so excited to release this episode!!! We had a long and fascinating conversation with Steven Dawson, LCSW about the ills that befall many an activist: burnout, compassion fatigue, feeling like you’re not doing enough. The conversation took many interesting twists and turns along related topics and even though our discussion clocked in at nearly two hours, we could’ve talked to Steven for the rest of the day. Please see below for several resources that related to the discussion we had in this episode! Favorite Quote from Episode
The opposite of anxiety is curiosity The Four S’s
Safety, Security, being Seen and being Soothed Joke in the Middle
Why are bananas never lonely?

Online Assessment Tools

Burnout Self-Test (MindTools) Compassion Fatigue Self-Assessment (Healthy Place) Checklists and Measures – Vicarious Trama (Social Work Buffalo)

Help lines

In Defense of Animals
IDA’s Animal Activist Helpline
Operation Hours
Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time (11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time) For support from fellow activists, please join our Animal Activist Online Support Group. Helpline Contacts
Phone: (800) 705-0425
Email: [email protected]. The Helpline is available to activists in the United States and Canada National Suicide Prevention Line
Phone: 1-800-273-8255 Available 24 hours everyday For emergency support


Trauma and Recovery
Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence-From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror
by Judith L. Herman, M.D. Creating Sanctuary: Toward the Evolution of Sane Societies, Revised Edition
by Dr. Sandra L. Bloom The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. Mindfulness Resources
Transformation and Healing: Sutra on the Four Establishments of Mindfulness Paperback
by Thich Nhat Hanh

Online Mindfulness Tools

Stop Breathe Think Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY)

Links and Information

Share on Facebook
Email this to someone
Share on Tumblr
Share on Reddit
Share on LinkedIn
Digg this
Share on StumbleUpon
Pin on Pinterest

If you love us, share us!


    • Probably my favourite episode.
      I hope you soon get the chance to have Steven on the show again, I could listen to him talking about psychology and, really, just about random stuff all day! I’ve already loved your podcast anyway but this episode is particularly great in my eyes and made me love your podcast even more. Not only does this episode include that super interesting interview, but also some very hilarious tensions and apocalypse-talks. (1/2)
        • (2/2)You two just succeed in making me laugh time and time again, I love it!
          Maybe next time Steve is on the show you could give us (the listeners) the opportunity to send in questions for Steve in advance and he could answer them on the show. I -and I bet a lot of people- would be definitely interested in that.
          Keep up the great work and have a nice day!
          Greetings from Germany!
            • [You can use this on the show (although I’m not sure if you still do this or not?) if you want to. I’m not a native speaker so if I made some grammatical mistakes or something, I’m sorry and maybe you could edit that out then in tbe case of you reading it on the show.
              Pronouns: She/her; name: Maya]

Join the discussion!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.